Tagged: cultural analysis

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Naughty Words

  The University of Michigan recently compiled the nation’s strictest set of “sensitivity guidelines” for their faculty and students. We take you to a faculty lounge on the Ann Arbor campus. INT – A faculty lounge on a Friday afternoon. Several TEACHERS gather around the water cooler. NATE:  . . .so I told Jenkins, “Hey,...

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Report from the Street: Voices of the Homeless

It began as a a New Year’s resolution: “Do something each day that takes you out of your comfort zone.” Interacting with people living on the streets was at the top of that list. Like many of us who reside in proper homes, I preferred to look away. But for more than a year, I listened to homeless...

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Kevlar for Kids

When news of the latest school shooting reached us, our first impulse, of course, was to offer “thoughts and prayers,” and to make sure via social media everyone understood that we were offering thoughts and prayers. Our second impulse — and this seems to happen every time there’s another mass murder involving an angry white...

Why Every Man, Woman and Child Needs a Gun

We feel terrible for the children (and parents, and teachers, and everyone else) killed or wounded in the latest mass shooting. We’re not talking about the one at Parkland, in Florida; we mean the four subsequent mass shootings that have happened since, albeit not at schools. Terrible. Just terrible. But instead of crying and wailing...

At a Hollywood Funeral

My neighbor died after a long illness. Until his last year, when he was incapacitated by infirmities, he’d enjoyed a rich and meaningful life, a full life, creating memories and children, wealth and legacies. When he expired at the home he had occupied for nearly 50 years, he was almost 93. At his funeral, the...

Denying the Dastardly Duopoly

When your country’s government seems to be controlled by characters from professional wrestling competing in a “loser retires” bout, it’s easy to ascertain villainy in every unfair maneuver. The people in the Trump Administration: bad guys. Heels. They cheat. They lie. They’ll do anything to win. Who are the (baby) faces in this charade? Democrats,...

Get a Job

“Get a job, sir!” That’s the advice given to Jeff “the Dude” Lebowski by another person named Lebowski, the Big Lebowski, a patently successful achiever who lives in a mansion filled with commendations and photos with important people like Nancy Reagan, when she was First Lady — of the United States, not California. The Dude...

Indexing L.A.’s Affordable Housing Crisis

The Coalition to Preserve LA, proponents of last year’s failed Measure S, which would have drastically re-made Los Angeles’s broken City Planning process, are in the weirdly unsatisfying position of being able to say “I told you so.” Nearly everyone familiar with housing development in Los Angeles agrees that the current system is utterly corrupted,...

Role Models

By many measures, Donald Trump, his entire cabinet of self-dealing robber barons, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — the whole lot are extraordinarily successful people. (By many other measures, they’re wildly unsuccessful, but let’s not quibble.) We can all agree that when our children are grown, when they become...

My Talk With Jesus

Had a talk with my friend Jesus a couple of days before his birthday. It wasn’t pleasant. He could barely stop crying. I tried to console him. “Look how many millions of people are celebrating you, man!” I pointed out. “You’re bigger than the Beatles.” He sniffled and wiped his mustache with the sleeve of...