Tagged: cultural analysis

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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...

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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,...

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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...

Selling 7500 Sunset to a Skeptical Public

This past Friday morning, around 8AM, yet another person was struck by a car on Fountain Avenue, one block south of Sunset Boulevard. Fountain has steadily become a notorious street in Hollywood, where several pedestrians and cyclists have been killed and maimed by cars. Today, a woman, 25, was walking with her husband and was...

The War on Christmas

The War on Christmas is not a fictional narrative promulgated by not-very-bright demagogues and lazy journalists. The War on Christmas is real. For several years now, we’ve witnessed an orchestrated, elaborately planned assault on one of our country’s top-four most important holidays. The malefactors behind this outrage remain unknown, though we suspect in our gut...

War Is Over If You Want It

Peace-loving, football-watching, patriotic-minded Americans abhor terrorism. Even when it takes the form of fanatical Sunnis bombing mosques filled with fanatical Shiites, we deplore and condemn senseless violence carried out against innocent civilians. We seem to understand intuitively that people who aren’t wearing uniforms while they’re murdered are victims, whereas those that are properly attired die...

Alan Catlin’s “Blue Velvet”

The slim chapbook “Blue Velvet,” winner of the 30th annual Slipstream Prize, is the perfect gift for someone who normally hates poetry. Author Alan Catlin, a well-published scribe intimate with the thrilling debasements of our popular culture, has written thirty or so homages(?), with titles like Blade Runner, The Deer Hunter, and Crash. His language is plain, strong,...