Tagged: cultural criticism

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,...

Pizza Protest

Finally, what many of us long suspected has been categorically confirmed. No, not that the Democratic primary was rigged by the Clintons and their vassals at the DNC, rendering the millions of us who contributed to and volunteered for Bernie Sanders into suckers at a carnival midway trying to knock down milk bottles nailed to...

Who Deserves to Be Sheltered from the Storm?

Just around the corner, a couple of blocks from our idyllic, tree-lined street, a homeless encampment has taken root on the sidewalk beside a utility building owned by AT&T. Nylon tents, food refuse, unwashed people — it’s an unlovely sight in an otherwise lovely neighborhood. Many of the wealthy homeowners in the area have taken...

Taking a Knee

A wealthy white friend of mine includes me on occasional BCC emails containing golf jokes, sex jokes, and, every now and then, political jokes. The latest one I got  — and I thought it was pretty funny — proposed a massive boycott of the NFL on our most sacred holiday weekend (Veteran’s Day). The humorous...

From the Department of Prognostication

In the near future — 20 years? 50 years? — capitalism will implode. The vast majority of what we today consider “jobs” will be accomplished by machines running on artificial intelligence. Billions of people will rendered useless — except as highly nutritious protein meal for their machine-owning overlords. Without wages, consumption of goods and services...

Elegy for American Values

Every year around this time, as we gather to overeat and watch “bombs bursting in air” — and what better way to symbolize America’s chief national fetish? — our celebrations of liberation from the British Crown offer an opportunity to review some of the reasons why it’s great to be an American. Aside from a ridiculously...

NOlympics

The quadrennial Olympic Games are often visually spectacular, emotionally stirring and wonderfully sexy. A civic virtue they are not. In September, Los Angeles will be “awarded” the right to host the Games in either 2024 or 2028. Great, right? A wonderful boon for our city, right? Ask the people of Rio de Janiero what they...