Tagged: essayist

An Open Letter to Councilman Tom LaBonge

Mr. Tom LaBonge, Councilman COUNCIL DISTRICT 4 200 N. Spring Street Room 480 Los Angeles, CA 90012 March 17, 2006 Dear Mr. LaBonge, Although I admit to a healthy skepticism toward elected officials whose stated motivation is “public service,” you’ve made a positive impression on me since you took office. As a recent profile of...

Arab Madness

The recent fuss over Dubai Ports World, a well-known shipping company based in the United Arab Emirates, illustrates once again that the facts never get in the way of a good story. Or, depending on your outlook, a bad one. Sadly, our news media, increasingly rabid for the ratings that drive corporate profits, seems more...

Keeping the World Safe with the Patriot Act?

Your elected representatives voted yesterday to renew the so-called Patriot Act, the noxious piece of legislation originally penned in the weeks following the September, 2001 terrorist attacks. The new version, we are assured by our senators, is a vast improvement over the old version, which granted the federal authorities unprecedented powers to seize and imprison...

Why It’s Important to Earn Lots of Money

Most of us toil at jobs were not crazy about, dedicating a large portion of our life on Earth to laboring at tasks that may or may not satisfy our spiritual hunger. We recognize that we have a finite amount of time to be alive — and that time may be shorter than we imagine...

The Strange Case of Stanley Williams, Icon

The astonishingly strange saga of Stanley Williams, a murderer found guilty by four courts, reached the zenith of its narrative arc yesterday when the Los Angeles Times published a full-page advertisement (paid for by celebrity supporters, one assumes) in which the convict pledged his allegiance to God and asserted his dedication to “redemption.” He did...

Never Let it End

If it’s true that time flies when you’re having fun, then I’m frightened that my life will be over before I’m ready. Lately my days have been full — overflowing even — with challenging fun, with creativity, with laughter and beauty. I catch myself thinking, “I wish this would never end,” and I feel a...

Hooray for Labor

To most of us, today’s holiday means a long weekend, an extra day off from the office — which, for those who dislike their job, is reason enough to celebrate. The occasion is solemn enough that banks, financial markets, and government offices remain closed. Amid the backyard barbecues and furniture discount sales the essential purpose...

Why Golf on Los Angeles Municipal Courses Takes Forever

When I play golf locally, it’s usually at a nearby Los Angeles County municipal park course in Griffith Park. What ought to be a pleasant walk among the tress and birds often feels like a death march through rush hour traffic. Four-hour rounds morph into six-hour trudges, and the joy of chasing a little white...

Deciphering Intelligent Design

Proponents of “intelligent design” — which is another way of saying “opponents of the theory of evolution” — were pleased by President Bush’s recent remarks that “both sides ought to be properly taught” in public schools. Here was the most powerful person in the world lending credence to a wacky notion that has been widely...

The Word Fuck

At the World Series of Poker, which is happening in Las Vegas now, players may say anything they like, no matter how distasteful or rude. They may not, however, say the word fuck, either as a noun or verb. Those that do incur a ten-minute penalty away from the table, where they may reflect on...