Tagged: michael konik essay

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Being More Like Billie

She loves everyone. That’s a good place to start. As the world seems to be getting angrier and crueler by the hour, our 10-month-old puppy, Billie Henrietta Konik, seems to be getting sweeter and kinder. Yes, of course: she’s the cutest, most adorable creature ever, as all dog owners understand about their pet. But what’s impressive...

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Evictions for Profit: The Ellis Act

The wiki description of California Government Code 12.75, known as the Ellis Act, named after the San Diego state senator who introduced it in 1985, sounds innocuous enough:  “The Ellis Act is a California state law that allows landlords to evict residential tenants in order to ‘go out of the rental business,’ in spite of desires by...

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Resistance Action Plan

How are you resisting? We’ve been asked this question often. How are you resisting “the occupation?” The “fascist state?” Knowing fully how woogie-woogie the answer sounds, we sometimes make a joke about having nothing to resist, what with the current administration’s glaring and obvious kindheartedness, how everything they do is informed by care and compassion. The...

“Great!” My New Satire of America

I’ve started writing a new book, a broad satire of American Values. Working title: “Great!” Some will find my portrait of a country gone off the rails a bit dark, the comedy too black, the irony too on-the-nose. But in times like these, when a megalomaniac with narcissistic personality disorder doesn’t even have to take all...

Draining the Los Angeles Swamp

Although most of us are acquainted with one or two reasonable and intelligent people who, on Election Day, found a way to rationalize their fears and resentments into a vote for a genuinely vile person, Los Angeles, by and large, didn’t go for Trump. We like to think we’re “better” than that. As he and...

President Trump and Beyond

Shock. Disbelief. Catatonia. We’ve observed various forms of post-traumatic stress disorder manifested in Hillary Clinton voters, very few of whom seem able to process the idea that the fiasco we witnessed unfolding in slow-motion was an election, not a coronation. We’ve heard the tearful confessions: “I’m speechless.” “I’m frightened.” “I’m so upset I think I...

A Tale of Two Sillies

We have two friends who don’t know each other and couldn’t be more unlike. One identifies as a “progressive” concerned with social, economic and environmental justice. The other identifies as a capitalist-libertarian concerned with immigration and security. The second friend, call him “S,” has been  a vocal supporter of Donald Trump from the start of...

Homeless Problem Fantasia

What if – and we know this is far-fetched and vaguely absurd – what if every person in Los Angeles who has the means and the space were to “adopt” a non-violent, non-alcoholic, perfectly harmless homeless person, giving that man or woman (or family?) a place to sleep and bathe that’s not a freeway underpass? What...

The Anthem and American Patriotism

For proud Americans who might question this author’s patriotism, let us reassure you that this micro-essay is being written while standing. When it comes to our national anthem, we don’t fool around. Unlike certain professional athletes, we understand the powerful symbolism in standing for a song about a symbol (a flag, “The Star-Spangled Banner”), a...

At Dodger Stadium

You attend a baseball game once-a-year. You don’t follow the sport or the players. Long ago, when you were a boy, you were a true fan who knew all the statistics and the nicknames, the characters and the storylines. These days, you’re only vaguely aware of who’s starting for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and even...