Tagged: michael konik essay

Memorial Day

Let’s resolve to treat this annual national holiday as something more than a convenient excuse to extend the weekend to three days. Let’s remember, in memorium, as the name suggests. Let’s not, however, confuse victims with heroes, or job-seekers with patriots. Let us simply say that millions of our brothers and sisters have come and...

All Atwitter

First MySpace, then Facebook, and now Twitter. The idea of simultaneously communicating with hundreds or thousands or millions of “friends” has gone from clunky functionality to improved efficiency to instant success, “connecting” people no matter their geographic or spiritual distance. Finally, after much fretting and fomenting, we’ve overcome our existential solitude. We are one.  That’s...

“Flow,” the Film

If you’re still drinking bottled water — or are in favor of more asphalt roads, lateral real estate development, and industrial farming — we’ve got a movie for you.  It’s called Flow, and like other cinematic wake-up calls, such as An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary coolly and convincingly correlates normal and accepted human behavior with the despoiling...

Next in Line at the Latrine

For much of the nation’s existence, India has either been colonized by its European superiors or shackled with cuffs of poverty. Until recently, the average Indian endured squalor and neediness unimaginable to those of us who expend our excess calories at cardio-striptease classes. Even now, as viewers of the urban fairy tale “Slumdog Millionaire” note...

The Artist as Saint

His nickname among musicians was “Prince of Darkness.” According to many who claim to have known him well, and according to an accrued reputation bordering on myth, Miles Davis was a jerk.  Based on evidence available for review on YouTube, as well as eyewitness accounts shared anecdotally and personally, Keith Jarrett can be insufferably obnoxious....

Magnificent Obsessions

People who are obsessed with Star Wars, comic book heroes, vampires, defunct boy bands, and long-canceled television series of the 1970s are effortlessly (and frequently) mocked by the self-satisfied masses who have managed to not care deeply about strange and specific phenomena. Blatant nerdiness makes an easy target.  But what of the tens-of-thousands — millions?...

Joy and Its Absence

On a hot Saturday night in the provinces, two handsome young lovers made their nuptial vows at a Christian church in front of family and friends, as is the custom. But at this wedding, unlike every other I’ve attended, the preacher harangued and scolded and pretended to cry, careful, it seemed, to inject the proceedings...

Philosophical Paradox

The armed security guard protecting the front gate of the posh condominium community fingers his automatic rifle and ponders his job. He wonders, though the urge to bansih reflection is strong, whether it has occured to those who have everything that the menial wages they pay to protect their property, their family, and all that...

Issues of Character

Here in Los Angeles, we have a mayoral election coming up. The names on the ballot include a handful of community activists and the incumbent, whose name no one can pronounce correctly, so most folks simply call him “the guy who was screwing that cute Mexican TV reporter.” Our current mayor — Antonio Villaraigosa, for...

Barbara Morrison: An Appreciation

Unless you live in Southern California or are a dedicated aficionado of jazz and blues, you probably don’t know Barbara Morrison. If you’re hip enough to own her records or lucky enough to live in the town she’s called home for decades, you know Barbara Morrison is the Queen of Los Angeles Jazz & Blues,...