Tagged: thought of the week

An Experiment in Kindness

From July 3-12, at a converted Filipino-American community center in Los Angeles, we created a space where everyone could connect with the better angels of our nature. We created a space of Namaste – where you are at your best and I am at my best. We created a place where every person who walked...

A New Definition of Family

If you wish to align yourself with a mindset that no one will dispute and most will acclaim, proclaim yourself a paragon of “family values.” Earn a reputation as a “family man.” Put “family” before self. Found a right-wing Christian political bribery machine and call it “Focus on the Family.” Do whatever it is you want to...

Our 2012 Election Guide

Right. Of course. We get it. Who has time to read? Who has time to read newspapers? Unemployed stoners, for one. We have time to read newspapers – and periodicals and books, as well as all the other stuff that passes for reading these days. We have time to read, and think, and try to...

America and Human Rights Abuse

Allow us to describe a country for you: Prisoners detained without charges. Prisons operating outside the legal system. Limits on free speech. Limits on the Internet. Legitimately entitled voters prevented from casting ballots. Government sanctioned kidnappings. Witch hunts against political enemies. Torture. China, right? Or is it Russia? Actually, this description, reported in the Los...

Occupied with Occupy

The Occupy movement celebrated its one-year anniversary this week. Professional pontificators wondered in print and on TV, What has Occupy Actually Achieved? Prevailing sentiment seems to be: nothing much. At least nothing tangible, measurable, quantifiable, or, most important, commoditizable. Since protesters took over Zuccotti Park, numerous polls have shown that the American public – the...

Reefer Gladness in the NFL

Great timing! The first weekend of NFL football regular season play – and it really is so darn playful the way those boys run around – begins today. So we couldn’t be more delighted that the National Football League has asked us to help explain why their players – please don’t call them “warriors”; that...

Doing Something vs. Doing Nothing

Pick your favorite platitude: You can only do so much. You’re not going to change the way everybody else behaves (or thinks). You’re only one person. Comforting, aren’t they? You are hereby excused from culpability in the grand disaster that is human civilization. May your acquittal be an abiding relief from that weird sense of...

Legitimate Rape, Legitimate Abortion

The phrase “legitimate rape” is now a part of the American lexicon thanks to William Todd Akin, a U.S. Representative from Missouri. Todd, as he prefers to be called, has served in Congress since 2001, and this year he won the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat in a crowded field of similarly qualified...

The Art of Being Funny in Los Angeles

Lately we’ve been immersing ourselves in stand-up comedy and feeling altogether good about it. You can be addicted to a lot worse things than endorphins. Much of the past year in Los Angeles has been spent closely observing comedians doing their thing: ranting, rambling, telling jokes, riffing, raving, singing songs, reading from a script, making...

Litter Forensics

SINCE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHING THIS ESSAY, WE’VE COLLECTED NEARLY 3,000 PIECES OF LITTER IN RUNYON CANYON. The results are in! After nearly one week of highly un-scientific sampling, we’ve collected and analyzed the data. Literally. During the test period, we visited Runyon Canyon, Hollywood’s celebrated nature area, and collected as much trash as we could carry –...