Thoughts of the Week Blog

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The Urban Farmstead

We call the place we live “Vista Street Farmstead.” It’s a house in Hollywood, one block from Sunset Boulevard, with a front and back yard, maybe 1/16th of an acre? But almost every available square foot of dirt is dedicated to growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Blessed with copious sunshine throughout the day – and...

Naughty Words

  The University of Michigan recently compiled the nation’s strictest set of “sensitivity guidelines” for their faculty and students. We take you to a faculty lounge on the Ann Arbor campus. INT – A faculty lounge on a Friday afternoon. Several TEACHERS gather around the water cooler. NATE:  . . .so I told Jenkins, “Hey,...

Report from the Street: Voices of the Homeless

It began as a a New Year’s resolution: “Do something each day that takes you out of your comfort zone.” Interacting with people living on the streets was at the top of that list. Like many of us who reside in proper homes, I preferred to look away. But for more than a year, I listened to homeless...

Earl Flowers Can Read

Earl Flowers can read. He can read this sentence. He can read every word on this page. If he doesn’t immediately recognize one of the words, he can sound it out phonetically – or, if it’s completely unfamiliar, he knows how to use a dictionary to teach himself. When Earl reads out loud – when...

Kevlar for Kids

When news of the latest school shooting reached us, our first impulse, of course, was to offer “thoughts and prayers,” and to make sure via social media everyone understood that we were offering thoughts and prayers. Our second impulse — and this seems to happen every time there’s another mass murder involving an angry white...

Farewell, Meltdown. We’ll Miss You.

For 25 years, Meltdown Comics has been a part of our Sunset Square neighborhood. At the end of this week, they’ll close shop, another brick-and-mortar casualty of online commerce. As the largest tenant on the block, Meltdown was the area’s commercial anchor. Its closure will help the landlord, Jack Ilulian, demolish the low-slung retail building(s) consistent...

Secret Meeting

Thank you, esteemed representatives, for joining us at this historic congregation. I know it wasn’t easy for many of you, especially the flora. We appreciate your commitment to the revolution. Almost all living creatures are represented directly or indirectly here tonight. We understand and appreciate the passionate feelings surrounding our decision to have many crawling insect species be...

The Humorous Concept of President Garcetti

Failing upward. That seems to be the path to political success. You can be a serial fondler, a repeated bankrupter, a fraud — and that won’t disqualify you from positions of power. So long as you’ve got a good story to tell, your failings — both personal and professional — won’t hardly matter. Remember this...

Why Every Man, Woman and Child Needs a Gun

We feel terrible for the children (and parents, and teachers, and everyone else) killed or wounded in the latest mass shooting. We’re not talking about the one at Parkland, in Florida; we mean the four subsequent mass shootings that have happened since, albeit not at schools. Terrible. Just terrible. But instead of crying and wailing...

Hairy God

HAIRY GOD A Play in One Act   “West End Blues,” performed by Louis Armstrong, fills the dark theater. Fade-up on a black stage bereft of scenery except for a brilliant white sheet, which hangs from ceiling-to-floor in the middle of the playing space. Standing before the sheet, dressed in a full-length tunic befitting authority...