January 31, 2004 |
Skeletons poured from the closet of Jose Guadalupe Posada's imagination. Cigar-chomping skeleton oligarchs and bloodied skeleton soldiers. Skeleton street sweepers and bowler-hatted businessmen, skeleton artists and skeleton musicians, plucking and banging their instruments in a hellish impromptu. In one of Posada's macabre engravings, a bony Catholic clergyman ominously tolls a bell.
November 27, 1997 |
Irish playwright Sean O'Casey understood that the surest way to prick an audience's emotions is through laughter. One of the great tragic satirists, O'Casey was reared in the hardscrabble tenements of Dublin and mastered from an early age that peculiar Irish ability to glean irony from the most desperate of circumstances. This quintessentially Irish gallows humor is richly evoked in O'Casey's "Juno and the Paycock" at the Interact Theatre.
October 21, 1987 |
In elevators and hallways, on exchange floors and radio shows, Wall Street's massacre inspired gallant attempts to find humor amid the blood bath. At lunch Tuesday, a Los Angeles stock market investor said he had called his broker with an urgent order. "Sell! Sell!" he shouted. "To whom? To whom?" the broker asked. Downtown, a pension consultant saw a bright side to the debacle. "We have a lot fewer over-funded retirement funds to worry about," she noted gamely.
October 4, 1993 |
When they hanged Tom Horn here 90 years ago, there weren't too many tears. After all, he was the most notorious assassin and range detective in the employ of the Wyoming cattle barons. After being convicted of ambushing and killing a 14-year-old boy who was part of a sheep-herding family, he was led to the gallows in January, 1903.
February 24, 1994 |
What once was simply Matador Gym is no longer. A few years ago, a quick-witted public-address announcer expunged the original name when he planted tongue firmly in cheek and welcomed visitors to "Southern California's premier sports palace . . . The Matadome." The fans found it amusing. The players loved it. Now that name too has fallen by the wayside. In case you missed it, the Cal State Northridge gym last week was re-christened. Its new name: the Epicenter.
May 13, 2004 |
"Whenever I hear the word 'spiritual,' I reach for my revolver," opens Jim Knipfel in his latest memoir, "Ruining It for Everybody." Knipfel, a columnist for the alternative New York Press, has made a name for himself with his biting bleak humor, misanthropic tendencies and the brutal honesty with which he writes about his difficult life.
June 17, 1998 |
For decades, Ramesh Maharaj carefully crafted his image as the father of human rights in this remote corner of the Caribbean. A prominent defense attorney, he spent a week in prison in the course of defending a client's rights in 1975. He created Trinidad and Tobago's first human rights commission more than a decade ago. And he was known as a leading death-house lawyer who deftly exploited every legal loophole and avenue for appeal to keep convicted killers from the hangman's noose.
November 28, 2005 |
Spared the executioner three consecutive times, the Seattle Seahawks came away with a 24-21 victory in overtime Sunday that figured to be pivotal in their quest for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The executioner, meanwhile, had some explaining to do.
September 21, 2009 |
Even before it was over, Sunday's Emmy Awards on CBS won raves for sprightly pacing, (mostly) classy jokes and emcee Neil Patrick Harris. There were predictable winners -- NBC's "30 Rock" won for the third time as best comedy, AMC's "Mad Men" won again for best drama -- but enough upsets to keep things interesting, including a big nod for Showtime's little-seen comedy "United States of Tara." But there was also a different kind of tension. Harris cheerfully greeted viewers with a Broadway-esque tune that urged them not to channel-surf away from the show or watch it later on DVR. "Don't jump online, 'cause this fine mug of mine needs a huge high-def screen," sang the star of CBS' "How I Met Your Mother."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2000 |
"There is often a very thin line between heroism and villainy," says historian Kenneth Kinkor. Capt. William Kidd was on a path to becoming a genuine hero when he sailed out of London aboard the Adventure Galley in 1696 bearing a commission from King William III to harass French shipping in the Indian Ocean. Bad luck and bad decisions turned him into one of the most famous pirates of history, the notorious Captain Kidd. He went to the gallows in London five years later.