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July 1, 1985
The space shuttle Discovery crew played Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" during the latest "Star Wars" experiment, a choice described as "a touch of irony" in The Times article (June 22). Why ironic? Because, according to the journalist, the overture was written by a Russian to celebrate a Russian victory over Napoleon more than 100 years ago. The journalist seems to have missed the real irony implicit in both the experiment and his report of it: that a vehicle representing the highest technology of the most advanced species of Earth is occupied with tasks of warfare.
April 9, 2014 | Meghan Daum
In a final passing of the torch to a new generation of late-night talk show hosts, David Letterman announced last week that he would retire in 2015. As intelligent and unique a force as he's always been, the timing seems right. Since beginning his late-night career more than 30 years ago, Letterman has evolved from exuberant, smart-alecky nerd to crotchety, occasionally befuddled elder statesman. Watching him now, it's hard to believe he was once considered the epitome of edginess, a darling of the college crowd and hero to sarcastic eggheads everywhere.
October 29, 2010 | By Will Bunch
If you take them at their Facebook word, at least 223,609 people plan to attend the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" on the National Mall in Washington on Saturday. According to enthusiastic posters on the social network site, the rally is either a) "the start of a massive, powerful movement … to turn back the vehement, reactionary discourse in this country" or b) "very much like a music festival. " The Comedy Central satire twins don't have an agenda exactly, although Stewart has a motto: "Take it down a notch, for America.
October 1, 2013 | Jonah Goldberg
Michelle Obama wants you to drink more water, at least one more glass a day. Frankly, I think it's great. Sure, the science behind some of her claims is somewhere between iffy and debatable. If you're not dehydrated, drinking more water won't give you more energy or cure your headaches, as her office vaguely claims. But it might take up belly space that otherwise would have gone to grape soda, Red Bull or some other sugary concoction. Team Michelle won't admit this is the real agenda, insisting this is just a healthy, helpful reminder from the first lady.
August 24, 2003
It's probably a good thing that the new U.S. President and Naval Aviator action figure is being marketed to those "14 and up" ("No. 43 Lands at Toy Stores on G.I. Joe's Shelf," Aug. 17). A child of more tender years couldn't possibly begin to appreciate the layers of irony and fraud. Wenzel Jones North Hollywood
March 18, 2009
Re "China has misgivings about U.S. debt," March 14 What delicious irony. Communist China holds "roughly $1 trillion of U.S. Treasury and other government-backed bonds." So the worried banker to our proudly rich and powerful capitalist country is a communist country we not so long ago would have nothing to do with, and sought in various ways to rid the world of. And we're dearly hoping China will continue to bail us out of our self-inflicted dire straits. Who was it who said capitalism would dig its own grave?
November 2, 1986 | David Pecchia
George Romero directed his 1968 classic "Night of the Living Dead" for a measly $114,000. Hal Roach Studios has produced a color version of the chiller (as seen last weekend on KTLA) using their Colorization process. The cost to add color: $250,000.
March 26, 1989
Ah, yes, the irony was flowing strong like sap in the spring through Mike Madigan's March 12 commentary ("Local Control Key Issue in Controversy Over SDG&E Merger"). Here we have a senior executive from the Los Angeles-based Pardee corporation waxing eloquent on the importance of "local control." Yes, that is the same Mike Madigan--local boy bought by outside interests--who was principal spokesman against growth controls during last November's election (shades of Howard Allen). And yes, that is the same Pardee that spent the single largest sum--close to half-a-million dollars--to defeat not only the citizens' growth-control initiatives but the City Council and Board of Supervisors plans as well.
June 22, 2006
Re "Zoot suits against the world," Opinion, June 19 I was 12 during the zoot-suit riots. I remember hiding in my room clutching a baseball bat as truckloads of sailors led by a police car came through the Ramona Gardens housing projects where we lived. No Mexican American youths were safe regardless of how they were dressed. The fact that many Mexican American servicemen fought courageously in the war and were awarded a disproportionate number of Medals of Honor may be the ultimate irony of the whole episode.
June 30, 2007
Re "They mix, not match," June 24 A common and unintended consequence of a program that grants preferential treatment to any one group is the likelihood that some of the beneficiaries of that treatment will conclude they were so blessed based on merit. Apparently, such is the case with many of Orange County's Vietnamese, who were given access to this country based on American largesse (be it as refugees or under family unification) and now disparage Latino illegal aliens in this country.
July 26, 2013 | By Benjamin Mueller
Hard-nosed Montana fisherman Andy Hill, who recently founded a nonprofit organization to teach disabled people how to make lures and cast lines, suddenly finds himself in a wheelchair -- at least for the time being. For 21 years, Hill, a social worker, has waded into the Clark Fork River in East Missoula to catch trout. But on Sunday he left his fishing gear at home to indulge in his first lazy inner-tube ride down the river. He had floated 300 feet when he passed under Bandmann Bridge, and nothing could have prepared him for what happened next.
July 24, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
Endurance is a staple of performance art. In 1971, Chris Burden locked himself inside a small school locker at UC Irvine for five days. Three years later, Linda Mary Montano performed "Three Day Blindfold," groping her way around San Francisco with her eyes shrouded by a blindfold. That same year, for eight hours a day over three days, German artist Joseph Beuys was locked inside a New York gallery with a wild coyote. Marina Abramovic and Ulay Laysiepen spent 90 days in 1988 walking the length of the Great Wall of China from opposite ends until, finally meeting in the middle, they said their goodbyes and ended their 12-year collaboration.
May 30, 2013 | By Robert Abele
It was only a matter of time before the green-card marriage immigration scheme and the marriage equality issue merged in one well-meaning romantic comedy. That film is "I Do," a sweet, sincere, yet ultimately tepid story about Jack (David W. Ross, who wrote and produced) - a gay, single, unassuming Brit who's lived in New York so long that when his visa suddenly isn't renewed, the prospect of returning to England feels like moving to a foreign country. (Among other firm U.S. roots, he's been helping his brother's widow - played by Alicia Witt - raise his nephew.)
February 5, 2013 | By Chris O'Brien
We would be remiss in our coverage of the Dell deal today if we did not point out some of the delicious ironies and coincidences contained therein. Let us flash back first to 1997. It's Aug. 6, at the Macworld conference in Boston. Apple's interim chief executive, Steve Jobs, takes the stage to make a stunning announcement . Rival Microsoft has thrown Apple a lifeline by agreeing to invest $150 million to keep the company afloat. As the announcement is made, a gigantic image of Microsoft CEO Bill Gates appears on a video screen behind Jobs, as the audience gasps.  QUIZ: Test your Apple knowledge "We have to let go of a few notions here," Jobs said that day. "We have to let go of the notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft needs to lose.
September 27, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Many companies have been making an effort to green their businesses, finding ways to use fewer resources. One way has been to convert traditional paper-based processes to electronic ones. There's really no faulting Barnes & Noble for choosing to pay its employees by direct deposit, rather than using paper payroll checks. Except that it means, in one part of its business, Barnes & Noble has gone paperless. "I find it ironic that a book retailer would go paperless," wrote a Barnes & Noble staffer on the Facebook page of journalist Lisa Napoli.
September 24, 2012 | Nita Lelyveld, Los Angeles Times
Four straight rows of four palm trees each stand on the northeast corner of 2nd and Spring streets downtown - a block from Los Angeles City Hall, right alongside LAPD headquarters. They're directly across from the newsroom. I stare out at them from my desk. Lately they have come to look like hourglasses running out of time. Small tufts of green fronds reach to the sky. Ample brown ones drag down toward the dirt. Will the dead fronds ever be trimmed? Would it make a difference?
November 7, 2001 | JOHN BALZAR
Culture mavens baffle me. They are always impatient to find the next trend so they can get ahead of it. By the time the trend arrives, these people have moved on. That way they can look back with glowing superiority and say things like, "Irony used to matter, but now everyone's into it, so it's passe." The "irony culture," you may remember, was one of the casualties of Sept. 11. Then we were told that, oops, irony may have survived after all.
September 17, 2012 | By Matt Pearce
“Muslim rage” is the headline, and it's brought the country full circle. To recap: Americans made a grotesque video about Islam, violent protests ensued, and now other Americans have condemned Muslims for reacting poorly. On Monday, Tina Brown's Newsweek released a cover once again intended to provoke, outrage, create buzz and sell copies   of the magazine: "MUSLIM RAGE," the new cover reads in bold font, "HOW I SURVIVED IT, HOW WE CAN END IT. " The text straddles a highly unflattering picture of screaming Muslim men in Morocco.
May 5, 2012 | By Jeannine Stein and Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
Most of us are too plump and are overly fond of snacks, fast food - and food in general. So why did two lean young women who dine on smoothies and organic fruits and vegetables (how unimpeachable does that sound) seek help cleaning up their act? May Haduong, 33, and Frances Motiwalla, 34, just had this sense they were slaves to each passing fad (greens! organic! flaxseed! gluten-free!) and were building up their eating rules in a haphazard, unscientific way. "We've sort of made it up in our heads," Haduong says: whirring up slurries of kale, beet greens, frozen fruits and celery in the blender in their pint-sized kitchen twice a day (down to once a day when Motiwalla couldn't take it anymore)
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