April 15, 2012 |
Long before there were "real" housewives on television, actor-politicians and even potential celebrity politicians like Donald Trump, theme restaurants, virtual online vacations and Kim Kardashian, who makes her living by being Kim Kardashian, there was "The Image," historian Daniel Boorstin's prescient examination of a nation in transition, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of its publication this year. When "The Image" first appeared, one critic predicted that it would join William Whyte's "The Organization Man" and John Kenneth Galbraith's "The Affluent Society" as one of those seminal books that not only capture the zeitgeist but change the American mind-set.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 5, 2001
Last month the Museum of Contemporary Art posted 61 billboards throughout Los Angeles. Designed like curators' notes, with black letters set against a stark white backdrop, the billboards tersely describe features in the landscape around them, encouraging harried commuters to consider urban details they may have dismissed as mundane.
January 22, 1995 |
"Nicole and I shared a dream. We wanted to stop being male-dependent, give up alcohol and drugs, and open up a Starbucks coffee house." So proclaims Faye Resnick toward the close of "Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted," the controversial bestseller co-written by this much-married recovering substance abuser, former director of the John Robert Powers Finishing and Modeling School, and self-described "best friend" of the most publicized murder victim of our time.
July 9, 2000 |
A cluster of bronzed young boys floated on bodyboards in Hurricane Harbor, eager for the lifeguard to activate the wave pool. Many of them had paid $23 and waited half an hour to spend just nine minutes riding the 2-foot mechanically generated crests at Irvine's Wild Rivers Waterpark. Why a virtual beach when a real one is nearby? "There are better waves at the beach, but it's more accessible here," said Chase Paddack, dripping and winded from the pool.
September 13, 1993 |
Howard Stern, Shock-Jock. The words are almost inseparable in any media description of the now top-rated morning radio host. And although the expression may be a convenient (and by now, conventional) shorthand for describing the complex Stern, it obscures a deeper, more noble truth about Stern and his broadcast.
June 14, 2010 |
Poor Flag Day. It has to be the single most ignored national holiday in an otherwise patriotic country that loves its holidays — and no, it's not just because we don't get the day off. Nor is it because Flag Day gets lost between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. The real reason that most Americans ignore the June 14 holiday is that it's utterly redundant. In the United States, every day is Flag Day. That's right. In this flag-crazy world, Americans are arguably the most obsessed with our national banner.
November 20, 1989 |
Is Disneyland simply a fun place to take the kids or out-of-town visitors? Or, in the words of two Boston researchers, is it "a modern pilgrimage site," a sanctuary from the world that evokes a sense of paradise and purity? Never mind that most people believe they go to Disneyland just to speed down the Matterhorn or splash down a mountain.
January 3, 1988 |
"April Galleons," John Ashbery's 11th volume of poetry not counting his recent "Selected Poems," sails in the postmodern waters whose nauseous chop and spooky fog this poet loves so well. His skill and cleverness (and something more) are such that he makes the reader appreciate, if not the waters, then at least the navigator's talents. How can you not like a gifted poet who wants you to have a good time sliding around on his deliberately slicked decks?