April 20, 2013 |
The stage lights rise, and Michelle Bachelet - former political prisoner, torture victim and socialist president of Chile from 2006 to 2010 - braces herself to deliver a dramatic farewell speech. "Pardon me if I offend the fascists," she tells her audience in Spanish, "or if I offend those that want a happy ending. But I prefer bittersweet endings. " In the compromise-seeking world of contemporary Chilean politics, such a declaration might be tantamount to career suicide. But when Bachelet's fiery language is spoken by three young women in Guillermo Calderón's play "Discurso," the actors tell us, "it's as if someone were putting words in my mouth.
April 19, 2013 |
If any line item in the state or federal budgets cries out for more resources, or even just a little more respect, it's the arts and humanities. Never mind that many writers, artists and scholars have the fresh ideas that our times so desperately need. When politicians and columnists call for increased spending on STEM projects - that's science, technology, engineering and mathematics - don't they know they're alienating at least half the country? Let's reckon with the extent of the neglect.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2013 |
Gifford Phillips, a gentlemanly patron of cultural institutions and passionate advocate of contemporary art who played a leading role at museums on both coasts of the United States, has died. He was 94. Phillips died Wednesday of natural causes at a hospice in Palm Desert, said his daughter Marjorie Elliott. A member of a wealthy family - including his uncle, art collector Duncan Phillips, who founded the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. - Gifford Phillips was a partner in Pardee Phillips, a real estate developer of residential and commercial property in California and Nevada.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2013 |
They hail from New York, the Silicon Valley, Arkansas, Los Angeles and elsewhere. They are a rich and diverse lot, including Republicans, liberals, Hollywood notables and international corporate executives. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, L.A. philanthropist Eli Broad, Netflix founder Reed Hastings, pomegranate juice titan Lynda Resnick, anti-Obama mega-donor A. Jerrold Perenchio and the widow of Steve Jobs. Together, they smashed records for spending by outside groups in last month's L.A. Board of Education elections.
April 11, 2013 |
The Republican National Committee's Spring gathering is taking place this week at Loews Hollywood. That is not Hollywood, Fla., or Hollywood, S.C., or Hollywood, Ala. - all real towns in really red states - but Hollywood, Calif., the place where Sean Penn, Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Barbra Streisand, Jane Fonda, Martin Sheen, George Clooney and the rest of the entertainment industry's liberal horde earn their keep. Like Nixon going to China, the Republicans have entered hostile territory.
April 10, 2013 |
President Obama won't release his proposed budget for 2014 until Wednesday, but liberals and AARP have been howling all week about something they expect to be in it. What has our president done to provoke such outrage among his supporters? He's chained CPI. In an attempt to meet Republicans halfway in the battle over taxes and spending, Obama has offered to change the formula for calculating Social Security's annual cost-of-living increase - an "entitlement reform" GOP leaders have long asked for. The result would not change current Social Security benefits, but it would reduce future raises by an estimated three-tenths of 1% in the first year, or about $42 for the average beneficiary.