September 24, 2011 |
Most of the dozens of art spaces now showing off Southern California art history weren't even around when Ed Ruscha set up his easel and his style in Los Angeles in the 1950s . Ruscha's classic, defining works are keystones in Pacific Standard Time , a series of exhibitions whose 1945-to-1980 range takes a stab at framing two of the biggest and most elusive concepts around: "art" and "Los Angeles. " Ruscha's vision has had a defining hand in both. With his rescue dog Woody padding around his new Culver City studio, Ruscha uses one of his favorite mediums, words, to paint the vast and ambitious canvas of Pacific Standard Time -- and his place in it. What does this exhibition mean to you?
September 17, 2011 |
The first California election that Kim Alexander cast a ballot in was a pip; voters decided 16 state propositions -- on creating a state lottery, capping welfare, limiting campaign contributions -- and gave their former governor, Ronald Reagan, a second term in the White House. Most of us think election days roll around too soon, if we remember them at all. For Alexander, every day is election day -- a red-letter day for the president of the California Voter Foundation. It's a nonprofit, nonpartisan outfit dedicated to fixing the election process.
September 3, 2011 |
Ahigh school counselor in La Puente once told Hilda Solis' mother that the girl really ought to forget about college and become a secretary. Well, so she has. Hilda Solis is the U.S. secretary of Labor. The daughter of factory workers and ardent union members became the first in her family to get a college education. She brought to D.C. a no-bones-about-it track record from the California Legislature, where she raised the minimum wage, raised the bar for worker protections and raised some hell for environmental laws.
August 27, 2011 |
An Idaho resort hotel's verdure is not the wild tumble around W.S. Merwin's beloved Hawaiian home, but disciplined grass and orderly stands of trees. Not, perhaps, the sort of trees Merwin had in mind when he wrote, "On the last day of the world I would want to plant a tree. " But the Sun Valley Writers' Conference bears an annual crop of words and ideas, and Merwin is here as a master gardener of that. He just ended a year's term as the nation's poet laureate. He has to his name two Pulitzer Prizes and more than 30 books of poetry and prose , and a hand-planted forest at home of rare and endangered palms.
August 13, 2011 |
This is a Klein bottle, a kind of Mobius strip rendered in glass. The man holding it has a brain not unlike these confounding items, possessed of unusual twists and multidimensional turns that can be challenging for lesser mortals to get their own heads around. Kevin Kelly began reflecting on the techno-Internet world before most people even knew it existed. A co-founder of Wired magazine, and still its "senior maverick," his brainstorming writings influenced the films "Minority Report" and "The Matrix," but that's the stuff he has already done.
August 6, 2011 |
Buck Henry arguably made his showbiz debut at the age of 2, when his mother, the silent film star Ruth Taylor, took him to the Paramount lot to show him off. She denied then that she wanted him to go into movies. Sorry, Mom. Henry has become a polymath of directing, acting, and for my money, especially writing -- "The Graduate"; "Catch-22"; that fine dark comedy of manners, "To Die For"; TV's "Get Smart," with Mel Brooks; and a generation later, the seminal "Saturday Night Live" -- which he hosted for a then-record-setting 10 times.
July 23, 2011 |
The last time there was nobody by the name of Hahn in L.A. politics, there was a man by the name of Truman in the White House. Now Janice Hahn moves her political game from the Los Angeles City Council to a place down the road from the executive mansion: Congress. Daughter of legendary county Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, sister of former Mayor James Hahn, the Democrat won the special election to replace Jane Harman in the coastal/South Bay 36th Congressional District. I talked to her en route from the airport into Washington, less than 48 hours before her swearing-in.
July 16, 2011 |
'Remanded" -- taken into custody. In his career as a New York prosecutor and a federal prosecutor in California, Donald Heller has asked the court to remand guilty defendants countless times. He helped put away Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, who tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford, and a big-time heroin dealer, a man Heller believed destroyed many lives. At the dealer's sentencing hearing, the prosecutor remarked that were the death penalty an option, he would volunteer to "throw the switch.
July 9, 2011 |
Everybody knows that newlyweds William and Kate are in town this weekend. But Kenny Kingston says he knows how that royal marriage will work out. The self-styled Psychic to the Stars who has hosted lucrative infomercials, TV shows and hotlines says he consulted with the likes of Lucille Ball and John Wayne on this side of life, heard from Elvis and James Dean on the other side, and knows Marilyn Monroe from both sides -- she gave him the table and chairs...