December 2, 2001 |
Mrs. Liu could have had three daughters by now. But the shame and legal costs would have been unbearable, so she gave her second daughter away at birth and aborted a third when an ultrasound scan showed that fetus, too, was female. In 1949, the Communist Party took power promising to end centuries of degradation for China's women. Yet hundreds of thousands of unwanted baby girls are abandoned, aborted and even killed each year. For poor, rural families, the choice is as stark as it is cruel.
May 14, 1990 |
Truckers rolling through on Interstate 40 refer to this city of 20,000 on their CBs as "Drunk City, U.S.A." The label reflects Gallup's long-established reputation as a place where people--most of them from the nearby Navajo reservation--come to get drunk. Along Route 66 and its assortment of bars and package outlets, drunks slump against buildings a block from the Santa Fe train yard, where passenger trains bound for Los Angeles and Chicago stop each day.
January 3, 1993 |
When they converged in San Francisco about 45 years ago, Wolfgang Paalen, Gordon Onslow Ford and Lee Mullican wanted nothing less than to be image makers of cosmic freedom. The purpose of art, they thought, was self-transcending awareness.
January 25, 1987 |
I was lying there one morning last October, somewhere between one-third and one-quarter conscious in the softening darkness. The first sounds of dawn were tinkling dimly in the distance as a mockingbird warmed his throat for the day's performance. Then, suddenly, I was bolt upright in bed like a stepped-on rake. The mockingbirds had gone back to regular hours.
July 21, 2012 |
Along with millions of idealistic young men who were cut to pieces by machine guns and obliterated by artillery shells, there was another major casualty of World War I: traditional ideas about Western art. The Great War of 1914-18 tilted culture on its axis, particularly in Europe and the United States. Nearly 100 years later, that legacy is being wrestled with in film, visual art, music, television shows like the gauzily nostalgic PBS soaper "Downton Abbey" and plays including the Tony Award-winning"War Horse," concluding its run at the Ahmanson Theatre.
December 11, 1988 |
Elias Lopez never had a chance. He got sucked into something so much stronger than he was, something with a history so powerful, that there seemed no choice but to submit. He was 17, a nice, quietly handsome young man with jet-black hair and a plan. He was going to be a cop, a narcotics investigator. Sure, there were street gangs in his neighborhood, but he did not want to join one. All Elias wanted to do was look like a gang member.
November 7, 1989 |
In the spring and early summer of 1984, I watched two teen-agers in the selection process for the U.S. Olympic boxing team who looked to me like future superstars. As it turned out, neither made the Olympic team that year--1984 was too soon for them. But both left the impression that they were champions in early development. One was Mike Tyson, a 17-year-old pounder from Upstate New York who was still learning to box. An unpolished diamond.
July 23, 1989 |
REMEMBERING HER DAYS AS A young girl--"No one would have accused me of being a happy child"--Leslie Abramson has an enduring memory of her favorite means of escape. After school, at the corner luncheonette, she'd buy button candies and chocolate marshmallow twists (two for a nickel) and spend hours at the comic-book racks, reading. Mad magazine was good for a giggle. But it was the spooky stuff, the horror comics like "Tales From the Crypt," that she really loved. And hated, too.
January 11, 2009 |
It was 11 p.m. on the night before New Year's Eve, and I was doing something I hadn't expected would crown my 2008: sitting in Prince's limousine as the legend lounged beside me, playing unreleased tracks on the stereo. "This is my car for Minneapolis," he said before excusing himself to let me judge a few songs in private. "It's great for listening to music." He laughed. "I don't do drugs or I'd give you a joint. That's what this record is."
November 15, 1997 |
She was a popular teacher, known for working past midnight on school projects and being a compassionate ally to her students. He was one of the special ones: a sixth-grader with whom she had recognized a kindred spirit when he entered her class, talented and intense.