November 15, 2013
Re "A rapid-fire surge in PG-13 violence," Nov. 12 Many film and television producers are wrong to think that the content of a film or a TV program has no effect on the viewers. Violence does not satirize the media culture; it succumbs to it, idolizes it and exploits it. People are being numbed by the extreme violence in media; kids are especially affected. How many people, after seeing "Jaws," refused to swim in the ocean? How many couples, after watching a movie in which a couple patches up a lousy relationship, examine their own situation?
November 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - During Supreme Court arguments, Justice Clarence Thomas sits mute, not asking a single question while his colleagues on the bench jockey to get in the next interrogatory. But this week, in front of 1,300 adoring conservative lawyers in a Washington hotel ballroom, another Clarence Thomas emerged: loquacious, folksy, irreverent, and totally at ease with his audience and himself. The result was a glimpse of the court's most controversial figure letting down his hair, talking candidly about not just his upbringing but his feelings and his approach toward judging.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 11, 2013 |
Climate change will disrupt not only the natural world but also society, posing risks to the world's economy and the food and water supply and contributing to violent conflict, an international panel of scientists says. The warnings came in a report drafted by the United Nations-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The 29-page summary, leaked and posted on a blog critical of the panel, has been distributed to governments around the world for review. It could change before it is released in March.
November 4, 2013
Re "The key to a happy society," Column, Nov. 3 Well-being is more than feeling good about oneself, as Michael Hiltzik suggests. Personal happiness is hardly the most important measure of a satisfying life. What is the effect, for example, of being satisfied with our society and its values? How can we determine the price for treating one another well, for having faith in one another, or for being proud of our country and ourselves? I once read about a woman from a Scandinavian country who said about homelessness in the United States, "If there were people living on the streets in my city, I would feel personally ashamed.
October 14, 2013 |
The Bohemian Society presented its Spring 2014 collection last Thursday as part of the Los Angeles Fashion Council's Grove-hosted fashion showcase. The inspiration: Designer Victor Wilde offered a single sentence as his Spring 2014 manifesto: "O.W.N. - Own Won Now - Live for the moment. Forget winning, you've won. " The look: While the brand's familiar repurposed military vibe - parachute fabrics, cargo pocketed pants and the like - was still very much present, the line seems to be continuing its move away from one-off statement pieces and into the realm of more easily produced cut-and-sew garments.
October 10, 2013 |
Although no one knows if former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping did say "To get rich is glorious," that sentiment has certainly taken hold in China. But what happens to a society when an unregulated drive for personal wealth upends traditional norms? What happens to the less fortunate when people who have money come to believe that nothing else matters? "A Touch of Sin," the powerful if uneven new film by highly regarded Chinese director Jia Zhangke, is a corrosive depiction of the New China, an everything-for-sale society still figuring out how to cope with the dehumanizing effects of unbridled capitalism.
September 20, 2013 |
One of the region's better home tours for fans of period design and traditional decor pops up on the calendar soon: The Glendale Historical Society's annual architecture and design event on Sept. 29 will center on five houses in the Casa Verdugo neighborhood, which takes its name from a popular restaurant that operated a century ago out of a 1907 Mission Revival on this year's tour. All of the other stops - three Craftsmans and one Neoclassical Revival - were built before 1920. PHOTO GALLERY: Casa Verdugo and other tour houses The heart of the tour is the Casa Verdugo house, which carries with it a colorful history.
September 13, 2013 |
Max Ataka loves insects. All kinds, from the beetles on his T-shirt to the Anise swallowtail butterfly perched on the back of his hand. The 12-year-old loves the colors, the weird behaviors, the fact that he can actually handle them. "When I was a baby, my first insect was a grasshopper," he said, recalling the memory as if it were from a distant era. Max is the youngest member of the Lorquin Entomological Society, an organization of Southern Californians who prefer six legs to four (or two)
August 19, 2013 |
National Public Radio Chief Executive Gary Knell is stepping down in the fall to become president and chief executive officer of the National Geographic Society. Knell leaves NPR after less than two years on the job. In a statement to staffers, he said the National Geographic offer was too good to turn down. "It has taken a great deal of personal reflection on my part to reach this decision," he said. "I will leave with a sense of enormous gratitude to each of you for all you do to make this organization a national treasure.
August 9, 2013 |
Near the end of "Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877," Brenda Wineapple's fresh and riveting account of America at war with itself, she writes of a sense of fatigue that coursed through the nation in the 1870s. The North had won the war and slavery had ended, but there the gains stalled, leading Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier to lament that, between opportunistic carpet-baggers and Confederate vigilantes, the newly freed slaves in the South "had not been saved from suffering," yet "I see no better course.