December 5, 2013 |
"The Apartment," Greg Baxter's absorbing, atmospheric and enigmatic first novel, unfolds in extended paragraphs without chapter breaks on a single snowy mid-December day in a fictional European city that evokes aspects of Vienna, Prague and Budapest. Its long, frigid journey into a long, sleepless night explores a man's uneasy relationship with his past, himself and a world in which violence is inescapable. The book's unnamed 41-year-old narrator is a retired U.S. Navy submariner who has served two tours providing intelligence in Iraq - the first as a reservist, the second as a private contractor identifying insurgents for the Iraqi police, which made him a fortune.
December 3, 2013 |
Immigrants are less likely to shoplift, skip work or school, hurt people or engage in other “antisocial” behaviors, despite being poorer, more urbanized and less educated than people born in the United States, a new study based on a sweeping national survey shows. The study, recently published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, buttresses earlier research based on arrests and crime rates. The intriguing pattern has already challenged conventional theories about the ties between problem behaviors, poverty and other disadvantages.
December 1, 2013 |
BANGKOK, Thailand - Riot police fired tear gas Sunday at anti-government protesters armed with petrol bombs trying to force their way into the prime minister's complex and police headquarters, intensifying Thailand's political crisis and raising fears of extended instability in the Southeast Asian nation. For most of the last week, protests remained peaceful. But on Saturday, the seventh day of protests, clashes between pro- and anti-government supporters turned violent around Ramkhamhaeng University, with at least three people killed overnight and dozens injured, according to police.
November 26, 2013 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- French officials said Tuesday that they would deploy troops to the Central African Republic amid reports of violent chaos and warnings that the country could be sliding toward a sectarian civil war. The French force would support African peacekeepers and wait for a United Nations resolution authorizing the deployment, expected next week, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told French radio. Fabius last week warned that the country was on the verge of genocide.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 2013 |
If you liked "wilding," you're gonna love the "knockout game. " I have just become aware, thanks to Fox News and an author who publishes under the conspiracy-minded World Net Daily imprint, that roving gangs of black adolescents are marauding through our streets, randomly attacking innocent white victims in a racist ritual known as the "knockout game. " The motive is mischief, not robbery. These impeccable sources also claim the mainstream media, in a woeful act of political correctness, refuse to report the racial nature of this crime wave.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 17, 2013 |
Eddie Reyes was just a 12-year-old in the school lunch line when Daniel Diaz shook his hand, introduced himself and asked Reyes about God. Twenty years after the pair first met, Diaz was still reaching out to young people. His ability to connect with youths took the longtime friends to the corner of Park and Mayfair avenues in Pomona on Nov. 11, where police say Diaz was shot to death by a lone gunman on foot. Diaz's killing - just hours after about 200 people gathered for an anti-violence rally at Ganesha High School in Pomona - was the latest in what police and community leaders are calling the worst year of violence in the city's recent history.
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 13, 2013 |
In a review of the 945 top-grossing films since 1950, researchers for the American Academy of Pediatrics found that movies rated PG-13 have become progressively more violent, with gunplay tripling since 1985. In fact, today's PG-13 movies are more violent than most R-rated films, the study shows. A lot of the mayhem is cartoon violence - quite literally, since many of the movies are based on comic book characters. But those characters are not what they used to be. Back in 1966 when Batman was conceived for TV, for example, the caped crusader would throw a punch and the word “pow” would explode on the screen.
November 12, 2013 |
The tragedy that befell the Brooklyn punk group Yellow Dogs, in which several bandmates were killed, allegedly by a disgruntled fellow member of the Iranian expat music scene, came with a surprising movie connection. Yellow Dogs was featured in the 2009 film “No One Knows About Persian Cats,” the acclaimed Kurdish director Bahman Ghobadi's semi-documentary that won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Yellow Dogs was seen performing in the film, and the subsequent media attention actually helped allow members to emigrate from Iran.
November 12, 2013 |
When the first "Die Hard" and "Terminator" movies landed in theaters in the 1980s, both were rated R. But their sequels arrived with PG-13 marks - even though the level of violence had actually escalated. Critics have blasted Hollywood's movie ratings for years, claiming that the Motion Picture Assn. of America takes a prudish view of sex and foul language but a very liberal one when it comes to mayhem and bloodshed. A new report provides strong evidence for that critique, concluding that gunplay has tripled within PG-13 films since 1985, the first full year the rating was used.