EppsNet Archive: Los Angeles

MOCA Cookie Crumbles

23 Jul 2012 /

Ed Ruscha has resigned as a MOCA trustee, as have John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger and Catherine Opie, leaving no artists on the museum’s board.

latimes.com, July 17, 2012

“Art” and “artist” are words that get tossed around pretty lightly. Ruscha‘s work — and the same goes for Baldessari and Kruger — consists of modifying photos and other images, often by writing words on them.

Pay Nothing Until April

It’s like lolcats, minus the occasional wit.

Opie is a photographer whose work is less interesting than the average high school yearbook.

Yesterday, the image below was posted on the MOCA Facebook page. It’s an actual museum piece called “Earthwork aka Untitled (Dirt).”

Earthwork aka Untitled (Dirt)

Yes, it looks like a pile of dirt, but if you click the image to enlarge it, you can see that it’s actually — a pile of dirt!

This is risk-taking art, the risk being that the cleaning crew may accidentally sweep it up and throw it in the garbage.

No doubt the four retiring geniuses can put forth a critical theory, based on “the process of creation,” to explain why a pile of dirt becomes “art” when placed within the walls of a museum. I say good riddance and take your dirt with you.


The Deceased Didn’t Work and Neither Did the Eulogy

4 Mar 2012 /

Funeral program

The LA Times ran a eulogy for a young Occupy protester this weekend . . .

Alex Weinschenker was born 23 years ago last month.

He was his parents’ only child, and he was beautiful.

Man who found a deep sense of purpose in Occupy L.A. is mourned – latimes.com

That’s a very young age to die — 23 years old. How did it happen?

. . . probably from a relapse of a drug problem he’d tried to put behind him . . .

OK, wait a minute. This seems a little disingenuous. It sounds like you’re trying to say — without actually saying it — that he was a drug addict who killed himself, perhaps accidentally, with an overdose.

Occupy L.A. had filled Alex Weinschenker with energy and optimism, which makes the timing of his death even sadder, said his father.

Hmmm . . . in my experience, people with energy, optimism and “a deep sense of purpose” don’t die of a drug overdose.

He was so smart, but different. He did not go with the flow.

He had no education and no job.

Last year, Alex became a father to his own baby boy, Rivers, now 7 months old. He was no longer romantically involved with the child’s mother, but he was committed to taking care of both of them.

Is there anything he could have done that would be too irresponsible or stupid for the Times to put a positive spin on it?

“Committed to taking care of them” — in what way? A lot of us have fathered children and committed to taking care of them but we do this via something called “work.” I guess you could say we “went with the flow.” We’re not getting rich, we’re not 1 Percenters, but we made a decision to go to school, get jobs and raise our kids.

Who’s going to eulogize us?

 

Here’s how you can tell a eulogy isn’t working: It’s relentlessly disingenuous when it’s not outright dishonest. You have to gloss over the cause of death, invest the deceased with “a deep sense of purpose” that he didn’t have, and ignore the collateral damage of fathering a child with no means of support and leaving him to be raised by a single mother whose idea of a good decision is to have unprotected sex with an unemployed drug addict.

I suppose the Times is trying to bring Occupy back from the dead with a positive write-up on how they became a young man’s second family, but he was a 23-year-old addict with no job, no education and a 7-month-old son. Who or what was he protesting against?

He made his choices. What did he want?


No Photos, Please, of Obama’s L.A. Fundraisers

25 Oct 2011 /
Presidential entourage in Hancock Park

The White House wants you to see President Obama bash the rich, and everyone in the press corps is invited to cover the various rallies and speeches where he claims average people can’t get a break and the wealthy aren’t paying their fair share of taxes.

What the White House doesn’t want you to see is Obama schmoozing the rich so that he can pocket some of their money for his campaign.

So not surprisingly, news photographers were barred from both of Obama’s L.A. fundraisers Monday. . . .

Tickets cost $35,800 per person.

Actor Will Smith, looking dapper in a three piece suit . . . Magic Johnson sat at a table to the president’s right . . . imposing Spanish-style mansion of Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith . . . POTUS entered with Eva Longoria.

Meanwhile, news photographers were welcomed earlier in the day when Obama made an unscheduled stop at Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘n Waffles in West L.A., where he ordered the No. 9, “Country Boy” – 3 wings with choice of waffle, potato salad or French fries for $8.90.


I Love LA

3 Sep 2011 /

Bukowski: Hollywood Tour

13 Aug 2011 /

NARCh 2011 – Travel Day

20 Jul 2011 /
Mario Williams

LA to Houston

We’re waiting at LAX for a flight to Houston when a large black man in his 20s sits down near us in the waiting area.

“I could take that guy one-on-one,” my kid announces.

I’m about to mention to him that not every big black dude is necessarily a basketball player when he says, “Wait a minute, isn’t that Mario Williams?”

I have to admit to him that I wouldn’t recognize Mario Williams if I saw him.

He pulls up a photo of Mario Williams on his iPhone. “Yeah,” I say, “that does look like him.”

“And he’s waiting for a flight to Houston? That’s got to be Mario Williams.”

The final clue is that the guy is decked out in Adidas gear from head to toe. A Google search for “mario williams adidas” on the iPhone reveals that Mario Williams has a sponsorship deal with Adidas.

So we’re pretty sure we saw Mario Williams at the airport.

 

Houston to Florida

Continental changed up the seat assignments . . . the boy ends up in Row 8 while I’m back in Row 26.

“I’m way ahead of you,” he says. “I can pick up the rental car and drive to the hotel before you even get off the plane.”


Any Lawyers Out There Want This Case?

16 Jul 2011 /
LAX

The boys arrived back from their graduation trip, but missed their connecting flight in Philly, which seems to be the rule rather than the exception for U.S. Airways.

They were able to get on a later flight — to Los Angeles though, not Orange County — so the parents drove out to pick them up at LAX at 11:45 p.m.

“We should sue the airline,” one of the moms said.

“That’s a good idea,” I replied, not because I thought it was a good idea, but because I wanted to hear the plan.

“Five sets of parents have to drive all the way to Los Angeles,” she said. “Gas is expensive! Then there’s punitive damages. Frustration. Loss of income.”

“How is there a loss of income?”

“Some parents might have to work at night. You don’t know.”

“How much do you think we should get — a million dollars?”

“No,” she scoffed, like I was being ridiculous. “Two hundred thousand.”


The Golden State Mutual Building

7 Jul 2011 /
The Golden State Mutual Building

On June 1, 2011, the City of Los Angeles reached a significant milestone in its historic preservation program: the approval of City Historic-Cultural Monument #1000, the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance building at 1999 W. Adams Boulevard in West Adams. The Golden State Mutual Building is a very fitting recipient of this honor. Built in 1949, this six-story commercial building was designed in the Late Moderne style by architect Paul R. Williams 1894-1980. Williams was the first certified African-American architect west of the Mississippi River, the first African-American member of the American Institute of Architects, and also served on the first Los Angeles Planning Commission in 1920.


I Love L.A.

12 Jun 2011 /

Grauman’s Chinese Theater – 1930

7 Jun 2011 /

Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood

Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood before the premiere of Howard Hughes’ 1930 film Hell’s Angels.


At Least Someone in L.A. Three-Peated

25 May 2011 /

Ask the Dust

10 May 2011 /

You’ll eat hamburgers year after year and live in dusty, vermin-infested apartments and hotels, but every morning you’ll see the mighty sun, the eternal blue of the sky, and the streets will be full of sleek women you never will possess, and the hot semi-tropical nights will reek of romance you’ll never have, but you’ll still be in paradise, boys, in the land of sunshine.

— John Fante, Ask the Dust

Good book, set in the Bunker Hill area of Los Angeles in the 1930s. You’ll need to up the dosage on your Prozac prescription after you read it . . .


Googie Road Trip

27 Apr 2011 /

Be sure to watch it full screen!


College Interview

20 Oct 2010 /
USC Band before a game in 2006

All these years later, my son went to USC this morning, my alma mater, for a college interview, wearing a red shirt and his lucky tie bar.

Around noon, he texted me: “Sitting right next to jurrell casey and nick perry in the student center. No big deal”

Jurrell Casey is one of my favorite football players, not just because his last name is the same as my son’s first name. Every time we watch a game and he makes a good play, I yell “CASEY!”

There are two major universities in Los Angeles but at the other one, UCLA, no one will talk to you. Literally. They won’t talk to you.

It’s a government-run institution. Imagine the DMV operating a college. Or the IRS. Or the Post Office. UCLA is actually worse than any of them.

At those other places, eventually you’ll get to talk to someone. You’ll take a number and wait, and when you do talk to someone, they’ll be glum and uninspired, but at UCLA, they just will not talk to you.

I don’t mind if the boy doesn’t go to USC but I hope he doesn’t go to UCLA.


Ouch!

2 Jun 2010 /

Cops: Porn actor kills 1, hurts 2 in L.A.

msnbc.com

This guy must be incredibly well-built — wait, what?


Teachers Unions

3 May 2010 /
Teacher

In our biggest school systems, it’s become virtually impossible to fight the teachers unions and fire bad teachers. The giant Los Angeles Unified school system, with 33,000 teachers, fires only about 21 a year, or fewer than 1 in 1,000, according to the findings of an L.A. Times investigation. Now either Los Angeles has the greatest teachers in the world or something is very wrong. Talk to parents and you’ll know the answer.


Twitter: 2010-03-11

11 Mar 2010 /
Twitter

If It’s Them or Me, It’s Me

2 Mar 2010 /
Calabasas driver careens off cliff

Authorities say a motorist has driven off a cliff, plunging about 200 feet down a steep canyon near Calabasas, after swerving to avoid an animal on the road.

Ouch — was he a PETA member?

I like animals. I ran over a squirrel once and I felt terrible about it but the little critter just dashed right out in front of my car.

However — in the event of having to make a split-second decision between clobbering an animal and driving off a cliff, well, the animal is going to get it.

On a side note, kudos to the headline writer for the alliteration: “Careens Off Calabasas Cliff.” Who says a liberal arts education isn’t good for anything?


Winter in Los Angeles

16 Feb 2010 /

USC in the foreground, downtown in the background . . .

Winter in Los Angeles


Notes From Interstate 5

18 Jan 2010 /

It poured rain all the way from San Jose to Los Angeles . . .

fields and traffic along Interstate 5, between Westley and Tracy, September 4, 2006

“It’s a good day for cows,” I say to my son, as we drive by a field of happy-looking bovines.

“It’s raining,” he points out.

“I don’t think cows mind a little rain. They get to eat lush, moist grass. Instead of dry grass. Do you like to eat a dry salad with no dressing? You don’t, right?” No answer. “I’m trying to think like a cow here.”

 

“My phone would go out right in the middle of a text message,” the boy says.

“That’s awful,” I say in mock sympathy.

“It is,” he says. “It was a thoughtful, heartfelt text message.”

“How thoughtful and heartfelt can a text message be? Aren’t you limited to 160 characters?”

“Not to Verizon numbers.”

“Oh. Well, that is disappointing then.”

 

We’re driving past an agricultural area with nothing but four- to five-foot sticks in the ground as far as the eye can see.

“What are they growing here?” he asks.

“Sticks,” I say. “It’s a stick farm.”

 

When I pass trucks on the highway, I always signal before pulling back in front of them.

Most people treat truck drivers and their vehicles just as obstacles to be bypassed. I treat them as real people with real feelings.

I think it makes life better for everyone . . .


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