By LIONEL ROLFE
I’ve never been a fan of capitalism, but Steve Jobs made that a difficult position to uphold.
Jobs created one of this country’s biggest and most successful corporations by actually producing things good and real. More, the products were good because Jobs imbued those products with his own peculiar vision of things. That alone makes his corporation an exception to the general rule of America’s big business today.
Mind you, it might not seem so, but Jobs did not create this new age being wrought by computers. Norbert Wiener, whose best known book was “God and Golem” published in 1964, invented the term cybernetics in the early 1940s. Cybernetics has all to do with machines and man and then machines making machines. The upshot was that computers would give every person extraordinary new labor power and thus transform the world. Read more
By LIONEL ROLFE
The insidious pack of scoundrels running for President on the Republican side make it difficult for me to figure out if I should shit or go blind in the event Obama were defeated by one of them.
On the one hand, it’s clear that the smartest among them is John Huntsman. He’s not an obvious scoundrel like a Perry or a Bachmann. He is intelligent, and for that reason I hope he is not the candidate. He’s the only one who would have a chance of successfully going head to head with Obama. Hopefully he won’t be the Republican candidate, I guess, but then I get the chills. I used to think that Ronald Reagan was a man who could never be elected president. I was wrong. Read more
Older Than America
By PHYL VAN AMMERS
Boryanabooks Film Critic
The Echo Park Film Center showed supernatural thriller Older than America, which should be seen for its portrayal of brutality purportedly suffered by Fond du Lac Indian children in Minnesota in the 1900s.
The plot rests on a plot by a sinister Catholic priest to conceal the deaths of children in a boarding school for Indians during in an earthquake in 1955. There is no record on Internet of an earthquake in the Cloquet area of any significant magnitude.
A rebellious child – Irene — sees a secret burial in the forest and insists on telling what she saw when she is a young mother. The evil priest wants to protect the Church from accusations of child abuse and rape, so he convinces the woman’s sister Apple to authorize electric shock therapy and heavy medication. Irene remains institutionalized for most of the rest of her life. Read more
THE APARTMENT HOUSE ON ROWENA
By Phyl M. Noir
On a Tuesday in January 1996, Jade Yee sat behind her desk in the John Steinbeck public library in Salinas.
It was cold outside. It was always cold outside in Salinas where it was often said you had your winter coat and you had your summer coat. The rooms inside of the library were too warm. The air was too dry.
A man walked up to her desk. Jade recognized saw him as he used to be – Ralph, a small slight boy with hair worn in an exaggerated pompadour like Jim Carrey’s in Ace Ventura Pet Detective standing on the varnished blond wood floor of the music room in the Yates house a violin tucked under his chin. She saw the music score to Chopin’s Polonaise left open on the piano stand. She saw herself at thirteen sitting on the piano bench although that image was an import into her memory from a photograph her mother had taken: straight Chinese hair on each side of a perfectly straight part, a white nylon blouse with a little black velvet tie, and her hands poised delicately over the keyboard. She remembered seeing the observatory on one of the Griffith Park peaks through the window behind the piano. The park was not always on fire but she remembered Ralph’s face tinted red and the flames in the windows and their teacher Frances’ powerful bronze hands on the orangeade ivory keys. Read more
How is our new head of Animal Services doing in her effort to stop the killing?
By Leslie Evans
Brenda Barnette was sworn in as head of the Los Angeles Animal Services Department in August 2010. She had a long history of efforts to halt, or at least slow down, the mass government killing of lost and abandoned pets. Most recently she had been CEO of the Seattle Humane Society, where in 2009 they found homes for 6,091 animals and raised the save rate from 77 to 92 percent. Barnette at her swearing in said she would try to match the Seattle numbers in Los Angeles within five years. Before Seattle she had run the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation and been Development Director of the San Francisco SPCA.
Ominously, Barnette was the sixth General Manager in ten years to try to reform the dysfunctional Animal Services Department. By the end of her first year it was already apparent that the various and sundry partisan interests didn’t mean to give her much of a honeymoon before starting to look for candidate number seven. Read more
By Honey van Blossom
(Honey is a Belgian Marxist former strip-tease artiste.)
In 1930, the Citizens Committee of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce commissioned a regional plan for parks, beaches and playgrounds. The Olmsted-Bartholomew plan envisioned connected greenways that allowed easy access to recreation for all residents. (Eden by Design: the 1930 Olmsted-Bartholomew Plan, Greg Hise and William Deverell)
Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted co-designed Central and Prospect Park in New York, the south portion of Chicago’s “Green Necklace” boulevard, Boston’s “Green Necklace,” the country’s first and oldest coordinated system of public parks and parkways in Buffalo, New York; the country’s oldest state park, the Niagara Reservation in Niagara Falls, New York, and many other lovely areas.
Frederick Olmsted, Jr. and his brother John C. Olmsted were the landscape architects who contributed to the Los Angeles plan. They were best known for their wildlife conservation plans, which included projects in Yosemite and the Everglades. Read more