L.A. Woman

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November 1, 2013 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 


Okay, it’s not all a tragedy.  It’s the river of life.  The only way to keep from dropping to the bottom like a stone is the pursuit of pure, unadulterated, unrestrained libido.  Throw orgasms up in the face of the Grim Reaper, I say.

Fornicate until you and her swim in a river of Jism.  During wartime, they say, people breed like cats.  It’s biology. Perhaps in the face of death, or of divorce, the impulse is the same.

So, okay, one day I was so damned horny I went out prowling,  with the full intent of finding someone.  I did.

Her name was Eve. I found her sitting in a mall parking lot in Silver Lake. It was just natural for me to sit down beside her and strike up a conversation.

Eve was half-Irish, half-Mexican.  And a kind of a street person.   She had a most memorable face, one that I thought combined the most handsome aspects of the two peoples. Read more


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November 1, 2013 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 


Joseph Cotten & wife Patricia Medina

Joseph Cotton and wife Patricia Medina

By Bob Vickrey

The day my old friend Frank Winans entered the front door of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel with actress Shirley MacLaine clutching his arm, he turned toward me with a wry grin and coyly nodded, as if to say, “Ho, hum, just another day at the office.”

Frank was a publisher’s representative who was escorting Ms. MacLaine to her book signing engagement at Brentano’s Bookstore in Beverly Hills, which was located adjacent to the hotel lobby.

We publisher’s reps often found ourselves in unexpected and sometimes fashionable company when our authors were on their promotional book tours, as we served as media escorts in guiding them from venue to venue throughout the city. My company, Houghton Mifflin, was not a firm known for publishing celebrity biographies, but there were occasional exceptions that paired me with unlikely traveling partners for several days. Read more

CALIFORNIA ROADS SCHOLAR: Space opera, cowboys with ray guns, swordfish regalia, monsters, dystopias, utopias and urban planning in California

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November 1, 2013 · Posted in California Roads Scholar · Comment 


Chumash rock art, which looks like it was done by an astronomer. Santa Barbara Museum


“I’ve… seen things you people wouldn’t believe… (laughs)] Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those… moments… will be lost in time, like (cough)] tears… in… rain. Time… to die…”   

(Tears-in-rain death soliloquy of the main antagonist replicant-engineer Ray Batty in the movie Blade Runner (1982), based on Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968).) Read more

Norman Geras, 1943-2013

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November 1, 2013 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Leslie Evans

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200Norman Geras died in Cambridge, England, on October 18 of prostate cancer; he had turned seventy in August. He was little known in the United States, but was a seminal figure in a decades-long battle to rescue the humanitarian and democratic traditions of the socialist Left from a drift toward support to right-wing totalitarian governments and movements in the Third World, particularly Islamic radicalism, in the aftermath of the collapse of Communism. He was also a voice of reason in opposing the wave of demonization of Israel that has grown up into a distinctive form of left-wing antisemitism. Read more

The Land of Mulch and Honey

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November 1, 2013 · Posted in Notes from Above Ground · Comment 


By Honey van Blossom

(Honey is a Belgian Marxist former strip-tease artiste)

The side yard to my house in Conquered was hard dry soil and two bushes, one of them with inedible orange berries.  A wood fence faces the street, which was overgrown with two-foot tall weeds.  Last winter, I planted a baby Pluot, a little pear, and an apple tree in the side yard.   The Pluot is not self-pollinating.  If a neighbor does not have a Santa Rosa plum, I’m going to have to buy one.

Spanish missionaries brought the European plum to California.  Luther Burbank bred the Santa Rosa plum from the Japanese plum.  In 1885, he imported 12 plum seeds from Japan.

Without bees, the wind pollinates a little but not enough.   In agricultural areas in California, farmers have to bring in bees because pesticides kill them off.  Fortunately, bees have so far survived in the cities.

My youngest grandchild wants me to get chickens.  He wants me to build a chicken coop.  He planted broccoli, beans and corn.  He agreed to eat the corn.  The corn crop grew beautifully but I only got two ears of it because of the birds that got it first.   I hung a giant cloth parrot over the fence.  It wobbles in the wind and scares off birds.  Nothing scares off gophers but mine may be blind because they missed the vegetables. Read more