"In the late 1920s, the Julian Petroleum Corporation, though scarcely remembered today, defrauded some 40,000 investors of $150 million in one of the nation's earliest Ponzi schemes, driving Southern Californians to the brink of revolution as they witnessed their most trusted leaders and institutions caught in the meshes of the scandal's net."
"The alliance between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan was one of the most enduring political friendships of the past 50 years. The former British prime minister and the decades-long relationship between the two families is the subject of a new exhibition that the Reagan Library and Museum will present starting Tuesday at its location in Simi Valley." —If you hooligans are done having "street parties" and smashing windows in the U.K., and if you're done tramping the dirt down in Africa, and all these other rude displays, perhaps it's time to seek forgiveness at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library's thrown-together salute to Margaret Thatcher, which [...]
Unless he is actually the Terminator, alleged maniacal killer and ex-LAPD cop Christopher Dorner died yesterday in a burning vacation cabin near the Southern California mountain resort town of Big Bear. And for the first time in probably forever, Big Bear is at the top of the news. As often happens when little-known places make the headlines, cable news hosts struggled to understand the mysterious place—did it have access to television or the Internet?—and people on Twitter mocked the confusion of the cable news hosts, while Big Bear residents used Twitter to say things like, "I was literally looking at the house Chris Dorner was at from the [...]
Part of a series about monsters and other scary things happening here through Halloween.
With its crisp autumn weather and golden piles of leaves and the smell of fireplace smoke on city streets, Halloween is the best time of year. Staggering beneath great stacks of costume boxes, UPS deliverymen maneuver through mazes of foam tombstones and doorways crowded with organic heirloom jack o' lanterns. Even the seasonal aisles at the corner chain drug store are worth lingering over this time of year, in a way nobody dawdles around the Eastertime merchandise or inflatable lawn pools of summer. Even the shabby costume superstore that appears for six weeks within some [...]
Fortunately for the LAPD, Los Angeles Kings fans, having only been introduced to the sport of hockey a few weeks ago, were unaware that they were supposed to riot after last night's Stanley Cup victory.
Or something like that. Anyway, everyone's real upset over the (quickly fading) neon-green Spring Street bike lane that runs past L.A.'s City Hall, because it… impedes the film industry's ability to mimic Real America. If only other cities had enormous financial incentives to lure TV and movie production outside of L.A.!
Chaos followed, as guests fought over pieces cut by the bare-chested pallbearers. “I want the breast! Give me the vagina!” they screamed, hardly noticing that Tilda Swinton had arrived for photo ops, looking very much like David Bowie in his Thin White Duke phase. When it was all over, the cut-up cakes resembled mutilated bodies that made for a ghoulish sight.
A man I didn’t know accosted me. “Is it me or was this all about violence against women?” he asked. “It’s you,” I said. “Look at that cake!” he exclaimed. “It’s a horribly mutilated woman with knives in her chest. Doesn’t that bother you?” “It’s a cake,” [...]
About ten minutes into The Room, a film that is considered the worst ever made, the actress Juliette Danielle has to make love to her fiancé, who is played by the film's writer and director, Tommy Wiseau. They are atop a bed of rose petals. Soft R&B plays. The camera lingers over Johnny’s pale bottom. Cascades of mermaid-length black hair spill over his back cleavage. As he thrusts into what seems to be Lisa’s belly button, she looks at him chidingly, as if he’s a soused comic who’s just told a fairly racist joke at an open mic.
Like most soft-core sex scenes, the love scene in The Room is [...]
Before Flickr, before Tumblr, before Instagram or Chatroulette or sideboob slideshows on corporate media websites, there was TonyPierce.com. From his East Hollywood bachelor pad at the dawn of the century, Tony combined his own L.A. snapshots with pilfered celebrity photographs, found objects, PG-13 pictures submitted by the camgirls, and freeform essays on his favorite subjects: his bus ride to work, Howard Stern, the Chicago Cubs, 19-year-old girls in their underwear, Charles Bukowski, the Los Angeles Times. Tony went pro as editor of LAist.com and then blog editor at the Los Angeles Times, where he created and edited iconic blogs such as L.A. Now and Hero Complex. We talked [...]
In all the pretend cultural battles between the East Coast and the West Coast, Dunkin' Donuts occupies a special spot. Eastern Seaboard people are constantly in the Dunkin' Donuts shops, eating bizarre lard-based concoctions such as the beloved "New Hampshire Turkey Snausage Cheese-Steak On a Heat-Pressed Chocolate-glazed White-Bread Sodium Bagel." It's the kind of food that makes Taco Bell look healthy in comparison. It's food for cops and the huge bellies they've earned from 25 years on the beat, taking crap from you people who don't show no respect for nothin', and eating in their patrol cars while listening to classic rock.
Do you live in Los Angeles? Of course you do! So they made a wacky website for you.
The general rule with Internet videos is that people won't watch anything longer than 3 minutes, and even that is pushing things. I sympathize, but I also suggest that you put on some headphones, pretend you're doing work, and give yourself the 9-plus minutes it takes to watch this, because it is pretty much guaranteed to make you smile. Look, I know the way the world works. I can be cynical about sunshine. But, for whatever reason, on a day like today, I'm just going to pretend that life really can be this sweet and enjoy this. I hope [...]
Late last night, the LAPD raided Occupy Los Angeles. More than 1400 police officers—about 15% of the city's officers—were used to arrest more than 200 people, leaving the encampment in a shambles. Teams of police wore hazmat suits and K-9 units swept the camp, looking for incendiary devices, which they did not find. The tactical approach, guided by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck on-site, involved eventually cordoning off City Hall Park and arresting everyone trapped inside. The operation was concluded by 3:30 a.m.
Around 8 p.m. on Wednesday night, the 300 people who have been occupying the lawn of Los Angeles City Hall for the past three weeks split themselves into two hostile camps.
Occupy LA’s decision-making body, the General Assembly, has been responsible for conducting the encampment’s business. As in most other cities, the participating members handle everything from ensuring the nightly meeting take place to doing financial research on Los Angeles-based bankers to cleaning up the trash. But on Wednesday, a large group of dissenters decided to occupy the General Assembly’s usual outdoor meeting space and assert themselves as the new regime. One man, standing at the center of the swirling [...]
Garry Winogrand used to say that he took photographs of things to see what they would look like as photographs. He took a lot of them. He photographed relentlessly: crowds, zoos, dogs, cars, parties, sidewalks, train stations and women, always more women. He'd describe a good night as "thirty-five rolls." A good year might involve a thousand. He was always slow about editing. He had a rule that he wouldn't even look at an exposure for a year, so that emotion wouldn't cloud his judgment, but towards the end of his life he wasn't even doing that anymore. He just let his rolls pile up in trash cans and [...]
My office was the living room closet in a huge one-bedroom in a 1920s East Hollywood apartment court, across the street from the big blue Scientology headquarters in the old Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. There were built-in bookshelves and just enough space for a chair and a laptop and an ashtray. The neighbor lady's rescued pit bulls romped outside in the overgrown garden, and that electric L.A. sunlight came filtered through the grimy old French windows to the hardwood floors. It was a very pleasant place to work, my friends lived within walking distance in other cheap apartments in Los Feliz, and I had a bad case of being in [...]
Choire: Hello, I have some questions, at this time of "holidays" and "family" and "everyone in Brooklyn having a second and sometimes even third child, also often having two at the same time, because IVF" (I almost typed IDF, because of the news!) and I guess my main question is: how do people talk themselves into having children when the world, at least as we know it, is going to likely end during the lifetime of these children?
Ken: So you're considering having a child. Congratulations! Brooklyn is certainly a wonderful environment for children.
Choire: It is true that once every five years I think "HA, I SHOULD GET A [...]
Sad news in rap music, as we learn that Kevin Michael Gulley, a.k.a. "KMG the Illustrator," of the golden-era Pomona, California rap group Above the Law died over the weekend. Signed to Ruthless Records by N.W.A's Eazy-E in 1989, Above the Law released eight albums over a 22-year career, including classics like 1990's Livin' Like Hustlers and 1992's Black Mafia Life—which pioneered the smooth-but-menacing "g-funk" sound that Dr. Dre brought to full fruition that same year with The Chronic. (The albums were released within a couple of months of each other, after Dre's falling out with Eazy and Ruthless, and there is some dispute as to the [...]
At this point, it's hard to imagine what's making Kanye West sound so cranky. The fact that his mink coat is dragging on the floor, I guess? Or that a beautiful woman he summoned to his hotel room arrived wearing underpants? Maybe it's just that he has a head cold. You're all stuffed up, sore throat, sinus pressure. That'll put anybody in a rotten mood. Whatever it is, for the music's sake, here's hoping he doesn't cheer up. 'Cause this song, which debuted on Funkmaster Flex's show on Hot97 just last night, sounds great.
Joan always kept orchid plants, and liked to linger in the greenhouse of a grower in Malibu, Amado Vazquez, who would name a pink-and-white-striped orchid Phal. Joan Didion Dunne. When everything looked as she wished, Joan, John and I went to get dressed and then gathered in her study. Wearing a rose-print batiste dress (one of a matching pair she'd bought for Quintana and herself in the children's department at Bonwit's), Joan lit a Pall Mall. "We're ready for the party," she said, adding that she was always nervous before dinner was served. Hired help arrived to tend bar and set up the buffet, and I remember Joan [...]