Eduardo Galeano, Latin America’s Leftist Literary Giant and Poet Laureate

Eduardo Galeano, Latin America’s Leftist Literary Giant and Poet Laureate
The great, subversive, political, and poetic Uruguayan writer, Eduardo Galeano died on April 13, 2015, after losing his second bout with lung cancer. Galeano was one of my favorite writers. He was little known in America (of course he would poignantly call us, the rapacious and hegemonic “the United States of America,” in contrast with his own, much-maligned and violently-exploited “LatinAmerica,” but that made sense since he always compared the European rape and conquest of the New World in the 15th-18th centuries to the USA’s current exploitation and subjugation of Latin America in...
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“Dog Wars” in LA’s Elysian Park

“Dog Wars” in LA’s Elysian Park
“Road Rage”. We all know what that is, right? That explosive and provocative malady driven by frustration and self righteousness, overtaking ordinarily peace-loving auto drivers, at unpredictable (or perhaps very predictable) moments of pique anxiety and stress “on the road”. Especially in LA. Perhaps you have a touch of it. I know I do. Sitting in traffic, late for work, I sometimes “tap” on my horn to just “wake up” all the absent-minded, dull and distracted drivers in front of me. To get them to just “step on the gas” a bit, or perhaps… torun that yellow light, just a...
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A Love Letter/Wake Up Call to LA Theater and Actors’ Equity

A Love Letter/Wake Up Call to LA Theater and Actors’ Equity
Here we go again. Just like the rabble-rousing “Waiver Wars” of the mid 80s — union meetings, passionate and heated rhetoric, mano-a-mano infighting — all about the well-being, membership, management, and dare I say, survival, of Los Angeles’s vital 99 seat theater scene. Check it out. As of this writing, there are 5834 members of a closed Facebook group called “Pro99″, created by 24th Street Theatre’s Jay McAdams and stating: “Pro99 is a community group who supports preserving 99-seat theatre in Los Angeles.”...
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The Modern Crusades: Militant Islam & Collateral Damage, 2 Inhospitable Bedfellows

The Modern Crusades: Militant Islam & Collateral Damage, 2 Inhospitable Bedfellows
First, let me say that I finished this piece just days before the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris. “Je suis Charlie”, and I have not changed a single word. On Friday, January 2, I read, with distress, in the Los Angeles Times‘ “Year in Review” a grim and disturbing piece entitled “Militant Islam’s 2014 March”. In it, Carol J. Williams recalls, in shocking detail, the disturbingly violent assault of extreme religious Islam on both the East and the West: “In April, Boko Haram abducted more than 270 Nigerian girls and dispatched them to sexual...
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An Homage to “Teachers”

An Homage to “Teachers”
General Constance Greene. Lieutenant Colonel Joan Colaprete. Those are the names of the two “teachers” in my life. Both high school English teachers. Both members of the legion of “teachers” we all hopefully remember from our childhoods throughout the course of our lives. Both were strong and unrelenting. Both eccentric and inspiring. They set the bar high so their students could rise. They got the best out of us. And they planted the seed in me, for the hunger to learn. I use the word “teacher” as an homage to the great John Steinbeck, the Mark Twain of the mid...
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How Would YOU Feel If YOU Were Clayton Kershaw?

How Would YOU Feel If YOU Were Clayton Kershaw?
  It’s bad enough having to drive by Dodger Stadium four times a week on my way to work. Down Academy Road, along Stadium Way, onto the 110 South. Past Chavez Ravine, where the Dodgers have played since 1956. Who needs to be reminded, right? Certainly not many of us in LA. I mean, not only did we fold to the hated Cardinals again in excruciating season-ending ignominy, but this year we did it even a series sooner, in the “pre-lims”, in the NLDS best 3 out of 5. Yep, we blew it again, 3 games to 1. The real tragedy, the real humiliation, came in the first and last games, when the...
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Hubris and the LA Sports Gods

Hubris and the LA Sports Gods
I’m a native New Yorker. A sports junkie. I grew up worshipping the New York Yankees of the 50s and 60s. The Bronx Bombers. Mickey Mantle. Whitey Ford. World Series champs year after year. We took their winning for granted. Came to expect it. When the Yankees didn’t win, it was an aberration. Sure, ok, we were spoiled and conceited, and we knew the rest of the country hated us and our team, but we just… didn’t care. By the time Derek Jeter starting winning championships, I was already a fading fan. And now, with “The Cap”‘s 2014 retirement, I hardly recognize...
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I Will Never Buy an iPhone

I Will Never Buy an iPhone
  I know it’s the best device out there. “The best cell phone ever.” Everyone on the planet tells me so. They all have one. My wife has one. Her best friend has two. And when the iPhone 6 comes out today… or maybe tomorrow, Rebecca will have three. The iPhone 4s, the iPhone 5s and the goddam newest one too. “How ’bout you sell me one of the old ones?” No way, Jose.” “Why?” I ask in dismay. “I don’t know. I just looove my I-phones. I like to collect them.” “C’mon, what about your iPhone 4s?...
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A Baby Boomer’s Belated Blog to George Will

A Baby Boomer’s Belated Blog to George Will
Dear Mr. Will, Hello. How are you? I am sorry that it has taken me so long to write to you. Almost 25 years, I suppose. I see that you are a very popular man to attack on The Huffington Post these days, what with your recent “controversial” article about sexual assault on college campuses, where in the interest of full disclosure, I have worked for the last 28 years, albeit only as a “crazy theater professor” at the University of Southern California, which I’m not sure qualifies for true condemnation or contempt in your morally superior world of intellectual and...
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Childhood Heroes, Part 2, Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali

Childhood Heroes, Part 2, Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali
Cassius Marcellus Clay. The “Lousiville Lip”. “The Greatest” heavyweight boxing champ of all time. “Floated like a butterfly, stung like a bee!” My second boyhood hero… long before he became known as the most famous man on the planet, Muhammad Ali. In 1960, when i was 13 years old, 18 year old Cassius Clay burst onto the national sports scene by winning the Olympic gold medal. He was brash. Talented. Faster than lightning. And he couldn’t be beat. With the help of loud mouth and equally-brazen sportscaster, Howard Cosell, Clay brought entertainment,...
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