The Blood Money Times

blood platelets

Charles Orloski: Using Work-Speak, it was family’s notorious “Lean-Week,” my company paid bimonthly, and there was nothing to do except sit on back porch, listen to the Phillies vs. Braves game on A.M. radio.

Every Day Is the 4th of July: Mourning in Amerika

gas mask

Gary Corseri: O say can you see-saw from the Sands; Of Iwo Jima to the halls of Montezuma; And the beach near Petaluma, My country ‘tis of thee

Alcestis: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum


Ed Rampell: To paraphrase the Bard: Toga or not toga? Transforming a period piece or classic into a modern dress work with contemporary costuming, dialogue, references and, perhaps, themes is tricky business.

One Day in the Capitalist Life of a Rooster

rooster eye

Charles Orloski: Two things certain though: the Orloski-family winning lottery ticket would get us through until next payday, and Susan Gensiak & family will probably do jail time.

When I’m 64, Remembering ’64

64 world series

Michael Sigman: The upcoming Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be the first hosted by the New York Mets since 1964, reminding me that following the All-Star break that same year, my St. Louis Cardinals staged one of the most thrilling comeback stories in baseball history.

Hemingway and Salinger Died For Your Sins: An Independence Day Exchange

hemingway salinger

Gary Corseri and Adam Engel: It’s interesting that while Salinger and Hemingway were literally like a balm to each other’s frazzled nerves during that surreal winter in the Hürtgen forest, apocalyptic beyond words, and they remained bonded through that experience

The Humanities Make Life Bearable

woman reading

Peter Laarman: Actually, my dears, what is killing the humanities is precisely the empire-in-decline anxiety that drives this report: the sense that Chinese college grads these days might actually know their Moliere and their Montesquieu better than our grads do.

The Royal Family: The Acting Bug Biteth


Ed Rampell: George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber’s 1927 The Royal Family is a love letter to the act of acting, and, in particular, to the actors and actresses who trod the boards and appear onscreen.

Quis Custodiet?


Gary Corseri: So they padlocked me in Solitary! An hour a day in sun or rain, in an orange jump-suit— Like a clown—outdoors.

Walking on the “Wild Side”: “20 Feet From Stardom” & the Black Female Gaze


Sikivu Hutchinson: Using Lou Reed’s homage as its introduction, white director Morgan Neville’s bittersweet documentary “20 Feet from Stardom” attempts to bring black female back-up singers into the foreground with both moving and problematic effect.

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

grace lee boggs

Ed Rampell: This progressive picture is about the Chinese-American woman whom Angela Davis declares onscreen to have “made more of a contribution to Black people than most Blacks.”

Winter in the Blood: The Winter of Their Discontent

winter in the blood

Ed Rampell: Winter in the Blood imparts an excellent sense of the impact this foreign invasion and occupation has had on America’s aboriginal inhabitants.

Yes, Prime Minister: Wry, Sly, Brit Wit

yes prime minister

Ed Rampell: Yes, Prime Minister’s bristling dialogue is decidedly political and full of humorous social commentary about the British power elite, plus the expediency and opportunism that characterizes affairs (figuratively and literally) of state.

Dormant Beauty: The Right to Die Is Near

dormant beauty

Ed Rampell: Bellocchio is still pushing the proverbial envelope — his latest offering, Dormant Beauty, sort of combines the searing look at sickness and hard hitting politics of his first two features with yet another forbidden subject.

The Man You Love to Hate: Tricky Dick Rides Again!

our nixon

Ed Rampell: “Our Nixon” is a compilation film by Penny Lane about the only U.S. President (so far!) who resigned and had to leave that office is disgrace.

Five Poems Mayor Garcetti Should Read

terminus la aqueduct

The Frying Pan: A successful mayor and council cannot be satisfied with merely coping as issues arise, but must be able to anticipate and define the city´s needs for the next four years. As our newly elected leaders prepare for their roles, we´ve asked writers to share their thoughts about what lies ahead for Los Angeles.

Capital: Left vs. Right


Ed Rampell: This behind-the-scenes expose of the banksters and their nefarious high finance manipulations and machinations is a fictional, highly entertaining counterpart to Oscar winning documentary Inside Job, about Wall Street’s massive defrauding of the people — at taxpayer expense.

Before He Became Muhammad Ali: One Night In Miami

one night in miami

Ed Rampell: One Night in Miami… has a deliciously enticing “what if?” notion based on limited documentation regarding what really happened behind closed doors after Cassius Clay (the appropriately irrepressible Matt Jones) whooped Sonny Liston in the Sunshine State.

Dirty Wars Jeremy Scahill — In Selected Cities

Dirty Wars

Catch investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill for a LIVE Q&A after his Sundance Award-winning film “DIRTY WARS” at the 7:40pm show on Wednesday, June 12, at the Landmark Theater in LA!

Taming of the Shrew: Dis Me, Kate


Ed Rampell: “Hark! What light breaks through yonder canyon?” Why, it’s none other than another repertory season of revels and revelations at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, made glorious summer by these sons and daughters of Geers.

The Greatness of Les Misérables and Anna Karenina: The Books Not the Films


Walter Moss: Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables and Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina are great works. Having recently watched their latest film versions, I can’t say the same for them, though Les Mis seemed better than Anna.

The Radical Non-Politics of ‘The East’


Keith Woodhouse: The East, just out this weekend, is a movie ostensibly about radical anarcho-environmentalists that has little to say about radicalism, anarchism, or environmentalism.

Cruising the Caribbean: The Titanic II Sets Sail


Catherine Cocks: In 2011 some 5,722,000 people cruised the Caribbean. Even without the opportunity to sail on a resurrected Titanic, they partake in luxuries inspired by those of the previous century’s transatlantic liners.

To Begin the World Over Again: The Life of Thomas Paine

tom paine

Ed Rampell: The bioplay, expertly acted by Ruskin, reveals that Paine was a sort of Trotsky of the American Revolution — the world revolutionary who wound up as a prophet outcast.

Évocateur: TV’s Agent Provocateur

morton downey jr.

Ed Rampell: While William F. Buckley presented an erudite face for reactionary politics, Morton Downey Jr.’s moronic ravings was really a far more honest mode of expressing the right-wing lunacy masquerading as the free market or imperial foreign policy, which started running amok in the 1980s.

Sightseers: Trailer Trash Smash Bash


Ed Rampell: Sightseers is a sort of demented On the Road meets Thelma and Louise meets Bonnie and Clyde, with a dash of Manson tribe sprinkled on top for good measure.

What’s Going On at UAardvark?


Steve Hochstadt: Administrative malfeasance, corporate greed, and faculty passivity spin out of control at UAardvark, when a burnt-out, hard-drinking, lone wolf, formerly radical English professor, Jake Holland, decides to take on the military-industrial-academic complex that is ruining American education.

“The Great Gatsby’s” Historical Razzle-Dazzle


Bruce Chadwick: The result is a lavish, splendid, elegant, bombastic story about the twenties that simply soars. Most importantly, for history’s sake, a director has finally shown Gatsby as the gangster he was, and clearly defined in Fitzgerald’ book.

Memorial Day: Sick of Heroes


Gary Corseri: I am sick of the voices of heroes!/They cry from maniacal graves: “Why do you hurry and turn away—/You who are warmed by the sun?

Cafe Inquiry’s Skeptic SINema Series: Monty Python’s Life of Brian

life of brian

Hollywood Progressive/LA Progressive film critic/historian Ed Rampell will introduce the movie and lead a post-screening discussion.

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