The Blood Money Times

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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.

When I’m 64, Remembering ’64

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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.

The Humanities Make Life Bearable

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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

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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?

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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.

Yes, Prime Minister: Wry, Sly, Brit Wit

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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

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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.

Five Poems Mayor Garcetti Should Read

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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

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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

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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.

Taming of the Shrew: Dis Me, Kate

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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.

Évocateur: TV’s Agent Provocateur

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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.

What’s Going On at UAardvark?

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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

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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.