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   by RIP RENSE
copyright 2002-17 Rip Rense. No Riposte column may be reprinted without permission of the author.

The Woman Who Came To Dinner
(Nov. 27, 2016)
Well. Let me tell you a little about my lovely Thanksgiving dinner! My spousal unit and I found a hotel that offered a decent dinner, not expensive and not crowded. We figured on a quiet, modest repast, and then home. But dumbass (that's me) got it in my head that my spousal unit's lonely friend, Francine, might wish to join the proceedings.
Viola d'abhor

(July 11, 2016)

I like music critic Donna Perlmutter, but I think she's as nuts as people who like cheese on apple pie---as far as her opinion of LA Phil violist Carrie Dennis is concerned.
The Last Mexican Of Venice (Winner, first place, Los Angeles Press Club competition, 2015.)
(Oct. 18, 2015)
The Last Mexican of Venice is gone. The flippers got her. Yanked her like a rotten, smelly tooth. Sent L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies to do it.
Jeannine Mendoza grew up in Venice. She and her four siblings waded in the marshes before there was a Marina del Rey, built bonfires on the beach before it was illegal, delighted in its unpretentious working-class Little Rascals streets.

Gentle Things
(November 4, 2013)
In brutish, crass, profanity-spitting L.A., in developer-ravaged $2500-a-month “elegant density” L.A., in have-and-have-not ethnically separated L.A., in get-out-of-my-way-(epithet of choice), hit-and-run, texting-and-primping-while-driving L.A. . . Gentle things still happen.

Sad Gay Matters  (Aug. 6, 2012)
On a recent Facebook post concerning the fact that the late astronaut Sally Ride never revealed that she was gay, I made this comment: “She had modesty, dignity, and the apparent belief that this was her private business. Unlike so much of the so-called ‘gay community.’” Uh-oh!
Well, Cierra Mi Boca!  (July 23, 2012)
A recent KCET on-line column by “poet and journalist” Adolfo Guzman-Lopez begins:  “I see the edges of a Spanish bilingual future in Southern California, a time when speaking Spanish is as accepted and expected as hearing French in Quebec. It'll be a time when non-Spanish speakers don't feel threatened when they hear Spanish in the workplace and on the street.” This is so puzzling.
The Great Wannberg (Sept. 8, 2011)
Sound the general alarm. SOS. Lower the masts to half-flag. Call your mom and tell her you love her. Or that you don’t. The moon has retired, the sun says it was only kidding, songbirds can’t carry a tune. The thumb slipped out of the dike, the soufflé imploded, the zeppelin crashed. Oh, the manatee. The Great Wannberg is dead.
Funeral's Over
(Dec. 8, 2010)
I don’t want to write, think, or hear about John Lennon’s murder any more. This will be the last time I ever write anything about it, and I’m none too enthused, either. I feel like a pallbearer at a 30-year funeral. My shoulders are paralyzed.
Walnuts
(Sept. 25, 2010)
I am looking at a bunch of walnuts. They are shriveled with age, and each has a smudge of ink on one side. One or two of the smudges is still discernible as a face, drawn long ago.
Doncha Think?  (July 12, 2010)
Trixie the cat looks out the window a lot. I mean a lot. She parks herself half on my scanner, and half on the sill, folds her paws in “cat position,” because she can’t help it, and watches. Me, I try not to watch.
Brain Freyer (July 1, 2010)
I’ve come full Ring circle. Or cycle. Well, sort of. Some will accuse me of brain Freyer. As if I’ve gone around once too many times on the big Freyer Frisbee on stage at his much-debated L.A. Opera treatment of Wagner’s “Der Ring Des Nibelungen."
LTSEWH (June 17, 2010)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWH, just to come up with a really stupid, ungainly, impossible-to-pronounce acronym. Names are included when possible in order to fully humiliate the guilty.
LTSEWH # 1: Sidetracked
Race Note  
(June 4, 2010)
It’s just beyond beyond-belief. Now it’s racism. This is why those seasoned critics at major U.S. newspapers including the New York Times and Washington Post were critical of Gustavo Dudamel. It’s not his rubato that’s the problem, it’s his latino. He’s not white!
Dear James Rainey (May 27, 2010)
You wrote a good column about Dudamel. All your columns are good, in my view. The writing is straightforward, clearly expressed, thoughtful. Now that I’ve buttered you up, I have to tell you that however understandable is your assertion that Dudamel has been slighted by critics acting out of (mostly) eastern snobbery, that assertion is. . .wrong. I’m sorry to use that hammer-blow of a word, but just for your edification, it just ain’t the case.
RINGGGG. . .It's The Ring Calling (May 20, 2010)
I phoned L.A. Opera a week ago, after receiving a recorded “robo-call” with KUSC’s smooth-voiced Rich Capparela touting the embattled Achim Freyer-directed “Ring Cycle.”
Driving Around 
(Apr. 27, 2010)
I was driving around the other day. This is what you do in Los Angeles, a lot of the time. You drive around. Everyone drives around and around and around. Zip, dart, stop, roar, crash, screech, honk, crawl, idle, fuck you. You wonder, if humans didn’t have cars, would they do so much driving around?
RENSE'S "L.A. RING" COVERAGE
Reviews and commentaries of L.A. Opera's controversial staging of Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen."

Val-hell-a  (Feb. 25, 2009)
Rense reviews "Das Rheingold," the first in the series of four operas.
The Lonely Booer  (Apr. 8, 2009)
Rense reviews "Die Walkure," the second in the "Ring" cycle. Also, Rense reacts to L.A.Times music critic Mark Swed noting the presence of a "lonely booer" letting loose at the sight of director Achim Freyer. The "lonely booer" was. . .Rense.
A Boo For Swed (Apr. 8, 2009)
Rense comments in sidebar on Swed's assertion that listening to Wagner might make you "want to keep company with Hitler."
The Lonely Booer 2  (May 1, 2009)
L.A. Times music critic Mark Swed boos back at Rense, and Rense responds.
Southland Uber Alles  (July 29, 2009)
Rense comments on L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich's motion to quash a citywide "Ring" Festival on the basis that Wagner was an anti-Semite.
Siggy Stardust (Oct. 5, 2009)
Rense Reviews L.A. Opera's "Siegfried."
Rense Rebuts L.A. Times's Mark Swed on "Siegfried" (Oct. 5, 2009)
Rense counters Swed's cheerleading for absurd Achim Freyer production.
Der Ring des Nibelooney
(Apr. 14, 2010) Rense comments on the final Freyer "Ring" installment, "Gotterdammerung."
Another Boo For Mark Swed
 (Apr. 14, 2010) Rense asks why the L.A. Times music critic did not mention the loudest booing in L.A. Opera history, following "Gotterdammerung," and Swed responds.
RINGGGG. . .It's The Ring Calling
(May 20, 2010) I phoned L.A. Opera a week ago, after receiving a recorded “robo-call” with KUSC’s smooth-voiced Rich Capparela touting the embattled Achim Freyer-directed “Ring Cycle.”
Brain Freyer (July 1, 2010)
I’ve come full Ring circle. Or cycle. Well, sort of. Some will accuse me of brain Freyer. As if I’ve gone around once too many times on the big Freyer Frisbee on stage at his much-debated L.A. Opera treatment of Wagner’s “Der Ring Des Nibelungen."

Der Ring des Nibelooney (Apr. 14, 2010)
I get it. It’s a comedy. Like the old Saturday Night Live spoof, “Bad Theater,” hosted by the hilariously erudite prig, Leonard Pinth-Garnell (Dan Ackroyd.) Right. Achim Freyer’s burlesque of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” is satire. Why didn’t I see it before? Freyer is sending up the stereotype of modern opera descecration as done by blowhards, poseurs, frauds, egomaniacs. This is
I Love Nibelucy. The Ringer Cycle. Der Ring des Nibelooney.
Another Boo For Mark Swed (Apr. 14, 2010)
Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed needs to retire, or to be reprimanded by his bosses. Or hired by Los Angeles Opera, for which he seems more inclined to work.

Adventure on a Tuesday (Mar. 17, 2010)
Incipient spring was in the air like a fat guy sitting in front of you in a theater. It was hard to see the day, such was the hugeness of heat and blossom and pollen and perfume. And the suddenly brighter, painfully brighter, sunshine.
LTSEWH (Mar. 10, 2010)
Because of the nearly year-long drought in Less Than Satisfying Encounter With Humanity columns, and because of the popularity of the past two weeks’ worth, and because I just can’t get interested in writing about any of the cripplingly stupid, inane, futile “issues of the day,” hey, kids, here’s yet another. . .
LTSEWH
  (Feb. 25, 2009)
After the wild acclaim for last week's LTSEWH, it seemed only right to have an encore. . .Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWH, just to come up with a really stupid, ungainly, impossible-to-pronounce acronym. Names are included when possible in order to fully humiliate the guilty.
LTSEWH
(Feb. 19, 2010)
Some of you have asked why I continue to write the Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity column after so many years. Good question! You’re right---calling attention to the brutish, stupid behavior of Los Angeles humans does nothing to change it.
Dr. Mendoza's Amazing Life
(Feb. 10, 2010)
So in his big sign-off speech at NBC, Conan O’ Brien said that if you are “kind” and “work really hard,” then “amazing things will happen” to you. Well, he’s so right. Let me tell you about my friend, Jeannine Mendoza. Amazing things have happened to her.
A Little Gut Music (Feb. 3, 2010)
There we were, Annie and I, sitting peacefully in Dizzy Hell---Disney Hall to you---in the “west terrace,” which we had no more trouble locating than Mark Twain had finding optimism.
Dr. Dude (Jan. 27, 2010)
I’m writing this with somewhere between one and two kidneys. Not that this interferes with typing, but it can sort of theoretically compromise, oh. . .life.
Doctors Are The Enemy (Jan. 27, 2010)
Doctors are the enemy. Right now, I am nearly doubled over in pain from kidney stones, and able to type for two reasons: Vicodin, and anger.

SEATTLE RINGER
A completely inconsequential six-part series about my trip to Seattle this past August to see Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen" performed by Seattle Opera.
Seattle Ringer 1: Lugnuts from Loge (Dec. 9, 2009)
I spent many years flying to the Orient and back, and lost my taste for extra leg room long ago. Plus I am not exactly confident in my luck, generally speaking. Add to that all the horror stories of air travel today, and it takes a lot to get me on a plane. A lot, as in Wagner’s “Der Ring Des Nibelungen,” as staged by Seattle Opera every four years.
Seattle Ringer 2: Verdant Valhalla (Dec. 16, 2009)
So I was sitting in the Bamboo Garden Chinese Vegetarian restaurant a couple of blocks from Seattle's stupendous, lyrical McCaw Opera House, with its gargantuan mural proclaiming “The Ring” to most of the city, when they walked in.
Seattle Ringer 3: Der Rense des Nibelungen
(Dec. 23, 2009)
As I mentioned, my father introduced me to Wagner's “Der Ring des Nibelungen” when I was ten, via the recordings of Georg Solti and the Vienna Philharmonic on our precociously gigantic living room stereo. Should have named the speakers Fasolt and Fafnir.
Seattle Ringer 4: Sleepless in Seattle  (Dec. 30, 2009)
The morning before “Siegfried,” the third of the Ring Operas, we went out to do tai-chi under the Space Needle. Might it prove some lightning rod for karma? A mysterious locus of chi that we might incorporate into our tai-chi set?
Seattle Ringer 5: Arterdammerung  (Jan. 5, 2010)
There it was, on the floor of the Seattle Art Museum: a piece of canvas, in the middle of a gallery of modern paintings by various artists. My first impulse was to remove it, lest some lost-in-thought art-gazer might slip on it and sue the museum for a broken sacroiliac. But as I approached, I saw that the filthy piece of cloth. . .
Seattle Ringer 6:  Twilight of the Snobs (Jan.12, 2010)
“The Ring” has Valhalla, home of the gods,
and Seattle has Queen Anne Hill, home of the snobs. Actually, the denizens we bumped into in Queen Anne Hill were friendly, down-to-earth, talkative. Perhaps the snobs were on vacation. It was August, after all. But the neighborhood sits high above the opera house and the city, a lofty enclave of humans effectively as rich as gods, replete with homes the size and sweep of Rhine castles and the Hall of the Gibichungs of the fourth “Ring” opera, “Gotterdammerung" ("Twilight of the Gods.")

Music and Cats (Nov. 18, 2009)
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
 - Albert Schweitzer.
CATS: Winky the Criminal Cat just does not show any signs of rehabilitation. He continues with his whisker, whisker ways---from “spraying” to throwing up to “scooting” (essentially using the carpet as toilet paper) to beating up his poor sister, Maggie.
Fifty-Six 
(Nov. 4, 2009)
I'd rather be. . .Singing in the old Tehachipi Glee Club with W. C. Fields. On my bike, minus training wheels for the first time, with my brother holding the back end steady. Or so I thought, until I turned around, and saw him about thirty feet behind me, smiling. At which point, I promptly fell over.
El Dia de los Muertos  (Oct. 28, 2009)
In keeping with the spirit of El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), the Mexican holiday in which deceased friends, relatives and ancestors are celebrated (Nov. 1, 2), I hereby take a very deep breath. . .and pay tribute to a few souls I have been fortunate enough to know.
Of Course It's Sad  (Oct. 19, 2009)
I’ve seen tortured reasoning, but seldom something as Abhu Graibed as a recent bit of politically correct crapola in the form of a brief commentary by KPCC’s popular
John “Off Ramp” Rabe.
Dream Conductor (Oct. 14, 2009)
I interviewed Gustavo Dudamel the other night. I know, I know, quite a coup. Yes, met around 3 a.m., on Ether Street in the Land of Nod. I was deeply asleep at the time, but it didn’t stop me from doing the interview (old journalistic reflexes and all that.) And for some miraculous reason, I was able to understand all his Spanish, and transcribe precisely into English. Here is the full transcript.

Siggy Stardust  (Oct. 5, 2009)
It’s hard to be glib about the Achim Freyer L.A. Opera production of “Siegfried,” which premiered Sept. 29. Just as it is hard to be glib about, oh, murder.
LTSEWH (Sept. 24, 2009)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity. Only the names have been changed---well, actually, as few names as possible have been changed. I like to include them whenever I happen to know them, and the threat of lawsuit is not too great. Yes, that’s LTSEWH (try and pronounce it) for, um, short.
I Read The News Today, Oh Boy  (Sept. 17, 2009)
Had a little time to kill (before it kills me) prior to a physical therapy appointment the other morning, so I bought a newspaper, because you still can. Well, what passes for a newspaper. I spent 82 cents (gasp) for the new L.A. Times. Right, the thinner version, with the giant logo at the top of page one, and the giant ad at the bottom.
Lingo Czar is Good To Go  (Sept. 10, 2009)
The Lingo Czar is back from, among other things: a visit to the ER for an exploded shoulder (my, that Dilaudid was good!), five weeks with no use of the right arm, a month-long virus that turned sinus cavity and sleep mechanism into a carnival, a vacation that necessitated a good deal of Xanax, and, of course, the usual disgust with humanity and its inane use of language. To say that His Wordliness is happy to be back is not exactly accurate, but niceties of some sort seem requisite here.
Save Sweet Joe
(Aug. 17, 2009)
I like Natalie Cole. She’s a fine singer, and deserves all the accolades and success she gets. It’s tough being the artist offspring of a great artist. I was sorry to hear that she had Hepatitis C, even if she did contract it through drug abuse. I was sorry to hear that the treatment for Hepatitis C apparently wrecked her kidneys, and that she needed a transplant.
Southland Uber Alles 
(July 29, 2009)
The entire worth of the work of the so-called “Founding Fathers” is, of course, nullified by the fact that they tolerated slavery. Every noble value espoused, every courageous act to establish a republic with representative democracy---all are voided by racism, and the rendering of human beings as commodity.
Dyer Begone! (July 20, 2009)
Let us pray. Or more likely, let us prey. This more or less describes modern Amurricuns. They either pray, or prey, or are preyed upon (often while praying.)
King of Poop (July 2, 2009)
If I become ill mid-way through writing this, please bear with me. Yes, that’s correct, I’ve been lured into writing about the late, and getting later, Michael Jackson. He has not yet risen from the dead, but I wouldn’t argue that prospect with his fans.
Sotomenor
(June 23, 2009)
Is Sonia Sotomayor a racist? You bet your black/white/brown/yellow hind she is. So are you. So am I. So is Oprah Winfrey and Stephen Spielberg and Conan O’ Brien and whoever wins the next “American Idol.”
Defriended
(May 29, 2009)
I’ve been defriended. Or defaced. Or debooked. Which is to say, I’ve been de-Facebook Friended.
Who Cares?
(May 14, 2009)
I don’t care anymore. It’s a long way to Tipperary. Whoever gets the most toys wins. The goddamn horse won the goddamn race. I don’t care. I’ve been posing, in showing great concern for this and that in this space. The truth is, I have no concern. I have only caffeine. It’s all a bore. The glass is half-empty. The glass is half-full. Everything’s great. Everything’s awful. It’s all the same, it’s all different, it’s all brain chemistry.
The Lonely Booer 2  (May 1, 2009)
Mark Swed has booed back. Yes, the L.A. Times music critic has aimed a boo-broadside against your heroic, lowly, not-so-boo-colic Internet columnist, in the waning medium of print, year of our Lord 2009.
LTSEWH
 (Apr. 23, 2009)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWH, just to confound people with a ridiculous acronym. Names are never changed unless noted, to ensure fullest fame.
Nice Guy Finishes  (Apr. 9, 2009)
I’m eating a coconut macaroon, which is more than Steve Plesa can do.  Actually, anything I do is more than Steve Plesa can do. Steve’s taken the last exit off the Meat Highway. He’d like that turn of phrase, I’m sure. He’d laugh lustily, and shake his head sardonically, and add something funny to it. And I wish he could.
The Lonely Booer 
(Apr. 8, 2009)
Hey, Ma, that was me! I am the “lonely booer” of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
I am the guy who was mooooooing and ooooooooing from the front row of Balcony A at the opening night of Wagner’s “Die Walkure,” at the sight of director Achim Freyer. (Hands cupped, for extra projection.) Valiantly, just as Mark said. No longer freelancing, and still making the Times!

Val-hell-a 
(Feb. 25, 2009)
In Richard Wagner's "Das Rheingold," the first of the four operas in his  "Ring Cycle," the Rheingold is stolen by the hideous, malicious dwarf, Alberich, after he renounces love.In L.A. Opera's "Das Rheingold," which debuted this past weekend, the "Rheingold" was stolen by a man with a hideous, malicious dwarf brain, Achim Freyer, after he renounced love of opera. Or at least respect.
Music and Cats (Feb. 18, 2009)
Winky the Criminal Cat has struck. It wasn’t enough for him to wolf down his food and then puke it all over the carpet. Wasn’t enough for him to drive me to spend vast sums of money to find out why he pukes all over the carpet. (Never found out. He baffles science.) Wasn’t enough that I had to cook chicken and rice for him for weeks---until, you guessed it---he started puking that up, too.
LTSEWH
(Feb. 4, 2009)
 
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity. Only the names have been changed---well, actually, as few names as possible have been changed. I like to include them whenever I happen to know them, and the threat of lawsuit is not too great. Yes, that’s LTSEWH (try and pronounce it) for, um, short.
Dream Newspaper 
(Jan. 11, 2009)
I had a dream a while back, and thought of sharing it here, but hell, people think I'm nuts enough without me spilling my subconscious all over these pixels. On the other hand, to quote John Lennon, "it can't get no worse," so. . .

The Elefante in the Room 
(Dec. 18, 2008)
A friend of mine at Associated Press sent me a column by the L.A. Times's Hector Tobar recently. It was a feature about the controversial elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo, but wait, it wasn't a feature---it was a first-person piece, as you found out a full three paragraphs in. And it was. . .strange.
The Beatle Goes On 
(Dec. 17, 2008)
So I read Paul McCartney's claims that he “politicized the Beatles” after dropping in on his neighbor, Bertrand Russell, and finding out that the Vietnam War was “a very bad war.”As opposed, one would presume, to a “very good war.”
Buddhism, Dude-ism  (Dec. 11, 2008)
The other day, Dec. 8, was Bodhi Day---the Buddhist holiday commemorating the moment that Shakyamuni, or Siddhartha, attained enlightenment while sitting beneath a sacred fig tree (eventually dubbed a bodhi---enlightenment---tree.)
Anchors Aweigh
(Dec. 3, 2008)
I have been smiling like a rich, happy-talk news anchor after reading that layoffs are hitting local TeeVee Newsmannequins.
JL vs. JC Again
(Nov. 25, 2008)
I read the news today, oh boy, about Obama possibly naming Monsanto shill Tom Vilsack as secretary of agriculture (help!), and Donald Rumsfeld opining in the NYT about strategy in Afghanistan (cough), and Ahmad Chalabi---the Zelig of the Middle East---kissing Obama’s ring in the NYT in yet another slimy bid to become emperor of Iraq. . .
Dr. Death
(Nov. 22, 2008)
Let me tell you about Dr. Death. He is a Southern California neurological surgeon, a specialist in brain tumors. I will not name him here, because I do not wish to cause problems for a friend who is, or was, being treated by him. I will make up for this omission one day.
LTSEWH 
(Nov. 15, 2008)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters with Humanity, or LTSEWH, for um, short. They are intended as a chronicle of the decline in civility, efficiency, and deference, written with just the slightest implication of humor, in this, the alleged 21st century.
Pre-Election Ramble (Oct. 30, 2008)
I can’t write the obligatory glib, analytical “election eve” column. I’m beyond fried on this spectacle. Let Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann have a good time dissecting the minutae of the madness.What really to say?
Rebutting the Rabbi  
(Oct. 17, 2008)
God told me to read Rabbi David Wolpe’s recent L.A.Times opinion piece, “Maher’s Documentary Misses the Point” (Oct. 7), because God likes to prod and upset me. Or I'm sure he would, if he were the anthropomorphic-type Cosmic Dude that most people think him to be.
Peck, Peck. . .Squawk! 
(Oct. 9, 2008)
Many years ago, a doctor grabbed my testicles, squeezed with all his might, and jabbed a needle into the left one. True story. (There was some fluid that needed “aspirating.”)
Lingo Czar Sits on His Assit  
(Oct. 6, 2008)
The Lingo Czar has been busy interviewing Sarah Palin, which is a lot like going for a swim in the Dead Sea, and has so far discovered that she:
Hey, Martha! 
(Sept. 24, 2008)
He looked sort of like Santa Claus with a good brown dye-job and tortoise-shell glasses. He certainly had the smile. Paul Corkery. Dead. These words belong together as much as cats and water, clowns and funerals, Edgar Allan Poe and Mickey Mouse.
Nothing Much (Sept. 18, 2008)
I know as much about money as playing trombone. Underwater. Let me explain. Way back before apes evolved into Republicans (proof of evolution!), I had something called a "checking account." This was when I had something called a "job." And in this checking account, there were things called “dollars”---at least a few. Really. I spent every one of them.
Obama Must Call for Palin's Removal
  (Sept. 10, 2008)
To quote W.C. Fields, The Democrats must "take the bull by the tail and face the situation." Sarah Palin must be dealt with, and without restraint. No more of this focus-group pre-figuring all the language, all the angles, of each carefully staged "attack." That will focus-group Obama right out of the White House.

LTSEWH (Sept. 4, 2008)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters with Humanity, or LTSEWH, for um, short. They are intended as a chronicle of the decline in civility, efficiency, and deference, written with just the slightest implication of humor, in this, the alleged 21st century. Names are included when possible to protest the incompetent.
Bim Bam Boom
 
(Aug. 29, 2008)
Every time I think I should write about Obama and McCain, I wind up thinking of this video from the great Richard Elfman film, “The Forbidden Zone,” especially the part with the fat kid in the mouse ears. Take a look.
The Times Zells Out 
(July 31, 2008)
Sam Zell, you are the death rattle of newspapers in arguably human form. You are so profoundly and willfully ignorant of the importance of newspapers, so completely devoid of respect for their function in this society, that it causes the brain to bend over, clutch its sides, and purge itself of any remaining hope and sense.
Lingo Czar 
(July 24, 2008)
The Lingo Czar has been in China, helping to affix fake Chinese facades to office buildings and storefronts and paint them red---to give the place the veneer of traditional Chinese culture for the Olympic Games. He gave up when he realized that no one could see any of the storefronts because the air has more particulate matter in it than the Venice Beach.
Westwood Ramble (July 17, 2008)
I’m screwed without caffeine, as this column will reveal.Caffeine makes me feel young and interested again, instead of aging and jaded.  Jaded? My general interest in things has been sandblasted by human idiocy and betrayal.
Automotive Husbandry  (July 11, 2008)
I don’t know about you, but I’m rooting for a new Depression. Right, in addition to the one I wake up in. Complete with Box Car Willies and Hoovervilles (Cheneyvilles?) and Wall Street suicides. My old friend, Dick Partlow, wrote a couple weeks back: “What’s it going to take to turn this mess around? A new Depression to bring about a new FDR?”
Truth Be Told
  (June 26, 2008)
Nobody I know of ever spoke more no-bullshit than George Carlin. Not even Frank Zappa, the no-bullshittiest speaker I’ve ever heard. It was nice of George, really. He was a hero for persevering through relentless absurdity, for keeping his mind facile, for continuing to evolve his art, for preaching the lonely gospel of No Bullshit.

Bowled Over (June 19, 2008)
Los Angeles Magazine has been running a poll for some time asking people to pick the single greatest thing about L.A..My choice: “To not live in L.A.,” was not available.
Spike Vs. Clint (June 9, 2008)
Spike Lee, spike it. That's an old newspaper term, by the way, meaning to put copy that has already been processed on to a metal spike in order that it not be edited again. More or less. Spike, you are not only a buffoon in silly and very expensive glasses, not only a rather stupid man whose laconic pose does not disguise shallow thinking, but you are an arrogant racist.

LTSEWH (May 29. 2008)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters with Humanity, or LTSEWH, for um, short. They are intended as a chronicle of the decline in civility and deference, written with just the slightest implication of humor, in this, the alleged 21st century. Names are included when possible to protest the impudent. (Please note: LTSEWH is now a book, with wonderful illustrations!  Buy one, you ingrates.)
Music and Cats  (May 22, 2008)
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer.
CATS: This lovely fellow sent an anonymous e-mail recently in which he suggested that the reason my two cats, Winky and Maggie, are peculiar, is. . .me.
TeeVee or not TeeVee (May 14, 2008)
So the goddamn thing blew up. That’s right, the eye blinked and did not open again---the big black eye that reveals an Alice-in-Wonderland/Dante’s Inferno cornucopia of crap every time you hit “power” on the remote. Power?
Lingo Czar's Aha! Moment
 (May 8, 2008)
The Lingo Czar is freshly returned from the printer, supervising the final touches on his forthcoming tome, “BAD WORDS,” soon to be available in The Rip Post bookstore. This, of course, will be a comprehensive compendium of rigidly conformist slang, pin-headed outbursts, "cool" expressions, abominable cliches, infantile drivel, smug rejoinders, mandatory peer-enforced buzzwords and idiotspeak that Americans are spewing from their 500 word vocabularies, as their knuckles drag ever closer to the earth.
Hugh Douglas Brown Memorial Apartments
(Apr. 18, 2008)
Oh, my, where do I start? How about here: many, many (many) years ago, I was at party where someone had hooked an enormous eight-armed hookah to an aquarium pump. The hookah was packed with good old pre-super-pot pot. The pump provided each inhalee with the hit of the century.
Ode to Air
  (Apr. 10, 2008)
A friend wrote to me the other day about a “certain dearth” of oxygen in L.A. air. That sounded like somebody from Arkansas saying “certain death,” which is what the certain dearth of oxygen in L.A. likely will soon bring about.

Hitler and Hardy (Apr. 1, 2008)
I have nothing to say. I was thinking of posting that as a column. After all, it quotes one of the funniest human beings who ever lived, Oliver Norvell Hardy. You can’t do any better. But thinking about Hardy reminded me of something terribly sad, and critically important, and I have at last decided to reveal here exclusively:
The Speech 
(Mar. 27, 2008)
So we again are flayed and whipped by the “race issue” in the USA, which reminds me of the W.C. Fields adage, “Time to take the bull by the tail and face the situation.” Or, as the great Don Van Vliet says, “It’s like trying to find out what the bull ate.”
Making Funny
 (Mar. 18, 2008)
Early at the Herald-Examiner reunion last week at the L.A. Press Club, former editor Jim Bellows arrived on the arm of longtime friend (and successor at the Herald) Mary Ann Dolan. Bellows used a cane, and moved like a guy in his 80’s, because he is.
A Word From Mr. Javitz (Mar. 13, 2008)
Let me tell you a little about Louis B. Javitz. It’s important that you know about him, I think, and importance is a term I don’t just toss around.
Lingo Czar Recalibrates (Mar. 4, '08)
The Lingo Czar has been in a long period of reclusion, apparently overwhelmed by the enormity and futility of his job. Someone slipped Xanax into the royal chalice, however, and The Czar quite suddenly began issuing new proclamations. Here they are.
The Image Director
(Feb. 28, 2008)
Okay, I was trying not to write about this, but somebody has to do it. To ignore it would be like ignoring an antibiotic-resistant staph infection. On your ass.
LTSEWH (Feb. 20, '08)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters with Humanity, or LTSEWH, for um, short. They are intended as a chronicle of the decline in civility and deference, written with just the slightest implication of humor, in this, the alleged 21st century. Names are included when possible to protest the impudent.
Unstable Times
(Jan. 23, '08)
I looked at the photo that Kevin Roderick posted at LAObserved.com of the constipated---er, consternated---staffers at the L.A. Times, and I fell on the floor. Then I got up and looked at the photo again, and fell on the floor again. Holding my sides, erupting with strange, unholy noises that my wife eventually recognized as laughter. Maybe you heard me.
Music and Cats  (Jan 16, 2008)
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer. CATS: Maggie the Cat could not be more different from her brother, Winky. She is a patchwork chaos of colors and patterns, he striped and sandy.
Election Poem '08
(Jan. 10, 2008)
Hillary said to Barack O.
Boo Hoo Hoo! I ain’t no ho’!
And behold and lo, it worked like a charm
New Hampshire folks all left the farm
And cast their votes for Mrs. Clinton
Of things to come it could be hintin’
Like Wild Bill back in White House saddle
And Maya Angelou our brains to addle

Teeny-Tiny
 
(Dec. 19, 2007) Here in teeny-tiny America, teeny-tiny things happen. Teeny-tiny candidates run for office, and teeny-tiny talk show hosts endorse them. People think teeny-tiny thoughts, exclaim teeny-tiny exclamations, and engage in teeny-tiny chicaneries.
Teeny-tiny yawn.

LTSEWH (Dec. 12, 2007)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters with Humanity, or LTSEWH, for um, short. They are intended as a chronicle of the decline in civility and deference, written with just the slightest implication of humor, in this, the alleged 21st century. Names have been included whenever possible to ensure fullest humiliation.
Music and Cats (Dec. 5, 2007)
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer.
Hail, Porcupine!
(Nov. 28, 2007)
I woke up last Sunday morning after a satisfying night of sleep apnea, rolled over sideways, and with one eye open, pressed the remote. I felt wrong, distorted. Someone had mistaken my head for taffy during the night, and left it twisted, elongated. My lips were up around my forehead, my ears under my chin.
Thanks For Giving (Nov. 22, 2007)
Ah, thanks for giving! That should be the cry of the wild human today, for the millions of turkeys who have gobbled their last gobble. And if you think turkeys don’t know they are being dispatched to heaven/hell/reincarnation/The Void, you’ve never been to a turkey farm.
A Queer Mess
(Nov. 14, 2007)
So Dumbledore is gay. Likes to blow the bone flute. Slip his weapon of mass destruction into the heart of Baghdad. Well, now, that’s all well and good, eh? Good to know such things about a beloved figure in the most popular children’s books---the most popular books, period---in history.
The Ugly Truth
(Nov. 8, 2007)
I was watching “Ugly Betty” recently---much the way one stares helplessly at the corpse in an open-casket funeral---and I got to thinking ugly thoughts. It’s easy, really. Most people do it all the time.
El Dia de los Muertos
(Oct. 31, 2007)
In keeping with the spirit of El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), the Mexican holiday in which deceased friends, relatives and ancestors are celebrated (Nov. 1, 2),  I hereby pay tribute to a few people I have been fortunate to know.
Fish Story
(Oct. 24, 2007)
So there was this giant fish, a grouper to end all groupers, and it came here a few thousand eons ago. It opened its mouth, and out came Man. Followed shortly thereafter by Woman, and the poodle. And Man and Woman began to promptly fornicate, and give forth of their kind, which eventually outnumbered the dinosaurs, which were hunted and eaten into extinction.
Music and Cats  (Oct. 17, 2007)
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer.

Downtown Downer  (Oct. 11, 2007)
There was a time when downtown L.A. was full of old-fashioned east coasty downtownish bustle. Men in charcoal suits and tan fedoras smoked cheap cigars, and perfumey ladies in print dresses and nylon hose shopped at the May Company. Pedestrians clogged the streets, day and night. Pacific Electric Cars clanged and electric buses sparked overhead wires, and families and poets and hookers inhabited the rotting grandeur of Bunker Hill. Garish, swanky Chinatown restaurants glowed at night, and Little Tokyo twinkled all the way to where Parker Center is today.
Assholes in Cars  (10/4/07)
I was watching a PBS program recently about Rastafarians who have returned to Ethiopia to live, and one of the people interviewed was a self-described poet---from the USA. Asked what prompted his move, he said (quoting from memory here), “Have you been to L.A.?”
My Friend Barbara 
(9/26/07)
I got a letter from Senator Barbara Boxer the other day! She likes me, too. She called me “friend,” you know, the way Frankenstein did to the old blind hermit. Barbara was writing to me about traffic problems in Los Angeles. That’s about all friends talk about anymore.
LTSEWH 
(9/19/07)
LTSEWH # 1: Butting In---You know, my memory is just shot. I’m sorry. I forget that the world is a toilet, and a dumpster, and a spittoon, and an ashtray. God, no wonder I’m so bothered all the time. Most everybody else realizes these obvious things, while I’m forever worrying about ways to discreetly and benignly dispose of things that need disposing.
A Better 9/11 List 
(9/11/07)
On this anniversary of 9/11, as the country wallows---er, commemorates the horrific murders of unsuspecting innocent persons, there will be solemn ceremonies in every city.  In many of these events, the names of the dead will be gravely recited, but I think it might make more sense to read a list of some other things.
This, That, and The Other 
(9/5/07)
THIS: A B-52 bomber mistakenly loaded with five nuclear warheads flew from Minot Air Force Base, N.D, to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., on Aug. 30. THAT: Russian bombers recently test-fired some missiles over the arctic, which they recently seem to have claimed for its oil reserves.
An LTSEWH. . .LTSEWH 
(8/30/07)
I didn’t want to go to the trouble of getting a truck to run over my legs, or an editor to ruin my life, so I wrote a book. You know the book. You see the ad for it on the right---“Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity” (LTSEWH), based on my long-standing column of the same (deliberately) stupid name.

LTSWEH  (8/22/07)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWH, just to create a particularly stupid and unpronounceable acronym. All names have been included whenever possible in order to ensure fullest humiliation, though in some cases the more hapless have been spared out of compassion, and the interests of sparing The Rip Post lawsuits.
Give the Gift of the Lingo Czar
(8/15/07)
The Lingo Czar has been busy in the garden, which bloomed vastly and sumptuously this summer---only to prompt an attack from a young female neighbor who objects to plants that are not carefully controlled at all times. The Czar decided to channel his disgust into this, his first column in months.
How 'bout the USA? (8/8/07)
Mitt the Mormon mannequinned his way into a New Hampshire diner, looking like a Dewar’s ad come to life, and began to hold forth at one of those sanitized Candidate Meets The People pop-in photo-ops. Events that became a cliché sometime around the discovery of language.
Lousy Wednesday (8/1/07)
It was Lousy Wednesday, but it was only Tuesday. Steinbeck came up with the term in his book, “Sweet Thursday.” Lousy Wednesday is a day when nothing goes right, and comes just before Sweet Thursday, a day when everything does.
A Toast (6/28/07)
I want to raise a toast this week, or a mock toast, as my stomach is not enjoying the presence of alcohol these days. So I hoist a glass of sparkling apple cider to:
Tea Time is Over (6/20/07)
I’m sitting in the mouth of the corporate beast, its demographic saliva dripping all over me, peering out through the fangs. I’m encased in market-tested earth tone walls, a ceiling with air conditioning ducts fashionably laid bare, and a few Pythagorean cut-outs of blond wood suspended from above. Carefully approved “cool” surroundings, carefully approved "cool" music.
City Footnotes (6/1/07)
You find them everywhere. Blowing down sidewalks, crumpled up in bushes, rumpled and stained in curbside gutters. Bits and pieces of daily lives, discarded or lost, there at your feet. Each one a chapter from a story, somewhere in the middle of a human book. Call them city footnotes. . .
notes from the terrace 5/23/07
Here at the Green Tea Terrace on a lugubrious, gray, pre-summer afternoon in Westwood, the Beatles are playing, which is fine with me. It’s the “Love” album, soft, with all the “mash-up” tracks where Ringo’s “The End” drum solo ushers in “Get Back,” and “Hey Bulldog” crops up in the middle of “Lady Madonna.”
Lingo, well, Czar
 5/9/07
The Lingo Czar has been so transfixed by the Phil Spector Trial that he has been neglecting his duties. I mean, in all the times through the decades that Phil waved guns at people, or put them to their heads, or fired them into studio ceilings, not once did he actually shoot anybody! Not once! He was a poster boy for gun safety. So why now, all of a sudden, hmm? Doesn’t that seem a bit suspicious? Uh. . .anyhow, back to work.
LTSEWH
  (5/2/07)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWH, just to create a ridiculously unpronouncable acronym. All names have been included whenever possible in order to ensure fullest humiliation, though in some cases the more hapless have been spared out of compassion.
notes from the terrace  (4/18/07)
So it’s another afternoon here at the Terrace, the Green Tea Terrace---the calm little pistachio and orange joint with studying students and wayward officeworkers on breaks and Santa Monica Big Blue Buses flashing by. All stopping for a green afternoon pick-me-up.
City Footnotes  (4/11/07)
You find them everywhere. Blowing down sidewalks, crumpled up in bushes, rumpled and stained in curbside gutters. Bits and pieces of daily lives, discarded or lost, there at your feet. Each one a chapter from a story, somewhere in the middle of a human book. Call them city footnotes. . .

Right On Time (4/6/07)
I must confess to the ultimate life sin: I am bored. I know, I know, "The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings." But boredom happens, and hell, it’s probably a physiological/psychological necessity.
Miss Seipp
(3/21/07)
Cathy Seipp was a friend of mine. She used to love to write that about people, that so-and-so is “a friend of mine,” and I’m glad to be able to say that about her here. She was a friend of a hell of a lot of people, of course, and that’s not just a “fine legacy,” it’s an important achievement in these times of snarling and backbiting as extreme sport.
The Doctor is Inept (3/21/07)
Jerome Groopman, a chair in medicine at Harvard Medical School, has written a book called “How Doctors Think.” Maybe better to have called it, “If Doctors Think.” Me, I don’t want to know how doctors think.

Opera, Buff  (3/14/07)
I went to an L.A. Opera production the other day. I could tell it was an opera, because they were singing and there was an orchestra. But those were the strongest clues.

PSSSST!  (3/7/07)
I’m sitting in a little tea joint in Westwood right now, and a guy has just walked in---waddled in, really---who preceeds himself. Which is to say, his stomach enters the room before he does. He is dressed in a giant hooded sweatshirt which was yellow but is now closer to brown, and jeans that have not been washed or perhaps changed since Bush first stole the presidency.
LTSEWH 
(2/28/07)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWH, just to create a ridiculously unpronouncable acronym. All names have been included whenever possible in order to ensure fullest humiliation, though in some cases the more hapless have been spared out of compassion.
KTLA Morning Shaux (2/22/07)
Turned on the KTLA “Morning Show” the other day. Here’s how it went: Award-Winning Journalist Carlos Amezcua: We have just learned that Britney Spears has shaved her entire ass. We are on Shave Watch this morning, and the entire KTLA Morning News will bring you the latest as it happens.
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown Shermy
(2/14/07) I was renting a DVD at Vidiots one night, the specialty video joint in Santa Monica, while one of the old “Peanuts” specials was playing on the monitors. The employees tend to be entertainment freaks---uh, specialists---with encyclopedic knowledge and eclectic taste in things cinematic.
LTSEWH  (2/1/07)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWH, just to create a particularly unpronouncable acronym. All names have been included whenever possible in order to ensure fullest humiliation, though in some cases the more hapless have been spared out of compassion, and The Rip Post has spared itself lawsuits.
Lingo Czar is Feeling a Little Snappish
(1/24/07)
Yes, it's a new lingo year, so fill your lingo lungs with lots of fresh vocabul-air, and breathe new life into the dying semblance of clear and dignified communication that we call English. Ready? Inhale now. Ssssssssssssst!
Humm Along With Homeboy  (1/22/07)
Sputter. . .sputter. . .what can you say? What can you do? Inarticulate grumbling. . .profane outburst. . .sputter sputter. . .deranged shouting. . .This city is, as they say in Liverpool, shite. It is freakolooney tooney-toot-tooney. It is decking without a deal.
Poem for 2006
(Jan 14, 2006)
So on Christmas Eve I heard a nice lady pastor say that she had gone around the world. And that everywhere she went, everyone wanted the same stuff, and they were talking about Kobe Bryant in China. . .
A Christmas Story
(Dec. 13, 2006)
So the Ghost of Christmas Past came to visit me this year. He came through a porthole in the ethers otherwise known as Google, after I entered my name.
Dangerous Cretin (Dec. 8, 2006)
Do something. No more blogging. No more shrugging, sighing.
Write a letter. Send an e-mail. Stand on a corner with sign. Paint your face. Join any/every protest against the persons who have stolen the United States government. Throw the maniacs out. And I mean “maniacs.”
Lingo Czar Wishes You Happy Holidays (Dec. 6, 2006)
Deck your own halls and enjoy your Christmas fa-la-la-la-olly. The Lingo Czar is hitting the eggnog early. “Holiday joy” is upon us, which of course means a holiday from sanity, reason, what little clear lingo communication is left.
Amerrycan Christmas!
(Nov. 30, 2006)
A couple of you nice readers suggested, in response to my pleading boredom and (news) burnout on column writing, that I write about Christmas.Not very original, but then, you can’t avoid this topic any more than you can avoid uh. . .Christmas.
Nigger (Nov. 25, 2006)
The USofA is reacting as though Michael Richards’ cuckoo shrieking in a nightclub is a meltdown in civil rights, not a man’s career. The ‘net has “nigger” bloggorhea, the mainstream media is tiptoeing through the “nigger” aftermath with careful solemnity, Al Sharpton is sanctimoniously refusing to accept Richards’ apology. Wonder how often old Al says “nigger.”
Love Day (Nov. 21, 2006)
To hell with Thanksgiving and Christmas---today is the holiday I’m celebrating.  A long time ago, when the United States was still a democratic republic and most politicians did not vote on the basis of whether they thought Jesus was hiding in the closet, there were things called “new Beatles albums.”

This, That, and The Other  (Nov. 16, 2006)
THIS: Headline, L.A. Times---“BUSH WARNS AGAINST PULLOUT.”
THAT: Headline, Alternet.org---“Evangelical Group Motto: Breed to Succeed.”

LTSEWH
(Nov. 9, 2006)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWH, just to create a stupid, ungainly acronym. All names have been included whenever possible in order to ensure fullest humiliation, though in some cases the more hapless have been spared out of compassion.
City Footnotes
(Nov. 1, 2006)
You find them everywhere. Blowing down sidewalks, crumpled up in bushes, rumpled and stained in curbside gutters. Bits and pieces of daily lives, discarded or lost, there at your feet. Each one a chapter from a story, somewhere in the middle of a human book. Call them city footnotes. . .
LTSEWH 
(Oct. 18, 2006)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters with Humanity, or LTSEWH, for um, short. They are intended as a chronicle of the decline in civility and efficiency, patience and deference, written with just the slightest implication of humor, in this, the alleged 21st century. Names have been included whenever possible to ensure fullest humiliation, and sometimes omitted out of deep compassion.
Enraged Misanthropia
(Oct. 11, 2006)
I read a column by a smug little fellow in L.A. CityBeat a while back in which he referred to bloggers as “has-beens” hawking “vanity projects.”
Amtrapped  (Oct. 4, 2006)
I know I can’t fault Amtrak for the guy who jumped in front of the train just south of Santa Barbara. Or perhaps he was just taking a nap on the tracks, I don’t know---but I do know it was not Amtrak’s fault that he died.
City Footnotes   (Sept. 27, 2006)
You find them everywhere. Blowing down sidewalks, crumpled up in bushes, rumpled and stained in curbside gutters. Bits and pieces of daily lives, discarded or lost, there at your feet. Each one a chapter from a story, somewhere in the middle of a human book. Call them city footnotes. . .
Workingman's Blues (Sept. 21, 2006)
I keep thinking I should write about Bush, and 9/11, and the “war on terror,” but I can’t bring myself to do it anymore. 9/11? I’d rather write about the anniversary of 7-Eleven. I’ve had it. The whole “war on terror” affair is so far beyond disgusting, so far beyond insane, so far beyond dirt-stupid, so far beyond a cheap trick, so far beyond infantile, that I can’t bring myself to comment anymore.

psst--hey! Lingo Czar Propagandizes Again (Sept. 13, 2006) The Lingo Czar is so aghast, so ashamed, so horrified at the endless propagandizing by this fiendish administration, and so embarrassed by the country’s continued wallowing in 9/11, that he has been driven out of his summer retreat to issue a new series of rulings.
LTSEWH (Aug. 16, 2006)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters with Humanity, or LTSEWH, for um, short. They are intended as a chronicle of the decline in civility and deference, written with just the slightest implication of humor, in this, the alleged 21st century. Names have been included whenever possible to ensure fullest humiliation.
Breakfast Without The Beatles
(Aug. 9, 2006)
Remember those late ‘50’s/early ‘60’s propaganda films about the threat of communism? You know, there was always a cartoon sequence of the planet with dirty commie countries in red. The bass-baritone narrator would declaim about the “red menace!” and brass would blare like the theme from “Godzilla.”
Dershowitless 
(Aug. 2, 2006)
Alan Dershowitz is sick, demented, ghoulish. Yes, you say, but how does that distinguish him from other lawyers? Good point. But Dershowitz is so twisted, so skin-crawlingly brutish that he really missed a bet, career-wise.
Love, Love Love (July 26, 2006)
Look, what can I say? I have no objectivity here. I’m gaga. I was fifteen feet away when Ringo Starr said, “Weren’t we the greatest f---in’ band ever?” to Paul McCartney, and they embraced. Sneer all you want. This was beautiful, and it was history.

A Hero's Journey (July 19, 2006)
What is happening now in Las Vegas requires new words, cliches. "Bizarre," "excess" hardly cut it. Perhaps an eloquent Brit could capture things with characteristic understatement, but I can’t. This is hypertrophus elephantiasis insanitus.
Vicious Dogs  (6/28/06)
Who let the dogs out? Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush!Bush has sic’ed his curs on the free press yet again, and they are chewing the Armani cuffs of the New York Times. One e-mail snarl sent to the NYT calls for beheading publisher Arthur Shulzberger. Another was more, um, articulate:

Impeachy Keen! (6/21/06)
Dave Lindorff is not a fun guy. He’s drop-dead serious, always talking about issues and problems in pointed, pithy terms. I mean, he never worries about what Britney Spears is up to, or who will be the next American Idol, or whether Katie Couric will cut it as a CBS anchor. This is, of course, makes him practically un-American.
Venice is Sinking (6/14/06)
The answer to the murder at Venice High School is simple: expulsion. The administration, that is.
Round The Bend (6/7/06)
round the bend that’s where we are in the frying pan and get me a car I’ve got to get outta this place if it’s the last thing I ever do the third world war shuffle do the voodoo boogaloo turn around twice and everything’s sugar and spice in crummy rummyland and vice is nice but condi is dandi and cheney, my baby’s got me locked up

This, That, and The Other  (6/1/06)
THIS: Eight previously unknown invertebrate creatures have been discovered in an underwater cave in central Israel.
THAT: Dick Cheney was not among them.

This, That, and The Other  (5/23/06)
THIS: Heather Mills McCartney separates from Beatle Paul.
THAT: I guess their marriage was just limping along, on its last legs. But she's got a leg up on things now. As for Paul, well, I guess he's stumped. With no prenup, he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. It’s going to cost him an arm and a leg. Their marriage is out on a limb, at best.
City Footnotes (517/06)
You find them everywhere. Blowing down sidewalks, crumpled up in bushes, rumpled and stained in curbside gutters. Bits and pieces of daily lives, discarded or lost, there at your feet. Each one a chapter from a story, somewhere in the middle of a human book. Call them city footnotes. . .
Andy  (5/10/06)
I’m sitting here on a nondescript Tuesday---another one of those Tuesdays that seem to come every week, unless you live in Mexico, where they are Martes-es---with the ghost of Frank Zappa. Frank visits every time I need to be reminded that the world is full of shit, and people are grubby little greed-mongers hung up on self-aggrandisement and cheap gratification.
This, That, and The Other (5/3/06)
THIS: Mexican president Vicente Fox legalizes cocaine, heroin, pot, LSD, PCP, opium, synthetic opiates, mescaline, peyote, psilocybin mushrooms, amphetamines, methamphetamines. 
City Footnotes (4/19/06)
You find them everywhere. Blowing down sidewalks, crumpled up in bushes, rumpled and stained in curbside gutters. Bits and pieces of daily lives, discarded or lost, there at your feet. Each one a chapter from a story, somewhere in the middle of a human book. Call them city footnotes. . .

Nookulur Demockery (4/12/06)
There is no danger of the Bush administration using nuclear weapons against Iran, or any other country. Nookulur weapons, on the other hand. . .
Conspiracy of Cynicism (4/05/06)
Here is a 9/11 conspiracy theory. Seven-11 did it. All those clerks in turbans with the funny accents—when they smiled as you bought your 32 oz. coffee, Big Gulp, glow-in-the-dark hot dog, and churro, they were really thinking, “death to the Great Satan!”
Si, Say What? (3/28/06)
So I’m walking past a group of about 300 high school kids protesting the proposed immigration law outside the federal building in Westwood. It’s about 2 in the afternoon. The scene looks like exercise time at Folsom, what with the shaved heads, white T-shirts, tattoos, baggy clothes that typify nice young people today.

LTSEWH (3/15/06)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters with Humanity, or LTSEWH, for um, short. They are intended as a chronicle of the decline in civility and deference, written with just the slightest implication of humor, in this, the alleged 21st century. Names have been included whenever possible to ensure fullest humiliation.
Odorman (3/7/06)
I was typing, if not perhaps writing, in the back of a wonderful Japanese tea place in West L.A., when he came in. I knew he had entered, and I knew much about his life, without looking up.
Cheers From The Lingo Czar  (3/1/06)
The Lingo Czar has put aside his paralyzing astonishment over nearly everything happening in the world today, and, well, no he hasn't. He is barely able to type at this stage, so thunderstruck is he by the staggeringly stupid manner in which human beings are currently conducting themselves.

 

 

The Rip Post

Published all the time, updated capriciously.
Publisher---Charles Bogle
Editor-in-Chief---Mahatma Kane Jeeves
Managing Editor---A. Pismo Clam
News Editor---Sneed Hearn
Poet Laureates---Scott Wannberg, Jack Oakes, Charles Bogle, Raj Bavnani.
Editorial Editor---Otis Criblecoblis
Sports---Egbert Souse
Society---Cordelia Nesselrode
Advertising---Og Oggilby
Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Circumcisions---A.H. Rotman

Spiritual advisors---Annie Chuck, Gary Coffman, Col. Lucretius Wizzer, Bob Ballenger, Shirley Braunstein (R.I.P.) P.J. Corkery, (R.I.P.) Paul Weeks (R.I.P.) , Joe Shinn (R.I.P), Scott Wannberg (R.I.P.), Michael K. Ball (R.I.P.) Steve Plesa (R.I.P.), James G. Bellows (R.I.P.), Don Van Vliet (R.I.P.), Frank Zappa (R.I.P.)

A. F. RENSE, founder. 1917-1990.

The Rip Post
P.O. Box 251233
Los Angeles CA 90025


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Birdie and the Beast (2/15/06)
Bush is a lame duck, but Cheney might be a dead duck. (Metaphorically, FBI readers!) The vice-president’s birdbrained hunting vice could well  cost him his heartbeat-away-from the presidency. Call him Vice-President Quail. He’s been winged.

Perish the Thought (2/8/06)
The other night I was walking to Sav-On to buy some medicine to keep my excess stomach acid neutralized. My female superior, surveying the visual cacophony of evening traffic as dead as Francisco Franco, and neon spider traps aiming to grow sticky with dollars exchanged for coffee, tacos, burgers, sushi, sex DVD’s, booze, artificially tanned skin, remarked:
Schizo-Zine (2/1/06)
The L.A. Times magazine, which is called The Los Angeles Times Magazine, is renaming itself West this coming Sunday, Feb. 5. Of course, the old L.A. Times magazine was called West. That was way back in the 1960's, and Jim Bellows was editor.
Stein's Monstrous Words (1/26/06)
Joel Stein, the little sitcom writer who has a weekly political column on the L.A. Times op-ed page(!), needs to resign or be fired. This is the only way the Times editorial pages can maintain the slightest veneer of dignity, if not credibility. In the past few years, the pages have schizophrenically gone from namby-pamby middle-of-the-road to Michael Kinsley-left to namby-pamby conservative. With Little Joey, they have gone namby-Pampers.
LTSEWH (1/25/06)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWH for um, short. Names have been included when possible to ensure fullest humiliation.
Haute Couture Horror (1/20/06)
Reese Witherspoon, I’m behind you, baby.I’m always behind anyone with principle and ethics and pride and guts, and that’s what you’ve got, girlfriend.

Lingo Czar, Personally (1/18/06)
The Lingo Czar has dragged his battered and bruised carcass away from all radio and TeeVee news, away from all abusive e-mail from alleged friends and neighbors, and has heroically propped himself up before his computer in yet another valiant, if doomed effort to instill Lingo sense into alleged speakers of English, far and wide.
This, That, and The Other (1/11/06)
THIS: Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito declares that he “will keep an open mind” if (when) he is confirmed.THAT: Wow! Imagine that---a Supreme Court Justice with an open mind! Will wonders never cease? THE OTHER: Alito’s 1985 job application to Atty. Gen. Ed Meese: "I am and always have been a conservative."
Brokeback Mountin' (1/4/06)
I’m a homophobe. That’s the verdict rendered, apparently, just because I don’t want to see “Brokeback Mountain.” I suppose not wanting to see films fraught with chain-saw killings makes me a murderphobe.

The Tookie Toodleoo (12/14/05)
Hold on to your purse, Mike Farrell, this might be rough reading for you. Tookie is gone, gone, gone. Took-Took-Tookie, goodbyyyye. . .They took Tookie down. Tookie took the "D" Train. He was lethally ejected. He ain't never comin' back no' mo'---not to write kiddie books, or his life story, or to shotgun people at point-blank range as they beg for their lives.

Paper Shortage (12/7/05)
I don’t think newspapers are dying. I think they died a long time ago. I think the rise of demographic research dictating content was the first death knell. This began in the ‘70s, and it supplanted, or at least corrupted, what used to be called “news judgment.”

Paul's Silly Treatment (11/30/05)
 Seeing as Sir Paul McCartney is in town, and next week marks the 25th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder, I thought it especially timely to share an amusing document sent to me by Mark Haefeli Productions.
Choose Downtown! (11/23/05)
It’s true: when a city rots, the rats move in. In downtown L.A., the rats have a lot of money---enough for some really nice nests that go for between $700,000 and a million. Even before they are built.

This, That, and The Other (11/16/05)
THIS: The L.A. Times fires Robert Scheer after 30 years.
THAT: Guess it didn’t work out. THIS: Scheer: “The owner of this paper has taken direct control over the editorial page. (Publisher) Jeff Johnson is an accountant. He’s not a journalist. He has said, ‘I am going to run the editorial page. I'm going to run the columns and the editorials,’ very clearly, and. . .‘I'm in charge and I want this page to be more conservative.’”THAT: Good that the Times doesn’t fire columnists on the basis of their politics.

This, That, and The Other (11/9/05)
THIS: Schwarzenegger during the voting: "Why would I listen to losers? I mean, let's be honest. I mean, do you think that this is the same thing as like -- let me just make it simple to you. They have lost every single ballot in the Bay Area. Everything. The big spenders wanted to go with increased taxes, many different taxes and fees and all kinds of things."THAT: He's obviously been working with Bush's speech coach.
Road Trip (11/4/05)
I relish driving to SF the way I relish Regis and Kelly, cold soup, Dick Cheney, blood-blisters. I-5 is an exercise in anti-existence. Enslave yourself to a machine for five hours. The shortest distance between two points is a cup of coffee and loud music.
Lingo Czar (Oct. 26, 2005)
What is more cripplingly ironic than Madonna’s recent condemnation of television as a destructive waste of life? Why, it’s human beings’ use of language, of course. Here the pawing beasts have access to all manner of dictionary, encyclopedia, even Internet wikipedias, yet they insist on grunting and snorting.
Gene Splits (Oct. 19, 2005)
Steel gray hair. Straight, just combable. Green sunglasses. Green cigar. Black eyebrows headed for collision. Gray or brown suit jacket, perhaps plaid shirt, nondescript slacks, shoes. Not natty, not ratty. About five-feet-five. Economical features. And that voice, a sharp report that made heads turn. “Hah!”
Hate Speech (Oct. 12, 2005)
I hate all the new talk about hate speech legislation. I hate any effort to make any speech a criminal offense, unless perhaps it emanates from the mouth of Tom Cruise. Or if it involves threat or incitement to kill or riot. But there are already laws covering such things.
Secret Bush Tape! (Oct. 5, 2005)
The Rip Post has obtained a tape containing instructions by “President” George W. Bush for writing the speech introducing Harriet Miers as his nominee for retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s spot.
LTSEWH
(Sept. 27, 2005)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWH, for um, short. All names have been included whenever possible to ensure fullest humiliation. LTSEWH # 1: Pedestrian behavior
Grand Old Penguin (Sept. 20, 2005)
Penguins.The new symbol of the Repugnican Party? Could be. Figures that all the suits would like an animal that looks like a suit.
Batman Vs. Bobblehead (Sept. 13, 2005)
I’ve figured it out. I know how to get us out of Iraq, how to restore sanity to the White House (well, let’s say restore routine corruption), how to avert another New Orleans. Even how to fight terrorism.
Of Stiffs and Shoes (Sept. 7, 2005)
Did I understand this correctly?Hurricane Katrina wipes out New Orleans, leaving thousands drowned, thousands more dying of thirst and hunger, and Secretary of State Condoleezza “Imelda” Rice goes shopping at Ferragamo’s in New York City for several thousand dollars’ worth of leather shoes?
Looking at Lapdogs  (Aug. 10, 2005)
I dared to set foot in an “Apple Store” the other day.
I have obviously outlived my usefulness as a human being.
It was, oh, let’s see. . .rather like a kindergarten playground, except the children had fully matured glands and teeming hormones, and the playthings were computers and money.

This, That, and The Other
(July 28, 2005)
THIS: Retired 62-year-old teacher is found guilty of assault.
THAT: Teach was being searched by an airport screener, and when screener’s hands flirted with Teach’s breasts, Teach grabbed screener’s breasts and said, “How would you like it if I did that to you?” She faces a year in jail and $100,000 in fines.
THE OTHER: Just tit for tat, if you ask me.

The Sorting Hat Speaks (July 20, 2005)
(Editor's note: The Pope, while still a Cardinal, wrote a letter in which he warned of the evils of the Harry Potter books. For those who have not read the books, and we hope your numbers are dwindling, there is a character known as The Sorting Hat, a talking piece of headgear that speaks in poem and rhyme and chooses which students will be placed in which "house" at Hogwarts School of Wizardry.
Lingo Czar's Secret Leaks  (July 13, 2005)
The Lingo Czar hereby secretly leaks vital national lingo information to The Rip Post, in the interests of national lingo security. If this leak is traced back to the Czar, all will be denied and The Rip Post editorial board will be fully prosecuted by impartial right-wing extremist judges.
Farkash  (July 13, 2005)
Farkash slumbers under some massive, ugly power lines on a hill in the San Fernando Valley, with a distant view of smoggy, grungy Sun Valley. Not that the view matters to him. As a mutual friend put it, “guess he’s shakin’ hands with that ole groundhog now, to paraphrase Dr. John and Louis Armstrong.”

Boom Goes London
(July 7, 2005)
I’m going back to bed. I don’t like waking up to see that vermin have blown people up. I don’t like to see lyrical red London double-decker buses burned to rubble. I don’t like to see footage of broken men lying limp on stretchers while paramedics slam their chests, trying to restart their hearts. I don’t like to hear about subway trains full of peaceable, workaday folk being bombed.
LTSEWH (July 6, 2005)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWH, for um, short. For those unfamiliar with this long-running column, it is an attempt to set down minor occurrences that chronicle the ongoing decline and decay of civilization. Names have been used whenever possible in order to ensure fullest humiliation.
Karl the Ratf***er (June 29, 2005)
Hey, it’s not my term---it’s what convicted Watergate conspirator Donald Segretti’s team of Nixon dirty tricksters proudly called themselves. And Karl Christian (yes, that’s his real middle name) Rove was one of them, of course.
Stein's Brave Stance (June 22, 2005)
Oh, no, Ben Stein has written his last E-online “Monday Night at Morton’s” column! Whatever shall I do? And it was so wrenching for poor Ben to give up the gig. As he wrote, “I loved writing this column so much for so long I came to believe it would never end.” Perhaps Ben felt he was destined for eternal life. If so, imagine his disappointment. My heart goes out to him!
This, That, and The Other  (June 16, 2005)
THIS: Couldn’t find a single paper carrying the headline, “JACKSON BEATS IT.” THAT: A Jackson spokesman said that his boss is changing his ways, and will never allow children into the bedroom again. THE OTHER: The shower remains an open question.

LTSEWH (June 8, 2005)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWH, for um, short. Names and other identifying characteristics have been included whenever possible to ensure fullest humiliation.
This, That, and The Other (June 3, 2005)
THIS: Laura Bush is talked up as a presidential candidate.
THAT: Where is Rod Serling when you need him?
THE OTHER: The most frightening thing about this is that it could happen.

This, That, and The Other (May 25, 2005)
THIS: Jay Leno testifies at the Michael Jackson trial. THAT: He could have offered expert testimony on the advantages of having a real chin.
Is All Calm at Venice High? (May 18, 2005)
“Pop!”A 17-year-old boy lay on the sidewalk on Walgrove Avenue outside of Venice High School, at 2 o’clock on a classically gorgeous L.A. day. Sun was warm, the west side air laced with marine layer, carried by light breeze.The boy was flat on his back with a big hole in his chest, blood bubbling out, victim of the cop cliché known as a “drive-by shooting.”
Homegirl Laurita  (May 11, 2005)
Lodged deep in the clogged intestines of an L.A. Times article about Laura Bush’s recent visit to the remains of this city was a brief account of her stop at Homeboy Industries.
This, That, and The Other (May 4, 2005)
THIS: L.A. Mayor James Hahn attacks mayoral candidate Antonio “Little Anthony” Villaraigosa for questionable fundraising. Villaraigosa attacks Hahn for. . .questionable fundraising.THAT: What candidate in the country is not subject to charges of questionable fundraising? THE OTHER: Maybe I’m the only one who noticed, but there seem to have been a lot of shootings on freeways lately.
LTSEWH  (Apr. 28, 2005)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWH, for um, short. For those unfamiliar with this long-running column, it is an attempt to set down minor occurrences that chronicle the ongoing decline and decay of civilized behavior. Names have been used whenever possible in order to ensure fullest humiliation.

Lingo Lower Now  (April 21, 2005)
The white smoke emanating from the chimney in the Lingo Palace does not indicate the presence of a new Lingo Czar, but rather the degree of sizzle between the Czar’s ears over the further assault on language.
Auto-matons  (April 14, 2005)
Cars thrill and captivate me every bit as much as soccer. No, more. I will never fathom a four-hour game with maybe one or two points scored, the rules of which are: “move the ball around without using your hands.”
Cool Jerk (April 6, 2005)
I know that things are not always what they appear to be, and not everyone can think clearly all the time. Why, some people are handicapped and cannot think clearly at any time. I once knew a woman with mild brain damage who could not differentiate between beef and chicken. “Chicken’s beef,” she observed.

He Went For A Little Walk (March 30, 2005)
I went out for a long walk early the other morning, to “greet the brand new day,” as John Lennon sang; to help usher in the spring outburst of roses, crepe myrtle blossoms, azaleas, camellias, etc.  Instead, of course, I found distraction. Try as I might to ignore it, human behavior tends to just shout down beauty and delicacy.
War on Drugs (March 2, 2005)
Drugs, as we know, are evil. This is why Nancy Reagan told everyone to "just say no." This is why countless millions---er, billions---are spent fighting the "War on Drugs" instead of on, say, schools. (Gee, isn't it funny how drugs are more plentiful and popular than ever, anyhow?)
Death of Dr. Gonzo (Feb. 26, 2005)
So Hunter Thompson took the Hemingway off-ramp on the One-Way Turnpike. There are hurt feelings among old friends, and the hapless "what a waste" and "why'd he do it?" cliches among fans and readers.
Vote for Granny
(Feb. 16, 2005)
I ran into mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa, which I think is pronounced roughly like Bela Lugosi, a couple weeks ago. He and another guy were sitting in a nice car in Little Tokyo, late on a cool Sunday afternoon, while a hot blonde female companion scoped out a nearby restaurant.
State of the Lingo Union
(Feb. 9. 2005)
Full text of the Lingo Czar's recent State of the Lingo Union address: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice-President, members of congress, my fellow Americans. The State of the Lingo Union is weak. Very weak. In fact, it has never been in such disarray, so divided by mispronunciations, malaprops, insipid slang, crippled syntax.
Froggie, the Wrath of God?
(Feb. 2, 2005)
Calling all Christians! No, no---not Armageddonists, fundamentalists, born-agains, "escatalogists," and other such intellectually deficient detainees of ignorance and superstition---I mean Christians. Right. The ones who believe in the spirit of Hay-zoos's teachings, not the literal letter of the humans who wrote the Babble, and later translated it imprecisely into English.
This, That, and The Other
(Jan. 26, 2005)
THIS: News item: "President" Bush now has his own private army of 13,000 commandos known as "Power Geyser," for use at his whim in fighting domestic terrorism. THAT: And people complained about Nixon's White House military honor guard dressing like something out of Buckingham Palace. . .THE OTHER: Feel safer?
This, That, and The Other
(Jan. 20, 2005)
THIS: About a dozen protesters began chanting toward the end of "President" Bush's amazingly bland and empty coronation address, in which he essentially repeated the words "freedom" and "free" as often as possible. THAT: The protesters were promptly hustled away by police.
This, That, and The Other
(Jan. 12, 2005) THIS: Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who through astounding manipulation of empty-headed jackasses has been elected governor of California, said recently that he is a "big believer in roads."THAT: This would explain why his budget includes zero---that's no, nada, nothing, and otherwise hastalavistababy---money for new highways or mass transit.
No News
(Jan. 5, 2005)
Okay, it's been long enough. I haven't been able to stomach any news since shortly after the election. I've missed it every bit as much as gum surgery, so I finally picked up the paper to soak up
LTSEWH
(Dec. 15, 2004)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters with Humanity, or LTSEWH for, uh, short. Names have been included when possible and appropriate in the full interests of humiliation.
Aieeeeeeeee Mail!
(Dec. 8, 2004)
We get letters! There are many readers who have never been menaced by a rabid dog in the late stages of frothing madness. Perhaps the following uncensored e-mail---be warned, it is X-rated!---which came in response to my "Terrorists in the Voting Booths" column, will allow said readers to compensate for having missed that particular life experience. Call it Aieeeee-mail. (The Rip Post is not responsible for spelling and punctuation idiosyncracies of our colorful contributors.)
Lingo Czar is Back in the Day

(Dec. 1, 2004)
The Lingo Czar is back from his extreme makeover, but somehow they missed the double-chin. Anyhow, you don't type with your chin, and good looks never got any writer anywhere, so. . .
Iris Chang: The Price of Her Crusade

(Nov. 13, 2004)
Poor, poor Iris Chang. I have often observed that if the brain had no filters, and we could exactly understand the totality of human evil and stupidity---all at once---we would promptly commit suicide.
LTSEWH (Nov. 10, 2004)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters with Humanity, or LTSEWH for, uh, short. Names have been included when possible and appropriate in the full interests of humiliation.

RIPOSTE 2004 ELECTION EXTRAS!
THE TERRORISTS IN THE VOTING BOOTHS
CLICK HERE
KERRY WINS

CLICK HERE
ENDORSEMENT
CLICK HERE
VOTE FOR BOOOOSH!
CLICK HERE
GET YOUR WOLFBANE READY
LUGOSIEYES.jpg (1559 bytes)
CLICK HERE
THE BATTLE OF BUSH'S BULGE
CLICK HERE
KERRY IS IN THE HUNT
CLICK HERE
HER ROYAL HEINZNESS
CLICK HERE
A GAY OLD TIME WITH LYNNE CHENEY
CLICK HERE
THE DUST-UP IN THE DESERT
CLICK HERE

He's Still Afflicting the Comfortable
(Oct. 6, 2004)
Now, nothing would give me greater pleasure than if you rush right out and buy a copy of my strange and wonderful novel, "The Last Byline." It's snappy! Well, I take that back. It would give me greater pleasure if Bush were to be voted out of office, or if scientists find that Scotch is good for you, or if you rush out and buy "This Can't Be Happening," by Dave Lindorff. (Psst--- I hear that The Last Byline isn't bad, either.)
Fear Factor
(Sept. 29, 2004)
I've been called a lot of names, I suppose. I recall someone referring to me once as an "exposed nerve," which I rather liked, and I remember the marginally literate editor who (behind my back) enjoyed labelling me with a commonly employed vulgarism for the nethermost exit point in the body. Coming from her, I wore it like a badge.
But "coward"?

LTSEW. . .Computers
(Sept. 22, 2004)
So you want to get your computer fixed, eh? Pssst. C'mere---let me give you some good advice. Better to just cut your hands off so you won’t have to worry about typing anymore.

This, That, and The Other
(Sept. 8, 2004)
THIS: Bush ex-sister-in-law says young Dubya put cocaine in his nose while at Camp David during his father's administration.THAT: But did he inhale?
I Protest
(Aug. 24, 2004)
To get to "my" side of the protest, I had to walk through a pack of roiling Bush supporters. A thousand-armed monster of white eyeballs, bared teeth, and American flags signs sticking up like pocupine quills.
1-2-3, What am I writin' for?
(Aug. 19, 2004)
When I was about fourteen, the sky ripped open and God's pajamas fell out. That's what I wrote in my novel-in-the-works (line up now!), "The Oaks." Seemed like an okay way to describe things. I lived in green and blue. It was my black and white.
This, That, and the Other
(Aug. 12, 2004)
THIS: Indefinite Orange Terror Alert!
THAT: Should have called one of those twenty years ago, instead of supporting Saddam and selling him weapons.
THE OTHER: Should have called one of those twenty years ago, instead of supporting Osama and selling him weapons.

My Personal Relationship With Christ
(Aug. 4, 2004) I was shooting the breeze with my friend, Jesus H. Christ, the other day. He has a hell of time, Jesus, given the remarkable similarity between his name and that of the man regarded by many as The Lord and Savior.  Jesus H. likes to call himself "The Lard and Savoir-faire."
Defending Mr. Bush
(July 28, 2004)
I read the remarks attributed to President George W. Bush by Professor Yoshihiro Tsurumi, who says he taught young Mr. Bush while a visiting associate professor of international business at Harvard in the 1970s. Among the man-who-would-be-President's alleged declarations: the film version of Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath" was "corny,". . .
One Year B.C. (July 21, 2004)
I still see B.C. the cat out of the corner of my eye, usually as I sit here typing. I catch a glimpse of his black fluffy frame in the hallway, peripherally, about 3 p.m.. Yellow eyes wide and faintly irritated. I know he's waiting there, bored, right on schedule, wondering why I sit here all the time. (As do I.) And I know I'll get up in moment, put him in my lap and massage his aching old back.
Of Vegas and Cretins
(July 20, 2004)
Las Vegas is the swirling whirlpool in the toilet of capitalism. It is the detritus under the rotting fingernails of a greed-deranged society. It is the crust in the infection that killed American conscience. Ronstadt should wear being kicked out of there like a damn badge.
A Midsummer Day's LTSEWH
(July 14, 2004)
LTSEWH # 1: CLIP-ON JOINT: I needed a pair of clip-on sunglasses. My old ones broke, and I was tired of squinting like Walter Brennan. I stopped into a little tourist clip-joint by the Venice Pier, where a woman with unknown Middle East accent helped me. I found a pair that fit, paid the ten bucks, and went on my way. Voila!
Well, not so Voila. . .

Left Jab
  (July 7, 2004)
Who says the left can't be just as despicable and brutish as the right? Who says lefties are wimps? Who says they all wear pink ties and speak as daintily as Tom Dashle? Wait'll you run into Jeffrey "Hey A--hole" St. Clair.
Monumental Lies   (July 3, 2004)
There it was, buried on page A28 of the July 3 (Saturday) L.A. Times: "Army Stage-Managed Fall of Hussein Statue." Never mind that the international press---I particularly recall Robert Fisk's columns and Ann Garrells' NPR dispatches---had reported this information ad nauseum, in detail, almost from the day it happened.
Daily News Vs. Daily News
(June 30, 2004)
I have many regrets in life. High on the list is not punching out a veterinarian who refused to treat my dying cat because all I had was a check. Also high up is naming the Daily News of Los Angeles. That's correct, I named the paper. Well, at least I think I did.
Follicle Follies
(June 17, 2004)
I dreamed I depilated myself the other night. Well, part of myself---just a three-and-a-half-inch piece, but one resplendant with implications of masculinity and character!
Put Him On The Ten-Dollar Bill (June 17, 2004)
I didn't share his vision, but I have to say he was a great gentleman who inspired the nation---even the world. His leadership was undeniable, and his impact on peace cannot accurately be measured.
Real Americans
(June 10, 2004)
We live in Nasty Nation. All the speeches about how wonderful and forgiving the American people are---bunk. This is a society of smartasses. The Snide States of America. Snickering, sneering, snarling are the sine qua non.
Death in the Neighborhood
(June 2, 2004)
Once upon a time,
there was a nice West L.A. neighborhood.A man from Iran came to the nice neighborhood, and raised his family in a little home there. The neighborhood was very good to him, as was the United States, his adopted country.
He's Red, White, and Very Blue

(May 26, 2004) I found Uncle Sam dumpster-diving behind a McDonald's in West L.A.. The red-white-and-blue striped pants sticking up, feet dangling in air, were a dead giveaway. "U.S.!" I said, "What in hell are you doing?"
Lingo Czar is Doing Everything He Can
(May 12, 2004) Citizens are advised to avoid using the following worn-out phrases, buffoonish slang, buzzwords, mistakes and mispronunciations infecting and muddling clear and dignified communication in this, the 21st century. ORALCY---Okay, boys and girls, in your seats, please.
President Paranoia
(May 5, 2004)
I seem to recall George W. Bush chanting "I'm a leader" to a hypnotized public during the last so-called election. Is he? Would a leader preach defeatism? Bush does. To listen to him and his advisors, one can only conclude that: We are a beaten nation. We are whipped. We are cowed. We are defenseless.
This, That, and The Other (May 8, 2004)
THIS: Donald Rumsfeld says the torture of Iraqi men and women in Saddam's own former torture chambers by U.S. soldiers---under apparent control of U.S. "private security" firms functioning free of U.S. law---is "un-American."THAT: Not any more.
LTSEWH (Apr. 28, 2004)
Call them Less than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWH, for short. A chronicle of the decay of civility, sanity, and synapses in this, the 21st Century. All business names have been included when possible to ensure fullest humiliation.
Bush: Terrorists' Escort
(Apr. 21, 2004)
President George W. Bush almost personally escorted three 9/11 hijackers into the United States.Read it again.
This contention does not come from Air America, or "liberal wackos," or conspiracy theorists. It comes from Richard M. Nixon's chief political strategist during the 1968 campaign, Kevin Phillips.

This, That, and The Other
(Apr. 14, 2004)
THIS: Vice-President George W. "President" Bush opens his press conference with this: "This has been tough weeks in that country." THAT: Yes, it have.
They Live!
(Apr. 7, 2004)
Ever see that goofy John Carpenter science-fiction movie, "They Live!"? If you haven't, the premise has to do with evil extra-terrestrial zombie-oid creepos taking over the world. Only certain people wearing certain sunglasses can see them. Otherwise, they look like perfectly normal, respectable humans.You know, like Michael Jackson. (Okay, not the best example.)
Fidgeting in Dizzy Hall
(March 31, 2004)
I don't mean to harp on Disney Hall too much. I've already trumpeted my view about The Silver Stunt on this site and in the L.A. Times. Bass-ically, you know my position. And if you don't, I'm not about to beat that drum again. But I do have some new notes to share. . .
Lingo Czar Gives You the Detells
(March 24, 2004)
Forget all the recent hoo-hah over Sandra Tsinging the bleeping f-word---the Lingo Czar is giving you the Lohdown on terms that really ought to be bleeped at all times under all Lingocircumstances.

This, That, and The Other
(March 17, 2004)
THIS: The Bush administration produced videos for local television news programs in which reporters praised the benefits of the new Medicare law. One problem: the reporters were actors hired to perform the parts, reading from a script. THAT: Fake reporters, fake terror alerts, fake WMD, fake president. What's the faking problem?
Carrying On
(March 10, 2004)
The last Shag Hanson died the other day. Shag Hanson, for the one or two (cough) readers who have not yet ordered "The Last Byline," is one of the main characters in my fabulous novel.
This, That, and The Other
(
March 3, 2004)
THIS: Disneyland slows down the "Mad Teacup Party" spinning cups in the interests of public safety.
THAT: Ride name will be renamed the "Rational Teacup Gathering."THIS: Janet Jackson will not play Lena Horne in TV biopic.THAT: Janet Jackson has been slowed down in the interests of public safety.

Feb Brew Air Eee
(Feb.25, 2004)
Say "brew." Altogether, now. Brewwwwwww. Now say "air." Airrrrrrr. Good. Now put them together: "brew-air." Brewwwwwwairrrrrr. Fe-brewwwairrr-y. Excellent. You are cured. You need never again say "Feb-u-ary."
Last Rites for the House of Lou
(Feb. 18, 2004)
It was a little house even when it was new, back around 1925. Whitewashed rows of hand-hammered wood planks, with little peeking-eye windows, all in a long rectangle, and a shingled peaked rooftop.
A Band That Made it Very, Very Big  (Feb. 18, 2004)
I wasn't planning to write anything about the 40th anniversary of The Beatles' debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show," as I tend to avoid major anniversaries, and every media outlet in the world is covering the story. But. . .Seeing as I've been writing about them for about 33 years, why stop now?
Keeping Abreast of the Tissue---er, Issue
(Feb. 11, 2004)
It was the breast of times, it was the worst of times.
All right, let's say the bust didn't go bust. Let's say that Justin Timberlake---which must be the funniest name since "Rip Rense"---managed to pull only Janet Jackon's right leather milk-gland sling free, leaving intact the red "bustier" underneath. As allegedly planned
.
City Footnotes (Feb. 4, 1004)
You find them everywhere. Blowing down sidewalks, crumpled up in bushes, rumpled and stained in curbside gutters. Bits and pieces of daily lives, discarded or lost, there at your feet. Each one a chapter from a story, somewhere in the middle of a human book. Call them city footnotes. . .CITY FOOTNOTE # 1: TORN APART
LTSEWH
(Jan. 28, 2004)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWH, for um, short. Names and places have been included wherever possible to ensure fullest humiliation of subjects at hand.
May God Bless the Lingo Czar
(Jan. 21, 2004)
The Lingo Czar, fresh from several rounds of high colonics and arcane ointment therapies, hereby pronounces himself fit enough for lingo denunciation.
Wondering About Disney Hall
(Jan. 7, 2004)
"Regarding Rip Rense, you have to wonder about the taste of someone who thinks Disney Hall is vulgar and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion isn't."---Bob Fiore, Los Angeles, in an e-mail to www.laobserved.com. Regarding Bob Fiore, well, Bob, you don't have to wonder about my taste, but you may, if you like. I can think of better ways to spend time, but to each his own.
War on Earth, Bad Will Towards Men (Christmas, 2003)
I heard a Muzak version of the John Lennon/Yoko Ono Christmas carol, "Happy Xmas (War is Over)," the other day, with a rather astonishing alteration. Removed from the song, excised from the arrangement, absent even from the syrupy strings and flatulent horns. . .was the chorus: "War is over if you want it."
Found: One Pair of Ears
(Dec. 17, 2003)
I know every note of Beethoven's 6th symphony, the "Pastoral." Nothing in the Pastoral gets past me. It's Pastoral history. I have a 6th sense about it.
All Ficked Up
(Dec. 10, 2003)
Ummm! I'm gonna tell! Johnny Kerry said a naughty word! So that's what little Andy Card, White House Chief of Staff, did. He went right to the Big Media Daddies at CNN and he told on that bad, bad Senator!
Love? Not Actually. . .(Dec. 3, 2003)
The movie, "Love, Actually," isn't really about love, actually. Unless, perhaps, you consider the behavior of say, animals with hooves, to constitute "love." Better to have called director Richard Curtis's would-be Christmas valentine, "Rutting, actually." Or how about just "Uhhh! Uhhh!"
A Hill of a Thanksgiving (Nov. 26, 2003)
I've had some memorable Thanksgiving dinners, for reasons good and awful, but none more than the one made by my old man, thirty-eight years ago. As the crow flies. Actually, it was the day after Thanksgiving, but to a kid, this is a fine distinction. Those two days are as stuck together as LaurelandHardy.
Beware the Wheelers!
(Nov. 19, 2003)
This past summer was one of the less pleasant I've had in quite some time, thanks largely to the loss of my dear friend, B.C. the cat, so I've been feeling less than effervescent.  Of course, I should have known this would make me prey to The Wheelers.
Quiet! This is a Newsroom!  (Nov. 12, 2003)
I figured out what's wrong with journalism: not enough noise. No, no, I mean it. I had a tour of the San Francisco Chronicle not long ago, and the joint was creepy. Well, the people who work there are perfectly nice and hard-working and all that, but the environment, well. . .
Iraq Around the Clock (Nov. 5, 2003)
Iraq is not the United States.I want to make it into a bumper sticker.To listen to the Bush administration, to read the papers every day, to watch the news. . .you'd think that Iraq is just around the corner from Wisconsin. Or squeezed between Kansas and Nebraska.
This Town is Toast
(Oct. 29, 2003)
An old friend from the Midwest dropped me a line, asking "just how bad is it out there?" It gave me pause. I had to stop and think. Hmm. Just how bad is it? Pretty bad!
Tilting at Los Angeles
(Oct. 29, 2003)
Don Quixote has put on weight, and switched nationalities. He's Italian, sports a hefty midsection, gray hair, and pencil-thin moustache. But it's him, all right. The windmills are a dead giveaway.
A. Nother Writer
(Oct. 23, 2003)
I've hit it big. I've arrived. I've been quoted in The New Yorker. It's in the Sept. 29 issue, in a puff piece---er, I mean, article---with the amazingly banal headline, "Good Vibrations---Frank Gehry's Disney Hall is a musical pleasure palace," by Paul Goldberger. You'll find me right in the first paragraph. Here's the excerpt:

Dissing Disney Hall:
Riposte: Fidgeting in Dizzy Hall
Rense's L.A. Times  "Counterpunch," about Disney Hall, "The Silver Stunt," and mail responses here
Riposte: Rense responds to The New Yorker Disney Hall review
Riposte
: Wondering About Disney Hall
other voices:
The Spaceship Has Landed

by Donna Perlmutter

Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz
by Joseph Mailander

Lake Condoleezza (Oct. 13, 2003)
I can't remember the senator's name. And if I could, I wouldn't dignify him by printing it here. But there he was, addressing the U.S. Senate, holding up a large square of blank white paper.
The Sperminator (Oct. 6, 2003)
I realize that the big story of the day is that the Siegfried and Roy act is on indefinite hold, but I thought I'd chance a few words about the erection. I mean, election. Sorry, I've got Schwarzenegger on the brain---but not in the way you might think.
Random Thoughts on the Election (Oct. 6, 2003)
I'm not worried so much about Governor Schwarzenegger. It's President Schwarzenegger that is keeping me up nights. It's probably keeping him up, too.
Happy Birthday to Us (Sept. 17-Oct. 1)
The Rip Post celebrates its first year anniversary with a retrospective of top columns.
Posting Up. . .(Sept. 10, 2004)
Off the top of my head.  . .*If the government had prepared as well for a terrorism attack as it is preparing for Hurricane Isabel, there would have been no 9/11.*The satellite pictures of Isabel at sea looked like Monet. *Sentencing Tommy Chong to federal prison for running an Internet bong business is like sentencing handgun manufacturers to federal prison.

"Pete" Goes Back To School
(Sept. 3, 2003)
My neighbor---call him Pete---is a third-grade teacher at an L.A. magnet school, as predictable as the White Rabbit of "Alice," and about as fastidious. He leaves his West L.A. home every morning at 6 sharp, dressed nattily in tweed coat, bright tie, and Ascot cap.
Queen of Los Angeles
(Sept. 3, 2003)
I don't like to write about politics. I had my fill of it as a general assignment reporter for two L.A. dailies years ago, deciding that it's one bottomless can of worms. The names change, the worms stay the same. I am coming, ever so briefly, out of retirement.
Lingo Czar Needs Meds (Aug. 27, 2003)
It's football season (gasp), time for all TV sports commentators to stand up as they call the action, for some strange reason---and time for the Lingo Czar to punt the Lingo pigskin.
Clowning Around (Aug. 13, 2003)
"Handicapping" is a most apt verb for describing the recall election. This thing is crippled. It has one short leg and 135 heads. (Well, 134 1/2, when you count Schwarzenegger.) It is not a circus, as the media customarily says---it is the stuff left behind after the circus leaves.
Transit Troglodytes
(Aug. 6. 2003)
I don't often indulge off-color phrases in this column, so be warned: I am making an exception.I hereby invoke a favorite vulgarism for describing people who have tricked themselves into particularly preposterous points of view: "His (or her) head's so far up his ass that it's coming out his mouth again."
Big Trouble in Little Tokyo
(July 23, 2003) Look, I don't know about you, but when I think of    Buddhism, the first thing I think of is jail. Nothing evokes thoughts of incarceration and punishment more than a religion that espouses peace, civility, and understanding.
Chavez Heights (July 16, 2003) It was absolutely thrilling that L.A. Times editor John Carroll upbraided his reporters for allowing leftist slant---or any slant---into newswriting a few weeks back. For those who missed it, Carroll sent a staff memo dissecting a Times article about abortion---exposing its flagrant liberal bias. At one point, the chastened reporter referred to counselors recommended by "pro-lifers" as "so-called counselors."
The Pips Squeak
(July 9, 2003) There I was, age 14, meekly strolling the grounds of Venice High School at lunch time. I kept to myself, as I was a new kid at school, guarded and withdrawn. I was shocked when the vice-principal, Mr. Wilbur Van Vleer, motioned in my direction.
Wave That Flag (July 3, 2003) Flags, flags, flags. Heavens to Betsy Ross! Waving from SUV's the size of the Statue of Liberty, hanging (usually incorrectly) from condo balconies, drooping from freshly implanted poles in front lawns, tacked vulgarly behind every huckster televangelist who advocates killing in the name of Jay-zuhs. . .
The LTSEWH Conga (June 25, 2003) Call them "Less Then Satisfying Encounters with Humanity," or LTSEWH for, um, short. Only some of the names are occasionally omitted to spare the particularly wretched from public humiliation.
City Footnotes (June 18, 2003) You find them everywhere. Blowing down sidewalks, crumpled up in bushes, rumpled and stained in curbside gutters. Bits and pieces of daily lives, discarded or lost, there at your feet. Each one a chapter from a story, somewhere in the middle of a human book. Call them city footnotes. . .
Ding Dong School
(June 11, 2003) It must be the chairs---that's all I can come up with. Have you seen them? They are grand, plush, high-backed, brown leather affairs. You disappear in them. I'll bet you can swing your legs, like a little kid. I blame the chairs for the Belmont "Learning Center."
Lingo WMD Found! (June 4, 2003) Of all the tons and tons of "weapons of mass destruction" allegedly held by Saddam, authorities have so far found next to nothing. But take heart---the Lingo Czar has ferreted out lots of verbal WMD, further justifying his ongoing attack on rogue Lingo states.
The Silver Stunt (May 28, 2003) National Public Radio's Susan Stamberg called the new Disney Hall, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a "symphony in stainless steel." I say it's more of a concerto grosso. Yes, stainless steel is just what I think about when I hear symphonies.
Proof of Evolution
(May 21, 2003) I'm sorry to rile up all the looney "creationists" out there, but I have conclusive evidence that human beings were descended from apes. And it hasn't been much of a descent, either. The proof: all L.A. transit officials. They're the missing link.
LTSEWH and crackers (May 14, 2003)
Call them "Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity," or LTSEWH for, um, short. Only some of the names are occasionally omitted to spare the particularly wretched from public humiliation.
Return to Subersive Sender (May 7, 2003)
Call me "Chemical Ripi." Orensa bin-Laden. Mohammad Said-Riposte, mother of all propaganda ministers. Infidel cyber-bellies will roast on the white-hot spits of hell! Ptui! Think I'm kidding? You see, a package I mailed has been returned to me, for security reasons. There is a "no airplanes" sticker on it. . .
B.C. and me (Apr. 30, 2003)
He was sitting on a butcher block dining table, staring with great yellow-green owl eyes at the stranger who had just invaded his little world. What, he obviously wondered, was this creature who spoke in a gentle, friendly voice, "Oh, he's beautiful!"?
The Big Picture (Apr. 23, 2003)
Daniel Schorr implied in a recent NPR commentary that the Iraq Attack has psyched out the other team; that the "axis of evil"---Iran, and North Korea---and that "rogue nation" debutante, Syria, have shown signs of compromise. To wit:
Journalistic Untidiness
(Apr. 17, 2003)
All those reporters! All that "embedding!" All that cooperation from the military!And still those liberal ingrate scribblers dared to report unpleasantries from Iraq.  Can't trust 'em!
Lingo Liberation (Apr. 10, 2003)
Now that the "war" in Iraq is settling into "liberation" (read: social-political chaos), and all is blight with the world, the Lingo Czar must resume repulsing all  invaders hell-bent on conquering Lingo Land, and subverting its resources in the name of "liberating" the language.
Tale of Two E-Mails (Apr. 3, 2003)
It was the best of e-mail, it was the worst of e-mail. . .
"It might please you to know that you may have converted a registered Republican." The first e-mail was from one "Lisa," who announced that reading The Rip Post had changed her mind about the Bush administration.
De-Flagging Incidents
(March 26, 2003)
Lots of funny things have been going on with the flag lately. Over in Iraq, an American soldier raised a stars-and-stripes over some conquered territory last week. You could almost hear Rumsfeld screaming from Washington, "No---take it down!", and Old Glory was almost instantly replaced by the Iraqi standard.
On "Dissing" Dissent. . . (March 26, 2003)
Support the troops? Why has this even been made into a question? Why is there even an issue?Show me a U.S. citizen who does not support the troops, and I'll show you a screwed-up U.S. citizen.
Soldier of Love
(March 19, 2003)
Rachel Corrie will be forgotten soon. She might command another headline or two: her funeral, a soundbite of a tearful parent, a smarmy "Dateline" segment. . .But the big headline of this past weekend, "American Woman Peace Activist Killed By Israeli Army," will be eclipsed by tales of kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart's sex life, the bombs that rain down on Iraq, and of course, who's- wearing-what at the Academy Awards.
LTSEWH's of Mass Destruction

(March 12, 2003)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWH, for um, short. Only the names have been changed or omitted to protect the inchoate. (Note: conversations are approximated from memory.)
City Footnotes (March 5, 2003)
You find them everywhere. Blowing down sidewalks, crumpled up in bushes, rumpled and stained in curbside gutters. Bits and pieces of daily lives, discarded or lost, there at your feet. Each one a chapter from a story, somewhere in the middle of a human book. Call them city footnotes. . .
Random Thoughts on the War-to-be
  (Feb. 26, 2003)
*Bush debates Saddam? Not fair. Not fair at all. Saddam has a distinct advantage in English.*The odds of Bush not invading Iraq are roughly equivalent to the odds of the space shuttle, Columbia, reconstituting itself.
The Big Focus Group (Feb. 19, 2003)
Focus groups, eh? Demeaning the protestors as "focus groups." Hmm. . .pretty good, Mr. President. Who came up with that one, Karl Rove? Sure to play well with the Limbaugh/O'Reilly/Savage crowd, and loathers of the corporatocracy.  (Yes, I just made that word up.) Funny thing is---you are the corporatocracy, Mr. President, but that's beside the point.
Further From the Truth (Feb. 19, 2003)
Here is Condoleezza Rice's reaction to accusations that the Bush administration was bothered by the twelve million people demonstrating for peace around the world last weekend: "Nothing could be further from the truth."
No Perle of Wisdom
(Feb. 12, 2003)
Buried in the Feb. 9 L.A. Times coverage of the Iraq crisis was this stunning comment by Pentagon advisor Richard Perle:"If, on Sept. 11, it had been the Tour d'Eiffel and some other buildings in Paris, Europeans might be feeling differently."This cynical harrumph was a reaction to the Germany-France plan to avert a unilateral U.S. invasion and conquest of Iraq. It is, Perle fumed, "a plan to do nothing."
Collateral Lingo Damage (Feb. 12, 2003)
Calling all presidents, senators, generals, and TV newsmannequins. It's too late for a pre-emptive strike, but the Lingo Czar still wants to avoid further collateral damage. Your speech is a weapon of mass lingo destruction.

Comfort from Sir Real (Feb. 5, 2003)
Everything has overwhelmed me, so once again I put in a call to my old friend, Sir Loquacious Real. "Sir Real," I said. "I can't keep up anymore." "Who can?" said Sir Real. "Last Saturday, the space shuttle, Columbia, turned into a flying Texas barbecue. Then Large Intestine Powell tells the United Nations that the United States is going to unite 500 missiles per day with Iraq.

Drop the Big One? (Jan. 29, 2003)
The song was meant to be ironic. It was meant to depict an ignorant, frustrated, self-pitying, petulant bully, lashing out. It was meant to be black humor. No one likes us/ I don't know why/ We may not be perfect/ But heaven knows, we try/ And all around, even our old friends put us down/ Let's drop the Big One and see what happens.
Lima Beans and Pygmies (Jan. 22, 2003)
Is President Bush having perception problems? He seems so confused about reality that you have to wonder if he's backslid into dipsomania. Or perhaps is dabbling in something even more mind-altering than Colt 45 premium malt liquor.
Lingo Czar Ramps Up (Jan. 15, 2003)
The Lingo Czar is finding 2003 syntax to be skeevy, but is ramping up his courage to face the rest of the lingo year. Citizens are therefore advised to avoid using the following worn-out phrases, buffoonish slang. . .

The Last Polite Man (Jan. 8, 2003)
I've had it. I'm such an anachronism. As irrelevant as a dial telephone. I am. . .the last polite man. Okay, I'm not polite all the time. Once in a while, I suggest that another human being be subject to untold physical and spiritual agonies, perhaps involving the devil and a red-hot poker.
Random Thoughts at the End of 2002
(Jan. 1, 2003)
*
Maybe this coming year will be the year that everyone stops yelling "Wooooooooo!" to indicate approval.
*Probably not.*Maybe this coming year will be the year that Michael Jackson entirely jumps species. *If I were a goofy dictator with a bad Elvis pompidour. . .

Ode to Joy (Dec. 18, 2002)
Thirty-two years ago this week, I ditched Venice High School and nervously boarded an RTD bus headed for downtown L.A.. I was 17 years old, and hadn't been out much on my own. I barely knew where downtown was, and had never done anything so daring as to cut class.

The Chief L.A. Problem
  (Dec. 11, 2002)
Funny thing is happening in L.A. these days. Someone in power is treating the place like a city. Someone is treating L.A.'s problems as if they can be solved. Someone is trying to fix what has long been broken---the blasé acceptance of gang warfare.

A Gent Among Agents (Dec.4, 2002)
Attended an "agents seminar" the other day for advice in book publishing. By the time it was over, I needed an agent badly. A purgative, a tranquilizer, a mood-elevator---something. I mean, I was write disgusted. Edit the last two hours out.
Sir Real Gets Real
  (11/26/02)
I phoned my friend, Sir Loquacious Real, the other day. I was confused about this whole home security thing. "Sir Real," says I, "I just don't feel any safer now than I did before 9/11. Am I nuts?" "Yes, but that's beside the point," said Sir Real.

A Pile of LTSEWH. . .  (11/20/02)
Call them Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, or LTSEWHs for um, short. Only the names have been changed or omitted to protect the impenetrable.
Blood and Sand (11/13/02)
The American people want war. The defeats of Democraps and the election of Repugnicans; the enormous vote of confidence in the Bush ministry---er, administration---all adds up to, as the late Marvin Gaye sang. . .Let's get it on.
Iraq and a Hard Peace (11/6/02)
Now we are invading Iraq to "liberate" the Iraqi people.
This is the President's latest excuse---a lie as flagrant as a chocolate-smeared little kid telling Mommy he didn't eat any candy.
Lingo Czar Derides Again!
(10/30/02)
Listen up, Lingophiles and Lingophobes, it's time to Lingo! There's a Lingo moon above/ we will fall in Lingo Love. . .Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack go under Lingo stick. . .Lingo lower, now. . .Lingo lower, now. . .How low can you go? The Lingo Czar is back, and once again lowering the Lingo bar. (Apologies to Chubby Checker.)

City Footnotes (10/23/02)
It was very far from Valentine's Day, literally and figuratively, for the Valentines (whose first names will be omitted here.) The crud-encrusted remains of their marriage lay in a Santa Monica gutter, one gray October day.
A Walk in The Park (10/16/02)
Ah, the scent of freshly ignited crack! Ah, the lyrical smack-addict hooker going about her vein-piercing art, inches away from a young mother and snoozing babe in papoose pouch! Ah, the poetic panorama of winos sprawled about like Renoir nudes!

Rap Music, Crap Art (10/9/02)
Call them Less than Satisfying Encounters with Humanity, or LTSEWH, for um, short. Only the names have been changed or omitted to protect the insensate.
City Footnotes

You find them everywhere. Blowing down sidewalks, crumpled up in bushes, rumpled and stained in curbside gutters. Bits and pieces of daily lives, discarded or lost, there at your feet. Each one a chapter from a story, somewhere in the middle of a human book. Call them city footnotes. . .
One SUV Down, Millions to Go
One letter to a news organization, the axiom goes, is worth a thousand that are never written – maybe 10,000. By that equation, I have just kept at least 1,000 SUV's (Silly Usurping Vehicle) off the road! What a gas! How? I received this note from reader Noel Poole regarding my recent column, "Dirty Words from Sir Real". . .
Lingo Czar Ponies Up
Yes, yes. The Lingo Czar admits to coasting all season and playing at half-strength. Playoffs are around the corner, though, and now the games really count. . .
The Butt-Ugly Rich
I was confused about this whole Enron thing, so I phoned my friend, Sir Real. . .
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb
Nuclear weapons? Madness. Yes, the government has called the new nuclear plans "conceptual" and "contingency" and such things. . .