A funny syllogism instructs that the more of a challenge to the status quo you are, the more people have to think or puzzle, which is often a challenge for them. The more people have to think, the more difficult it is for them to put you - the artist, writer, singer, activist - into a little box. Subtlety and complication, nuance are okay, but together with a multiplicity of talents, interests, and sometimes just plain more? It's my sense that the problem is often the "more." It complicates. Uncle Ruthie Buell has all of the above, and she has, yes, more. I struggle (along with her, I'm sure) to understand why absolutely everybody isn't listening on Saturday mornings to her long-running radio show, ostensibly for children but one of the best and most humane and satisfying listening, singing-along half hours you can recommend to anybody, anywhere. By struggle I mean, as Uncle Ruthie, celebrate, which is the default I suppose, at least the reaction I've learned from Ruth herself, Jill of all trades, multi-talented artist, and life lover.
Show biz is my life. Or at least a big part of it lately. My talented and smart kid has introduced theater and, especially, classic American musical theater to Mom and Dad by way of his enthusiastic thespianic occupation, avocation, obsession, all of it.
It's both perhaps typical of an eleven year old but also impressive in its mature and sophisticated intensity. And since I am learning both a lot about an important art form and how to learn from your own child, I am pretty darn excited (Leapin' lizards!) about a local production of a play I confess I once wouldn't have thought twice about but which now, happily, gives me a chance to wax revisionistic and appreciative about, of all things, Annie, which opens next weekend at South Coast Repertory, and features the Little Bibster in a cast of talented young people who are doing their best, as so many across America, to celebrate the New Deal, even here in Amnesia County, NarcissismLand, LibertarianVille, USA. So, mea culpa, and on with the show.More »
Describing themselves as "a Southern California bikini model-turned-call girl" and "a burned-out middle-aged rocket engineer," two Orange Countains have self-published a book with the provocative title, Escort: The True Story of an Orange County Call Girl.
Sacha Haughtee and Max Spacer say it's their first book and the first of an "Orange County Girls" trilogy from their Sacha and Max Publications, with the other planned books provocatively titled MILFs: The True Stories of Hot Orange County Mothers and Daddy I'm Your Daughter: The Story of an Orange County Love Child.More »
I am getting more sentimental, more generally angry, quicker to find and cherish sadness, and celebrate goodness in my middle age. It's all good, as the young kids say. Sort of. At least I seem to have a middle age. The late and much-missed David Rakoff, whose sweet eyes and tender face haunts those who loved him, died at 47 after doing more with the life he had than most. Reminds me of that line by another humane, whip-smart, genius wit, Tom Lehrer, who said, lamenting how little he had accomplished (he'd in fact accomplished quite a lot), that when Mozart was his age he'd already been dead two years. That's funny! Rakoff's brilliance falls into that same category of gleeful, generous, self-deprecating if also fool-skewering wise-guy which includes Lehrer, SJ Perelman, W.S. Gilbert, all favorites whose vigorous embrace of language broke the stranglehold on it by so many very stupid people and challenged the rest of us to do better, speak better, read better, maybe even be better.
My book shares its title with a December 2004 obituary I wrote for this paper about Webb's suicide and how what should have been the greatest story of his career backfired, ruined his reputation, and ultimately drove him out of daily journalism.