TUNDRANAUTICA

Bringing Home the Freshest Kill

Posts in the Los Angeles category

Via the Twitter.

Frank Sinatra letter to the Los Angeles Times in 1990, addressing George Michael‘s whininess about fame.

frank

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  • Andrew Kirell — No, The Actual Libertarian Movement Didn’t ‘Go Nuts’ — It’s Just The One Inside Bill Maher’s Head: “[Libertarians] do have our share of thoughtful radicals, but the majority of [us] are generally pragmatic when it comes to policy. For instance, many of us believe pollution controls are necessary in situations where the market cannot effectively produce the best outcome. Either way, painting libertarians as dark-hearted souls wanting to revert mankind into some Thunderdome-like anarchic existence is just as silly as saying liberals’ ultimate goal is a barren wasteland full of Stalin-esque labor camps and thought police.”
  • J.D. TuccilleWhy I’m Teaching My Son to Break the Law: “Personally, I would say that I love liberty more than any other value, and I don’t give a damn if my neighbors or the state disagree. I will be free, and I’m willing to help others be free, if they want my assistance. Screw any laws to the contrary.”
  • Jim GoadLanguage as an Assault Weapon: “A huge quotient of the seemingly endless cultural and ideological wars hinges on how terms are defined. Those who claim authority to declare what words mean are able to shape public thinking like a sculptor molds clay. Although facts — which are what news organizations are supposed to peddle — seem immutable, words are forever in flux. Both ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ now mean almost the opposite of what they did a century ago.”

English: Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles a...

 

 

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Ruth as Clay Matthews

The lovely Ruth Waytz

Guest-blogger month is in full bloom here.

Check out recent posts by Scott Stein, proprietor of the excellent group blog When Falls the Coliseum, and Ruth Waytz, my super-awesome (as well as mega-awesome) friend from Los Angeles, California.

New stuff is coming from some other talented individuals as well.

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Great photo here of my friend Ruth with L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge (on the right).

Left to right: Ian Wilkie (rare book dealer for Christie’s), Jimmy James, and LA City Councilman Tom LaBonge. And that’s Ruth looking great in the green dress. (Photo courtesy of Ruth and Tia.)

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RIALTO, CA - JUNE 17:  The pool where Rodney K...

RIALTO, CA – JUNE 17: The pool where Rodney King was found dead at the bottom is seen on June 17, 2012 in Rialto, California. King, whose video beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 sparked riots after the acquittal of the four officers involved, was found dead at the age of 47 from an apparent drowning in his swimming pool. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

  • Bruce Upbin: “If you’re feeling anxious about how U.S. kids lag the world in science and math, or just in a funk about politics or the mess in Europe, take in this story of a high school freshman from Crownsville, Md. who came up with a prize-winning breakthrough that could change how cancer and other fatal diseases are diagnosed and treated.” h/t Nancy Rommelmann
  • “By 2052, 40 years from now, a new generation of aircraft could immerse passengers in panoramic views of the clouds. In their imagining of future flight, designers have envisioned fitness centers, theaters, even swimming pools aboard planes. Airbus suggests that by 2050, the biggest planes might resemble cruise ships, with swimming pools, virtual golf, and casinos. For working passengers, the plane will incorporate video and data links to the outside world.”
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Welcome back to “A Borscht-In,” i.e. Guest-Blogger Month here at the site.

Last year’s experiment was so good that there was never any doubt that it warranted an encore performance.

Thus “A Borscht-In II” was conceived, and now it’s finally here —  “Sophomore Year.” From this point forward, everything will be beach parties and sugar plums.

RUTH WAYTZ

Up first in the 2nd Act is the ever-alluring, omni-seraphic and inarguably brilliant Ruth Waytz from Los Angeles, California.

Ruth Waytz

Ruth can be found online here, here and here. Not only is she everything I said and more, she’s also a Green Bay Packers fan, which brings her closer to God than anyone ever in the history of Southern California. (Just joshin” you Californians. Unlike my fellow Oregonians — I actually like the Golden State.)

Ruth’s first installment is about PERFECTION, and I don’t mean the wonderful John Travolta film. Please check out her posts from last year as well, especially “This is What I Want“:

 

UPDATE! A new post from Ruth revisits PERFECTION, and does so with completely beautiful VENOM. A must-read! And Ruth delivers the scoop on her transformation into a football fan here. Good stuff, and I greatly appreciate the props for Clay Matthews.

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DANIEL KALDER

Daniel Kalder

The newest arrival at the Borscht-In is void-wandering Scotsman Daniel Kalder.

I’m excited to have Daniel on-board because he is truly one of my favorite authors. His books Lost Cosmonaut and Strange Telescopes are both stellar. Below is a short review yours truly wrote for Lost Cosmonaut back in May. I hope it offers some insight into D.K.’s considerable literary gifts:

Hilarity, Desolation, and Chess: A Review of Daniel Kalder’s Lost Cosmonaut

I became so enthused about this book that I found myself reading passages aloud to friends. One such passage involves a conversation between the author, Daniel Kalder, and a man named Konstantin, who is Kalder’s liaison to a pagan mystic in Mari El. The two discuss the mundanity of offering some non-descript meat to the gods in an oak grove. It’s a perfect encapsulation of the absurdity that seems to dominate much of Russian life.

Kalder excels at diagramming these types of dry and often humorous exchanges, which is probably difficult to do in estranged Russian lands. A lesser writer might fall prey to one of two tendencies:

Smug, ironic condescension e.g. “Look at this hilarious, f#cked up place and these hilarious, f#cked up people!“; or

Solemn, empathic condescension e.g. “My god, look at these sad, terrible places and grim, empty people.”

Happily, Kalder avoids both traps. He doesn’t settle for “easy.” He milks uncomfortable moments for all they’re worth; he refuses to dress up anti-climax with false cheer; and most impressively, he navigates the nether-voids of these desolate places without succumbing to a pretentious, Nietzsche-ish tone.

Misanthropy? No; that’s an “easy” emotion; there’s more to Lost Cosmonaut than that. This is skilled, clever writing. Kalder sees people as multi-faceted character studies, not simplistic caricatures. Lost Cosmonaut forces the reader to confront the clichéd but true-to-life dilemma of “not wanting the story to end.”

Oh, and it features a journey into the deep, dark underbelly of the global chess scene. All hail Ilyumzhinov!

Daniel’s contribution to the 2010 Borscht-In expounds on an idea that D.K. riffed on with much panache elsewhere this year, i.e. the sentience of his facial hair. I won’t elaborate — doing so would only broadcast my clumsiness while robbing D.K.’s post of the double kick-drum power it deftly wields. Instead, I provide direct linkage — straight to the source:

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Thanks to everyone for participating and/or reading. It is great fun. (And if you want to join the fray, click here. There is still plenty of time, and I’m fine with entries bleeding over into the New Year.)

— Mike/Iced Borscht, December 2010

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Raquel Welch is Gorgeous

Amorous Ephemera

Big Athletica

  • Does Brett Favre’s invulnerability, and the endless agony it puts him through in terms of retirement choices, make him Faust? (Pal Rob introduced this theory to me last night.)

Cosmonautica

Deep-Fried Dystopia

Divine Illumination

I’ll Show You the Life of the Mind!

  • Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking.” — Jessamyn West

Look at That Pussy!

The Road to Hell is Paved With Misspent Tax Dollars

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It’s a Borscht-In!

Ruth Waytz

First let me say how honored and thrilled I am to be included in such a prestigious yet non-gastronomical event.

Yes, I’m afraid no borscht will be served. At least not by me.

That said, and by way of introduction, I’ll clue you in on my overall theme: that this is The Year Everything Changes — and summarize the words of a fellow I met this year.

He claims the ability to “read” people, and after a few short minutes of
deep, silent staring and a bit of throat-clearing, he said he’d got me entirely figured out.

“You’re the Trickster God, aren’t you,” he said. “You just want to show the whole world the joke.”

And you know what? He’s right. He was probably just trying to get into my pants, but he was actually right. My deal, if I have one, is certainly to point things out, or at very least to express them in ways you never saw them before.

So get ready. December is just begun and I’ve got the proverbial Good News and Bad News: this horrible fantastic surprising relentless eff’d up awesome year ain’t over yet.

Ruth Waytz

Catch me spouting the provocative and the insane, pretty much weekly, on The Filter. Los Angeles is my home.

A BORSCHT-IN 2009

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