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Sunday, October 22, 2017

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By V
For a vast majority of the Western world, Santa Claus is an essential figure in our upbringing. I know that, as a child, I’d spend the wee hours of Christmas Eve in my pajamas, on the windowsill, nose pressed hard to the glass, inspired by holiday season, television viewing, desperate to catch a glimpse of Father Christmas clamoring around on our roof top (despite the fact that we did not have a chimney – like every other house nearly astride the Equator). But times have changed. My parents told me that Santa wasn’t real and half hearted, counter-corporate culture activists told me that... Read More
By V
It's 10:30 pm at the Hotel Cafe, tucked away down a back alley off Cahuenga in Hollywood. A back door opposite a concrete car park is being manned by an uncharacteristically approachable looking doorman. Inside, critically acclaimed, independent, Australian Singer/ Songwriter, Matt Ellis and his band are about to step on stage. It's such a dark, sexy, atmospheric room this one (the only thing thankfully missing is a smoke haze). The deep, wood-paneled walls arranged in that tasteful, art-deco fashion, floorboards underfoot and cast-iron, Moroccan, sculpted spheres - like jewelry hanging from the... Read More
On December 15, 2006, the Reuters News Service reported that the word “macaca” had been named the most politically incorrect word of 2006 by the Global Language Monitor organization. The word was used by Republican Senator George Allen during the run-up to the November mid-term election in reference to a Democratic activist. The word is supposedly a racial, derogatory term, yet prior to its use by Senator Allen, very few people in America had ever heard the term. Research into the etymology of the word reveals “macaca” is a genus of primates which includes the rhesus monkey. No legitimate... Read More
Last weekend I had the pleasure of seeing, hearing and feeling Damien Rice in concert at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. This concert will forever rank in my top five concert-going experiences. If the opportunity comes your way, I highly recommend checking out Damien Rice and his band in person not just for his amazing integrity in his craft but for the chance to find some peace in whatever makes you sad. I have to admit my love for Damien’s music may be intensified by the manner and timing of which it was introduced to me. Every time I hear his voice or Lisa’s, (female vocalist... Read More
Many Angelenos will start celebrating Hannukah this coming Friday. Here are a few interesting ideas for things to do. For those of you who feel like brushing up on your holiday cooking (and being a little of a couch latke), you might want to check out the Food Network's Sara's Secrets on Thursday December 14th at 10:00am. The show will offer some easy recipes, including Red-Wine Braised Beef Brisket with Horseradish Sauce and Aunt Rifka's Apple Fritters. For those of you caught in 405 traffic on your way to the menorah lighting, you can get into the holiday spirit by tuning into XM Satellite... Read More

We tried to figure out where the person was coming from who uttered this phrase to her. All we could come up with was fear of the unknown, fear of the misunderstood. In further conversation, we discussed the ensuing war being waged for this holiday season. I use the word war, because this is the word being used by some to describe Christian's belief that there is an effort to eliminate Christmas. I am not so sure of its being an eradication of Christmas as much as an effort to include the other religions that make up the fabric of our society. In an effort to include all faiths, a simple... Read More

You would think America's beloved comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, would distance himself as far as possible from a racist hatemonger and aficionado of the lynching of African-Americans. But no, and no one seems to care. Except, well, me, apparently, because I believe Jerry Seinfeld has been let off the hook much too easily because he's Jerry Seinfeld. Over three weeks ago, Michael Richards, who is "Kramer" on the TV juggernaut "Seinfeld," called for the murder of four African-American audience members for "interrupting a white man" (his terminology, check the tape), and chased them out of the Laugh... Read More

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