Makin’ Whoopee With Eddie Cantor

He’s not a household name today (though his character appears in episodes of “Boardwalk Empire”), but Eddie Cantor was the original renaissance man of the entertainment world in the early 20th century, conquering vaudeville, Broadway, records, Hollywood, radio and TV. Cantor began in vaudeville in 1907 in New York, moved to the Great White Way […]

A Real Hollywood Flop

Developers of The Millennium Project in Hollywood are proposing to build two 50+ story twin skyscrapers — one on each side of the 12-story historic Capitol Records Building. It is designed to have over 400 apartments, 100,000 sq. feet of office space, as well as restaurants, sports center, a 200 room hotel, and retail space. […]

Washington’s Fiscal Shenanigans: Americans Take It on the Chin … Again

  The People Fight Back: Storming the Tuileries (Paris), 1793 (Jacques Bertaux)   Once again, the L.A. Times’ Michael Hiltzik has come to the defense of the middle and lower classes as the wealthy and corporate empowered special interests still call the tunes in Washington. Under the headline “The middle class languishes as the super-rich […]

The People Speak: Howard Zinn

With the death on January 27 of historian Howard Zinn (author of “A People’s History of the United States,” the first book to present American history through the eyes of working people rather than political and economic elites), we wanted to call to your attention the release of Zinn’s DVD “The People Speak” on February […]

Save the Century Plaza Hotel

On June 23, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson attended a $500-a-plate Democratic Party fundraiser at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City.  A peaceful anti-Vietnam War demonstration assembled outside the hotel; I was one among approximately 10,000  protesters — representing groups ranging from Another Mother for Peace to Students for a Democratic Society to Trotsky […]

Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music

Hey ex-Hippies: It’s time to set your soul free again (“We are stardust, we are golden”). This year marks yet another benchmark for aging hipsters: the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. Though I was unable to attend the event ( I did, however, attend a few other benchmark musical events, including the first L.A. concerts of […]

More Yearend Tidings

The Falsies This year marks the Center for Media and Democracy’s fifth annual Falsies Awards. The Falsies are the non-partisan group’s attempt to shine an unflattering light on those responsible for polluting the information environment during the past year. According to the group: “Don’t think this is an award in name only. Heavens no! Falsies […]

2008 Toppers

As 2008 drew to a close and 2009 began, we were inundated with Top 10 lists (movies, TV shows, books, etc.) and while we get tired of all the ballyhooing of the “tops” in the entertainment world, there are some lists we thoroughly enjoy. Below is a sample. Let’s kick things off with: The 10 […]

The Smothers Are Back

One of the offbeat highlights of the late-1960s was “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” an hourly variety show that debuted in February 1967 on CBS. Showcasing the talents of irreverent folk-singer/comedians the Smothers Brothers (who had a bevy of folk-tinged musical/comedy album hits in the 60s), the show quickly morphed from a “hip” version of […]

Sputnik at 50

History changed on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. The world’s first artificial satellite was about the size of a basketball, weighed only 183 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. That launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments. While […]

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