More than Sunshine

California – PhotoBotos.com

California’s diverse landscapes, cultures, and biomes are one of the state’s most attractive features. The beauty we see around us is more than just sunshine, surf, and (movie) stars, cultural memes notwithstanding.

We owe a debt of gratitude, then, to those who have the eye and patience to capture California at its finest. While many of us try (including those of us here at the Golden West Review,) PhotoBotos offers a cache of some truly remarkable photos, including some scenes (like the Yosemite Firefall) that are bits of unremembered history.

Take a look and enjoy.

Advertisements

Iconoclasts in the Big Valley

Duncan West speaking with Cesar Chavez. The De...
Cesar Chavez (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Madness of Cesar Chavez – Magazine – The Atlantic.

In a thoughtful review, Caitlin Flanagan works through the psychic shock that much of our state will experience as it grapples with the dark side of farm labor icon Cesar Chavez. Flanagan reviews Miriam Pawel’s iconoclastic recounting of the movement that culminated in the formation of the United Farm Workers union.

Chavez did some fine work, but the myth that has grown around him is less history than a form of secular veneration. Pawel’s effort has not been undertaken to demonize Chavez, but to do justice to the people who counted on Chavez to better their lives.

For some, this will be the story of a revolution left incomplete by the megalomania of its leader. For others, it will confirm long-held suspicions about the true nature of the UFW. For all of us, it will recast a critical period of California history, forcing us to reexamine the history and plight of the people who make our agriculture industry possible.

A moving read.

Lady Gaga: The Art and the Business

Los Angeles is, once more and as it has been many times in its past, on the cusp of a new age. Whether that age will be a good one for the city, or will witness its decline, is up to us all.

Lady Gaga holding a speech at National Equalit...
Lady Gaga (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is much to keep, and much to be changed. One of the things that needs to change is the hubris in our entertainment industry.

Lady Gaga, never my favorite performer (but that’s preference) and a permanent New Yorker, had a fair point in her 2010 profile in Vanity Fair:

The biggest change in her life, despite her earlier remarks to me about loving sunlight and sitting on her porch and driving around L.A., is that Gaga now hates Hollywood. “I hate Hollywood,” she says. “I got rid of my place, and I’m coming back to spend more time in New York. Everyone in Hollywood is so awful, and awful to me; everyone just wants you to fail. There’s no fervor for the fantasy of music anymore. It’s all about No. 1s and who’s on iTunes, and [while] I’m on iTunes and I’m No. 1, I still care about the fervor of show business and music and womanhood.”

I love LA. And she is not wrong. It is time for LA to go post-Hollywood, or for Hollywood to find its soul again.

Los Angeles Review of Books Moves to a New Site

Los Angeles Review of Books –.

Just as we have, the Los Angeles Review of Books has grown beyond its origins on Tumblr, and has now built a fantastic website at the above link. If you have not yet found LARB, you are in for a true delight.

Congratulations, LARB!

A Walk Down BRAC Street

A Walk Down BRAC Street

A deserted company street at Fort Ord, California. Once the thriving home of the U.S. 7th Infantry Division, the base was a victim of post-Cold War draw-downs that were part of the demilitarization of California.

A Walk Down BRAC Street

A deserted company street at Fort Ord, California. Once the thriving home of the U.S. 7th Infantry Division, the base was a victim of post-Cold War draw-downs that were part of the demilitarization of California.