All posts by tookie

Fire Threatens Mt. Wilson Observatory, but Legacy Remains in No One May Ever Have The Same Knowledge Again

Courtesy Museum of Jurassic Technology
From Museum of Jurassic Technology

Mount Wilson Road closed today at 6 a.m. after U.S. Forest Service authorities determined that the roaring fires could reach the mountain’s peak. Several radio towers for local broadcast outlets, as well as the historic Mt. Wilson Observatory, sit atop the 5,710-foot peak. The fate of the over-a-century-old facility is uncertain, but the importance of the observatory is undeniable. Designed by turn of the 19th century astronomer George Hale, who coined the term “astrophysics,” the Observatory realigned the way people viewed mankind as it related to the universe. Like the heliocentric model of Copernicus, which obliterated the concept of an Earth-centered universe, Hale’s experiments opened up the aperture on a more complex existence, where humans were perhaps as insignificant as tiny stars adrift in night sky. For some, astronomy struck at the heart of religion, while for others, gazing starward offered an ultimate advance in the search for God. The Museum of Jurassic Technology displays the epistemological questions, theories of God’s location, and Martian dreams sent on hotel stationery, postcards, and sloppily typed letters to Hale and the astronomers of the Observatory in the exhibit, No One May Ever Have The Same Knowledge Again: Letters to Mount Wilson Observatory.

Continue reading Fire Threatens Mt. Wilson Observatory, but Legacy Remains in No One May Ever Have The Same Knowledge Again

Pot Dispensary Ablaze, Funyons and Cherry Garcia Requested


Let the puns begin.

According to NPR via the AP, a Westchester dispensary lit up this morning.

A fire has damaged a Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensary but no injuries are reported.

Fire Capt. Steve Ruda says the fire was reported at about 5:30 a.m. Monday at the Westchester Collective on the second floor of a two-story commercial building in the Westchester area. The building also houses several other businesses.

It took 69 firefighters an hour to extinguish the blaze.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

How many firefighters? This was obviously written by Beavis and/or Butthead.

Drew’s theory: Joint ember into pizza grease.

What do you think?

Baudrillard and Disneyland

On the Inability of a  French Post-Modernist to Enjoy the Magic Kingdom

Micky Mouse by Ralph Steadman

At least once every 365 days, I take some time out of my life to visit Disneyland. This week, I journeyed back into Magic Kingdom to exploit the fruits of a free birthday pass (I turned 14), and titillate my insatiable addiction to churro smell (not taste). So, while wandering around the all-too-real reality of Disneyland’s stroller-pushing, teenaged mothers and churro-eating masses, I, of course, remembered the words of my, and undoubtedly your, favorite postmoderist, poststructuralist Frenchie philosopher, Jean Baudrillard:

Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real, when in fact all of Los Angeles and the America surrounding it are no longer real, but of the order of the hyperreal and of simulation.

The late Baudrillard apparently had a complicated time at D-Land–he even calls the parking lot a concentration camp– but he penned this (perhaps pretentiously) hilarious treatise on the why Disneyland is, like, soooo PoMo. I’ve posted the short excerpt from Simulacra and Simulations after the jump. If only Baudrillard was able to experience fully the Russian doll, So-Cal microcosm of California Adventure…

Put this in your pipe and smoke it…

Continue reading Baudrillard and Disneyland

Fischerspooner “Performs”

When Pretentious NYC Electroclashers Fake Sing and/or Burgeon with Ennui


Remember electroclash? It was that musical burp that crept onto the scene at the turn of the millennium, then went the way of the buffalo. Or did it? Like spotting a sasquatch in a heavily wooded area, Fischerspooner appeared at the Avalon and revealed that electroclash still exists, just in a slightly older, more rotund manner. Continue reading Fischerspooner “Performs”

Culver City Fire at La Cienega

Fire in Culver City / Drew Tewksbury
Fire in Culver City / Drew Tewksbury

At about 7:15pm a fire broke out in the dried out brush adjacent to the concrete corridor of the Ballona Creek near La Cienega in Culver City. Witnesses say that the fire was started by a young man who they described as Latino. Two young girls reported that the man left his bike behind and walked up the side of the brush. “We thought that he was just going to start tagging,” one young person said, “but then he started the fire and threw his backpack into it.”

Police and firefighters responded to the scene, cutting through a fence with an electric saw and dousing the flames after the fire had consumed a palm tree and an area of about 50 feet. By 8:15pm the firefighters contained the fire.

Cinco de Sultry

Vigilantly Posted at the Intersection of Chickenmen, Hula Hoopists, and Buxom Tassle Twirlers

Photograph by Michelle Lanz
Photograph by Michelle Lanz

Cinco de Mayo has never looked better than on the stage of Lucha Va Voom, the mindblowing spectacle that squeezes masked Mexican wrestling (Lucha Libre) and sultry burlesque dancing onto one stage at the historic Mayan theater. There is no sensation quite like the swell of pride that happens when full-grown men (and a mini-man) dressed as chickens attack skeleton-suited hombres (and a mini-hombre) as the announcer proudly proclaims: Welcome to Los Angeles… Continue reading Cinco de Sultry

Dance Face (Don’t Let it Happen to you)

Regarding the Contortions of the Face that Occasionally Happen Whilst Dancing

Dance Face

In booths and against the walls, chic-looking fashionistas and Hollywood types leaned and looked around the Bar Marmont. Like a lion/ess gazing across the Serengeti, each leaner surveyed the room, searching for any sign of stylistic weakness in other Gucci-shoed peeps in the pack. After all, this was, allegedly, a “cool event:” the private listening party for Diplo (aka MIA’s ex-boyfriend) and Switch’s (an English DJ) project Major Lazer (an aural ode to Jamaica). But when the music started and the leaning stopped, the dance floor filled with (sorta) writhing bodies each afflicted with the same syndrome: Dance Face… Continue reading Dance Face (Don’t Let it Happen to you)

Photographer Shawn Mortensen, RIP

I know I promised a post on My Bloody Valentine’s concert last night, but I just received word that Shawn Mortensen, the photographer responsible for some of the most iconic images of the 1990’s, has died.

The details are uncertain as of yet, but it is confirmed that Mortensen has passed on. Sources close to him say that a memorial service will be held soon.

Mortensen was an instigator and a scribe of the 90’s art, culture, and music movements. He photographed Snoop Dogg, when the gangsta rapper was only 19. He cataloged the Zapatista uprising, and introduced Rage Against the Machine to their struggle. He watched AIDS decimate the artist populations of NYC and LA.

In 2007, I met Mortensen. We chatted about his life and place at the epicenter of 90’s art and music. He was supposed to write an article for LA’s Flaunt magazine, where I worked at the time, about his life, but instead of an article, he gave me a 22 page stream of consciousness, impressionist brushstoke of his experiences. .. Continue reading Photographer Shawn Mortensen, RIP

Sexy Wrestling Pirates

A Post-Facto Sexy Wrestling Pirate Review

Girlie girl Catfight

THE PIRATE craze of the early 2000’s has died down. The pirates vs. ninjas debate has long been settled by nose-wiping, light-avoiding digital dorm rats years ago. But what happens when pirates take on pirates? For the edification of your eyes (and brainhole) I present to you the second part in the Metalheads Vs. Pirates debate: The Girlie Girl Catfight Show…

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Metalheads vs. Pirates

A Side-by-Side Comparison of Los Angeles’ Metalhead and Pirate Populations

Apple + Tree
Apple / Tree

There’s many reasons that I love Los Angeles. It’s the place where driving 40 minutes for a $1.25 taco isn’t unheard of; where the rumble of jets taking off makes beach bonfires more charming; and where one can experience a metalhead explosion and sexy female pirate wrestling, just days apart…

That’s right, I’m talking about the Revolver Golden Gods metal awards and Lucha Vavoom’s Girlie Girl Catfight.

As a quick two part love note to this fair city I present to you, Metalheads vs. Pirates…

Continue reading Metalheads vs. Pirates