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Erin Aubry Kaplan

Schooling the Schools

Denise Ochoa says the fall semester started out unlike any other she had ever experienced at South Gate High School. A senior with college aspirations, she was primed for serious classes and expected to spend most of her time trying to ace her final year so that she could get......

Into the Jaws of the Demon

Photo by Ted SoquiThe most arresting moment in Price Cobbs’ recently published My American Life: From Rage to Entitlement is not exactly what you’d call dramatic. In fact, it’s commonplace, one more bit of negative space in a collective history of negative spaces. It is the late 1940s and Cobbs......

Hanging the Witness

The westernmost end of world-famous Melrose Avenue is quiet and almost cloistered, its few blocks of terribly haute but homey boutiques and galleries making for a pleasant, if surreal, pause along the gilded border of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. One of these spaces is the MB Fine Art Gallery......

Destination: Freedom

Rosa Parks couldn’t have died at a better moment. A nation atomized and nearly asphyxiated in the 21st century by political, economic, cultural, racial and judicial factions — a nation no one predicted lay in wait 50 years past the moment Parks started a revolution of conscience in 1955 —......

Dressed To ’Ill

With its announcement of new rules about what players may wear off court as representatives of the game, the NBA is having a Bill Cosby moment. Many people assume the league is reacting to the historically nasty melee between players and fans during a game in Detroit last year that......

Schwarze in the Family

It was a lovely party, and a rarefied occasion: Aunt Tillie’s 95th birthday. Tillie, my husband’s great-aunt, is petite, with a perfect coif, thick-lens glasses and a sunny nature that warmed me the moment I met her. Just before Alan and I got married, she invited us to her 90th......

Native in a Stranger’s Land

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, but the first time I really saw it was after a trip to Paris in 1986, when I was 24. I had been in France two months and, lovely as the experience had been, was eager to get home. It was June......

The Distant Present

(Photo by Debra DiPaolo)Norman Klein is a pre-eminent L.A.-ologist and the author of the seminal The History of Forgetting (1997, Verso). He lives in Highland Park and is a professor of critical studies at CalArts. His fifth book, Freud at Coney Island and Other Tales, is due later this year......

Hard Lesson

Just when it looked like there were no more ironies left to illuminate in the deaccreditation story of Crenshaw High School, here’s the latest: the once overflowing campus is now so underpopulated that up to 20 teachers may be reassigned elsewhere. Underpopulated is not quite the right word. Sure, the......

Hello, Mr. Soule

Stick around while the clown who is sick does the trick of disaster — Neil Young, “Mr. Soul” After a numbing week and a half of wall-to-wall CNN and MSNBC post-hurricane coverage, first thing in the morning and last thing at night, I could bear no more reality of the......