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Joe Lapin

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Work ... it's something we are told we have to do. We're not allowed to spend a week staring into the Pacific Ocean to watch dolphins slice in and out of waves among the surfers; we're not allowed to waste a day on the job, taking naps and staring into......

Do You Schmear What I Schmear?

We all know that on Christmas, pagans are at Alice Cooper's house, sacrificing chickens. But where do Jews go on Christmas? Where do all the people congregate who hate being molested by their Aunt Barbara underneath the mistletoe? Who will take in the lost souls of Christmas? Oh cruel world,......

A Tubular Christmas Story

Every Christmas, you watch the same old movies — A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street, and A Christmas Carol. Don't you think it's about time for some modernized Christmas performances? Instead of Ralphie begging his parents for a BB gun, let's change the scenario by making him ask his......

Living the Vida La De Da

Think of the great pairings of the past 50 years — Jordan and Pippen; Lennon and McCartney; peanut butter and jelly. You can't seem to imagine one without the other, and then you're probably mixing peanut butter with bananas or something crazy like that. And one of these great combinations......

Ba-Freaking Humbug

"You want me to do what to the toilets?" Many artists and writers start out their careers by working jobs that are humiliating and demoralizing, just so that during the night these brave rebel artists can rage against the dying of the light by working on their craft, firing paint......

Ladies & Gentlemen, Funnyman David Sedaris!

"A pair of jumper cables walk into a bar," David Sedaris says to a packed crowd. "The jumper cables order a Canadian Club. Bartender looks at the jumper cables and says, 'Okay pal, just don't going starting anything.'" Crowd goes wild with laughter. Since Woody Allen started getting serious with......

All the Shades and Shadows of Gray

When an artist channels his autobiography as a medium for creation, it becomes difficult to separate the art from the artist's life. It's like looking at your reflection in a mirror while peering through a kaleidoscope. Look at Van Gogh and his hallucinatory self-portraits, or Hemingway using Nick Adams as......

Mean People Will Always Suck

Los Angeles is filled with artistic and theatrical-minded people who care more about an old consignment-shop T-shirt or a tattered Silver Surfer comic book than about a high school football game or prom. And, honestly, back in high school, most of us probably were nerds. We were the kids who......

The Pen Is Mightier

Without the struggle to bring banned books to the world, this weekly would not be able to print the following words — tits, cock-and-balls, menstruation. Without Lawrence Ferlinghetti's fight in the Supreme Court over the publication of Allen Ginsberg's Howl, Family Guy probably wouldn't be able to show Peter and......

Best City Ready For Its Literary Close-up

When outsiders think of Los Angeles' art scene, the silver screen comes straight to mind — plus fake breasts and red-carpet events. But Los Angeles is also an amazing literary city, which lacks the same pomp and silicon as cinema. Think about it. We have amazing bookstores like Book Soup,......