North of Hollywood

Peter Winkler

Peter Winkler
North Hollywood, California,
December 14
Peter Winkler is the author of Dennis Hopper: The Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel (Barricade Books, 2011). Filmmaker Philippe Mora writes, "I knew Dennis Hopper in his wild days and his sober days, and this book captures the man in his many incarnations. Winkler's deeply researched biography of Hopper is the definitive book on this live wire who lived on the high wire." Winkler has written for a variety of publications, including Filmfax, The Huffington Post, and Playboy. Winkler graduated with honors from the University of California, Los Angeles.


MAY 11, 2010 8:16PM

Beavis and Butthead Really Exist

Literary blogger Ed Champon presents a compendium of links to literary podcasts today. On his list is a podcast titled "Read It and Weep: The Podcast about crappy books, movies, and TV."

It sounds promising. It isn't. I listened to a few minutes of their reviews of the books… Read full post »

MAY 6, 2010 1:53PM

Why Superhero Films Suck

Film critic Matt Zoller Seitz writes a fanboy's wet dream of an essay explaining why films adapted from superhero comics aren't good, but expends several thousand words without ever identifying the real problem.

Superhero films, which is a genre that I'm enlarging to include films with characters lik… Read full post »

The mainstream media are whirling dervishly to turn the actions of an incompetent malcontent into yet another example of the supposed global network of Muslim terrorists lurking around every corner ready at any moment to destroy Freedom and Goodness because they are Evil and hate us because we are Go… Read full post »

The US has about 2% of the world's oil resources. We consume 20% of available oil. Even if we tapped all the unexploited resources available, we couldn't meet our current needs.

Offshore oil drilling has now proven to be a spectacular folly, but even if it could be done safely, it… Read full post »

People want the benefits of allowing illegal immgrants do their dirty work at below minimum wages, bereft of minimal benefits and job safety working some of the most dangerous, filthy jobs like slaughtering cattle. But we prefer them to be otherwise invisible and become outraged at the social costs o… Read full post »

Yesterday, Earth Day, actress Sigourney Weaver testified before the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on the topic of ocean acidification.

I happened to hear a snippet of her testimony on the radi… Read full post »

APRIL 21, 2010 12:20PM

James Dean

Here's James Dean before he made his three major films. Elia Kazan, who cast Dean in East of Eden, wrote in his autobiography that he disliked Dean. He also said Dean was a purely instinctive actor with no technique. This excerpt from one of Dean's TV roles clearly disproves…

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APRIL 16, 2010 3:41PM

The Secret Life of Images


I have recently become rather fascinated with what freeze frames from videos of famous people seem to reveal about their character. I intended to start grabbing and collecting some of these images before, but never got around to it before. I find this image of Bill O'Reilly's gaping maw… Read full post »

APRIL 16, 2010 12:55PM

A Publishing Guru's Empty Talk

I like Nash's demeanor and his way of speaking, but what he says doesn't seem to amount to very much. You don't sell books, he says, to make money from book sales, but to create brand value. How then do you monetize your brand value? By affixing it to…

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APRIL 15, 2010 2:38PM

A Modest Tax Proposal

To tea baggers, conservatives and others who whine about how they are overtaxed, I make a proposal.

You will no longer have to pay taxes if you agree to the following contract: I agree never to utilize  any public or governmental resources or services, since they are funded by taxes. Here… Read full post »

APRIL 6, 2010 3:43PM

iPad vs. Reality


  Read full post »

APRIL 6, 2010 3:28PM

iPad vs. Reality

MARCH 31, 2010 10:43PM


This article is making the rounds of some writer's blogs. Several years ago, a literary agent named Mark Reiter approached writer Steve Almond to contribute to a nonfiction anthology Reiter and writer Richard Sandomir were compiling. Steve Almond reproduces his correspondence with Reiter, wherein Rei… Read full post »

MARCH 31, 2010 4:43PM

Ron Paul, Le Grande Kook

"Getting down to the last two questions here... Most people consider Abe Lincoln to be one of our greatest presidents, if not the greatest president we've ever had. Would you agree with that sentiment and why or why not?

No, I don't think he was one of… Read full post »

MARCH 31, 2010 4:29PM

Kool-Aid Democrats

Stupid Enough Unexplanation:

"He's not wrong, from a tactical sense at least. But of course I hope that Republican Party fails to heed his advice; since as dissappointing as Obama has been, he's still far better than any Republican would be."

Political affiliations are acts of religious faith.… Read full post »

MARCH 28, 2010 4:36PM

10 Memorable Books Plus One

Not life changing, but entertaining and sometimes thought provoking.

 Jack Woodford. Why Write a Novel? Woodford is now forgotten. He was once a prolific author of novels and short stories marked by their erotic content, which is imposible to discern today. He had a lucrative sideline in writing… Read full post »

MARCH 26, 2010 4:41PM

Clowns to the Right of Me

Just now (1:30 PM PST), I tuned in to Michael Medved's radio show. His guest was someone named Stephen Baldwin (not the actor), who has started an impeach Obama campaign. Earlier, Medved had on Michelle Bachman, who he treated like a VIP. Discussing impeachment, Medved said that Richard Nixon resigne… Read full post »

MARCH 25, 2010 4:15PM

David Frum Follow-Up

I wrote about David Frum here two days ago. Frum had written a column stating correctly that the Republicans' failed attempt to obstruct the passage of the health care insurance reform bill would their political undoing. I pointed out that Frum almost seemed reasonable, until he let fly with the usua… Read full post »

Philip Wylie is barely remembered today, but he was a highly popular author of fiction and nonfiction from the '30s to the early '60s. Many boys cut their science fiction teeth on his perennial classic When Worlds Collide. Wylie hit it big with Generation of Vipers, his bestselling 1942… Read full post »

MARCH 23, 2010 8:07PM

David Frum Almost Made Sense

David Frum almost seems reasonable, until the key sentence that I've emphasized.


I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information,… Read full post »
MARCH 23, 2010 7:08PM

Republicans, the Party of Cruelty

James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency, hits the nail on he head in describing the current Republican party:


I hope that Mr. Obama's party can carry this message clearly into the electoral battles ahead, painting the Republican opposition for what it is: a gang of hypocritical,… Read full post »
MARCH 22, 2010 2:57PM

The Black Cloud View of History

OSer David Cox writes,


We have in this country a wave of counter intellectualism. It’s not cool to be informed. Let’s talk about Lady Gaga or who is sleeping with whose wife or husband. Let’s talk about who is gay or what happened on "American Idol."… Read full post »

Despite my liberal politics, I've never liked Michael Moore. He's always struck me as a gross, shambolic opportunist who uses a variety of theatrical shticks to sell his often manipulative documentaries.

But his commentary today in The Daily Beast had a level of anguished sincerity that touched me.&n… Read full post »

Dennis Kucinich was against the health care reform bill, not just because it lacked a public option, but for a variety of other reasons, summed up as it being a bad piece of legislation. Then Obama descended from the clouds over Ohio and gave Kucinich a personal audience. Now, Kucinich turns… Read full post »

There was a Congressional resolution put forward by Dennis Kucinich that the U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan that was recetly debated and defeated. At one point, Rep. Patrick Kennedy stood up and raged over the fact that the media was obsesed 24/7 with former Rep. Eric Maasa's gropegate scandal in a t… Read full post »