Mama Irene Mural

The street art in my neighborhood is good.

There’s always something wild at the Taschen store.

This one I walk by all the time, and I got to wondering, who is Mama Irene?

Some local Latina community leader?  Is she wearing gardening clothes?  A pioneering urban farmer?

Seen here with my colleague Ted for scale:

Turns out, this is the mother of EDM impresario and Electric Daisy Carnival founder Pasquale Rotella:


The mural was unveiled after Mama Irene’s funeral at nearby Hollywood Forever cemetery.  It was commissioned by Kaskade.

Raddon is married and has three children. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[30]

Mystery of the Joshua Tree Missing Hikers

Early on Thursday, July 27, these two people entered Joshua Tree National Park.

At 4:50 pm that day, there was a ping from the guy’s cell phone that put them in the park.

That was a darn hot day in the park:

On Friday, July 28, says The Hi Desert Star, the person who took care of the Air BnB where they were supposed to be checked out :

The car was found near the Maze Loop trailhead, one of the closest trails to the West Entrance of the park:

With terrain:


Here it is on Tom Harrison’s map:

For perspective, here is the whole park, which is, in our nation’s tiredest comparison, almost as big as Rhode Island:

All the more tragic to think these folks weren’t too far from a road.  The Maze Loop looks like this:

It’s trippy and weird and spooky and cool:

The trail is pretty well marked but it’s easy to get lost if it’s a hundred degrees and you’re out of water.

All day that Saturday, July 29, there were helicopters over the park.

Walking along the northern edge of the park that evening I ran into a search and rescue team, who told me the troubling tale of the missing hikers. They had crossed up from the trailhead looking for these folks.  They’d found a water bottle, weren’t sure it was related.

There was strange weather in the desert around this time.  On Sunday July 30 a monsoon blew through:

An interesting detail that emerged, again from the Hi Desert Star, that the young man had been out to the park a few weeks before, on “a scouting trip,” with a friend who could now not be found because he was in Japan.

“Interesting,” I thought.

Perhaps someday they would be found alive like this lost couple.

Time passed.

The search was downgraded from “search and rescue” to “search and recovery.”

But the persistent searchers, including the missing man’s father, kept at it.

On Sunday, Oct. 15:

The cause of death was a twist: gunshot wounds.

A curious case.

The absolute source I would want to get on this story would be Desert Oracle, and wouldn’t you know it, Desert Oracle radio came in with a strong take.  Let me encourage you to listen to Desert Oracle, Episode 12, to which I award a spontaneous Helytimes Prize for Best Podcast Episode, California Division, 2017.

You can subscribe to Desert Oracle print quarterly here, and at $25, you’re crazy not to.

Trump: Our First Mexican President

An inflammatory clickbait headline but I have a point.

Excerpt from Trump’s presidential announcement speech, as transcribed by Time:

Did he say “they’re rapists” or “their rapists,” as in “they’re bringing crime, their rapists”?

The latter seems to me the kind of way Trump talks.  We in the media (everybody) hurt the anti-Trump cause if we do anything that could remotely be considered exaggerating.  It’s not necessary, the person who gave this speech obvi shouldn’t be President, whether he said “they’re rapists” or “their rapists.”  Why not give him any margin calls to avoid accusations of unfairness?

Whatever — the point is Trump’s candidacy was driven by fear of Mexico / Mexicans, South America and Latin America.

Concern that the Anglo-Protestant tradition of America was about to be overwhelmed or subsumed or at least weakened by a Mexico-Catholic-Hispanic tradition is as old as Anglo-Protestants and Hispanic-Catholics sharing a continent I reckon.  It’s a theme in this book, for instance.

My suggestion here is that what could be more Latin American than electing a bullying gangster/businessman who talks like this?:

Trump might build a wall, but Latin American style politics has come to us.

My Chilean buddy mentioned that when he saw Trump at the U. N., he thought, “oh he’s Chavez.”

One of the reasons why Mexico sucks is their presidents have been guys like Trump: nepotistic bully-gangsters who care about nothing but enriching themselves, their family, their idiot sons-in-law, and creating enough chaos and division that the “order” appears necessary.

Pinochet of Chile

Something I tried to get at in my book

is that Los Angeles is at least as much a part of the South American world as it is a part of the Anglo world.

It’s the northernmost city in South America, as much a part of this world:

and this world

as it is of this world

and this world

This doesn’t have to be bad, duh.  It’s part of why Los Angeles is one of the most dynamic, exciting, creative, and appealing places in the country.  (That along with trans-Pacific partnership, which Trump is also fouling up.)

Trump voters should be less worried about Latin Americans coming here, and more worried about a Latin American-style president.

Worry less about Mexicans, and more a breakdown into Mexican style corruption, disregard for rule of law, one party rule, and a generally more cruel, ugly, hopeless and depressing politics.

Worry less about Mexicans coming here, and more about the United States becoming more like Mexico.

Trump voters should be doing a lotta things different, if you ask me!

Blythe Intaglios

Way out near the border to Arizona are the Blythe Intaglios, California’s answer to the Nazca lines.

You can see them easily on Google Maps.

Intaglio comes from an Italian word: to engrave.

What was the point of these things?

Some researchers hypothesize that the intaglios are stopping points on a keruk pilgrimage or simply the practice of the keruk ceremony at various places.[13] The keruk was a mourning ceremony that was practiced by various Native Americans in southern California. The keruk included the reenactment of the creator’s death and the recognition of the people who had died since the last keruk. Warfare has been offered a possible explanation as to the spread along the Colorado River of ceremonies such as the keruk and the similar style of desert intaglios.[13]

They were first “discovered” by pilots in the ’30s.

I keep meaning to go out there and have a look but it’s like four hours away.


Waterless Places


Dorothea Lange

Three of the four Arnold children. The oldest boy earned the money to buy his bicycle. Western Washington, Thurston County, Michigan Hill.

Let’s look

Child living in Oklahoma City shack town

at a sample

Cotton picker, southern San Joaquin Valley

of the

Woman in pea picker’s camp. California. “I seen our corn dry up and blow over the fence back there in Oklahoma”

8073 or so 

Children of migratory Mexican field workers. The older one helps tie carrots in the field. Coachella Valley, California

Dorothea Lange photos

Pregnant migrant woman living in California squatter camp. Kern County

Japanese mother and daughter, agricultural workers near Guadalupe, California

At the Library of Congress

Mexican girl who picks peas for the eastern market. Imperial Valley, California

In a carrot pullers’ camp near Holtville, Imperial Valley, California. Woman from Broken Row, Oklahoma

Farm Security Administration (FSA) camp for migratory agricultural workers. Meeting of the camp council. Farmersville, California

Children of migratory workers, hauling water, American River camp, San Joaquin Valley, California

Mexican quarter of Los Angeles, California. Average rental is eight dollars. Some houses have plumbing. See card 1799-C for detailed information

Trouble at the Allah-Las concert !

In Rotterdam, a concert cancelled after Spanish police warn Dutch police about a possible bomb plot.

a terror plot foiled?

I wonder what the terrorists don’t like about this band.

The name?

Colin Drury of The Guardian, Aug. 2016, reports:

They chose to use Allah – Arabic for god – because they wanted something “holy sounding”. But they say they never realised some might interpret it as trivialising or mocking their religious beliefs. “We get emails from Muslims, here in the US and around the world, saying they’re offended, but that absolutely wasn’t our intention,” says Michaud. “We email back and explain why we chose the name and mainly they understand.”

In Turkey, a show got pulled because the promoter didn’t feel comfortable. “But what’s the alternative?” asks Siadatian. “We’ve had the name so long I don’t think we can change it. That wouldn’t work. We don’t dwell. You know, no regrets.”

What the band do regret is the growing gentrification of hometown LA.

I guess if I stand for anything it’s for a band’s right to call themselves whatever, without anybody getting blowed up over it.

Free speech protections do not equal endorsements. But in the civilized world you can call your band whatever you want.

Don’t know much about the band. I like this song Catamaran. Very cool song.

Cube Houses of Rotterdam by wiki user Hanselpedia

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