Helytimes began in 2012. Our idea was
- become good at writing for the Internet
- a writer should have a website
- have a space to collect, digest and share items of interest.
We’ve tried to come up with a mission statement or guiding purpose, but the truth is, this is stuff we had to get out of our head.
The healthiest thing to do was share it.
The best way to put it might be a place to share crazy interesting things we’ve come across.
Since then we’ve published over 1,050 posts. We’re just now starting to get good at it, in our opinion.
Here are the twenty-one most popular posts:
The moral here is probably that we should start a local LA news-and-takes site written by other people.
One lesson here might be to have more local LA journalism written by other people. Keep meaning to start a whole site for that but I do have a full-time job plus several other projects.
In our opinion the most successful post on Helytimes was
although it didn’t crack the top 21, just felt like a time where we added something of value to the Internet and readers responded.
It’s about the work of the Naval Aviation Photographic Unit, also known as the Training Literature Field Unit No. 1, assembled by the great photographer Edward Steichen.
One thread of Helytimes is attempts to reach into the past and find the sources that give us understanding of the past.
Two personal favorites:
This has been the annual performance review and address to the Helytimes readership:
That photo taken by one of Steichen’s guys, Wayne Miller:
No known asteroid or comet from our solar system varies so widely in brightness, with such a large ratio between length and width. The most elongated objects we have seen to date are no more than three times longer than they are wide.
My theory? This is a bullet shot at Earth 300,000 years ago by a mysterious civilization that knew what we’d get up to.
An interstellar sniper shot.
Let’s hope 1) this is a one-off shot and 2) it’s gonna miss us.
How frustrating for this distant civilization if they put all their resources into one shot and it misses by a hair!
Here’s a documentary that compares two searches going on in Chile’s Atacama desert: the search for distant objects to the search for the remains of people murdered by the dictatorship.
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.
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!
I say hot!
Also quite sexy if you can draw this:
It was during his later schooling in Colorado that Morley first developed an interest in archaeology, and in particular Egyptology. However his father—a man trained in the hard sciences and who had graduated at the top of his class in civil engineering at PMC—was initially unsupportive of his ambitions. Seeing little scope for employment opportunities in archaeology, the Colonel encouraged his son to study engineering instead.
The other Sylvanus Morley I can find no picture of. From Wiki’s The “other” Sylvanus G. Morley, Sylvanus G. One says:
However, the person with the most right to complain was my cousin Sylvanus Griswold Morley, the celebrated archaeologist. The move made us homonyms, and gave rise to endless confusion. Look in a Who’s Who in America and you will learn the facts. Look in a library catalog, and you will be lucky to learn anything but errors. Sylvanus, a most good-natured soul, never protested. He was an undergraduate at Harvard while I was in the Grad. School. I sometimes received his Univ. bills, and less often, billets doux from his lights of love. I think he has none of mine.
More about eccentric heroes drawn to Central and South America can be found in:
The Bolivian media reported that President Obama called President Evo Morales to request his government’s cooperation in ensuring discretion and security for his daughter’s trip. White House officials declined to comment and would not confirm that the two leaders had spoken. Mr. Morales often rails about what he calls American conspiracies to undermine leftist governments, including his own. The two countries have not exchanged ambassadors since 2008.
Very cool. This is not the vibe projected by the new president’s children:
Ms. Obama was afforded no special treatment during the arduous trek, and performed chores, including cooking, along with her fellow travelers, Mr. Mamani said.
I wonder if she picked up a preserved llama fetus?
Learn more about Bolivia and Evo Morales in this fine volume:
By reader vote, these were considered
The Top Ten Helytimes Posts Of The Year
about Geoffrey Blainey’s book on how that country became what it is, and their national cry Cooo-EEE!
9) Jo Mora and Mora Update
about how the Uruguayan-Californian artist influenced almost a century of design
Conversations between Tony Blair and Bill Clinton
A visit to that famed city and the Diego Rivera murals hidden around it
On Incan rope counting systems and their decipherment
An investigation into a photo of the former first lady
This was by far our most popular post by views
A trip to the national park, and its place in our national consciousness
2) Lady Xoc
About the Mayan queen of the 8th century
The definitive winner for the year?:
A review of writing by and about fighter pilot John Boyd, who offers a way into DT’s thinking.
a brief look at Sanders and Trump
about you know who, comparing him to Tim Ferriss.
a big wild roundup.
on how a Swiss chocolatier came to own freshwater springs in Southern California
about the Vietnam War correspondent, Kubrick pal and Zen Buddhist
on the work of Randall Collins, an underappreciated hero
extracts from a 1769 description of California,
a dispatch from rainy New Zealand,
and a personal favorite,
about Willa Cather, Walt Whitman, and America.
The most popular post of the year
by views, was
You can email us anytime at helphely at gmail. Let us know what you think.
All the best for 2017.