One fans opinion: It's about damn time! ;-D
I've been addicted to the writing of Los Angeles Times Columnist Al Martinez since forever!
Mr. Martinez is, as he describes himself, the "author of a dozen books, an Emmy-nominated creator of prime time television shows, a travel writer, humorist and general hell-raiser."
His writing will amuse, anger, annoy, edumicate, entertain, inform, move, please, touch, wow you and more, sometimes in the same piece, and agree, or disagree with what he has to say you will find the time reading him well spent.
I wrote him an e-mail, on a lark, about my Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches for McCain/Palin! post over the weekend, and he wrote back mentioning his brand spanking new blog.
Begun in September there are 8 posts so far, the 1st 6 being reprints of old columns.
Based on these pieces I am adding him to my FOOD FOR THOUGHT BLOGROLL today.
There are 2 posts that I particularly wish to recommend, both, in their own way, about our culture.
Is the world obsessed with Nudity?
Is it true that anyone looking at this picture will be at first curious about a certain aspect of it, then intensly interested in whether their suspicions about it are true, or not, lusting after that which this suspicion makes them imagine is hidden in plain sight?
According to Mr. Martinez the Puritans would not be pleased with this simple, ambiguous, bit of whimsy. ;-D
This 1st essay is an entertaining trip through time, and the History of Nudity.
Morality took a hit in the 20's when the female of the species went mad, but sanity was returned in the Depression, have no fear!
Then came war, and the start of the Cold war, followed by everyone loving Ike, just not in the nude.
When the 60's arrived all bets were off, as well as the clothing of quite a few people, especially the young, long haired, experimenting, and Liberal. ;-D
For the first time in history, the sex microbe was isolated in a Berkeley laboratory to considerable fanfare, reviving interest in its potential when combined with nudity as a catalyst. The government immediately banned any use of an extract refined from the microbe, but it was too late.
Free love and free will were upon us.
During riots that accompanied sit-ins and protests on the U.C. campus, students broke into the endocrine lab, stole the sex formula and sold it to Timothy Leary. That was once more the end of a morality cycle in America.
Bras flew off, panties came down and bare nakedness in public soon became, for reasons obscured by the revolution itself, the new morality, created in the name of peace and freedom. Exactly why it was established as a logo for social change remains unclear, but it worked. The Vietnam War ended and we elected Nixon to lead us into the future.
The obsession continued despite, or inspite of, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and the rise of the Moral Majority, and the Evangelical Christian Right.
As interesting as the above is the ultimate direction of this essay may surpirse you.
The 2nd piece touches in a way on my own career past, as it reminds me of the fate of the company I worked for in my longest career (Working in an independant bookstore chain for 18 years, 11 as a Manger, as the company eventually was unable to adapt to the changing times, technology, and shopping habits, of the 90's.)
This piece is from last June:
They’re shutting down DeLauer’s, the 24-hour news stand in Oakland at 13th and Broadway. It’s just around the corner from the Tribune Tower, which not too long ago was abandoned by the newspaper and now sits like a haunted castle, its clock ticking away the fading hours of an era.
DeLauer’s has been in that same spot for 101 years, selling newspapers and magazines from all over the world. I used to hang out there when I worked the night shift at the Trib. It’s where cops sometimes gathered before the sun rose when their shifts were done and there was no place else to go.
Old man DeLauer, who is 91, inherited the stand from his father. He left it to his accountant to say that no one was reading newspapers anymore; they were getting their news online. At least all the news they cared about.
Mr Martinez used this piece to comment on the changing times for Newspapers like the Los Angeles Times, and the folks, like him, who write for them, in the age of the Internet, and blogging.
Read Ticking Away an Era.
There's more to this website than the blog.
There is a link to the Topanga Writer's Group, as well.
It is a new writers workshop set up by Mr. Martinez that will cover essays, journalism, books and magazines, fiction and non fiction, and television scripts.
Welcome to the Blogosphere, Mr. Martinez! ;-D
Check out the blog: Al Martinez...on everything else.
***UPDATE - 11/10/08***
I received an e-mail from Columnist Al Martinez, this afternoon, in response to my blogging about him:
Beautiful!---Your legs, your comments and you.
I am truly honored by his compliment...especially regarding my writing...um, hee, hee! ;-D