I hate Christmas, but it has a hold on me. I hate the holiday music playing in every store and try to stay the hell away from malls. I hate the TV commercials, especially the ones where someone steps outside and there’s a shiny new car in the driveway with a gigantic red bow. (Who the hell sells a bow that big anyway?) I hate …
Lisa Girion is a top news editor for the Americas at Reuters and a former investigative reporter at the Los Angeles Times. Before moderating the Zócalo/UCLA panel “Can Anything Stop America’s Opioid Addiction?”, she talked in the Zócalo green room about her love of her job, which you can see on her refrigerator door as well as in her method for getting the best advice …
A cento composed of lines from the songs by the Canadian band Hey Ocean!
The basket on my bicycle is hanging low.
It’s filled with strange things you said.
We took a trail down to the beach.
You drew a map so we’d remember
where we sat waiting for our spirit animals.
We never once saw yours.
Every familiar thing we once knew disappeared:
we’d come this far
to start again or fall apart.
Sam Quinones is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist and author most recently of Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic. Previously, he was a reporter with the Los Angeles Times. Before participating in the Zócalo/UCLA panel “Can Anything Stop America’s Opioid Addiction?”, he talked in the Zócalo green room about rural Kentucky, his jobs as a meat salesman and ice cream man, and his …
Cybersecurity professionals are fond of saying that there are two kinds of companies: those that have been hacked and those that don’t yet know they’ve been hacked. Right now, the Republican National Committee appears to fall into a new category: an organization that refuses to acknowledge that it’s even vulnerable.
The CIA, in reporting on Russia’s intervention in the presidential election, determined that the RNC had …
On Christmas Eve, Juliette shows up at my place in Pasadena with her four-year old daughter, TS, and five shopping bags bursting with unwrapped gifts. It’s dusk when the doorbell rings, and when I look through the window it takes me a second to figure out who it is. I haven’t seen either of them since TS was a baby, and the last I heard …
It’s the time of year to give kids toys, and if you’re one of the shoppers trying to please them, you deserve even more sympathy and pity than your parents did. Kids today are different. They don’t want dolls or construction sets. They want the things we want—like smartphones and apps—and at surprisingly early ages. In 2003, the NPD Group found that boys between 6 …
In 2016, writers of Zócalo essays took us inside a dry cleaning business in South L.A., admired the ingenious mosaics created by a Chicago artist to fill the city’s potholes, sampled Minnesota soul food, and introduced us to the black man from Missouri who became America’s first “Indian” TV star.
Picking favorites among the hundreds of essays we publish each year is hard—and dangerous, because you …
In the spring of 2013, I lost my job at a law firm. The job came with medical benefits I needed. And I wasn’t sure exactly what to do.
I grew up in Grand Terrace in San Bernardino County and have been working since I was 16 years old, often in customer service jobs. I’ve had my ups and downs at work and in life, …
On April 15, 1935, one of the largest dust storms in U.S. history smothered Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle in a cloud thick enough to nearly blot out the noonday sun. It was this day, which would become known as “Black Sunday”, that produced the Associated Press article that coined the term “Dust Bowl.”
Newspaper articles, novels like The Grapes of Wrath, and photographs like …