Pop culture, sports and more

I’m an opinionated person.

Here is where I was allowed to stretch out and play with a weekly column that looked at what was up and what was down across pop culture. It ran every Sunday for 10 years — or, in Internet time, forever.

Additionally, I contributed various essays analyzing trends and, in some cases, sports. This is also where I’m parking some of my stories on travel, local entertainment and the arts.

  • Commentary and cultural perspective

Overrated/Underrated (2009-2019)
A weekly, sometimes syndicated column where I mouthed off about pop culture for 10 years. It ended with a farewell edition here.
2019201820172016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013, pt 1, pt. 2 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

Recap and analysis: ‘Game of Thrones’, the final season
Ep. 1 | Ep. 2| Ep. 3 preview | Ep. 3 | Ep. 4 | Ep. 5 preview: This won’t end well | Ep. 5 | Seven futile hopes for the finale | Ep. 6: No one’s very happy

A look back at the year that was in stand-up comedy
Who broke ground in comedy in 2019? Hannah Gadsby, Drew Michael, and Donald Trump  (2018)

I also analyzed how charged the Oscars felt in 2017
Oscars 2017 have never mattered less yet continue to stand for more (2017)

…and before that, I thought about a bit of an existential crisis on the impact of social media on the very idea of rating things. 
After a year of hot takes and backlashes, what are we doing here? (2016)

This column first stretched out and walked around as a full-length essay about the artists that have reached a plane beyond criticism. 
Pop culture’s sacred cows: Just dare to dis them (2014)

  • Sports and Pop Culture

How do the Rams fit into L.A.’s pop cultural fabric? It’s complicated (Feb 1, 2019)

How does the NFL keep ratings up despite on- and off-field issues? Speed is the thing (2018)

Jemele Hill remains a socially conscious voice for sports in the Showtime documentary ‘Shut Up and Dribble’ (2018)

The World Cup lives up to its billing with far-reaching appeal — even for neutrals (2018)

To watch or not to watch: Notes from an ambivalent Patriots fan as the Super Bowl approaches (2018)

Super Bowl LI proves thrilling on the field, inclusive in its advertising (2017)

NBC braces for anything as the Summer Olympics approach (2016)

Bill Simmons shifts to TV with HBO’s ‘Any Given Wednesday’ (2016)

  • Movies

You know Hollywood is serious about stopping Trump when they call in the Avengers (2016)

Don Cheadle makes his Miles Davis film ‘feel like Miles’ and not just be about Miles (2016)

Playing Chet Baker in ‘Born to be Blue’ was an unexpected second chance for Ethan Hawke (2016)

  • Arts

For a time I was the daily reporter for the Times’ arts and culture blog Culture Monster, much of which has been lost to Internet history after various redesigns. A collection of posts can also be found here

A complicated canopy for Siqueros ‘America Tropical’ set to rise (2012)

Bone flutes found in Germany point to roots of creativity (2012)

  • Local entertainment

Amusing asides (2007) A cover story on the alternative comedy scene in L.A.

Beyond last call (2006)
Another cover story on places for after hours dining in Los Angeles. Service!

  • Travel

Get out of town: Reno, Nevada (Feb. 21, 2008)

But wait, there’s more — Just ask Google. Or that paper where I used to work.

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