Marc Haefele Commentator, Off-Ramp

Off-Ramp commentator Marc Haefele.
Contact Marc Haefele

Marc Haefele is an arts, politics, and literature commentator for KPCC's Off Ramp.

Haefele was a staff writer for LA Weekly, City News of Los Angeles, and the Morristown (NJ) Record. He has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Daily News, the Boston Review, Nomada de Buenos Aires and many other publications.

He cohosted the KPFK weekday morning drive time show in 1999-2000, and for the subsequent decade was city hall commentator for KPCC.

In the later 60s and early 70s, Haefele worked for Random House, then Doubleday publishers in New York, where his writers included Philip K. Dick, Steven King, Tom Disch, Marge Piercy, Kate Millett and Josephine Saxton. While at LA Weekly, he won the LA Press Club's Best Column award. He has shared Golden Mikes with his KPCC colleagues.

He has an M.A. in history from NYU and Cal State Los Angeles.

Haefele lives in Santa Monica.

Stories by Marc Haefele

PHOTOS: Realism meets Surrealism in Getty Japanese photography exhibit

"Japan's Modern Divide" at the Getty Center introduces to us two major yet unfamiliar artists, and gives us glimpses and panoramas of unusual and unsuspected Japanese inner and outer landscapes.

An Austrian cooking lesson; or "How much is an Esslossel?"

Trying to avoid bland, I ended up more than doubling the proper amount of paprika, resulting in a kind of Danubian vindaloo that had our guests gasping like circus fire eaters working overtime. Do not underestimate those Mitteleuropische seasonings: they can pack all the wallop of Oaxacan chile molido.

Pope Francis, Argentina's Dirty War, and the Straight and Narrow Path

Never having been prone to sticking his head out of the trench, Bergoglio is more likely to be an opponent of change than a change agent. Maybe the best we can hope for is the commitment of the Irish priest reported by novelist Honor Tracy, “to always take the straight and narrow path between right and wrong.”

Marc Haefele reviews Amy Wilentz's 'Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti'

If you want a window into the livid present that opens to the smells, tastes, and feelings of this brave, unbelievably downtrodden country, "Farewell, Fred Voodoo" is the book for you, in which Wilentz shows how choices we’ve made as Americans—as voters, as consumers—have helped create the Haiti of today.

LA County Supervisor Molina finally gets the hospital she asked for

“What’s certain is that if we had built the facility as (originally planned), the extra beds would have cost a whole lot less. That was a bad decision.”

Vermeer's blue lady to leave the Getty for Holland

It's a story just for you, lurking deep in this unique, strange and wonderful little painting. But you've only another month left to see it.

Richard III, slandered by Shakespeare

Off-Ramp commentator Marc Haefele takes a closer look at the last British king to die in battle, now British authorities have positively identified his remains in a Leicester parking lot.

Marc Haefele: Thank You Ed Koch

He did save the city from bankruptcy. He was both the face of New York and in your face, celebrating himself like Walt Whitman on steroids. And now everyone loves him. Now that he's dead.

Marc Haefele goes inside Motivo Engineering

"A cool concept is only 20% of the engineering effort, the other 80% of the effort is in ensuring that the concept translates into something that can be built and assembled."

Wallace Hume Carothers and the tragic backstory of the inventor of nylon

At the moment of his triumph, Carothers succumbed to depression and alcoholism, and killed himself. Maybe that's why his career has been largely ignored.

The fate of downtown's Grand Central Market

It may have been offering Bristol Farms quality, but you had to walk past the eyebrow-braider and the derelict empanada stand to get there. Young hipsters don't like to do that sort of thing these days.

On the QT, Haefele lets go on 'Django Unchained'

The pity of it is you feel Tarantino, at the top of his form, is up to making the Great American Slavery Movie. If only he weren't more interested in just having his own kind of fun.

Haefele says 'Bah, humbug!' to Renaissance skeptics

Florence was a city with a rule of law in which the humble could rise, and where, at least in this era, privilege did not dictate nor tyrants terrorize. Maybe the Renaissance began here just because it was the city with the biggest heart.

Marc Haefele at former LA City Councilman Art Snyder's funeral

"Sometimes his guiding hand felt like a boot in my butt," said his brother Patrick, "but his influence was always positive."

Marc Haefele on Philip K. Dick's mental maelstroms

Philip K. Dick dedicated 40 novels and hundreds of short stories to the proposition that we cannot trust what we see, know who we are, or even know if our everyday world truly exists.