Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Atop City Hall -- The Lindbergh Beacon or Eye of Sauron?

We got a nice mention by Lucinda Michele in her Metblog on Los Angeles.

Lucinda looked up and noticed Thursday night that the beacon atop LA City Hall was lit. (It’s not on all the time.) She gives a brief history of the light, and links to my YouTube video from the top of City Hall.

She also asks for more pics of the actual beacon from the top. I don’t have any, but here’s one of the narrow, steep stairway that leads to the beacon.

And another of Charlie Beck’s new office, taken from the top of City Hall.

For more of this kind of fun stuff – plus an interview with Ricky Jay and white mariachi Mateo Stoneman, check out my show Off-Ramp.


New "Sherlock Holmes" movie exciting, reasonably Canonical

I am something of a Sherlock Holmes geek. Not as deeply involved as some, but I’m probably in the top percentile of all US citizens. I come by it honestly and by pedigree, my father, WT Rabe, having been a very active Sherlockian from at least the 1940s to his death in 1992.

So I was interested and a little worried about the upcoming movie "Sherlock Holmes," directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Robert Downey, Jr., and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson. I was worried because Warner Brothers is hyping the movie thus:

In a dynamic new portrayal of Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous characters, Sherlock Holmes sends Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson on their latest challenge. Revealing fighting skills as lethal as his legendary intellect, Holmes will battle as never before to bring down a new nemesis and unravel a deadly plot that could destroy the country.


Rabe to Cormac McCarthy: “You’re a typewriter traitor!”

“Cormac’s a softy,” said Rabe through his cigar as he pounded out yet another audience-favorite Off-Ramp episode on his faithful Hermes Rocket. He had just heard the news that Cormac McCarthy is giving up the Olivetti Lettera 32 that he’s been using since 1963 to write books like “The Road” and “Blood Meridian.”

Speaking of his own trusty portable, which he’s been using since the Korean War era, when he wrote “Steel Helmet” for Sam Fuller, Rabe shrugged. “Sure, Hermes is missing the E, the X, and the exclamation point. So what it nobody in my show, or my numerous best-selling novels, can’t have sex, get excited, or use a Xerox!? I just have to get creative.”

Rabe also scoffs at the auction for McCarthy’s typewriter. “Send it to me, Cormac. I’ll use my right hand to type your next novel for you, and my left to type another opening monologue for Peter Sagal.”


“The Face Bra” news release -- is it for real?

Every day, I delete hundreds of e-mails pitching interviews with experts, wonks, authors, politicians (County Supervisor Mike Antonovich doesn’t get it that when you send out ten e-mails a day, journalists will not look at any of them, but if you send out one a week, we may actually read them), and charlatans.

Some day, we’ll do a show based on them, but until then, here’s one that caught my eye just before I hit “delete.” After all, not many news releases have the words “Face Bra” in them. In fact, only one so far. Note the handy pre-printed interview questions for the busy radio host.

Now, is this for real, or the work of another Martin Eisenstadt? Please let us know what you think in the comments section below.

-- John

(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp!)


"Face Bra"