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

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"


If You're Going to Speculate about Tiger Woods, Chinese TV says "Go Big or Stay Home."

Thanks to my colleague Rob Schmitz, KQED’s LA bureau chief for passing along this video.

Attention: Bird, Musker! Animators here ought to be pushing for more ImagiNewsCast® sequences in American news broadcasts! The President won’t so a sit down? Now, ImagiNewsCast® how the interview might go, especially when you ask a personal question and he slaps you. During Sweeps Week, wouldn’t those stories about how “your dry cleaning can kill you” look better if you could see people actually dying, and public health workers stacking up the bodies like cordwood? And if your anchor is sick some day, just ImagiNewsCast® him or her!

Check out my blatant attempt to get Google hits on this week’s Off-Ramp.

(ImagiNewsCast® is a registered trademark of SCPR.)


Big Changes for the LA DWP Festival of Lights

Don’t expect to drive through the LA DWP Festival of Lights for a few more weeks. The DWP is stressing greenity this year, with a bike night preview and two weeks where NO vehicles will be allowed. You’ll have to walk, which is a good thing after Thanksgiving and before Christmas, right?

Here’s the DWP’s news release:

LOS ANGELES — It just wouldn’t be the holidays in Los Angeles without the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) annual Holiday Light Festival in Griffith Park. A beloved tradition that is free of charge and open to all, Angelenos from across the city are invited to come view more than one million energy-efficient LED lights in festive displays showcasing the uniqueness of the City of Los Angeles.

The schedule for the 14th annual Holiday Light Festival is as follows: