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

Project Runway

At 7pm Pacific, Off-Ramp starts live Tweeting Project Runway at KPCCofframp! If you're in church, heart surgery, or an important business dinner, this is the ideal way to not miss a single moment of the drama. Unless we get distracted, or pause the TiVo for too long, or start arguing and forget to update.

Read what the critics say:

"What's Project Runway? Something Ike cooked up?" (Russell Kirk, author, The Conservative Mind)

"I have an important business dinner. I can't spend time on something like this." (Eli Broad)

"I'm sorry I ever gave him my email address." (Robert E. Lee, Confederate General)

"Make it work." (Tim Gunn, sensible but sensitive Project Runway mentor)


Powderkeg in a Prison

(The photo above, by Ted Soqui, was taken in the gymnasium dormitory of California State Prison at Lancaster for Los Angeles Magazine, which has posted a slideshow with many more of Soqui's striking photos.)

I just posted the unedited version of my Off-Ramp interview with Joe Domanick about his long, fascinating, and frankly depressing Los Angeles Magazine article about the state's prison problem, using the state prison in Lancaster as a microcosm of what's gone wrong and getting worse.

Two things have always stood out to me in reporting on prisons and prisoners in my 27 years as a journalist.

-- First, prisoners and prison officials, if not politicians, agree that incarcerating someone is the punishment, and further punishment for the original crime is not supposed to happen behind bars. That is to say, experts agree that prison rape, bad health care, and crowding are not acceptable inside prison, no matter how bad the crime.


The Parrots of Cypress Park

The famous mysterious Arroyo Parrots cycle through Cypress Park every few months. They love the berries on the tree in front of my house. Here's one of them.


Did Duarte Parade Organizers Make Huge Mistake?

I have accepted the Organizing Committee's kind invitation to be an Ambassador in the Duarte Route 66 Parade and Classic Car Show, which starts this Saturday at 10am.

You should go. There'll be lots of great marching bands, cool classic cars, and you can cheer for Grand Marshall Zac Sunderland, the youngest solo circumnavigator.

For my part, I have been assured that I will only have to speak for one or two minutes, and will not have to do much more than wave and be a nice, friendly person. This last probably shouldn't be much of a problem, even for me, given how low West, Williams, and Wilson have set the bar lately. I just have to avoid shouting, "You lie! Beyonce did not foot fault!"

To get you in the mood, check out one of the marching bands from last year.

And sign up below if you're willing to make a sign (and wave it at the parade) saying "Rabe Circumnavigated the Mall -- Looking for Parking."


Coloring Outside the Lines is OK

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

I had a hell of a good time interviewing David Weidman Tuesday afternoon.

David Weidman has been a ceramist (not for sale - he's too attached to them) and an animator (backgrounds for "Mr. Magoo" and "Fractured Fairy Tales") but he's best known for the hundreds of prints he made in the 1960s and 70s, which use wide swaths of evocative color and Cubist-like imagery to get his point across.

I interviewed him for the September 26th Off-Ramp, and was frankly a little worried that at 88, his voice might not be as strong as the artistic vision in his prints. That was no problem. On the patio of his house in Highland Park -- a house he and his family built piece by piece, room by room, over the last 50 years -- he described in detail how he segued from realistic representation to his more impressionistic work.