Joel Bellman
Joel Bellman

Joel Bellman worked in journalism and local government in Los Angeles for 35 years. He now teaches and writes on politics and pop culture. He can be contacted at jbellman@ca.rr.com

To Live or Die in L.A.

You desire to know the art of living, my friend?   It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering. —Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881) For some of us, the stay-home orders in…

A Strange Virus of Unknown Origin

I have set myself to write the story of the Great Change, so far as it has affected my own life and the lives of one or two people closely connected with…

You’re Not Just Voting. You’re a Voter.

In my home growing up, my parents raised me to believe that voting was more than a habit. More than a tradition. More than a civic duty. It was something closer to…

What the Constitution Meant to Her

We weren’t sure what to expect when my wife Hope and I recently caught a performance at the Mark Taper Forum of the national roadshow production of What the Constitution Means to…

For 2020, A New Normal

Although it goes against my usual instincts, I want to try and write something positive and uplifting for 2020 as we round the corner and barrel into a new decade.  Year-end columns…

New Zealand Diarist

If there is too much planning something inside us gets suffocated. There are occasions when we need a huge place where time and space are measured out by natural rhythms and where…

OK Millennials

Why must every generation think their folks are square? And no matter where their heads are, they know Mom’s ain’t there… —Younger Generation (John B. Sebastian), 1967 We’ve been complaining about our…

The Joker in the White House

It’s a truism that life imitates art, and for the latest example, look no further than the current box office. The recent Warner Bros. release of Joker may be the luckiest studio…

Apocalypse Then, and Now

In February of 1982, when our biggest fear was still nuclear war, the New Yorker devoted three issues to a powerful and influential essay by the journalist Jonathan Schell, later published as…

Soon I’m 64

I was just 11 years old when the Summer of Love dawned in June 1967, but I wasn’t running off to San Francisco with flowers in my hair. I’d only finished elementary…