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

Woodstock at 50

We are stardust, we are golden We are billion year old carbon And we got to get ourselves back to the garden — “Woodstock” (Joni Mitchell) It’s been said that, “If you…

“Worthwhile Canadian Initiative”

Back in 1986, when it was still both smart and impertinent, The New Republic (TNR) magazine—inspired by that notoriously soporific New York Times headline—playfully invited its readers to submit their own competing…

Art Kunkin: Rebel With A Cause

The late Art Kunkin, who recently died at the age of 91, was much more than just the founder-publisher of the Los Angeles Free Press, one of the nation’s oldest, most influential,…

Remember, or Repeat

Remember when hell on earth was Bill Murray’s weatherman waking up every morning to Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You, Babe,” knowing that he’s doomed to endlessly relive the same snowed-in Punxsutawney…

Tragedies for Our Times

After laying my mother to rest last month, my wife Hope and I were eager for a much-needed break on a long-planned trip to the East Coast. Her work had carried us…

A Lamentation, In Two Parts

The End of the Game Over the three years that I’ve been writing this column, my 92-year-old mom Jeanne and I have developed a familiar ritual. Every two weeks or so, I’d…

Thoughts For a New Year

“What are you writing about?” my son asked, when I mentioned I had a column deadline coming up. “I’m not sure,” I answered. “I think I may write about impeachment.” “Really! Jumping…

A New Sheriff in Town

As I write this, L.A. County has just sworn in Alex Villanueva as our new sheriff. Jimmy, we hardly knew ye. And Alex, we don’t know ye at all. To call it…

The 2018 Mid-Terms: Après le Déluge

As I write, it’s the morning after. But as you read this, more than a week will have passed, so my comments will fall somewhere between a hot take and cold leftovers.…

It’s Time to Get Serious. Vote!

“Elections have consequences,” a friend of mine likes to say. “Well, duh,” I like to say. After the recent Brett Kavanaugh debacle—as if Donald Trump’s upset in 2016 wasn’t enough—you’d think we…