Larry Wilson


Columnist/Editorial writer

Larry Wilson

Phone: (626) 544-0844

Recent articles

  • Columns

    Listening to the warm lies of climate-change deniers: Larry Wilson

    “Listen to the Warm,” Harry Shearer reminds me every week on “Le Show” as he reads the latest stories on climate change, taking his title from the schmaltz king of San Francisco, Rod McKuen. For those of us who listen to the warm by avidly following the news of the politics of global warming — it’s not that the facts of it have anything to do with politics; it’s that the solutions might — this past week has been a...

  • Columns

    Reason and rhyme? At Caltech, computers are writing poetry: Larry Wilson

    “Your methods of compiling are pretty inefficient,” said the student, who had been sitting quietly in the back of the college classroom, to the guest lecturer, during question time.Xtine Burrough, an associate professor in the School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication at the University of Texas, Dallas, took no offense at the young woman’s comment on her working habits. In fact, afterward while visiting with me and some fellow professors, she got a...

  • Columns

    CGU prizewinners’ poems trump prose every time: Larry Wilson

    Defensive about contemporary poetry, or about the trope that it’s written only for other poets, which sometimes it is, I frequently retreat to the laziest of arguments: You have to have studied physics to understand contemporary physics, don’t you? So if physics is sometimes fully understood only by other physicists, is that a bad thing?I don’t know. If we let the poets speak only to themselves, it’s not as if they can cook up a hydrogen bomb behind our...

  • Columns

    ‘The Originalist’ and the power, glory of Antonin Scalia: Larry Wilson

    What does it mean if we fall for someone, fall into friendship or in love, with whom we adamantly disagree? Disagree about God, about art, about mores, about every political thing in this crazy world?Feature writers, and playwrights, too, love to tell such man-bites-dog stories. Liberal James Carville and conservative Mary Matalin, longtime Democratic and Republican political consultants, practically turned their happy marriage of opposites into a vaudeville act, and they lucratively...

  • Columns

    With Afro-Futurism, Octavia Butler created her own reality: Larry Wilson

    Lotta good writers out there.Lotta good novelists.Few craft an entirely new genre, though. One who did, Octavia Butler, who thousands of acolytes credit with creating Afro-Futurism, left her papers to the Huntington Library, which in a new show celebrates her amazing writing and wonderfully American life story of self-creation after a childhood of poverty in the Northwest Pasadena ghetto.“Telling My Stories,” which runs through Aug. 7, is one of those...

  • Columns

    How Adam Schiff, the ‘attack labradoodle,’ is handling fame: Larry Wilson

    It took me a little while to track down my congressman the other day, but our man in Washington had a good excuse: Adam Schiff is suddenly America’s sweetheart.You can’t turn on the television without seeing his sometimes somber, sometimes smiling face — the visage that The New York Times recently described, in a fawning profile, as “doe-eyed.”...

  • Columns

    Helping other Dreamers, she’s caught in her own immigration nightmare: Larry Wilson

    Lizbeth Mateo’s life, looked at one way, defines the American dream.An immigrant from Oaxaca at 14, she quickly became fluent in English, graduated from Venice High, then took a BA from Cal State Northridge and more recently her JD from the University of Santa Clara School of Law. Last month she took the state bar exam.While she awaits those results, she has landed a job with a nonprofit, Pasadenans Organizing for Progress, that puts her in the middle of the crisis in...

  • Columns

    John Van de Kamp gave politics a very good name: Larry Wilson

    John Van de Kamp wasn’t the attorney general when our newly blended family moved next door to him in 1971.He wasn’t the district attorney, either.He was a handsome young bachelor lawyer — didn’t you always think John Lindsay? — with a famous family name. Well, not just another downtown lawyer living in west Pasadena — he had for five years been the U.S. attorney for Los Angeles. And that very year he had been appointed head of the new...

  • Columns

    50 years on from Summer of Love: Larry Wilson

    This ain’t the Summer of Love. But it is the winter of the year in which Californians can celebrate, should they so choose, the 50th anniversary of that summer of 1967. Hippies. The Haight. Really good — and really bad — music. Spare change.I hadn’t given a lot of thought to that half-century birthday until last weekend, as we were staying with friends in the East Bay hills. When the newspapers came Sunday morning, we went through the happy ritual of...

  • Columns

    ‘Cis’ is the wrong word for the birth-gendered: Larry Wilson

    When somehow similar people, whether this group is a minority or majority within the human population, are assigned a new name, we usually give its members some high degree of say in the moniker.And by usually, I mean to say always.Southern California identities, as ever, provide useful examples. In our time, we have seen a transition from Mexican (even if one’s ancestors were really from Guatemala or, for that matter, Arizona) to Chicano to Latino, with Hispanic...