Category Archives: Opinion

Ten Years of Dark Humor: A Retrospective of the First Decade of the New Century

We are approaching the half-way point of the last year of the decade.  Sort of.  Officially the last year of this decade is 2010.  That’s if you’re following the rules.  If you’re going by the book then the first year of this decade/century/millennium was not 2000, but 2001.  After all the Julian calendar didn’t start off with the year zero even though maybe it should have.

But who cares about what the officials say?  It was New Year’s Eve 1999 that was the closing of the 20th Century.  Limp Bizkit was at the top of their game.  The World Wrestling Federation had not yet been sued by the World Wildlife Foundation for the legal use of “WWF”.  The XFL was all up in your face.  Everything from snowboards to Cheetos was X-TREME!!!  Cellphones were annoying.  And everyone, or at least the media anyway, was terrified that all the computers in the world would think it was 1900 and the water would stop flowing through the pipes.

Now, nearly ten years later, we can look back on this bleak and confusing decade and still not have any idea what the hell just happened. Continue reading Ten Years of Dark Humor: A Retrospective of the First Decade of the New Century

Thought Tools

Foreword by Stan Lerner: Many  years ago I had the great opportunity to learn with Rabbi Daniel Lapen who is one of the greatest thinkers of our time. His move from California to Washington State in many ways left an empty desert where a sea of knowledge had flourished. Now because of the internet and blogs like downtownster the sea of knowledge has returned to our dry land.  

 Finger Pointing 101

Have you ever been put down by a silent sneer?  Have you ever sensed harsh criticism in nothing more than a raised eyebrow?  Have you ever felt your value as a person, as a friend, or as a relative minimized by someone finding fault in you or dismissing an achievement of yours as insignificant?  

Weve all been hurt by insults and criticism.  Now, how about the other way around?  Do you find too much fault with others?  Do your children fear telling you of their activities and their thoughts?  Are you far more lavish with criticism than praise?

If so, though you may be unaware, your friends, family, and co-workers may subconsciously avoid having to spend more time with you than they absolutely must.

If so, you are dogged by invisible forces that impede your progress.  They place barriers in your way and suck the joy out of your existence.  When life is good, it is often because you are surrounded by individuals who like you and want things to go well for you.  They place opportunities in your way, they introduce you to people you should meet, and they correct false impressions about you.  All of this takes place beyond your awareness.

However when the individuals who populate the broader reaches of your life view you as constantly critical, they may respect you, they may love you but they feel less comfortable with you.  Naturally, they do not go out of their way to help you.

Though they may not do anything actually to hurt you, merely the absence of their active support translates into hidden specters that obstruct much of what you seek in life.  The good news is that you can change this. Continue reading Thought Tools


A tip from an old friend of mine at DHS interrupted my usual coffee routine at Bottega Louie. “The government is covering up the numbers, Stan.” I can’t say what else I was told as I don’t want to compromise my source, but so credible is my source that I raced over to Vaughn Blake’s and dragged him out of bed. I called Shannon on the way to Vaughn’s. I told both of them the bad news and being downtownster’ bloggers they agreed to go with me to Hidalgo Guadalupe the third largest city in Mexico to get to the bottom of this pandemic.

The trip there was somber. Unfortunately, it also took an extra day – we got caught in the middle of a shootout between the police and some drug dealers on the outskirts of Ensenada, fortunately both Shannon and Vaughn are good with guns and we were able to hold our own long enough to get out of there. My Suburban took at least a half dozen rounds, but was still drivable.

The Mexican military had all roads into the city blocked ten miles out. So, with really no other choice we buried and camouflaged the Suburban as best we could and humped it on foot. I had hoofed it through this area twenty-five years ago, it was no picnic then—at forty-four and out of shape it was pure hell. Well not exactly. Pure hell is what we found as we stood at the outskirts of the city. The citizens that were still alive were looting every building that was not occupied. Gangs of young men were raping young girls right out on the street corners. And the army was doing nothing but making sure no one could get in or out. THEY WERE LETTING MAYHEM REIGN! Vaughn wanted to intervene, but I refused to let him. “We’re here to report, not get ourselves killed,” I scorned.

I sent Shannon and Vaughn to the hospital to see what they could learn. I made my way to an old friend’s villa. He happens to be a major narco trafficker, so nobody knows what’s going on more than he. I explained upon my unexpected arrival that I was a blogger now and that I had been tipped off that all hell was breaking out all over the world and that our government was covering it up. Although, Vice President Biden at least had the decency to tell the world that he himself would not be in any public place especially an airplane. My old friend sat me down and explained that things were actually much worse than my friend at DHS had lead me to believe.

“An Arab from Saudi Arabia came here and brought the disease with him—in a bottle,” said my friend in a heavy Mexican accent.

“What?” I questioned in total shock.

“He was heading for your side of the border, but he stopped at one of our local whore houses. It was in his jacket on the floor and the whore stepped on it by accident. They were both dead in three days. Since then the people are dropping like flies on a hot August day.”

Vaughn and Shannon confirmed that the first two deaths reported by the hospital were indeed the whore and the Arab. We all would have liked to have stayed and helped in whatever way we could, but word had gotten out that we were there and my friend the narco trafficker informed us that the national police had issued an order to apprehend us preferably dead. We had no choice, but to leave and tell the public what was really going on.

In San Diego I was able to meet up with another old friend of mine. He confirmed our worst fears. THE DEATH TOLL IN THE UNITED STATES ALONE WAS EXPECTED TO REACH THIRTY MILLION. WORLDWIDE THE CDC EXPECTED SIX HUNDRED MILLION DEAD!

I did question him as to whether Tamiflu would be able to save lives. He informed me of yet anther government cover-up. There isn’t enough Tamiflu to save even ten percent of the population and most of what we do have on hand is past its expiration date so it is possibly even more deadly than the N1H1 virus. Basically what the public is not being told is that one in ten people in this country will be dead soon.

I asked how we might save ourselves. My friend one of the top men at the CDC said, “Everyone should stay indoors. And nobody should eat pig. And in most people significant consumption of alcohol kills the virus dead. Oh, and whatever you do avoid contact with Mexicans.”

Back in LA, Vaughn, Shannon, and myself decided to have drinks—lots of drinks. We talked about the horrors we’d seen. And we talked about the media and government that keep talking about the swine flu as if what I’ve just written is true. Chris Mathews actually compared President Obama’s handling of this PANDEMIC to President Bush’s handling of Katrina. Joe Biden really has said don’t fly. And Janet Napolitano Director of Homeland Security has said go ahead and fly, but keep your kids at home. Here’s the truth, thirty-six thousand people die of the flu each year here in the U.S. To date, one person, a small child who had been flown in from Mexico has died of N1H1 in the U.S. But if the mainstream media wants to make a story out of this—take notes boys and girls, take notes. Because this blogger is tired of seeing everything done half-ass! 

Death of USC Student – L.A. Reality

Foreword by Stan Lerner: Sometimes I wonder why I got myself into all of this. My life was simple I only cared about my next indulgence. Then I get a blog like the one below from a college kid that I wanted to give a chance to be heard — and it makes me wish that everyone in the country was reading downtownster. 

Last Saturday arrived with so much promise for my school, and more importantly, my city. Earth Hour, 4-Party Frat Row, and a blossoming downtown.  That promise spoiled with the blood of my schoolmates stained on its streets.

Last Saturday was Earth Hour, a global event hosted by Hollywood elite to attract awareness to the current climate crisis by turning off all non-essential lighting for an hour.  Downtown skyscrapers turned off their lights, but below Pico, local Angelinos didn’t bother.  Chano’s beamed its fluorescent lights so brightly, I thought Christ was re-birthing himself in their tiny taco shack. Continue reading Death of USC Student – L.A. Reality