America’s First ‘Indian’ TV Star Was a Black Man from Missouri

Stymied by Hollywood Racism, Korla Pandit Reinvented Himself as a Mystical Brahmin Pianist

Turning on the TV in Los Angeles in 1949, you might have come face-to-face with a young man in a jeweled turban with a dreamy gaze accentuated by dark eye shadow. Dressed in a fashionable coat and tie, Korla Pandit played the piano and the organ—sometimes both at once—creating music that was both familiar and exotic.

According to press releases from the time, Pandit was born in New Delhi, India, the son of a Brahmin government worker and a French opera singer. A prodigy on the piano, he studied music …

The Sun Always Shines on the California Empire

The Golden State, Not the U.S., Is the Worthiest Successor to Britain’s Global Supremacy

The sun has set on the British Empire. Its successor, America, is showing signs of decline. But one empire still has plenty of battery life: California.

This is true even …

No City Is Immune From an Identity Crisis

Beware, Hollywood and Silicon Valley: If Bakersfield Can Lose Its Signature Industry, So Can You

Can you imagine Southern California without Hollywood? Or the Bay Area without Silicon Valley?

No? History suggests that the identities of cities and regions are more fragile, and their central industries …

Why Californians Are Such Suckers for Superheroes

From Onscreen Icons to Tech Stars, the State's Obsession With Larger-Than-Life Characters Is a Way to Avoid Inconvenient Truths

California faces a peculiar overpopulation problem: We have too many superheroes.

Missed this news in The Daily Planet? Fear not—your ignorance is understandable. California is not as closely associated with …

What My High School Taught Me About Sex

At the Clinic, Teens Learn to Grapple With Difficult Choices About Their Own Bodies

The Hollywood High School Wellness Center is tucked away, far from the famous mural painted on our auditorium, which depicts alumni such as Dorothy Dandridge, Laurence Fishburne, and Cher. My …

Let’s Play the Drought Blame Game

There Are Plenty of Guilty Parties During This Dry Spell—Even the Cows are Moo-ches

I hate to play the blame game, but let’s face facts: This drought is all your fault.

You are watering outdoors too much. You kept your lawn when you should have …