Does Blink-182 Know Something California’s Governor Jerry Brown Doesn’t?

While Politicians Keep Trumpeting the State’s Success, This Summer’s Songs and Films Sound Skeptical

How is California doing these days? The answer may depend on whom you believe: Governor Brown or Blink-182.

This summer has exposed a divide in perception of California, between the political triumphalism of our elected officials and the decidedly more anxious state of affairs depicted in the broader culture.

Our state’s political and media elites are selling the idea of a “California comeback.” They say—in speeches, op-eds, and books—that the Golden State, not so long ago dismissed as dysfunctional, is the closest thing America has to a working man’s paradise. …

Southern California, 2001

Rain won’t affect bamboo’s determination
to flower. The sand has no choice of where
it will blow, on what night, into which barrio,
whose eye. Nothing is certain. (To know …

Meet the Toughest Mountains in California

The Tehachapi Range May Intimidate High-Speed Rail Builders, but This Stubborn Barrier Actually Ties the State Together

Don’t mess with the Tehachapis.

California has taller mountain ranges, more famous mountain ranges, even more beautiful mountain ranges. But no mountains here are tougher—or more important—than the Tehachapis.

A mishmash of …

The Fall Gusts That Bring Out L.A.’s Crazy

Why Are We So Fascinated By the Santa Ana Winds?

If you reside in Los Angeles, you’ve felt the heat of autumn and perhaps cursed the “devil winds,” the hot gusts that blow through the mountain passes in southern California …

Wet and Wild

The Chlorinated Water and Scantily Clad Bodies of Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography 1945-1982


No dream of Southern California is complete without a swimming pool. What started as a totem of status and privacy became, in the postwar years, an affordable luxury for middle-class …

But Who Gets Hemet?

Splitting California in Two Would Be Great, If It Made Any Sense

“Marriage is hard,” proclaimed New America Foundation Irvine Senior Fellow Joe Mathews. Schwarzenegger and Shriver couldn’t make it; Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries survived just 72 days. But California has …