Friday, March 11, 2005

Old Reds

I peer at the front page of the print edition of the LA Times most days, when I pass newspaper boxes or in the grocery store, though I rarely buy it. I can't believe I missed this story about an LA retirement home founded back in 1924 for aging religious liberals, and gradually transformed into a place for old leftist activists. Some progressive Canadian academics that my partner had dinner with at a conference last night in Orange County brought it do her attention after hearing from her about my project. The home's residents are dying off and it is threatened with closure, hence the publicity. I can't decide if the article's tone intends to provide a nostalgic window back to the day when the United States actually had a viable left (as opposed to today's liberals who sometimes claim that label, and who themselves are seeming less and less viable with every passing year), or if it is using the perceived exoticness (to people who have only known today's political climate) of the residents' politics to indulge in a kind of smug affirmation of the triumph of the current status quo. In any case, an interesting institution, an interesting article, and surely some fascinating people.

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