Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, December 26, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, December 26, 2020 






Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 

Audrey Swanson

Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee

Last Sunday I eagerly walked down the hill 
from my house intending to pick up a copy 
of last week’s Mountain Views News. I can 
hardly wait to see my printed articles and the 
pictures that accompany them. For the last 
couple of months I have had two articles in 
each issue. One of the articles is an interview 
of a neighbor accompanied by their picture 
while the other article is just me writing about 
me and is also accompanied by a picture.

 In the article about the neighbor that should 
appears in this week’s issue I have written a 
profile of the owner- publisher, editor of this 
paper, Susan Henderson. Prior to this week 
I have always selected the picture that will 
accompany my articles. This week the choice 
of picture will be made by the subject herself 
and I am very interested to see what picture she will choose. It is my personal 
experience that the choice of picture, if closely analyzed will reveal surprising 
information about the subject and/or the intent of the interviewer. What age 
will be depicted? What weight? What activity?

 For example, last week my article was entitled Protests and was my 
perhaps unsuccessful attempt to explain the purpose behind my refusal to 
cut my hair or shave during this entire year of the Pandemic. The prior week 
the picture accompanying the article entitled The Eternal Search for Meaning 
displayed me with my hand on my chin, bewilderingly looking skyward, clean 
shaven and in a worn Tee shirt. This picture would have been completely 
incompatible with the Protest article and I belatedly submitted a picture 
showing me in my prior to this year every-day lawyer - clothes of coat, tie, and 
hat. I am very noticeably pointing out to the hillside below the deck where I am 
standing. The newspaper picture was presented in black and white but is shown 
on the Mountain Views News website Vol.14 no.51 p.12.

 Comparison of the two pictures shows a bewildered man wondering 
about his place in the Universe while the second picture shown a man all 
dressed for work but clearly unprepared and unable to work pointing to his 
beautiful surroundings. Closely examining the pictures now makes the meaning 
of the articles clearer to me, if no one else. In the first picture I am confused 
as my lifelong work-life has been disrupted and I know not what to do. By the 
next week I have found an uncomfortable solution. Get mad! Dressed in my 
lawyer clothes and in front of my beautiful hillside I show that I am ready to 
work and be productive but the forces of the world have me transformed into 
a confined, functionless old man. At least that’s what the pictures say to me. I 
am protesting against the pandemic, protesting against my ageing, protesting 
against my confinement no matter how beautiful my prison is. Today, I am still 
protesting but with a little more understanding of my reasons.

 The picture accompanying the other article is of a very pretty young 
woman in her mid-twenties. The article reveals her as now 74 years old having 
lived a life full of ups and downs. For her present age she is still good looking 
but I chose that picture to show her that for me and for many who know her she 
will always be that beautiful; always a beautiful memory of a freer, joyful life in 
this difficult present. 

 This week the picture of Susan Henderson will be of her own choosing. 
It is very possible that the picture will allow for an understanding which 
informs the text. Similarly, this week I have given no instructions and provided 
no picture to accompany this article. Let’s wait and see. 

Mountain Views News 
has been adjudicated as 
a newspaper of General 
Circulation for the County 
of Los Angeles in Court 
Case number GS004724: 
for the City of Sierra 
Madre; in Court Case 
GS005940 and for the 
City of Monrovia in Court 
Case No. GS006989 and 
is published every Saturday 
at 80 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd., No. 327, Sierra 
Madre, California, 91024. 
All contents are copyrighted 
and may not be 
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the publisher. All rights 
reserved. All submissions 
to this newspaper become 
the property of the Mountain 
Views News and may 
be published in part or 

Opinions and views expressed 
by the writers 
printed in this paper do 
not necessarily express 
the views and opinions 
of the publisher or staff 
of the Mountain Views 

Mountain Views News is 
wholly owned by Grace 
Lorraine Publications, 
and reserves the right to 
refuse publication of advertisements 
and other 
materials submitted for 

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Phone: 626-355-2737

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A member of 





SANE IN 2020


The end of this sad, strange, historic and transformative year is 
almost upon us. And like a lot of you, I found myself burrowing 
into ritual, structure, and obligatory loaves of sourdough to fill up 
those hours of social isolation thrust upon us by the COVID-19 

But of course, you can’t live on pandemic sourdough alone. So 
here’s a quick list of the books, music, and bits of culture that provided 
some peace and tranquility amidst the frantic hours of work, 
moments of mourning, and surprising intervals of joy and extreme gratitude that made 
up my 2020.

“1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed,” Eric H. Kline, Princeton University Press

When you’re staring down what feels like the end of history, it’s only natural to wonder if 
we’ve been here before, and what lessons those times of trouble hold for us now.

This slender, but massively weighty volume, by George Washington University classicist 
Eric H. Cline, takes up one of the great mysteries of human history. In 1177 B.C., after 
centuries of brilliance, the civilizations of the late Bronze Age Mediterranean came to 
an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Over the space of a generation or so, the Mycenaeans, 
the Minoans, the Hittites, and the Babylonians, slid into irreversible decline, vanishing 
from history, as the region slid into a centuries-long dark age that didn’t end until the 
emergence of what we now know as the classical era around 750 B.C.

Historians are still trying to unravel the interconnected calamities, which ranged from 
incursions by seaborne groups of marauders collectively known as the “Sea Peoples” and 
internal unrest, to the severing of sophisticated regional trade routes, that hastened the 
end of the Late Bronze Age. While it’s a very foreign world in a lot of ways, it’s also one 
that is recognizably our own, reminding us that civilization is a delicate thing that needs 
to be tended to and nurtured if it is to survive.

“Folklore,” Taylor Swift

For all the ink that’s been spilled about the death of the monoculture, July’s surprise 
release of Taylor Swift’s ninth record was a throwback to those seemingly bygone years 
where we were all listening to, and dissecting, the same records at the same time.

The minimalist, folk-imbued electronica that Swift crafted in lockdown with The National’s 
Aaron Dessner, and longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff of Bleachers, was just 
the sort of quiet escapism that we were all looking for as we came blinking into the sun 
of what ended up being a short-lived, post-lockdown world.

Sometimes the right record comes along at the right moment. Swift, ever adept at choosing 
her moments, found hers with “Folklore.”

“The Mandalorian,” Disney+

After a concluding Skywalker trilogy that felt as overstuffed as often as it felt half-baker, 
writer/director Jon Favreau’s space western marked a welcome return to smaller-scale 
storytelling that managed to evoke the pulpy best of the original film series, while forging 
a ground that was uniquely its own. Pedro Pascal’s laconic bounty hunter Din Djarin, 
the Mandalorian of the title, channeled fan nostalgia for the bounty hunter Boba Fett 
of the original series, even as he established himself as a new and serious player in the 
sprawling mythos.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Fan service abounded throughout the series, with such favorites as Jedi Knight Ahsoka 
Tano being brought to vivid life by Rosario Dawson (who’s getting her own series). The 
resurrection of Boba Fett was another welcome (if slightly expected moment). And, of 
course, the surprise return of a certain legendary Jedi Knight in the Season Two finale 
(I’m not going to spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it) was one of those heart-stopping 
moments that the franchise excels at when it’s at its best.

But there’s no doubt that the emotional center of the series, its entire reason for being, 
was the emerging father/child relationship between Mando and Grogu (don’t call him 
Baby Yoda anymore).

Some of the series’ sweetest moments came when Pascal’s bounty hunter let down his 
guard and allowed this impossibly adorable creature into his scarred heart. That journey 
into fatherhood – a theme across the franchise – is what keeps the Mandalorian from 
devolving into just another big-budget, Hollywood shoot-em-up.

Email me at or hit me up on Twitter @ByJohnLMicek. I’d 
love to hear about your picks.

Despite having failed to prevail in any consequential legal challenge 
to overturn the presidential election, President Trump and his team 
of conspiracy theorist attorneys – egged on by hardcore supporters 
and advisers, members of Congress and an element of the media – 
have continued to insist he was re-elected overwhelmingly and his 
victory stolen by massive fraud and foreign interference.

Even the most devoted Trump disciple must have concluded by now 
that the Biden Administration will assume office Jan. 20 and the ex-
president will retire to Florida to plot a takeover of the Republican 
Party and his comeback in 2024.

Given the apparently pointless strategy of perseverance, it is reasonable to ask: “What is 
the end game here?”

Any hope that the Supreme Court will agree with the president and set aside the election 
in whole or in part vanished long ago.

The bizarre and dangerous demands that martial law be invoked, the Constitution suspended 
and Trump continue in office were quickly consigned to the loony bin where 
they belonged.

Even a nascent movement to block the Congress from exercising its Constitutional duty 
to certify the election was dismissed by Republican Party leaders horrified at the prospect 
of becoming party to what amounts to a coup to seize power, a turn of events normally 
reserved for “Mission Impossible” films set in a banana republic.

Might the end game be a Trumpian strategy to assert a dominating influence over the 
yet to be written history of the 2020 presidential election?

Could the goal be to assure the Trump view of the election – fraud-riddled and worthy 
of a RICO violation – be given attention and veracity equal to the Biden view of a victory 
given him by a nation weary of the tumult, chaos and muddled policies of the past 
four years?

Trump is an individual obsessed with the acclaim of others, indulging in self-praise at 
every opportunity even when demonstrably unrealistic.

From his insistence that the audience for his inauguration in 2017 was the largest in history 
to his repeated claim that he accomplished more on behalf of African Americans 
than Abraham Lincoln, Trump lifted exaggeration and embellishment to new heights.

He thrives on the roar of the crowd, the chants of support from campaign audiences 
and the crush of television cameras following his every move while recording his every 

His need for attention and adulation is the equivalent of the human species need for 

He gleefully and shamelessly diminishes his opponents by hanging derogatory nicknames 
on them. His vocabulary is stuffed with one or two-word descriptions of the 
intellectual shortcomings of his critics or anyone who disagrees with him.

It is not at all difficult, then, that given his history and personal pathology that defeat 
at the hands of Joe Biden – the highest and most public rejection of his career – was so 
devastating and drew the intensity of vitriol embodied in his reaction.

Responding by creating a mythology for academics and scholars to study and accept in 
their works of history fits neatly into Trump’s obsession with bending reality to his will.

The ongoing legal challenges to his failed re-election effort are an integral part of that 

It is crucial to Trump’s self-esteem to insert doubts about the legitimacy of Biden’s election 
into the historical record. It is equally important to him that his defeat be presented 
as a classic case of victimization, that sinister forces at play robbed him of his rightful 
due and punished millions of Americans who cast votes for him only to see their desires 

A steady stream of litigation based on anecdotal evidence and affidavits alleging first 
hand knowledge of illegal behavior by election officials is necessary to maintain the narrative 
that Trump was cheated out of a victory that he earned and deserved.

The greater the attention to the Trump attorneys’ legal maneuvering and arguments, 
the greater their credibility in the eyes of historians who, it is hoped, will accord it equal 
weight with the Biden narrative.

Seventy-five years ago England’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill, was turned out of 
office and was asked how he felt he’d be treated by history.

“History will treat me very well,” he responded, “because I intend to write it.”

Trump, it would appear, intends to follow old Winnie’s advice.

Mountain Views News

Mission Statement

The traditions of 
community news-
papers and the 
concerns of our readers 
are this newspaper’s 
top priorities. We 
support a prosperous 
community of well-
informed citizens. We 
hold in high regard the 
values of the exceptional 
quality of life in our 
community, including 
the magnificence of 
our natural resources. 
Integrity will be our guide. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: