Does an f-bomb make the man?

Los Angeles didn’t quite know what to make of its mayor, Eric Garcetti, holding a

© Piotr Marcinski

© Piotr Marcinski

beer bottle and dropping the f-bomb into a microphone during a rally that was broadcast live to celebrate the Kings’ winning the Stanley Cup.

“They say there are two rules in politics,” the mayor said. “Never, ever be pictured with a drink in your hand and never swear. But this is a big [effing] day.”

Where’d he learn that word – at a Rangers game?

The morning news speculated that Garcetti said it, in part, to offset criticism that he’s too reserved for LA. He’s a Columbia man and a Rhodes Scholar in a town known for beauty, not brains. The unexpected f-bomb, speculators said, made him look more like an average Joe, all right, and average Joes – as we know because Hollywood tells us so – are manly men.

I disagree. That Garcetti used the word only points up its increasing impotence. The f-bomb has become so common in regular conversation that it More

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Red, white and blue all over

Don’t ask me who won the California primary elections Tuesday. I’m on only my first cup of coffee.

Yesterday, politics was none of my business. I was a first-time election clerk, sworn Election worker-1 to uphold the Constitutions of the United States and California, bound by law to keep ballots secret and safe and bound by rule not to discuss candidates, political parties, surveys or any of the other topics that fuel front-porch bickering as the big day nears.

I was one of a staff of five, each with specific duties. If you voted on the mountain, it could have been me who set up your voting booth at 6 a.m., who tore the ballot off the ballot pad and wrapped it in a privacy sleeve for you, then helped to secure the voting materials after 8 p.m., when polling places closed.

It’s a small mountain: Stick around long enough, and you realize that everybody knows half of everybody else. Yesterday, we had to be reminded that it wasn’t enough to recognize the person coming through the door; voters officially have to state their first and last names and their street addresses before voting. One of the county’s official poll observers scribbled furiously on a clipboard whenever that was followed by things like “How’s your mom doing?” and “I heard your More

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