November 22, 2012

Giant Japanese Robot from Outer Space personnel news


Here at iSteve, our mission includes keeping you up to date on the latest developments at the Giant Japanese Robot from Outer Space high school that is perpetually about to zap the Los Angeles Cathedral across the 101 freeway with its flamethrower death ray.

The $232 million school has been open for several years now, but has so far not been a success. The idea of building a Fame type performing arts high school right off the Hollywood Freeway in the northwest corner of downtown L.A. to attract the children of the huge array of talented parents who live to the north and west made sense. But, then it was decided that catering to the children of the people who pay most of the taxes was racist, so it was decided to reserve most of the spaces in the school for children from the neighborhood, a neighborhood not noted for producing talent.

The original plan was to get billionaire art patron Eli Broad to kick in some more bucks in return for putting his name on the thing, but he's been cool to the idea. After several years as merely High School #9, it is currently called the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts after the recent school chief. But that name probably won't last because the school board recently paid out $450,000 for the elderly Cortines sexually harassing a middle aged male employee. (But, looking on the bright side, at least it wasn't a kid!).

Things have gotten so desperate lately that LAUSD has taken the radical step of actually hiring a principal, Norm Isaacs, with a proven track record of turning around a failing school by making it more attractive to talented students. From the LA Times:
After a difficult search process, a veteran Los Angeles principal who later started a local charter school has been chosen the newest leader of the downtown visual and performing arts high school. 
Norman Isaacs, 67, was not the first or second choice of Los Angeles Unified School District officials, but he has long been viewed as a leader within and outside the school system for his role in developing and managing arts programs. 
... For years, Isaacs nurtured the well-regarded arts program at Millikan Middle School in the San Fernando Valley. Then he left the Los Angeles district, largely out of frustration over his unsuccessful efforts to develop a continuation of Millikan's program at nearby Grant High School. ... 
The job of leading the $232-million downtown arts high school, which just started its third year, has proved a revolving door. This summer, a school committee considered more than 30 candidates; its top choices were two educators from outside the system who'd been recruited by billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad. 
Broad had pushed for an established figure from outside L.A. Unified and was willing to sweeten the district's salary offer. 
But Kim Bruno, from New York City, accepted and then changed her mind. Then, last week, Rory Pullens, who heads the performing arts high school in Washington, D.C., did an about face too. He had been due to start in November.  
The district also has replaced three previous top administrators at the school from inside the district, in one case sparking protests. 
A Pennsylvania native and economics major, Isaacs had envisioned a one-year Los Angeles teaching stint in 1969. But the job captivated him; he worked his way up through some of the most difficult schools in the system before becoming Millikan's principal in 1995.

Back in the early 1990s, Millikan Middle School in pleasant Sherman Oaks was a gang-infested wasteland. After a middle school student murdered a local homeowner, the well-connected neighbors demanded that the school be shut down. In desperation, the school district made Isaacs principal of Millikan Middle School and let him implement his hitherto unthinkable strategy of making this public school in Sherman Oaks attractive to people who live in places like Sherman Oaks.

But they wouldn't let him carry on at Grant H.S., a school best known for three decades of Armenian v. Mexican ethnic rioting.

49 comments:

Aaron Gross said...

Architecturally, I see this standoff between the buildings as kind of a battle between Godzilla and Rodan. Humanity would be best off if both monsters destroyed each other.

Anonymous said...

The High School is only 238,000 sq.ft. That puts the square foot construction costs at over double that of building a hospital in NYC.

Steve Sailer said...

Yes, but what kind of sci-fi movie character does your new hospital look like?

Reg C├Žsar said...

"Gigantor, the space-age robot, he's at your command..."

Anonymous said...

R2D2. Efficient volume to surface area ratio and he's ramp-free.

The metal polisher's union must have some juice in LA.

Anonymous said...

They should change that school from an arty one into a geeky one, and officially call it Giant Japanese Robot from Outer Space High School. Extra points if the school uses fusion-powered flying cars to bus geeky students from all over the state. Even more extra points if these buses have deflector shields - the students will sure as hell need them!

Anonymous said...

"This is the new $242 million arts high school in downtown Los Angeles. I don't know what the giant spiral thing-a-mabob is supposed to be: to me, it looks like a nightmare water slide that will send children plummeting out of its airborne bottom end to their deaths:

Whhhheeeeeeeee ... Splat."

Yeah, a water slide but no pool. A quarter of a billion dollars and no pool, why? Too much maintenance? Even Wappinger Falls had a pool.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a giant slide.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what the giant spiral thing-a-mabob is supposed to be: to me, it looks like a nightmare water slide that will send children plummeting out of its airborne bottom end to their deaths

Maybe that is it's secret purpose, to enable the eugenic suicide of ugly, geeky, unpopular, crazy, creepy, "without social skills" kids.

Anonymous said...

Call Godzilla to destroy mechagodzilla.

Anonymous said...

I must say... the church doesn't look any better.

Anonymous said...

It looks more like a giant robot dog.

BrokenSymmetry said...

Meanwhile in Germany

Katze kindergarten

Anonymous said...

Robert Millikan was a great American scientist who succeeded in that most damnedly tricky of things - "weighing the electron".

I just wonder how many of those horrible oafs who attened Millikan school had any idea about the man and his achievements.

Anonymous said...

That puts the square foot construction costs at over double that of building a hospital in NYC.

But the hospital doesn't look like a robot.

Tiger blood tea said...

What a colossal waste of money- so of course they must double down on stupidity and focus it on 'disadvantaged' students who are the least likely to make a productive use of the facility.

Maybe a perfect symbol of modern day Cali at this point. Or modern America.

Peter said...

They should change that school from an arty one into a geeky one, and officially call it Giant Japanese Robot from Outer Space High School. Extra points if the school uses fusion-powered flying cars to bus geeky students from all over the state.

Won't be any need for a senior prom, then.

Hunsdon said...

Steve said: Yes, but what kind of sci-fi movie character does your new hospital look like?

Hunsdon replied: That is quite possibly the funniest thing I have read in quite some time.

It strikes me, though, that we're whistling past the graveyard, getting our laughs from the Giant Robot while ignoring the incomprehensible nightmare that our betters have foisted upon us.

Anon87 said...

OT, but an interesting timeline.

Nov 14 - Romney "The Obama campaign was following the old playbook of giving a lot of stuff to groups that they hoped they could get to vote for them and be motivated to go out to the polls, specifically the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people, in each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups."

Nov 15 to Present - Jindal We don’t start winning majorities … by insulting our voters.” “The GOP needs to stop being the stupid party.” "This is completely unhelpful"

Nov 18 - Gingrinch - "I just think it's nuts, I mean, first of all, it's insulting."

Nov 23 - Black voters look to leverage their loyalty

Although they waver over how much to demand from the president — particularly in light of defeated GOP challenger Mitt Romney's assertion that Obama gave "gifts" to minorities in exchange for their votes — they are delivering postelection wish lists to the president anyway.

Also see Facebook: The Real Presidential Swing State

For example, the version geared to students pointed out that the legislation would let them keep their parents' insurance until age 26; the one for the elderly focused on what it would do to close a Medicaid benefit gap known as the doughnut hole. Nope, no "gifts" there either.

And finally, remember this classic? Christmas Gifts

Stupid Party is as Stupid Party does.

x said...

i drove past it in l.a earlier this year when i was visiting the u.s. i immediately was reminded of your column, steve, and laughed.

Celebrate Homogeneity said...

Slightly off-topic but close: now that the Kennedy () High School on Wilshire has been open for about two years, I wonder what condition it is in? Any of you Angelinos have some news on that?

For those who may not know: the Kennedy high school was built on the grounds formerly holding the Ambassador Hotel. Robert Kennedy was assassinated there. The school was built with all manner of un-needed nonsense including talking exhibits in the front garden.

Anonymous said...

http://observer.com/2012/11/voice-of-elmo-accused-of-child-molestation/

Anonymous said...

http://bigthink.com/e-pur-si-muove/why-multicultural-society-is-a-logical-impossibility

Anonymous said...

http://bigthink.com/e-pur-si-muove/the-best-popular-introduction-to-evolutionary-psychology-in-the-qa-format

Anonymous said...

http://www.asafeworldforwomen.org/womens-rights/wr-africa/wr-south-africa/3312-dangerous-game.html

Big Bill said...

"The High School is only 238,000 sq.ft. That puts the square foot construction costs at over double that of building a hospital in NYC."

Nothing but the very best for our little Mexican cousins! Always remember, they are going to be paying your Social Security.

Anon87 said...

OT - Marriage Gap

Steve, after reading your series of entries on the Marriage Gap, I've been thinking about how to take advantage of this. Since the Stupid Party shouldn't be about handing out "gifts", what's the best strategy to gain voters? How do you encourage couples to get married and become good Republicans?

Reading how Democrats are allegedly so much more digital savvy and are using Facebook and Twitter to micro-target special interest groups, why not use the same strategy but in a less pandering approach? Gather the demographics of online users, and target those who could help contribute to the Marriage Gap since that is what you need to expand. You should bombard this group with ads about The Best Cities to Raise a Family. Plant the idea and let nature take its course.

I did a quick check of these type of lists online, which was a chore with all the dreaded slideshows. I combined the top 10 from Forbes, Parenting.com, Good Housekeeping, 24/7 Wall Street, TheStreet (which used Parenting and Fit Pregnancy), MSN Real Estate/Kiplinger, and Mens Health (which had top 100 cities). I left out Bloomberg/Onboard Informatics since they provided one city per state with no ranking. Each list had its own set of criteria, but obviously lots of similarities between them like good schools, low crime, etc. I'll post the lists separately.

Just an idea, since Republicans apparently can't talk about immigration, affirmative action, taxes, entitlements, etc. without being labeled as extremist hate-filled bigots. Although I'm sure somehow there is a dog whistle blowing by promoting the Marriage Gap.

Anon87 said...

Cities ranked by average score across lists:

1.5 Burlington
2.0 Hanover, NH
2.0 Portland, OR
2.0 Richland
2.0 Virginia Beach
3.0 Boston
3.0 Fargo
3.0 Grand Rapids
3.0 Louisville
3.0 Minneapolis
3.0 Portland, Maine
3.0 Provo
3.5 Scottsdale
4.0 Austin
4.0 Irvine
4.0 Lake Mary
4.0 Madison (includes Middleton)
4.0 Raleigh
4.0 Thousand Oaks
4.0 Youngstown
4.5 Lincoln
5.0 Claremont
5.0 Fremont
5.5 Boise
6.0 Appleton
6.0 Arlington, Washington, DC
6.0 Fort Wayne
6.0 Lexington
6.0 Papillion
6.0 Poughkeepsie
6.3 Omaha
6.5 Cheyenne
6.5 Suwanee
7.0 Honolulu
7.0 Milton
7.0 Minneapolis/St. Paul
7.0 Plano
7.0 Seattle
7.0 Sunnyvale
8.0 Chaska
8.0 Middletown
8.0 Ogden
9.0 Cincinnati
9.0 Colorado Springs
9.0 Corona
9.0 Nether Providence (Wallingford)
10.0 Greensboro
10.0 Pittsburg
10.0 Sioux Falls
10.0 Stamford
10.0 Worcester
10.0 Yonkers

Anon87 said...

Cities by frequency of appearance on lists:

6 Omaha
5 Madison (includes Middleton)
2 Boise
2 Boston
2 Burlington
2 Cheyenne
2 Grand Rapids
2 Lincoln
2 Raleigh
2 Scottsdale
2 Suwanee
1 Appleton
1 Arlington, Washington, DC
1 Austin
1 Chaska
1 Cincinnati
1 Claremont
1 Colorado Springs
1 Corona
1 Fargo
1 Fort Wayne
1 Fremont
1 Greensboro
1 Hanover, NH
1 Honolulu
1 Irvine
1 Lake Mary
1 Lexington
1 Louisville
1 Middletown, NY
1 Milton
1 Minneapolis
1 Minneapolis/St. Paul
1 Nether Providence (Wallingford)
1 Ogden
1 Papillion
1 Pittsburg
1 Plano
1 Portland, OR
1 Portland, Maine
1 Poughkeepsie
1 Provo
1 Richland
1 Seattle
1 Sioux Falls
1 Stamford
1 Sunnyvale
1 Thousand Oaks
1 Virginia Beach
1 Worcester
1 Yonkers
1 Youngstown

Dutch Boy said...

The dueling monstrosities perfectly evoke the Sad Sack status of both public education and the Catholic Church.

sunbeam said...

I don't understand this part of the country.

I understand there are a lot of people there who are very well off, and who work in the film, music, and even publishing industries for generations in some cases.

You have other people who have come to the area because they want to one in one of these industries.

You have have a lot of well off people period, who live in LA because they like the scene, presumably the arts are a big part of it.

So why doesn't LA have some massive private school that is like that high school from Fame? With the kind of money some of these folks have I would think it pretty easy to acquire the property for something like that even in the LA market. Surely at least one billionaire philanthropist would bite on it.

Plus with the kind of money these guys have (am I wrong?) it isn't going to be a challenge for them to extend scholarships to poor people with a lot of talent. These guys wouldn't exactly be like a catholic school run by the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Plus you could have a lot of recursion. Not only would this high school produce the next generation of stars, think of all the reality shows, weekly dramas, music shows, etc. that could be set here.

I mean I can totally see some 80's hair band guy going in for a PTA meeting with his kid.

The reality show writes itself, we get a bunch of hot kids talking about eating vegan and boob jobs. Mom and daughter can go into the plastic surgeon's office together and talk about what they are going to have done.

I bet some advertising guy would jizz over the demographic that a bunch of telegenic Heathers could produce in this setting. My god, considering the kinds of people you would have in it, it is like God himself stepped down to deliver the perfect vehicle for product placement.

What was that dumb ass show where the girl lost her virginity in multiple "Special Episodes of Blossom?" Blossom, I guess.

Hell, let's break ground. We can have a reality show about some hot, upper class, teenage piece of ass getting her first abortion. The ad guys would ejaculate repeatedly to get this demo. Plus you are breaking "New Ground," addressing issues 'n shit. It's important stuff man, all you need is the guts to take the heat.

And count the money.

Come to think of it, I don't need an actual school. I have an IDEA, which is more important anyway. I don't need a real school, I need sets.

You know anyone who is in the market for a big concept idea right now? I'm talking franchises, direct marketing, a whole stable of dramas and shows based on this concept.

Maybe Lindsay Lohan is looking for something right now...

Anonymous said...

I live in the E SF Bay area. Our community recently built a $120 million high school for minority students. Within a year it required several million dollars to repair vandalism. I'm trying to understand the point of building these over-designed architectural confections for black and hispanic kiddies who are just as easily educated in inexpensive utilitarian buildings that can more easily be repaired or replaced. Meanwhile, wealthy communities with high achieving students in the South Bay seem able to construct new schools for much less money.

Why is that?

josh said...

Calling Jaime Escalante!

Mr. Anon said...

"The idea of building a Fame type performing arts high school right off the Hollywood Freeway in the northwest corner of downtown L.A. to attract the children of the huge array of talented parents who live to the north and west made sense."

Only if we deem it vitally important to increase the nation's supply of performance artists, community theater divas, gay dancers for Lady Gaga videos, and extras for the latest offering on the SyFy channel (Megasquid vs. Zombie-Weasel). The last thing this country needs is more of anything having to do with entertainment.

JI said...

It might be a good thing that Broad won't contribute. After all, The Broad School just doesn't have a very PC ring to it and might raise questions about the goals of the school.

JI said...

It might be a good thing that Broad won't contribute. After all, The Broad School just doesn't have a very PC ring to it and might raise questions about the goals of the school.

Aaron Gross said...

If there's anything worthwhile I learned in my childhood, it's that there's only one man who can save Los Angeles from Giant Robot From Outer Space High School: Ultraman!.

Hugh said...

$232MMM? For a school?

That's incredible.

ancestor worship said...

Steve, as you note, there's a middle school in the west valley named after U.Chicago/Caltech big wheel Robert Millikan (one of two schools in the wider L.A. area) while today we have a state-of-the-art-terrible facility named after a mostly unknown (except for his legal problem) LAUSD figure. Though it's common to name public buildings after bureaucratic time-servers, shrewd legislators, or just local rich guys who kicked in this used to be seen as kind of tacky here for school naming rights; though maybe MLK or RFK or Cesar Chavez, or someone famous with AIDS, were OK as faintly "political" tributes. How long till we have a West Virginia situation where every last public building is named after an accomplished porkbarreler or talented union infighter? Personally I'd be less upset with GoDaddy.com Middle or the Starbucks School for the Arts

Anonymous said...

I must say... the church doesn't look any better.

Although supposedly there are some who like it, I can't seem to find them around here (see also: Disney Concert Hall). About 8 years ago was discussing it w/ an "old stock Angeleno" (i.e. 1940s) acquaintance who referred to it as the Taj Mahoney

Anonymous said...

Maybe that is it's secret purpose, to enable the eugenic suicide of ugly, geeky, unpopular, crazy, creepy -- I'd doubt they were thinking that far ahead

Anonymous said...

"no pool, why?"

assuming you weren't being facetious, this school is located in The Town The Trial Lawyers Built. Although nearby Roosevelt HS does have a huge one that must have been grandfathered in.

Anonymous said...

After all, The Broad School just doesn't have a very PC ring to it and might raise questions about the goals of the school.

A feminist school for hippy (not hippie) girls?

Velander said...

" Anonymous said...

I must say... the church doesn't look any better."

Maybe, but it probably only cost a small fraction of what the school cost, and was likely financed by private donations/offering.

If people want to put up a plain building for their own reasons, that's their business, but don't put up a quarter billion dollar eyesore with money, use it as a facility to train minorities to hate whites, and force me to pay for it or go to jail. That's flat out obscene.

Anonymous said...

The Cathedral is 58,000 sq. ft. And cost 250,000,000. At that price, I want my asymmetrical Cathedral to be the equal of Chartes.

Cail Corishev said...

That someone could see the likes of Chartres, and then sign off on the plans for the Rog Mahal, may be the best proof we have for the existence of evil in the world.

Hunsdon said...

Armenians vs. Mexicans? Who won? The (ahem) Caucasians? (This is not just a Caucasus joke---I'd really like to know if one group generally comes out on top in fisticuffs and hooliganism.)

Anonymous said...

Actually the Armenians in America are both of Caucasian and Anatolian descent. Caucasian Armenia is modern Armenia. Anatolian Armenia was destroyed by the Turks in the WWI genocide.

Anonymous said...

All I know is that that is the ugliest building i have ever seen.