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California City

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Deep in the Mojave Desert, there is a little town with a big name and a bizarre history: California City. For decades, real estate developers have sold a dream here: if you buy land now, you’ll be rich one day. Thousands of people bought this dream. Many were young couples and hard-working immigrants looking to build a better future. But much of the land they bought is nearly worthless. In this new podcast from LAist Studios, host Emily Guerin tells a story of money, power and deception.

Location:

United States

Description:

Deep in the Mojave Desert, there is a little town with a big name and a bizarre history: California City. For decades, real estate developers have sold a dream here: if you buy land now, you’ll be rich one day. Thousands of people bought this dream. Many were young couples and hard-working immigrants looking to build a better future. But much of the land they bought is nearly worthless. In this new podcast from LAist Studios, host Emily Guerin tells a story of money, power and deception.

Twitter:

@guerinemily

Language:

English


Episodes

Imperfect Paradise: Strippers Union: Part 2

2/28/2024
Part 2: When the Star Garden strippers go public with their union campaign, they get pushback from the club’s management and a group they didn’t anticipate - other strippers. LAist Producer Emma Alabaster reports. Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live.

Duration:00:43:01

Imperfect Paradise: Strippers Union: Part 1

2/21/2024
Part 1: In 2023, North Hollywood’s Star Garden reopened as the only unionized strip club in the U.S. LAist Producer Emma Alabaster tells us the behind-the-scenes story of the workplace conditions that pushed the dancers into action. CONTENT WARNING: This episode includes sensitive content about sexual assault. For sexual assault and harassment support and resources, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673, which is a service of RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network). For more, visit https://LAist.com/ImperfectParadise Support LAist Today: https://LAist.com/donate Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live.

Duration:00:42:26

Imperfect Paradise presents: Imperfect Inquiry: Have Identity Politics Been Hijacked?

2/14/2024
Imperfect Paradise Host Antonia Cereijido speaks with philosopher and author of Elite Capture: How The Powerful Took over Identity Politics (And Everything Else) Olúfemi O. Táíwò. They examine the question: are identity politics over? It’s a question that was raised and we began to explore with Imperfect Paradise’s Nury & The Secret Tapes series. Antonia examines that question more deeply with Táíwò and presses him on why he believes identity politics have failed to deliver on their promise to create greater social equity and what he thinks is the more effective political alternative. Antonia’s conversation with Táíwò kicks off the first Imperfect Inquiry, a recurring Imperfect Paradise segment in which Antonia interviews thinkers, experts, and stakeholders on themes, issues, and questions that we examine on the show. For more, visit https://LAist.com/ImperfectParadise Support LAist Today: https://LAist.com/donate Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live.

Duration:00:29:20

RFK Jr. - The Presidential Candidate for Wellness Conspiracists?

2/7/2024
Imperfect Paradise: Yoga's "Queen of Conspiracies": Part 4: RFK Jr. - The Presidential Candidate for Wellness Conspiracists? A year after Yoga’s “Queen of Conspiracy Theories” first release, Imperfect Paradise host Antonia Cereijido explores a new, unexpected chapter in this story with Conspirituality podcast host Matthew Remski, Politico journalist David Freedlander, and LAist Correspondent Emily Guerin, who reported the series. This episode examines how the conspiracy theories, once relegated to a subset of yoga and wellness communities, are being brought into the political mainstream through the presidential candidacy of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is campaigning on a mix of conspiracies from both the wellness world and the far right. For more, visit https://LAist.com/ImperfectParadise Support LAist Today: https://LAist.com/donate Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live.

Duration:00:37:24

Imperfect Paradise: Yoga's "Queen of Conspiracy Theories": Part 3 REDUX

1/31/2024
Part 3: Kundalini Yoga’s #MeToo Moment In early 2020, just as fears about coronavirus are worsening, women begin accusing the founder of Kundalini Yoga, Yogi Bhajan, of sexual assault. Guru Jagat’s surprising response sets the stage for her radicalization during the pandemic. CONTENT WARNING: Mentions of Sexual Assault (Original Air Date: Jan. 18, 2023) Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Go to HelloFresh.com/imperfectfree and use code imperfectfree for FREE breakfast for life! One breakfast item per box while subscription is active. Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live.

Duration:00:34:07

Imperfect Paradise: Yoga's "Queen of Conspiracy Theories": Part 2 REDUX

1/24/2024
Part 2: Kundalini Royalty Katie Griggs, a young woman from rural Maryland, discovers Kundalini yoga in her early 20s and goes all in. She transforms herself into Guru Jagat, a beloved and controversial yoga and wellness influencer in Los Angeles. In this episode, her friends, family, and coworkers grapple with how she changed in the final years of her life. And we explore the connections between yoga and conspiracies like QAnon. (Original Air Date: Jan. 11, 2023) Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Go to HelloFresh.com/imperfectfree and use code imperfectfree for FREE breakfast for life! One breakfast item per box while subscription is active. Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live.

Duration:00:35:08

Imperfect Paradise: Yoga's "Queen of Conspiracy Theories": Part 1 REDUX

1/17/2024
Before her sudden death in 2021, Guru Jagat had become a famous Kundalini yoga teacher based in Los Angeles. But as the global pandemic grew, she started talking like a far-right coronavirus conspiracy theorist. What does her journey down the rabbit hole tell us about the appeal of conspiracies in the yoga and wellness community? Yoga's "Queen of Conspiracy Theories" explores Guru Jagat’s rise to fame and follows along as she responds not just to the pandemic, but to a #metoo movement scandal that rocked the Kundalini yoga world in early 2020. It also explores themes of misinformation, how a healthy distrust in government and medicine can turn dark, the "relativism around truth" in the wellness industry and the influence of social media on radicalization. The series first came out in December 2022. We're republishing it because it's one of our favorites and remains relevant. We've updated the series with a fourth episode. In this first episode, Guru Jagat starts the pandemic with an understandable skepticism of official medical advice, but quickly grows to embrace an array of far-right conspiracy theories. Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Go to HelloFresh.com/imperfectfree and use code imperfectfree for FREE breakfast for life! One breakfast item per box while subscription is active. Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live.

Duration:00:33:02

Imperfect Paradise presents HTLA: Volunteers Take On The Homelessness Crisis: Part 3 & 4

1/3/2024
This week, Imperfect Paradise is featuring Part 3 & Part 4 of a four-part series from How To LA. HTLA host Brian De Los Santos and producer Evan Jacoby are taking a closer look at L.A. Mayor Karen Bass's "Inside Safe" program. They also recap some of the big questions we've asked throughout the series, and bring a new question to many of our guests from the previous episodes: "What should the relationship be between mutual aid volunteers and government agencies?" If you want to learn more about mutual aid in Los Angeles, check out Evan's reporting on LAist.com Or, if you want to learn about mutual aid groups in your neighborhood and maybe join them, check out these resources: Los Angeles: https://mutualaidla.org/get-involved/https://thepeoplesproject.la/get-aid/ National: https://www.mutualaidhub.org/ CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains strong language and includes sensitive content about drugs, rape, suicide, and death. For substance dependency and mental health support and resources, call SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or text 988. Guests in Part 3: Nono, unhoused resident of an Inside Safe motel in Palms; Nick Gerda, LAist Unhoused Communities Reporter; LA Mayor Karen Bass; Councilmember Kevin de León of Council District 14; Councilmember Nithya Raman of Council District 4; Hawk, U.S. Veteran & Skid Row Resident Guests in Part 4: Aria Cataño, founder of WaterDrop LA; Ndindi Kitonga, founder of Palms Unhoused Mutual Aid (PUMA); Councilmember Nithya Raman of Council District 4; Benjamin Henwood, PhD, professor of social policy and health at the University of Southern California Music in Part 3 episode composed by: Chris Schlarb, Dexter Thomas, Evan Jacoby, Geir Sundstøl, Meitei, Ricky Eat Acid, Woo Music in Part 4 episode composed by: Dexter Thomas, Evan Jacoby, Ill Considered, Meitei, Nala Sinephro, Ricky Eat Acid Go to Hellofresh.com/50imperfect and use code 50imperfect for 50% off plus 15% off the next 2 months! Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Duration:00:50:34

Imperfect Paradise presents HTLA: Volunteers Take On The Homelessness Crisis: Part 1 & 2

12/27/2023
This week, Imperfect Paradise is featuring Part 1 & Part 2 of a four-part series from How To LA. Unsheltered life in L.A. can be dangerous and even deadly — and there has been a massive increase in the death rate for unhoused people in the county over the last few years. There is work being done by the mayor’s office to get people off the street and into temporary housing. But the promise of services — whether in the form of housing, treatment for substance addiction, or mental health counseling — cannot help if people aren’t alive in 6 months, a year — or 5 — to receive them. While they wait, many unhoused people have come to rely on mutual aid volunteers to cover their immediate needs, from overdose prevention to fresh drinking water. In this mini-series from How To LA, host Brian De Los Santos and producer Evan Jacoby explore what these mutual aid groups actually do for our unhoused neighbors, and where these service gaps come from in the first place. CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains strong language and includes sensitive content about drug overdose and death. For substance dependency and mental health support and resources, call SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or text 988. Guests in Part 1: Ndindi Kitonga, founder Palms Unhoused Mutual Aid (PUMA); Jesse Goldshear, volunteer with PUMA and postdoc researcher studying public health at the University of California, San Diego; Aria Cataño, co-founder of WaterDrop LA; Sade Kammen, volunteer with WaterDrop LA and social worker in Skid Row Guests in Part 2: LA Mayor Karen Bass; Councilmember Kevin de León of Council District 14; Councilmember Nithya Raman of Council District 4; Hawk, U.S. Veteran & Skid Row Resident; Sade Kammen, Volunteer With WaterDrop LA; Nick Gerda, LAist Unhoused Communities Reporter Music in this episode composed by: Chris Schlarb, Dexter Thomas, Evan Jacoby, Floating Points, Geir Sundstøl, Ill Considered, Imaginary Softwoods, indiegamemusic.com, K. Leimer, Laurie Spiegal, Nala Sinephro, Laurie Spiegal, Meitei, Ricky Eat Acid, Woo Go to Hellofresh.com/50imperfect and use code 50imperfect for 50% off plus 15% off the next 2 months! Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Duration:01:04:04

LAist Studios presents Imperfect Paradise: The Castle: Part 4

12/20/2023
Part 4: What’s the history behind the on and off-stage gender dynamics in Western magic? And what impact did the summer of 2020 have on the field of DEI? Imperfect Paradise host Antonia Cereijido explores these questions with magic historian Margaret Steele and Amber Johnson, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff of the Division for Equity and Inclusion at UC Berkeley. For more, visit https://LAist.com/ImperfectParadise Support LAist Today: https://LAist.com/donate Go to HelloFresh.com/imperfectfree and use code imperfectfree for FREE breakfast for life! One breakfast item per box while subscription is active. Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live.

Duration:00:27:24

LAist Studios presents Imperfect Paradise: The Castle: Part 3

12/13/2023
Part 3: Carly Usdin is at risk of getting kicked out of the Magic Castle. Plus, after 2020, the Magic Castle makes changes to address issues of inclusion, including setting up a Diversity and Inclusion Committee. LAist Senior Producer Natalie Chudnovsky explores how the Castle’s promises to do better pan out, several years later. For more, visit https://LAist.com/ImperfectParadise Support LAist Today: https://LAist.com/donate Go to Hellofresh.com/50imperfect and use code 50imperfect for 50% off plus 15% off the next 2 months! Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live.

Duration:00:38:21

LAist Studios presents Imperfect Paradise: The Castle: Part 2

12/6/2023
Part 2: Once inside the iconic members-only Magic Castle, queer hobbyist magician Carly Usdin starts to become disillusioned with the club. LAist Senior Producer Natalie Chudnovsky dives into how this comes to a head in 2020, when the Magic Castle faces allegations of racism and sexism. For more, visit https://LAist.com/ImperfectParadise Support LAist Today: https://LAist.com/donate Go to Hellofresh.com/50imperfect and use code 50imperfect for 50% off plus 15% off the next 2 months! Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live.

Duration:00:34:43

LAist Studios presents Imperfect Paradise: The Castle: Part 1

11/29/2023
Part 1: When Carly Usdin moved to Los Angeles, they became obsessed with getting inside its iconic members-only club for magicians, the Magic Castle. LAist Senior Producer Natalie Chudnovsky tells the story. For more, visit https://LAist.com/ImperfectParadise Support LAist Today: https://LAist.com/donate Go to Hellofresh.com/50imperfect and use code 50imperfect for 50% off plus 15% off the next 2 months! Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live.

Duration:00:28:30

Imperfect Paradise presents LAist Investigates: The Truth Inside California's Nursing Homes

11/22/2023
Imperfect Paradise host Antonia Cereijido is joined by LAist reporter Elly Yu for a special single episode of LAist Investigates, the first of many to come episodes dedicated to one of our newsroom’s investigations. Elly breaks down the history and reality of treatment that led to the “warehousing” of mental health patients in nursing homes across California. Support LAist Today: https://LAist.com/donate Go to Hellofresh.com/50imperfect and use code 50imperfect for 50% off plus 15% off the next 2 months! Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Duration:00:25:33

LAist Studios presents: Imperfect Paradise: People vs. Karen: Part 4

11/15/2023
Part 4: LAist Correspondent Emily Guerin and Imperfect Paradise host Antonia Cereijido explore how and why Sadie and Eddie Martinez’s accuser, Katie Sorensen, went viral with her false accusation, plus how mom-fluencers can spread conspiracies. With insights from “Momfluenced” author Sara Peterson. Support LAist Today: https://LAist.com/donate #SadieMartinez #ImperfectParadise #LAistStudios Go to Hellofresh.com/50imperfect and use code 50imperfect for 50% off plus 15% off the next 2 months! Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Duration:00:20:49

LAist Studios presents: Imperfect Paradise: People vs. Karen: Part 3

11/8/2023
Part 3: The white woman who falsely accused a Latino couple of attempting to kidnap her kids faces an investigation and goes on trial after her accusers fight to hold her accountable. Can the same criminal justice system that so-called Karens abuse be used to bring them to justice? LAist Correspondent Emily Guerin reports. Support LAist Today: https://LAist.com/donate #SadieMartinez #ImperfectParadise #LAistStudios Go to Hellofresh.com/50imperfect and use code 50imperfect for 50% off plus 15% off the next 2 months! Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Duration:00:42:32

LAist Studios presents Imperfect Paradise: People vs. Karen: Part 2

10/30/2023
Part 2: When a Latino couple, Sadie and Eddie Martinez, is falsely accused by a white woman of attempted kidnapping, their lives are upended as the accusation goes viral. LAist Correspondent Emily Guerin examines how the police’s investigation takes an unexpected turn and how the dark corners of the internet may have influenced the couple’s accuser. CONTENT WARNING: Sensitive subject matter Support LAist Today: https://LAist.com/donate Go to Hellofresh.com/50imperfect and use code 50imperfect for 50% off plus 15% off the next 2 months! Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Duration:00:28:32

LAist Studios presents: Imperfect Paradise: People vs. Karen: Part 1

10/24/2023
Part 1: Sadie and Eddie Martinez, a Latino couple, were falsely accused of attempted kidnapping by a white mom-fluencer in Petaluma, California. LAist Correspondent Emily Guerin tells us about Sadie’s quest to hold her accuser accountable, amid the “Karen phenomenon” when multiple white women were caught in viral videos falsely accusing people of color of crimes. Support LAist Today: https://LAist.com/donate #SadieMartinez #ImperfectParadise #LAistStudios Go to Hellofresh.com/50imperfect and use code 50imperfect for 50% off plus 15% off the next 2 months! Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Duration:00:34:38

LAist Studios presents: Imperfect Paradise: Nury & The Secret Tapes: Part 4

10/23/2023
In the year since the L.A. City Council tape scandal, a lot has changed. Efforts are underway to reform the redistricting process. Nury Martinez and Gil Cedillo are gone from the council. Only Kevin De León remains. Progressive shifts in the council are influencing its policies, and new elected members are working to forge a new way forward in L.A. This is the last episode of Nury & The Secret Tapes. Support LAist Today: https://LAist.com/donate Go to Hellofresh.com/50imperfect and use code 50imperfect for 50% off plus 15% off the next 2 months! Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Duration:00:35:13

LAist Studios presents: Imperfect Paradise: Nury & The Secret Tapes: Part 3

10/16/2023
Host Antonia Cereijido presses former L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez to account for the racist, hurtful comments she made on the secret recording that rocked Los Angeles and led to her resignation. CONTENT WARNING: Sensitive subject matter. Support LAist Today: https://LAist.com/donate Go to Hellofresh.com/50imperfect and use code 50imperfect for 50% off plus 15% off the next 2 months! Grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at SHOPIFY.COM/paradise Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Duration:00:52:49