Marc Haefele Commentator, Off-Ramp

Off-Ramp commentator Marc Haefele.
Contact Marc Haefele

Marc Haefele is an arts, politics, and literature commentator for KPCC's Off Ramp.

Haefele was a staff writer for LA Weekly, City News of Los Angeles, and the Morristown (NJ) Record. He has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Daily News, the Boston Review, Nomada de Buenos Aires and many other publications.

He cohosted the KPFK weekday morning drive time show in 1999-2000, and for the subsequent decade was city hall commentator for KPCC.

In the later 60s and early 70s, Haefele worked for Random House, then Doubleday publishers in New York, where his writers included Philip K. Dick, Steven King, Tom Disch, Marge Piercy, Kate Millett and Josephine Saxton. While at LA Weekly, he won the LA Press Club's Best Column award. He has shared Golden Mikes with his KPCC colleagues.

He has an M.A. in history from NYU and Cal State Los Angeles.

Haefele lives in Santa Monica.


Stories by Marc Haefele

Volume 2 of Mark Twain 'Autobiography' a rewarding read

Volume 2 of Mark Twain's "Autobiography" isn't likely to sell as well as Volume 1, but it's a far more rewarding book.

What have we learned in the 40 years since the OPEC oil embargo?

Forty years ago, Egypt crossed the Suez Canal to begin a war that killed 27,000 people and left Israel fighting for its life. The key effect was the first OPEC oil embargo.

Haefele: Mayor Garcetti's library commission picks lack connection to, you know, books

There’s just one problem with new Mayor Garcetti’s appointments to the city’s Board of Library Commissioners. Most of them have nothing to do with books. Or learning. Marc proposes his own board members.

Getty Center preview: Canterbury and St. Albans: Treasures from Church and Cloister

900 years ago, if you were a European peasant or serf, you were almost certainly unable to read. But if you were expected to be a good Christian anyway—which meant knowing the basic stories and scriptures and characters of the bible—how did you manage? The answer has a lot to do with the art of the European Middle Ages.

Haefele: Sign the fracking bill, Governor. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

What if Monterey offers our state the biggest frack in the nation? Then it will be far harder to pass any fracking regulation. SB 4 is the law we can have now and that makes it a good law.

RIP SF writer Frederik Pohl, 1919-2013, truly the last of his generation

Perhaps we should best remember Pohl as the last of those fabulous science fiction geeks of the dismal 1930s, who focused their lives on trying to imagine the future we all live in today.

Marc Haefele on the Huntington's reconsidering of Junipero Serra

The exhibit leaves us to make up our own minds about the man who created the 50-year holy empire of the California missions. Serra does not come off well.

Marc Haefele remembers the 'March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom'

What an odd lot we were, the Lower Eastsiders who boarded a chartered train for Washington on August 28, 1963 … fifty years ago next Wednesday.

Review: Sam Francis made great art through great pain; exhibit at PMCA

“The personal lives of American painters are tragic…and inevitable. And do not explain the artist,” said Sam Francis, who was as articulate with words as he was with ink and paint. But often, the work itself does.

PHOTOS: On the reopening of the Statue of Liberty, Marc Haefele recalls F. Hopkinson Smith

100 years ago, Smith was a major American writer. Two of his novels were #1 bestsellers. Several were made into movies. Now no one knows the name ... watch out there, Steven King.

Redefining LA's city commissions to improve citizen involvement

Shane Goldsmith believes the system can become a critical tool to broaden the franchise of representation in a city whose voter turnout has sagged to 16% in the last election,

Native son Marc Haefele on the tragedy of Detroit bankruptcy

"Nearly 2 million people lived there then. Three times the number that live there now, in a city that declared bankruptcy 67 years after my father, a pioneer in White Flight, moved us to the suburbs."

'Bob and Ray, Keener than Most Persons,' by David Pollock

No one figured out exactly why they were so funny. Pollock says they only tried to please one another, and calls their partnership a “fortuitous intersection of serendipity and happenstance.”

Marc Haefele reviews the Autry museum on its 25th birthday

The result, however, is more mixed than melded. The superb sometimes sits by the silly, the colossal next to the kitsch. The imagined West next to the real thing. From which it is not always clearly distinguished.

Marc Haefele on Richard Matheson: one of America’s greatest genre writers

His stories seem to have been not so much read, as told to you around the dying embers of campfire on a very dark night.