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Pencil This In: Pete Wilson Discusses California's Problems; Japanese Street Fare @ Royal/T

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Pete Wilson speaks tonight about how f-ed up California is. / Photo by sfxeric via LAist's flickr pool.

Pete Wilson speaks tonight about how f-ed up California is. / Photo by sfxeric via LAist's flickr pool.
TALK
Joe Mathews, Irvine Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, moderates a Zócalo forum tonight with former Gov. Pete Wilson at 7 pm at the RAND Corporation. When Wilson was governor, California’s education system was in shambles, interest groups had a tight grip on Sacramento, health care costs soared, and the economy just sucked. Sound familiar? "While Wilson may be best remembered for his more controversial stances—like supporting Proposition 187, which sought to refuse services to illegal immigrants; he also managed to pass budgets and break partisan stalemates, ultimately leaving his successor a budget surplus." In this program bluntly titled, "Was Pete Wilson Right?" Wilson himself will talk about the issues facing California today. Admission to the event is free, but reservations are recommended. There will be a hosted wine reception after the program.

THEATRE
The MET Theatre holds a workshop presentation of “M-16,” a new modern opera by LA artist-musician Robert Shaw tonight at 8 pm. And it's a doozy. Here's the synopsis sent our way: "A Sunday School teacher is raped, impregnated and gives birth to an M-16 assault rifle. She then goes on the hunt for the man who defiled her. That’s just Act One. Her son, named M-16, grows up to b e an urban terrorist who falls in love with a mermaid princess from another planet, where oil is as common there as water is on earth. After blowing up a famous landmark, he plans to escape with his new love to her home planet. But they find that American corporate oil barons are already doing their dirty work and may thwart the couple’s plans." Admission is $15, and $10 for students/seniors.

FOOD
As we told you in Get Out a couple days ago, downtown's art store-gallery Poketo has teamed up with Royal/T in Culver City for a Westside pop-up shop. But that's not all. To celebrate the partnership, Royal/T is serving up a Poketo Prix-Fixe, three-course menu inspired by Tokyo street fare for $21. The meals will be served on Poketo plates. Menu items include Chicken Karaage (Japanese Style Fried Chicken), Okonomiyaki (pancake filled with Kimchee and beef) and Green Tea Flan Caramel. The pop-up gallery and special menu runs through July 18. (And Royal/T's regular menu will also be available.)

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LECTURE/BOOK SIGNING
New York Times writer and former picture editor Philip Gefter discusses his new book Photography after Frank: Essays by Philip Gefter, at LACMA (Brown Auditorium) tonight at 7 pm. It's a work filled with essays on contemporary photography, starting with Robert Frank’s seminal work during the 1950s through today. A book signing follows immediately after the lecture in the Director’s Roundtable Garden. The event is free, but tickets are required. They'll be available in the box office one hour before program begins.

QUEER MONDAYS
Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica hosts "Queer Mondays" on the last Monday of every month and features new, 10-minute experimental performances by queer artists. You'll never know exactly what you're gonna get on these evenings: music, performance art, spoken word, poetry, visual art, drag, videos, dance...the forum is open for all kinds of expression. Tickets are $5.