Publications
The Mytheme of Male Desire Print E-mail
Essays and Memoirs

waterhousenymphsfindingorpheus

(After the Art June 18, 2020)

“I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men’s minds without their being aware of the fact.”

The Raw and the Cooked, Claude Lévi-Strauss

The greatest stories of mythic love are those most encumbered by ecstatic subjugation. Among them are the romance legends of Tristan and Isolde, Lancelot and Guinevere, and Orpheus and Eurydice. Of Orpheus’s tragic loss and demise, the tale tells of a man’s love for a woman, read princess wife queen Eros, a love so consuming that at her death he descends into Hades to bring her back. His act may grant her a second life or, after a brief flawed reunion, a second and final death. Set aside the male as hero or victim. His outcome matters less than the spell men believe they wield over women who must, to live, desire the salvific power of his love.

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Bunker Baby Brandishes Bible Print E-mail
Articles

TrumpHoldingBible(Written June 2, 2020)

Wait a minute. What is this thing?

Ivanka has just given Barbie, my new press lady, this thing to give to me and said I should stand here and hold it up for camera guy in front of the, what is this, in front of God’s house.

I said it feels like one those classy 365-day calendars, leather-bound edition. Then someone said, no, sir, it’s a book. Of course. I know that. It’s The Art of the Deal.

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We Need to Protect Against Covid-19 As If It Were (Far Worse Than) Gun Violence Print E-mail
Articles

cov gun(Times of San Diego May 2, 2020)

When citizen caravans storm state capitols with parades of motorized force and mask-free rallies, asserting the people’s right to assemble, I don’t reach for my gun. I don’t keep a gun; I’m too afraid it’ll go off. Instead, I reach for my pen—it’s much mightier and safer, history tells me, in times of civil unrest. Such parades to reopen “our country,” Trump-code for his country (bikers, truckers, corporate execs, and the one percent), are an odd sight: A freely assembled protest to agitate for free assembly is a contradiction; besides, few have been cited or arrested for violating stay-at-home orders.

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After a Century of Animal-Borne Viruses, It's Vegetarian Time Print E-mail
Articles

Caged civet for sale in Jatinegara Market(Times of San Diego April 11, 2020)

Let’s begin with the 1918 flu pandemic.

The likely source of the virus were the piggeries and poultry farms that surrounded the encampments of British and German soldiers in France during World War I.

Next is AIDS, which probably began in New York City (as the “junkie fever”) in 1977, spread by shared needles, later, by sexual contact.

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This South Bay Sentinel: On Paradise Hills Print E-mail
San Diego Reader

20200123(San Diego Reader January 23, 2020)

Origin • Guy Preuss is an affable, tanned, retired Navy Master Chief, a Vietnam vet. As the 30-year self-described “temporary” president of the local village council and the chair of the planning committee, he does what most people these days don’t do: Stay put, stay committed, stay the course for his sake and that of his long-loved, iconic suburb, Paradise Hills. He’s lounging with me on the screened-in porch of his doodad-crammed bungalow, which he bought in 1977; I can see out back to an over-chlorinated pool that’s darkened by towering jungle growth. After I loudly repeat my initial question, he says he’ll be glad to tell me the town’s creation myth, but he’s got to run and get his hearing aids.

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Growing Sugar Beets in Sonoma: Elegy for Bruce Brown Print E-mail
Essays and Memoirs

relaxing

(Written January 2020)

Bruce died in April, 2019, and I’ve been mulling a piece to remember him by since then—not so much because of the feeling of loss, monumental to most of us who knew him over his 70+ years, but more because there is too much about him to remember. Bruce was so boisterous, so forceful, so opinionated, so funny, so adventuresome, so story-packed, so definitional or diversionary to phases of our lives, which, like a popular music era or a social movement, he became a centrality—or, at least, he epitomized some hegemony in the culture of the time. I can’t begin to think what it must have been like to have him as a partner (to Mary Dee), a father (to Street), or the eldest son, after his dad died (to his mother).

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Michael Steinberg: A Remembrance & a Review Print E-mail
Essays and Memoirs

Mike Steinberg

(River Teeth Blog, January 3, 2020)

1/

In December 2019, in a country torn apart by Donald Trump’s bullying and Fox News’ Pravda-like misinformation, in congressional hearings that traded in the ridiculous and the profound, in a democracy under such partisan assault it seemed to buckle before our eyes, and in the month of Trump’s impeachment, we were hit with grave news of another sort: creative nonfiction’s (and my) beloved colleague, mentor, and friend, Mike Steinberg, 79, died from pancreatic cancer, undiscovered until a week before he passed.

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