Publications
To Play With Reptiles All Day Print E-mail
San Diego Reader

20200729(San Diego Reader July 29, 2020)

To hold a small Anaconda, it’s best to spread your hands out like spatulas and let the snake lie there, feeling supported. If the serpent doesn’t feel buoyed in your hands, it will squirm and droop like it’s upside down, which, from its spatial orientation, it is. The snake has a belly—the lighter colored half underneath—and the belly wants to be down, if not on the ground, then grounded. Otherwise, it curls and twists, not because it has it in for you (revenge!) but because the creature is trying to get away, that is, out of midair and back to the security of its burrow or enclosure. Once you brace the writhing beast from below, snake and handler calm down—find, as it were, common ground.

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Masking the Unmasked: A Modest Proposal Print E-mail
Articles

image(Times of San Diego June 28, 2020)

Has it really come to this?

The “Freedom to Breathe Agency” is issuing “face mask exemption” cards, which state that the bearer is not required to wear a mask as it’s a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course, ADA officials have granted no such exemption. Such is just one of countless desperate idiocies in which half of Americans won’t wear masks, believing the requirement treads on their individual rights.

OK, the unmasked have individual rights. What’s that got to do with a pandemic, which is, end of June, becoming tsunamic with more than 45,000 new cases each day, the majority now among the young?

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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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