Tending To A Fundamental Ache Of Our Time

If you have been reading this newsletter for a while you will have noticed that the voices I elevate and the stories I tell here here at Primal Derma are ones of people (human and non-human) who are connected to a real life affirming kind of culture that have (or had) a kind of devotional…

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Mercy May Rejoice Upon The Recession of Justice

A bit more than a decade ago a feature length film that I had made came out in theaters after a few years in production. It was a feature length documentary that I had conceived of, written the treatment for, and co-produced, about the origins of poverty and how it persists in a world with…

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Of or Concerning The Cow

Though the idea had been around for a long time and versions of the practice were in place as inoculation, in 1796 Edward Jenner figured out the mechanism and a practice for what we now call vaccination. Through his observations he deduced that cowpow was related to smallpox, which was ravaging Europe. Smallpox had ravaged…

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Who Is 5G?

In 1867 James Clerk Maxwell, the British scientist, predicted, using math, that there would be an electric and magnetic field that could travel through space as an ‘electromagnetic wave.’ In 1887 Heinrich Hertz proved Maxwell correct  with generating the first radio waves and then Marconi made the first radio transmitters and receivers in 1894/5. Radio…

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Zoom: A Wondering About the Consequence of Speed, Roads, and Trails

New words come into the language all the time. Words like ‘staycation’ or using ‘google’ as a verb are a particular kind of neologism. Using words we know in new ways and in new combinations is part of the flexibility and utility of language. Then a word  like ‘wi-fi’ was invented in 1999 as a…

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On A Swiss Approach To Funereal Times: The Culture and The Biome

When a child is born there are usually a few questions that come right on the proverbial heels of the announcement. Are the mother and baby healthy? Boy or girl? How much did they weigh? How long was the labor? And was the birth cesarean or natural? Certainly there are others. These questions, while seemingly…

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A Summoning: Masks, Myth, and Hygeia

The African masks were not simply sculptures like any other. Not at all. They were magic objects. – Pablo Picasso In Harlem in New York City, right here on 125th street, just a few blocks from my home there are vendors camped out with rickety folding tables on the corners and sidewalks. In regular times…

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The Utility and Excellence of Felt and Leather: Exchange and Consequence and COVID 19

About two thousand years ago in Northern China there was a fairly steady low grade war between the Xiongnu people of the steppes of Central Asia and the Han Chinese who lived in more urban type environments further to the south and east. The Xiongnu, a confederation of tribes, were pastoralists, they foraged for plant…

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The Necessary Slowness of Making Meaning: Phaethon, Tunguska, and Coronavirus

On June 30th, 1908 a meteorite exploded over rural central Russia near the Podkamennaya Tugunska River. This explosion came to be called The Tunguska Event. Though scientists didn’t really start to even explore the impact area until the early 20’s much research has been done about this event since. It is estimated that the meteorite came…

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Six Feet: An Avian Wondering

  Six feet. This is one of the new unsought mantras of this particular time. It is spoken aloud and internally in our few meanders outside. The image above was sent to me and I laughed and I started to wonder about it. Six feet. The measurement known as ‘a foot’ has ranged in size from…

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