The Old Wine. The New Bottles.

The last few newsletters have been heavy and substantial. And perhaps that is proper because the times are such. So I thought I’d still try to be faithful to the times but be a bit lighter this week. So I’ll start where all levity starts… Luke 5:36-39. Ha! And he spake also a parable unto…

more >>

The New Old Half of Oklahoma: On The Open History of Cows in America and The Consequences

Delegates from 34 Native tribes at the Creek Council House in Indian Territory, now called Oklahoma, 1880 The fact that you read this newsletter means that you get and read at least one email newsletter. I’m so glad that you have decided that a newsletter from your tallow based skincare provider is worth your time.…

more >>

Cut Down Your Mast To The Boards And Heave It Into The Sea

There was a time a few weeks ago here in New York City that the two most prevalent sounds were ambulance sirens and bird song. And here we are in a city that is light 30,000 souls. Over the weeknd The Houston Chronicle had an obituary section that was forty three pages long. COVID-19 deaths…

more >>

Revealing The Secrets of Tobacco Sap

For many Native American people tobacco is a highly sacred plant that is stitched into many creation myths and so in some ways ritual use of tobacco is mandatory for simply just being in the world. The plant is used as medicine in varying ways, in ceremony, (neither of which I know anything about) and…

more >>

On The Phony. On The Paper Moon

Again this week I struggled to find a clear wind to write about and reflect on and share with you. The news of the day feels like a holding pattern despite all the movement. I can’t even tell you how many quarter-baked ideas I had for this week. But if anything is properly happening it…

more >>

Stories Rarely Travel In Straight Lines: Stumbling Towards the White Bear

Reflecting on the goings on in the world this week trying to find something to send off to you in this weekly newsletter I found myself with only half-baked wonderings. I noted the rising COVID cases across the United States and was looking around at the Akkadian king of Mari, Zimri-Lin, and how he wrote…

more >>

Faithful To The Times, Still: Restorative Justice

A number of year ago I had the great fortune that a film that I conceived of, wrote the treatment for, and ended up co-producing got made and had two theatrical releases. The film had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival (and won a commendation there), showed at the UN four times and I…

more >>

Thuggee: Complexity, Cudgel, and a Colonization

Vasco de Gama the famed Portuguese explorer and leading edge for European imperialism in Africa and India and Asia landed in India in 1498. Once this trip was finally deemed possible and actually profitable this opened up the viability for the main European powers at the time to start to trade primarily tea, spices, textiles…

more >>

A Gift For You That You Didn’t Know Was Coming

We have all heard the phrase ‘Mother Earth’ and it serves as kind of mythic but generic Ur-Mother who gives us everything, such is her generosity. And we should be kind to her and not pollute her and do all the proper things that good children should do. This understanding of Mother Earth I think…

more >>

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…

more >>