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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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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