Category: Life

Poem: Scandal

IN MEMORY OF EUGENE KONIK, born February 27, 1936. R.I.P.   And although I don’t share your candid misanthropy I understand and I am sorry. Father who left us all too soon I understand and I am sorry. Our species, the one you claimed to despise, having peered inside yourself and all around the carousel, having...

Family Problems

In the aftermath of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, where thousands died and hundreds-of-thousands more were left homeless, almost everyone I spoke to asked the same question: My Filipina wife — was anyone in her immediate family affected? Everyone was greatly relieved to learn that, no, none of my wife’s immediate...

Sanitary Mafias

Opportunistic petty criminals, the kind that go after old lady pocketbooks and unattended bicycles, generally aren’t very organized. They don’t have thorough long-range plans and an extensive network of colleagues to help coordinate their heists. Most unsuccessful criminals are desperate loners, independent contractors of malfeasance who can never stay one step ahead of The Man....

The Freedomaire

We’re taught that freedom is a concept worth fighting and dying for. We’re taught that freedom is what makes the United States of America the greatest country on Earth. Freedom, we’re taught, is man’s divine state; to abridge or steal it is a kind of crime against Nature. Yet most of us abdicate whatever freedom...

The Golden Rule

Expressed in portentous Bible-speak, the Golden Rule means “Do unto others as ye shall have them do unto you.” Put plainly: Treat others how you would like to be treated. Progressive yoga types enhance and sharpen the meaning: “Be the change you wish to see.” They also believe the Golden Rule involves love moving in...

Kumare

Vikram Gandhi is a handsome and charismatic filmmaker; Kumare is an Indian guru who espouses a nice-sounding mélange of yoga, Ayurveda, meditation, and chanting — all standard stuff for seekers of Wisdom.  Gandhi’s documentary shows how Kumare, with the help of two fetching female assistants, builds a fabulous reputation and a community of followers. The...

Tech Solutions

The time we’re living in is being called the Technology Revolution. It’s given us personal computers and cell phones and devices that, we all agree, make our lives altogether better. Everything is more efficient, more connected. Things can be ordered to appear at your door, getting lost in your car is almost impossible, and you don’t...

A Modest Proposal For Solving Our Gun Violence Problem

Guns are not the problem. People are not the problem. Young people are the problem. They don’t listen. They play awful video game simulations of mass murder. They shoot six-year-olds. And no amount of background checks or ammo-clip restrictions will change that. There’s only one way to solve the gun situation, one way to bring...

Very Short Books

Books are far too long, right? Who has time for 300-pages of blabbering on about nothing? Do you know how many tweets you can read in the amount of time it takes to slog through one stupid novel? A lot. And they’re usually way funnier. And unlike books they’ve got hashtags, like #betterthanactuallyreading. Still, in...

Stress

Certain amorphous concepts exist only in the theoretical realm: truth, justice, beauty. Time. Yet we “know” (or think we know) they’re there. Indeed, we’re the ones who manifest them. By observing, say, a ravishing Southern California sunset, or the blossoms of a cherry tree, or our lover’s face, we feel quite sure that Beauty is...