Walking around Mt Tam

One of the most beautiful and least known poetical flowerings of that outpouring of youth and art we call the 60’s was, arguably, a journey on foot around Mt Tamalpais, in Marin County north of San Francisco. This honoring of “the quiescent one,” this circumambulation, a walk completely around the mountain, following with our feetContinue reading “Walking around Mt Tam”

“a very strange argument” for global warming

From David Wallace-Wells’ just published The Uninhabitable Earth: “Over the last few years, as the planet’s own environmental rhythms have seemed to grow more fatalistic, skeptics have found themselves arguing not that climate change isn’t happening, since extreme weather has made that undeniable, but that its causes are unclear — suggesting that the changes weContinue reading ““a very strange argument” for global warming”

Precipitous insect decline: collapse of nature?

This week a Dutch cartoonist with beauty dramatized a horrifying new study warning of “the collapse of nature.” Yes, that statement seems extreme, but the art contextualizes it as form of suicide. Or even worse, as a form of ecocide-suicide. First our species exterminates the insects, and then their decline unravels nature. The study, freely available fromContinue reading “Precipitous insect decline: collapse of nature?”

“Radical Distraction” by Saul Bellow

From Saul Bellow, in an essay from 1975, published in Critical Inquiry: “We are in a state of radical distraction,” he writes in “A World Too Much with Us,” an essay for the journal Critical Inquiry, in 1975, the same year Humboldt’s Gift appears. “I don’t see how we can be blind to the politicalContinue reading ““Radical Distraction” by Saul Bellow”

Don’t Push Me Because I’m Close to the Edge: 2019

A generation ago Grandmaster Flash had a huge hit with The Message, with a chorus that went like this: Don’t push me ’cause I’m close to the edge I’m trying not to lose my head It’s like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder How I keep from going under That was 1982, twenty-seven years ago,Continue reading “Don’t Push Me Because I’m Close to the Edge: 2019”

Eating the Thomas Fire (sort of)

A little over a year ago the Thomas Fire, powered by the strongest Santa Ana winds in memory, roared through Upper Ojai on its way to surrounding all of Ojai, rampaging into Santa Barbara county, killing two people, destroying 1,000 structures, and burning over 200,000 acres of land. The fire visited our property on theContinue reading “Eating the Thomas Fire (sort of)”

Thomas Fire (one year ago tonight)

The Thomas Fire began about five miles from our home near Thomas Aquinas College near Santa Paula on the night of December 4, 2017, a date Upper Ojai will never forget. In a bad twist of fate documented in my story in the Santa Barbara Independent a couple of weeks later, an electric transformer atContinue reading “Thomas Fire (one year ago tonight)”

a poem from the late Paradise

Please Excuse the Smoke Awakenings [from a Paradise resident and poet named Krystalynn Martin] November 16, 2018 A poem I wrote the other night while grieving the loss of my hometown of Paradise: I’m sorry – Please excuse the smoke. It’s just the dreams and hopes of 27 thousand yesterdays. It’s just the minuscule evidence ofContinue reading “a poem from the late Paradise”

2018 headline: “Finland’s president denies telling Trump that his country rakes its forests”

This is an actual headline on the homepage of the Washington Post this evening. To explain the misleading: Prez Trump said that the President of Finland told him that Finland had many forests but no problem with forest fires. “He called it a forest nation,” Trump said, “and they spent a lot of time onContinue reading “2018 headline: “Finland’s president denies telling Trump that his country rakes its forests””