I Punched Out The Rat Pack

It was the first ‘oil crisis’ and I was in high school and had my first VW bug. To control demand for gas, the policy was that you could only get fueled up on even or odd days, depending on your car license num­ber. I was plan­ning a trip up the coast, to Big Sur I think, and needed a full tank so parked my bug about tenth in line by a gas station on the coast highway in old CdM. I walked down at about 730am and got in, and the sta­tion opened and things proceeded in an orderly fash­ion, each driver filling up and the line moving up – until my turn came.

Searching For Hope In Haiti

As if Haitians have not suffered enough already, living in what is often identified as “the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere,” now the earth itself betrays them. The amount of human suffering there is overwhelming, and our most common response is to turn away in denial and frustration. What can one person do? Paul […]

Civil Rights & Wrongs In ‘The Golden State’

The legendary American abolitionist Frederick Douglass observed in the 1800s that “Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.” And thus the long legacy of conflict whenever the status quo is challenged in arenas of what widely come to be seen – although too often not until after the battle has […]

Fela’s 15 More Minutes Of Fame

Perhaps the most popular play “on Broadway” in New York City is “Fela!” — the story of the most famous musical, and probably political, figure to ever emerge from West Africa. It’s received rave reviews and is said to be most entertaining. But however energetic, it could not fully convey the amazing, sad, strange, inspiring, […]

Monk, For The Record

In Michael Ondaatje’s wonderful novel “Divisadero” — a most memorable part of which is set in Sonoma County — the jazz of Thelonious Monk is likened to “imprisoned birdsongs.” Leave it to a superb novelist to distill the indescribable, but many others have felt likewise. One of his few pianistic peers, Bill Evans, found Monk’s […]

The “Jangled Connections” of the Brain: Sherwin Nuland On Neuroscience

New books on “the brain” are being published every week, it seems, with many of them purporting to explain virtually everything about human behavior, follies, and the future. But increasingly, some very informed observers are expressing some reservations about such speculation, especially where profit motives are involved. Sherwin Nuland, MD, is one of the most […]

The Man And The Mountain

Mount Tamalpais is Marin’s Mount Everest. Although only 2,574 feet high at its summit, it dominates the county; to get to or from West Marin from almost anywhere else, you have to go over or around it. Much has been written about “Tam” and countless photographs taken and published featuring its image. However, what may […]

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