MONKEY SEE

By Malcolm McNeill

If we accept the Hunter/Gatherer paradigm, we must also accept the very different forms of attentiveness and perception implicit in each set of behaviors. Given that sexual morphology determines efficiency in enacting these roles, males by default assume the role of Hunters and females that of Gatherers.

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X+WHY

By Malcolm McNeill

In a recent interview, Richard Dawkins was asked if he would prefer to be “happy” or “right.” He felt there was no reason why he couldn’t be both, but of the two he would unquestionably opt for “reality.” To Dawkins, “reality” and “right” are apparently synonymous.

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EPIC BATTLES #8 CADIZ 1625

By Malcolm McNeill

George Villiers, The Earl of Buckingham, was a ‘favorite’ of King James I. “God bless you, my sweet child and wife,” crooned James, “and grant that ye may ever be a comfort to your dear father and husband.” When James died, his son Charles picked up where dad left off.

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INTENTION

By Malcolm McNeill

The armies of Yersinia pestis destroyed more than fifty million human beings during the fourteenth century alone – more than the combined hordes of Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun many times over. Like them, they also came from the East.

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1%

By Malcolm McNeill

Marga, says Joseph Campbell, is a Sinhala word derived from Sanskrit. In this, its plural form, it denotes ways, methods and techniques. From the Tamil version of the word, Markangal, derives the religious connotation of the Path, the journey undertaken in search of ultimate meaning.

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LOVERBOY

By Malcolm McNeill

Sultry, French princess Isabella leans down to the dying king Edward and whispers in his ear … “A child who is not of your line grows in my belly. Your son will not sit long on the throne… I swear it.” Her fey, cuckolded husband – the next king Edward – strains to hear her, as the audience squirms with delight.

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VECTOR

By Malcolm McNeill

On July 28th 1945, at 9:49 am, a plane crashed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building – at that time, the tallest building in New York. On September 11, 2001, at 9:03 am, a plane crashed into the 79th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center – also the tallest building in the city at the time.

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UGLY IS

By Malcolm McNeill

The “Ugly Spirit” was the impetus for William Burroughs’ writing career. He attributed the accidental shooting and killing of his wife to the influence of such an elemental force, and his vast output of literary and artistic endeavors was the result.

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INTERESTING TIMES 15: HENDRIX IS DEAD

By Andrew Maben

I regained consciousness to find the sky still that limpid blue, and to the smell of the dew-damp grass soft beneath my back. I was lying half-in, half-out of the van, which teetered gently, the edge of the roof poised precariously inches above my waist, threatening to bisect me should the van seek stability on its side…

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INTERESTING TIMES 8: SUMMER OF LOVE

By Andrew Maben

So, wait a minute… What, as they sometimes say, was I thinking? What indeed? I suppose that in a certain sense you could say I wasn’t thinking at all, simply living to my utmost, in the hackneyed phrase, “seizing the day”, reacting to events, euphoric with the freedom I imagined I had found, finding a path, pursuing…

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INTERESTING TIMES 5: GROWING UP

By Andrew Maben

It’s probably fair to say that most, if not quite all, the volunteers for the Digby were losers and refugees like me, seeking any escape, even should it prove to be from frying pan to fire. Which it wasn’t. Mr. Curry, the new House-master was progressive, an optimist who appeared to be genuinely concerned for our welfare…

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INTERESTING TIMES 2: SCHOOLDAYS

By Andrew Maben

Idyll of childhood, such as it had been, was about to come to an end, though of course I had no forebodings. One cold, misty, drizzly, January afternoon my father loaded my newly packed trunk and tuckbox into the car and we set off, driving through the bleak winter landscape of the Devon dairy farm country, a journey…

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PLAYING THE GAME

By Malcolm McNeill

The publicity photograph shows him standing barefoot in a business suit, hanging by one arm from the branch of a tree. His passion, we are told, is Conservation. His career has spanned several decades, in which he’s photographed the glamorous, the rich and famous, and most significantly the wildlife and people…

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MOUTHS TO FEED

By Malcolm McNeill

Corporations are considered living organisms and afforded rights accordingly. Their primary directive, like all life, is to increase. Unlike biological organisms, however, their methods are not constrained by a fear of physical suffering or demise. To exist as a corporation is not a matter of life and death in a literal sense.

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CLASSIC MOVIES – #4 MR. AND MRS. SMITH

By Malcolm McNeill

The first time I saw Mrs. Smith, she was lying next to me on the side of a bus. Later that same day… I spotted her husband on the side of another one. De rigueur as it is for Hollywood movie stars, each of them had a gun – silver in their case, a fashion accessory offsetting their chic, black evening attire.

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GUNG HO

By Malcolm McNeill

When we came up with the idea of freewill, we pulled the rug out from under ourselves and started wearing it as a hat. It’s our most cherished conceit. In a moment of inspired bravado we went over the wall from the rest of nature and we’ve been on the lam ever since.

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HYPNOTIST COLLECTORS AND WALKING ANTIQUES: NYLA THOMPSON AND THE DISHONESTY OF OUTSIDER ART

By Jim Linderman

Pioneer folk art collector Herbert Hemphill, Jr. was on a mission in the early 1970s. The first director of the nascent Museum of American Folk Art and compulsive collector of same intended to disprove the commonly understood belief that folk art had died with the emergence of 20th century popular culture.

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BUGS/LIFE

By Malcolm McNeill

Director Samuel Orr presents us with a painstakingly beautiful account of the unique 17-year lifecycle of Cicadas. The video is a trailer, a promo, a ‘greatest hits’ version of the full-length movie to come. It is designed to capture our hearts and imaginations, to stir us into watching the entire story and hopefully …

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BETTIE PAGE WITH THE KU KLUX KLAN: CELEBRITY BRANDING AND SURFACE DEEP SELLING OF THE DEAD

By Jim Linderman

Not seen in over 50 years, and certainly not identified as Bettie Page at the time of publication, these photographs were in such questionable taste even the “notorious” pin-up model has to hide her face. This should give some Bettie fans pause. Miss Page’s dead celebrity brand has weathered her being hung from…

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NEW YORK GIANTS

By Malcolm McNeill

In 1868, New York cigar-maker George Hull got into a discussion with an Iowa evangelist about the reference to giants in the book of Genesis. George was not a particularly religious man, but he was no slouch when it came to recognizing a God-given opportunity.

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FOODIE FTW!

By dixē.flatlin3

As a teenager I decided to become a vegetarian. At the time I developed a dislike for the flavor or texture of animal products, it was not meant as a political statement or act of teenage rebellion. I have shifted between vegetarian, omnivore and vegan ever since.

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THE WONDER OF ATLANTIS

By Malcolm McNeill

In their book When the Sky Fell, Rand and Rose Flem Ath present convincing evidence that Antarctica was in fact the mythical Atlantis. Taking their cue from Charles Hapgood’s Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings and his theory of ‘crustal shifts,’ they demonstrate that the island was once the temperate thriving hub…

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THE GAME

By Malcolm McNeill

Deepak Chopra runs a center for spiritual giddy-up in southern California. His forte is mind-body medicine and he includes golf as a means for contemplating the essential balance between the two. In his book Golf for Enlightenment: The Seven Lessons for the Game of Life, he presents the “parable” of Adam Everyman…

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ANT WEATHER

By Malcolm McNeill

In New York City, the insects I encountered most frequently were cockroaches. In L.A. it was ants. My respect for each is naturally profound, but it differs according to their specific forms of social organization – their sense of community as it were and their response to the hazards with which they have to contend.

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HANDS

By Malcolm McNeill

Wednesday morning I pulled the garbage bins out into the street for collection. When I went back for the second one I discovered a lizard had been sleeping under the first. In dragging out the bin, I’d chopped off its tail.

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NONE SHALL PASS

By Malcolm McNeill

A few chastity belts are on exhibit in a few European museums, but they are few enough to suggest that their use was not widespread. There is also some doubt as to what that use may have been. There were no contemporary literary references at the time to what is surely one of the most remarkable items…

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PIGGY IN THE MIDDLE

By Malcolm McNeill

Every dogma has its day and every generation sets another flawless category among the pigeonholes. A flat earth, an earth supported by elephants, an earth around which the entire universe revolves, even. Geocentrism was the name of that one; a trusty old dog only recently put down.

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HEINZ BRANDS A (YOUNG) WARHOL

By Jim Linderman

I saw Andy Warhol twice. An empty storefront which had once been a Puerto Rican record distributor’s “one-stop” had reopened on the corner of Tenth Avenue and 45th Street as a bar. Gentrification is a missed blessing, but I was walking my dog around the block at midnight the night it opened pleased to have…

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RED AND YELLOW, BLACK AND WHITE: CLARENCE HERBERT WOOLSTON WRITES A STANDARD

By Jim Linderman

I’m not all about satire, and neither should any questioning soul… there were some good guys in the Jesus racket, and one of them was Clarence Herbert Woolston. A humble man who makes what passes for our public preachers of today look like bleating bags of greed.

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