From the category archives:

2009

This column also appears in the Orange County Register.

As dropped cell phone calls become a daily irritation, the jarring experience of losing a conversation in mid-sentence has become routine.  The ugly wart on the nose of wireless communication, what once served as the triumphant but rude ending to an angry conversation has become a daily frustration.  The original hang-up technique, signifying an almost monarchical dismissal, that harsh bang sending combatant lovers to their corners, now seems rather quaint by comparison. [click to continue…]

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This column also appears in the Orange County Register.

Once upon a time when the young woman who would become me was a freshman at Cal Berkeley studying French, art history, anthropology, mythology, literature and on weekends, beer and poetic boys with long hair, she was lucky enough to get into a very crowded physical anthropology class taught by a professorial luminary whose name, almost four decades later, I can no longer recall. [click to continue…]

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This column originally appeared in the Orange County Register.

While conversing with a colleague recently, discussing the progress and vagaries of her doctoral dissertation and the general trends of the day, I began to think about the financial triage that has come to redefine daily life for so many people impacted negatively by the dismal economic environment in which we all find ourselves bobbing like corks.  Essentially, almost everyone. [click to continue…]

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This column originally appeared in the Orange County Register.

In response to the queries of persistent readers who have been awaiting a new column since late June, I thank you for your notice and offer this little essay in response.  In case you’ve ever wondered, the English word essay comes from the French word essayer, meaning “to try.”  An essay represents an effort to formulate and communicate ideas.  An essay, therefore, is a writer’s attempt to use language to forge a connection with a reader. [click to continue…]

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This column originally appeared in the Orange County Register.

The recent California judicial decision upholding Prop. 8 has inflamed very strong emotional reactions all along the socio-political spectrum regarding the relationship between civil liberties and the private realm of sexuality. [click to continue…]

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This column originally appeared in the Orange County Register.

America, in its relative youthfulness, still perceives itself as morally, politically and militarily invincible, devoid of the stabilizing historical context that might actually insure the retention of its truly consequential status. [click to continue…]

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This column originally appeared in the Orange County Register.

The very unstable economic surround in which we now find ourselves has unleashed an epidemic of anxiety-related complaints.  Stomach upsets, irritability, sleep disturbances, hives and rashes and unpleasantly intrusive thoughts or mental imagery have become increasingly common even among the usually serene and composed. [click to continue…]

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This column originally appeared in the Orange County Register.

Much has been written lately about impulsive behavior, particularly excessive spending or shopping, as its problematic consequences have become increasingly obvious as our economy continues to implode. [click to continue…]

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This column originally appeared in the Orange County Register.

Most of us would agree that balanced concern for self and others constitutes a measure of psychological maturity and health.  While other, mostly mammalian, species share our capacity to live cooperatively and care for one another, only human beings are able to reflect consciously upon this attribute, to develop it and direct it purposefully. [click to continue…]

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