Gentrification, San Francisco: Circus of Resistance

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It is August 15, in the year 2000. In a few hours it will be midnight, and then the police will come. But for now, it’s party time. On a balmy evening in San Francisco, nearly a thousand artists and friends cram into one narrow block in the historic Mission District in a show of support for a local dance company that had lost its lease.

Death and the Modern Pagan

The Earth-Based, Goddess-Centered Pagan traditions, including Wicca, have a very different attitude toward death in general. Most of the Pagans I have spoken to over the years believe in reincarnation in some form, so that death is seen as a change, a “shedding of the skin”, rather than the end. For this reason the snake that sheds its skin is viewed as a symbol of rebirth rather than as a symbol of evil.

The Long Good-Bye

The “Disappearing Indians” Myth Lingers On

It didn’t take a “melting pot” of settlers from other parts of the world to create diversity in North America. The native peoples who lived here already represented an enormous variety of cultures, and they had something in common that would help them survive centuries of misfortune without losing that culture.

Grandfather’s Dream

Native American Indian spiritual practices are not the glamourous and easily-digested catchphrases of wisdom portrayed by Hollywood or the New Age movement. As the following short story by this Canadian Metis author illustrates, walking the “Red Road” can be a challenging, even embarrasing, ordeal. – The Editor

When West Meets East: A Chicken in China

My daughter, Vanessa, is a genuine pigeon. She began her life in China two years ago, is living in the second city she has called home here, and has warned her Chinese friends not to plan surprises in front of her anymore because she understands everything they say.
Photo by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Eye of the tiger: Anti-goth backlash after Columbine

There was a group of people at my high school who were known as The People Under the Stairs. They were very nice, mostly suburban white kids who dressed in black and hung out underneath the main set of stairs. The People Under the Stairs were the misfits and the Goths of our school.
Goth Legs. Photo by Bryan Ledgard.

Shalom, y’all! | Jewish in the Bible Belt

Image by David Arv Bragi
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know that I was Jewish, and that it made me a teensy minority in my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Aside from being the capital of country music, Nashville also functions as the unofficial Baptist Vatican.

The Culture of Cousin Jacks: Cornwall during WWII

About 1937, a Spanish ship laden with casks of sherry and carboys of Canary wine ran ashore during a gale and broke up on a rocky beach near my home. The news spread rapidly, as it still does in Cornwall. My Uncle Bob, with his little Austin 7 car, was one of the first to the rescue – not of the ship’s crew, but of its cargo.
Land's End. Photo by Brian C. Coad