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Jaime Becktel’s articles

Igniting profound empathy and action: The power of documentary films

Soft guitar music adds to the depth of the moment as I look into her kohl-rimmed eyes framed by steel-gray cheeks. I’m falling into those eyes, recognizing clearly for the first time this essence gradually coming into focus through her gaze. That essence is dignity – a being’s worth and their innate right to exist, and now...

Here is what I saw and what I learned at Standing Rock

Thanksgiving morning I watched videos of the protests at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota with a wretched feeling in my gut. Native people of the Americas have long denounced Thanksgiving as a cause for celebration and have re-appropriated the holiday as a national day of mourning in remembrance of their...

Michael Franti: A rocker with a soul

Since 1994, Michael Franti, a San Francisco-based singer-songwriter, musician, poet, filmmaker and massive advocate for a wide spectrum of social justice and environmental causes has been touring the globe, often barefoot, with his band Spearhead. Among dozens of other inspiring projects, he created the annual Power to the...

Transcendent and electric: Remembering David Bowie

It’s early and I’m drinking coffee in the sun when a friend shoots me the message: David Bowie died.

Nah. Not this morning. Not possible. But I search the headlines and it’s true. I see his chiseled face in story after story of remembrance and my heart falls as I realize what the world has lost: Our Ziggy Stardust, our...

Love it or hate it: Flying

Love it

I dig flying. Air travel is my ticket to ride to far-flung places of mind-bending excellence, and the journey begins at the departure curb. Inside the airport, I love pondering the mish-mash of humanity – mullets and headscarves, coveralled pot-bellies and stiletto-heeled fake tits. Business guy on his phone,...

Falling in love with ‘Star Wars’ all over again

I like movies that swell the heart with some kinda wonderfulness, jiggling cells on their axis in heightened animation and forcing the beam of a smile across an upturned face awash in film-glow. It’s kinda rare, but the new “Star Wars” had just such an activating affect on me, igniting a powerful nova of imagination and...

Love it or hate it: Bluegrass

Love it

I’ve got nothing but backwoods Louisiana and rural southeast Texas in my blood, so a big part of me is always longing to be sitting on a dilapidated porch, pipe in my mouth, boots stompin’, fiddle under my chin, swillin’ bathtub gin, me and some kinfolk howlin’ tenor harmonies at the blue moon, swattin’...

Love it or hate it: The beach

Love it

I was one of those mermaid babies who took to the sea with the familiarity of a freshly-whelped otter pup, totally fearless and at home in the waves. I learned to surf when I was 8, and with that came some profound realizations: If I wiped out and struggled, I’d drown. If I relaxed, I’d float and eventually...

High Ass Recipe: California Toast

Growing up in California I was a fat, glossy, lucky little child with a large avocado orchard at my disposal. I grew into a fat, glossy, lucky little teenager who developed a stoner recipe so simple and so delicious it’s just plain stupid. I’m sure we can all agree to the fact that avocados are positively danktastic. Add one...

crafts • man • ship

Living in small, efficient dwellings is nothing new for us human beings. We’ve been cramming entire families into caves, tipis, yurts, covered wagons and small cabins for centuries. Within the last decade or so, however, a renaissance of shrinking the domestic abode has gone mobile with the advent of tiny homes built on...

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