Playing it Out
June 26, 2022
Mr. Beller's Neighborhood
Everything got worse in New York except my jump shot. Though I looked the part — white, six foot and fair featured, like some towhead from the Midwest — shooting was not my ticket on the court. In the small school league in Washington where I had starred, I got my points going to the hoop. When I did hit from the outside, it was seldom pure. Even from the foul line, I tended to use a lot of the rim to get the ball to go in.
Poetics of Departure: Artistic expression in our discontinuous future
But our journey is outward bound only, an open-ended story of leave-taking, of farewells, of emigration to strange destinations. This forces us to feel, think and experience in ways we never have before, releasing waves of intellect and sensuality that may register as chaotic, even to us, and perhaps not logical at all; logic sprouts from the soil of past experience and we’re leaving the farm.
What do I even call Bernie? Girlfriend sounds so provisional, like we're going to see how prom turns out. Companion suggests at least one of us ought to have four legs. Life partner seems more apt for an insurance form than real conversation. Bernie says, "I'm just Bernie." I'll say she's my deeply significant other.
Dessie’s Vector: Age-Reversal and a Race Against Time
March 15, 2021
What is the life of a 100 year-old woman worth?
For all her spirit and resilience and lifestyle changes along the way, Dessie was caught in the vortex of the current healthcare model, which has progressed to the point of keeping people alive longer, but with no means of regenerating real vitality. In early 2019, a cohort of longevity activists collaborated to try to give Dessie a real chance.
Democracy and Immortality: the unlimited body politic
February 12, 2021
The capacity to self-correct, to identify error and re-set co-ordinates accordingly, will be vital as we progress into the era of unlimited lifespans. Questions will not be restricted just to the biological sciences, but to economics and society-building as well. Consider political opposition to public welfare programs today, and how it may have to yield to a universal basic income, as AI and robotics do more and more of the work for us. These are the kinds of 180 degree changes we will need to be able to execute moving forward.
January 10, 2021
As an immortalist and transhumanist, I see our redemption coming not through tradition, but by embracing the future of technological transformation and unlimited lifespans. It isn't so much a religion as relief from the need to identify in that way because there's something bigger than where we come from—there's where we're going. Still, my Netflix viewing choices got me thinking.
The End of Intolerance Comes With the End of Death
July 20, 2020
If we ourselves are disposable, it’s really not all that hard to treat others as garbage. In fact, to many it comes quite naturally.
Do's and Don'ts for Discussing Immortality with Friends and Family
May 15, 2020
Don’t call it Immortality. At least not at first. Consider it a goal to work up to, like nirvana, which you may never have to reach. For now, dial it down to super longevity, or even better, plain old longevity or just, you know, staying healthy for longer, or maybe not even for longer, maybe just for now plus a little bit, let’s say. Now you’re ready to drop in that little gem: healthy aging. Too oxymoronic to analyze (where would either of you start?), you’ve got them right where you want them.
Sports Man of the Future
October 13th, 2019
The Good Men Project
My partner Bernie relieves herself instantly of any potential sports angst by simply switching allegiance to whoever’s winning. Even the Dodgers. She has no idea why I object to this. Why do I object to this? I’m a transhumanist. I see us using technology to take charge of our destinies, create abundance, and live unlimited lifespans. Why should we be subject to the whims of sports?
Big Art -- A case for maximalism
April 4, 2019
Image Journal: Good Letters
If our art is to respond to our times, then it must be said, death’s destroying shadow looms larger than ever, and we need cathedrals of creation at least as large in defiance.
The Inclusion Orthodoxy: What we write about when we write about diversity
January 2, 2019
What brought this to a head for me was when a nonfiction writer who apparently was some kind of Kierkegaard scholar, apologized by saying: “I know, white and male and dead, how boring.” I’m certainly not here to argue that Kierkegaard isn’t boring, but when you have to apologize for your subject matter’s lack of compliance to an increasingly belabored dogma, aren’t you, well, boring?
In the Name of Not Repeating
It's been nearly 30 years, so one thing I clearly know is how not to tell this story: 1) Look around for peers writing something similar. 2) Think about your family and how they will take it. 3) Try to discern an audience that will identify and buy. 4) Ask advice how others would tell your story. 5) Tell it only tangentially, in veiled ways, and then consider it a failure when it doesn't come off. 6) Repeat.
Trenton into Time
In what had been whole cloth a seam appeared between protection and isolation that would divide me for decades. Maybe I was just growing up, sensing the structure of things, but awakening to the separations of time meant going to sleep on timelessness.
March 23, 2017
Volume 1 Brooklyn
From the start, the scales of giving a damn were tipped against our coach, seeking to advance his career by rising through the college ranks, with Vassar College Men’s Basketball circa 1986 as his springboard.
Soccer as a Second Language
September 27, 2016
Coldnoon: International Journal of Travel Writing & Travel Cultures
It was only when we arrived at the desk of the car rental, just down the road from the terminals of Barcelona Airport last summer, that we learned an international driver’s license was required to drive a car off their lot. With two weeks’ worth of luggage stowed at our feet, I cursed the fine print of the contract where this requirement had been buried. Bernadeane was coming down with a bad head cold. Otto and Suzanne, friends from home, spoke Spanish by virtue of being native Germans. But no amount of Euro – Spanish would change the car rental’s policy.
Buying Time: Art, Entrepreneurship and Owning Your Value as a Writer
April 18, 2016
At one workshop I attended, the instructor, an MFA candidate, stated in no uncertain terms: "Every artist needs a patron." It was the last thing I needed to hear to get my business off the ground. I so wanted a patron to come along and recognize me (more than I recognized myself) and free me from all this earning-a-living crap. Yeats had his patron; where was my Lady Gregory?
December 1, 2015
Rock & Sling
One benefit of becoming the family black sheep two decades ago was that I no longer had to attend family functions. Once the mandatory became voluntary, I almost never went to anything. Birthdays, Thanksgivings, bar mitzvahs, weddings sped past like mile markers on a freeway, as the momentum of my freedom grew.
November 1, 2015
It’s twenty minutes to the new hospital on Thompson Peak Parkway. Bernie drives, and I dry heave into a plastic bag, then gasp for air. Bernie asks how I’m doing? “Not good. Just go. Go.”
Outside In Magazine
A few months later, I left New York for Israel. My family had moved to Jerusalem when I was two, returning when I was six. Since then, I considered Israel my Plan B, an alternative reality I could go to when my own became too untenable. I chose Tel Aviv over Jerusalem, where I’d lived. I knew I needed to lighten up, and Jerusalem was hardly the place.
I played on my first basketball team in sixth grade for a Jewish school in a Washington DC suburb, endowed by a local real estate developer, somehow named Smith, ironically enough, to perpetuate our Jewish identity.
Feb 3, 2014
Impossibly fervent, intolerably vulnerable, I made my growing up an exercise of mind over body, reason over feeling. I thought everyone did this and assumed adulthood would generate its own sense of connection and substantiation to replace what I'd sacrificed. But the more I hid my haunting, the more ethereal I became, until I almost wasn't present at all. So I started living by my outlier heart, and I'm seeing where it takes me.
Nov 11, 2013
Burrow Press Review
That doctor murmurs non-committal clinical commentary, which I’ve learned translates roughly to: what the fuck is that?
Jan 23, 2013
Toad Suck Review
For a few years, I live with a woman who, in sympathy with my poetic plight, patiently pays more than her share of the bills. I compensate, I believe, in emotional stability, as she’s tends toward imbalance. This arrangement eventually leads to our ruin; she resents my poverty, and I’m so drained by her emotional neediness I can’t write anyway.