My Little Buddy by Lisa Montagne

T-bird.1For a decade, I had an extremely unique car. He made everyone smile. At least once a day, my Little Buddy the T-bird made at least one other person besides me happy, and sometimes many more. I loved him. He was faithful, loyal, and brave through 114,000 miles and a decade together. He had a powerful V-8 engine under his hood, and he was 252 horsepower-full of fun. He was a rare gem with white-and-black leather seats and a smooth-to-the-touch, ivory stick shift. He even got excellent gas mileage and immaculate emissions reports.

T-bird4 I have included a photo here of the original 1955 mint-green model, the very first Ford Thunderbird. My Little Buddy was made in this signature color: Only 50 in this color were in the 11th generation of T-birds, the last series, which was produced only from 2002-2005, and I had one of them. I saw another mint-green signature model from the same series only one time, up in L.A. at the corner of Sunset and Coldwater Canyon in Beverly Hills. I waved enthusiastically; he did not wave back. Snob, I thought. I had my Little Buddy, and he had me; we were not alone.

Sadly, my Little Buddy was struck down in his prime on March 2, 2014. He has been mourned and very much missed. I had hoped we would be together for another decade, but unfortunately Ford (absurdly) decided not to support these little beauties, and no parts were available to rebuild him. He was finally relinquished to the insurance company, but not before I laid myself across his hood in the parking lot of the Ford dealership body shop and wept like a B movie queen. My only consolation is that his engine—like donating a heart—likely went to a Jaguar in need. The stereo system—like a kidney—went to my brother’s family. Continue reading

Featured Artist: Linda Kaye, Poet

Linda Kaye picLinda Kaye lives in the Mt. Washington area of Los Angeles in the hills east of downtown, famous for L.A.’s very first museum—the Southwest Museum. This area of Los Angeles is also currently home to many musicians, artists, and community and political activists, including writer Jack Smith from the LA Times.

Kaye is a native Angelino who grew up in the San Fernando Valley. She claims to be both a first-generation Valley Girl, and The Original Hipster. Educated at Antioch University and Cal State Long Beach in psychology and social work, her day job is working as a psychotherapist for an out patient mental health clinic, and as an adjunct professor at the USC School of Social Work. Linda also loves to travel. She shared, “Just tell me where you want to go, and I’ll join you! Hawaii, Buenos Aires, Thailand, Israel, France, Greece, Italy – all have seen my happy face. I’m down with all future adventures.”

In April 2014, Linda told Archive 405 about how she makes poetry:

How did you start writing poetry?

 In February 2012, The Eagle Rock Center for the Arts was hosting a tribute show to celebrate, Don Cornelius, famed host of Soul Train, who had committed suicide a month before. My then neighbor, DJ Peanut Butter Wolf was spinning the music and videos for the show, and he invited me to attend. While walking into the venue, I saw a very handsome, Johnny Depp-looking man enter before me. We began talking and he turned out to be a writer/poet, who shared that he hosted a monthly open mic poetry salon. After going to it, I was instantly inspired to write. My first attempt was a poem titled “20 Years Left” which was written to the song, “Whatever Lola Wants,” from Damn Yankees. Continue reading

The White Lady by Joe Janicki

Splash! For the first time in a couple of hours my eyes are actually wide open. As a paralyzing shiver rolls through each and every one of my veins, I ask myself, why am I not on my boat? Why don’t I have a drink in my hand? Just a moment ago I was partying my brains out with people I consider my best friends, alongside the closest thing that I have MACALLANfound to true love in the past 7 years, which I pay through the nose for—sometimes literally. In all directions, except for one, I see nothing but darkness. In the direction of the coast, I can see lights. We must be 5 miles, give or take, from the harbor. Man, is it freezing! What the hell happened? I must have leaned back a little too far on the railing along the starboard side of the bottom deck. Cigar in one hand, drink in another. Shit. The yacht is not turning around. Nobody saw me. They couldn’t have. They were all two stories above me while I was enjoying a few moments alone. Continue reading

The Wall-e Syndrome or The Consequences of Materialism by Rebecca Rathfelder

wall-eIn anthropology, there is a definition of culture that describes it as both abstract concepts and the physical tools by which human society adapts to nature and nature to human society (“Culture,” pars. 5-6). Whether these physical tools aid in the gathering of resources or provide a barrier between humans and the elements, these physical tools—these material objects—serve a vital function for civilization. As such, some form of materialism is necessary for human societies to thrive.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFurthermore, materialism as a system of thought can be traced back to the 4th century B.C.E and the ancient Greek philosopher Democritus. This belief system holds that “the nature of the world [is] entirely dependent upon matter, [which is] the fundamental and final reality beyond which nothing need be sought”(“Materialism,” par. 1). This definition, though extreme, coincides with the reality that human society depends upon, and thus defines itself by, material goods to some degree. More currently, however, the word materialism refers to the importance of material goods in society, implying that the concern that materialistic people have for material objects is excessive (Goldsmith, par. 2). This negative connotation is not without basis. Materialism has evolved in modern society into over-consumerism, the consumption of material goods disproportionately in excess of the resources available to the consumer to acquire goods and beyond what is strictly necessary to live (par. 3). So, despite its necessity in society as a whole, in practice materialism has resulted in several negative consequences that plague modern society and not only damage society in the short term but are also not sustainable in the long term.

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