A Market Lesson from the Global South

Paloquemao Market in Bogota, Colombia. Photo by author

In the United States, we are told over and over that we live in a “free market” economy. But as an American travel/food writer and freelance environmental journalist who has spent most of the last decade living in Latin America, I have noticed that the USA is in fact quite possibly the only country in the Americas where a real free market does not exist at all. And this may be the cause of some of our most pressing social problems.

Most Latin American countries, as well as most so-called “developing” countries in the global south, have centrally located structures…

How Cultural Appropriation Damages Both Movements

A shorter version of this interview was originally published on Reset.me

Chor Boogie (@chorboogie on Instagram) is an internationally recognized and widely awarded aerosol artist whose work has appeared everywhere from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing to the Berlin Wall in Germany, the Torrance Art Museum in Los Angeles to the Smithsonian in Washington DC. He was recently listed among the top three street artists in the world by Societe Perrier. But many don’t know he is also an initiate of an African spiritual tradition that utilizes the powerful visionary entheogen Iboga in their core practices. Today we talk with…

And why the philosophical novel also points to the way out of it.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

“What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of the plague as well. It helps men to rise above themselves.” — Albert Camus

The Plague” is probably the most philosophical dive into the meaning of pandemic diseases ever written.

Camus was a philosopher before anything else. His most popular novels were really just ways to package philosophy to a more mass-market audience. “The Plague” is a perfect example of this.

In the face of mass death and suffering, there remains something within the human spirit that’s able to overcome so triumphantly that the world depends on it…

Is it time to cancel the fakest social justice movement on earth?

First things first. Of course all lives matter, and at face value that’s a noble sentiment. But the problem with the people who are saying it is this: They don’t really mean it at all.

Because if all lives mattered, they would be the most ON FIRE social justice warriors on the planet. Why? Because human lives are being degraded left and right, but instead of confronting this, these clowns are using a tired trope to completely ignore reality.

Take the children locked in cages along the U.S…

In the time of Corona Virus, your food should be your front line defense.

The Corona Virus is no joke folks. But while there is no known cure for the pandemic, there are lots of studies out there on the anti-viral properties of many common foods. Many of you might be surprised to learn just how powerful some of these ingredients really are. Here are three simple foods that you probably already have right in your home kitchen, all with scientifically proven anti-viral powers to boost your immune system and help keep you safe and healthy in this trying time.

Green Tea

To Stop the Destruction of the Amazon, We Need Real Systemic Change

As a freelance journalist that’s been covering the Amazon for years, the best thing about this horror show of fire and destruction that's been playing out over the last couple of months is to see the world finally paying attention to the fate of the greatest eco-system on earth.

I believe we can stop the ecocide, but we need to be seeing through the Matrix here. …

Photo: Times of San Diego

I have been a full-time freelance writer for over ten years. While I have bylines in everything from mainstream outlets like USA Today and Vice to niche publications like High Times and Parabola Magazine, used to write an environmental column for Paste Magazine, and am currently writing a full-length guide book to my favorite country in the world (Colombia,) one of the keys to my success (survival really) has been the ability to pick up side gigs for extra cash on the fly through writer’s marketplace type sites.

Yesterday, I received an email entitled “Notification to California Based Writers” from…

Originally published on Invisible People

Last year, UN Human Rights Rapporteur Leilani Farha visited the San Francisco Bay Area. Her mission was to observe and report on the conditions of homeless people there. What did she find? Well, not only did she declare the homeless situation in the USA a violation of basic human rights and place the conditions on par with the slums of third world countries like Mexico, Delhi and Belgrade, but she noticed a level of cruelty toward the homeless “that I don’t think I’ve seen,” in her own words.

As a freelance journalist who has spent…

When all things are perceived as infinite and holy, what motive can we have for covetousness, for drearier forms of pleasure? — Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception

Native to the Andean mountain range of South America, huachuma (Echinopsis pachanoi) is also known as San Pedro (Saint Peter) because it is said to be the key that opens the gates of heaven. With its potential to catalyze deep healing at many levels, both for individuals and societies, it is a “teacher plant” that has much to offer those looking for a profound entheogenic experience.

Huachuma is a tall columnar cactus…

Originally published in Paste Magazine

The idea that capitalism will save the world and that poverty, not greed, is actually to blame for deforestation and other ecological disasters is nothing new, but I always dismissed it as more free market nutjob nonsense. When I recently saw the well-respected environmental outlet Grist.org towing that blood encrusted old line however, I knew this issue could no longer be ignored.

This column is supposed to be about solutions, but if we are confused about the problem we can’t even begin to get into solutions. And Grist is very confused.

In a widely promoted…

Ocean Malandra

Environmental journalist with words in Mongabay, Earth Island Journal, Vice, Parabola Magazine, High Times, Paste Magazine and more. oceanmalandra.contently.com

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