Wouldn’t you know it. Ever since the San Diego City Council decided last Monday to regulate short term vacation rentals, it’s all “gloom and doom” from the Airbnb crowd and their sycophants.

The Council vote on July 16 was a solid 6 to 3 in favor of Councilwoman Barbara Bry’s proposal to limit short term rentals to the primary residence and an accessory unit on the same property.

The vote was very historic – as it came after a huge defeat for Mayor Faulconer’s plan which would have opened up San Diego’s coastal and beach neighborhoods to investors world-wide. Faulconer’s plan would have destroyed the community fabric of Ocean Beach, PB and what’s left of community in Mission Beach.

But for the Airbnb crowd, it’s all a disaster, the sky is literally falling

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Protest crowd with signs including one large one: "NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION to DEFEND PUBLIC EDUCATION"

By Thomas Ultican / San Diego Free Press

The California charter school law is doing serious harm to public schools. Few counties in the state have been more impacted by charter schools than San Diego County. This past school year 75,473 of the 508,169 publicly financed students enrolled in charter schools. In other words, 14.9 percent of San Diego’s students attended privatized schools and in the San Diego Unified School District, that percentage was greater than 17 percent.

San Diego’s charter school students attended one of the county’s 129 active charter schools some of which will close their doors next year. In the past five years, more than one out six charter schools – a total of 27 schools – went out of business. This presents an additional financial burden to public schools because they must be ready to take in all students from failed charter schools at any time. Charter schools typically do not add students during a school year.

When students from the public system exit to the privatized charter school system, the cost to the district schools is substantially more than just the loss of state daily attendance money.

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by Joaquin Antique

I have seen the ganja future and its name is urbn leaf. Whether it’s a dystopian future or paradise, I’ll let you decide.

You may have seen the bus driving around OB: a newish big black air conditioned rig with a giant marijuana leaf logo and the words “urbn leaf” and “CannaBus” painted on its front and sides.

At first I wasn’t sure exactly what the bus was all about. Was it like a Wine County or Craft Beer tour? An ad for a new band or reggae club? A party bus taking folks to concerts or other events? Turns out urbn leaf is a dispensary and the bus is a service provided for potential customers.

It services Ocean Beach on the hour, from noon until 8 PM daily. The bus picks up patrons at the OB Pier parking lot

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Sunset Cliffs mattwood

Introduction

The beautiful Sunset Cliffs that stretch from the residential southern portions of Ocean Beach to the lower reaches of the uninhabited sections of Point Loma are certainly a world-renown, indescribably gorgeous treasure of nature that line the land’s border with the Pacific.

At the right moment when the ocean earns its name and the Cliffs earn theirs, the beauty and serenity cannot be amply replicated by the pen – or keyboard.

With the park along the cliffs celebrating its centennial in 2015, the Cliffs themselves – as they have for thousands of years – continue to erode and evolve with time, and sections fall or collapse to the water and beaches below. (See Needle’s Eye rock formation that has eroded away.)

Yet these same cliffs with their jagged rocks and crashing surf are also very unforgiving

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Post image for Hippie Life in Ocean Beach

Originally published April 27, 2016

OB as the Haight-Ashbury of San Diego

By Frank Gormlie

In my many writings about Ocean Beach history – some of which I share below – I’ve always noted that in the late 1960s, OB became the Haight-Ashbury of San Diego. By 1967 – a year after the OB Pier had officially opened – it was already evident that Ocean Beach was morphing into the San Diego equivalent of that fabled and iconic San Francisco neighborhood synonymous with “hippie-ism”. If you were a hippie or a hippie-wannabe during this time somewhere in San Diego, you ended up in OB.

Of course, other factors contributed to the incubation in Ocean Beach of a community sympathetic and supportive of the new emerging counter-counter:

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History of the Original OB Seagull Logo

July 6, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for History of the Original OB Seagull Logo

By Bob Sorben – Creator of the Original OB Seagull

Back in the 50’s and early 60’s we all hung out on the beach at the foot of Newport. OB was ruled by the locals and the defense of our beach town from outsiders was almost tribal. We fought with other local communities whenever an occasion arose. Of course, there were always fights amongst ourselves, and some just liked to fight.

The Point was actually broken up into clubs and each had followers, but we intermingled as one. The Sunset Surfers of the 40’s & 50’s and, the Qwiigs Surfing Club, which dated back to the 30’s were the beginning.

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Photo Gallery: Tracking a Wandering Peregrine Falcon from Mission Bay

December 29, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Photo Gallery: Tracking a Wandering Peregrine Falcon from Mission Bay

By Roy Little

Peregrine Falcons are well known for their acrobatic ability in the air and high speed dives to stun other flying birds, usually as prey. Not quite as well-known by the public is their long-range migration habit. “Peregrinus” means “wanderer” in Latin. In the Americas they tend to migrate north/south annually along the Pacific or Atlantic flyways.

On November 5, I photographed a Peregrine Falcon at the edge of the Kendall-Frost/Northern Wildlife Preserve in Pacific Beach at the northern side of Mission Bay.

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Who Does He Think He’s Fooling?

July 19, 2018 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

“No collusion,”
the man, with way more talk
than walk says.

And he flies across
waters to Helsinki
to meet and greet
a Russian of ill repute
who is seen
as our number one enemy,

a man who slapped our country
upside the head
like a Mafia Godfather
putting an underling
in his place,

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Remember When There Was Plenty of Abalone Along the San Diego Coast? Why Did They Disappear? Here’s One Project That’s Trying to Bring Them Back

July 19, 2018 by Source

Editordude: Many who grew up at the coast in Southern California in the late fifties and early sixties remember how plentiful abalones were.Then they disappeared ostensibly from over-fishing. Yet, here’s some hope for their return.

By Laylan Connelly / Southern California News Group / July 19, 2018

John Warren thinks back to the days when getting his hands on abalone was as easy as jumping on a surfboard and plucking the plentiful shellfish off a reef. Warren, who grew up in Capo Beach, always cooked them with white wine in a big wok for the “ab feed,” when friends gathered to tell stories and eat their catch of abalone, lobster and fish straight to the pot from the sea.

“Many of us learned to dive just because of abalone,” said Warren, now 72, of his memories from the ’50s and ’60s.

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Vegetarian BBQ at the OB Green Center – Sat., July 21

July 19, 2018 by Source

If you’re looking for something to do Saturday afternoon – look no further. The OB Green Center is hosting a veggie BBQ from 2 to 6pm. Everyone’s welcome – come support our community’s environment, peace and social justice resource center.

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An OBcean’s 2018 Summer Notebook of Teachers, Labor and Travels Across America

July 18, 2018 by Source

By Brett Warnke

As I’m a San Diego teacher and active in my union, in the summer of 2016 I was attending a National Education Association (NEA) conference in D.C. After resolutions condemning the Confederate flag failed and the body endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, I rented a car and drove to a rain-soaked Philadelphia to cover and participate in the protests at the Democratic Convention.

I wrote an article called “Storm Clouds Over Philly” for another media platform and offered some impressions on the terrible squall over the Democratic Party.

I saw lanyard-wearing convention-goers jeer, mock, and dismiss protestors on their way into a convention that raised up

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The Taboo on Talking Climate Change

July 18, 2018 by Source

By Sarah “Steve” Mosko / Boogie Green

Man doing headstand on beach with head buried in the sand

How often do we talk about climate change to family, friends or coworkers? Probably next to never if we’re like most people.

Yale’s national polling reveals that the majority of Americans accept that global warming is happening (73 percent) and are worried about it (63 percent). Even more want carbon dioxide, or CO2, regulated as a pollutant (81 percent).

Given these stats and the warning of scientists that the time window to prevent the worst impacts of climate change is closing fast, what keeps us from openly discussing it?

The answer is complex.

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Sizzling Summer Book Sale at the OB Library – Sat., July 21

July 18, 2018 by Source

They need tables and help – see inside.

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Bees Were Removed from Our Point Loma House and They Weren’t Given a Death Sentence

July 18, 2018 by Source

By Bonnie

What comes to mind when you think of bees?

That they are dying out? The lack of bees pollinating will negatively affect our planet?

Then how did I get stung by that lone bee at Montano de Oro State Park last fall, sending me into a tailspin looking for antihistamines before my leg swelled. And why over a three week span were my husband and I finding one to three bees dead – or half way there – every other night in the upstairs bedroom of our Point Loma home?

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Observations of the City Council Hearing on Short Term Rentals

July 17, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

By noon, the anointed hour of the City Council hearing on short term vacation rentals, the Council Chambers was packed with only a few seats open here and there. The Green Shirts – those who supported Airbnb – had arrived early and had captured many of the first rows of the cavernous chamber. A second room had to be opened a few steps away on the 12 floor of City Hall for the spill-over.

Because the Blue Shirts – those from Ocean Beach – arrived close to noon, we were left with scattered small sections with which to stake out. The Red Shirts were also scattered about; the Red Shirts were divided into 2 crowds: those who were members and supporters of Save San Diego Neighborhoods – the one group that has persisted for years in opposing short term rentals, and the other group who were members of the union, Unite Here (more on them later).

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OB Historical Society Presents: Randy Dible – Local Surf Photographer, July 19

July 17, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Local surf photographer Randy Dible has been shooting ocean theme images for over three decades.

Randy grew-up in Mission Beach in the 1970s and 1980s, and now resides on Ocean Beach.

He frequently travels to Hawaii, Mexico and other exotic surf destinations. His images have been published in Surfer, Surfing, Surfer’s Journal, Ocean Magazine and other periodicals world wide.

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Building Trust With Police is Like Trying to Assemble a Jigsaw Puzzle

July 17, 2018 by Ernie McCray

A jigsaw puzzle depicting the word "TRUST"

Creating Commission on Police Practices Moves to Full San Diego City Council.

“Trust is the Issue” was one of our rallying cries at the City Council’s Rules Committee meeting last Wednesday, July 11.

And the committee came through, voting 3-2 to pass the idea of creating a Commission on Police Practices on to the full Council.

That sounds hopeful to me but trying to build trust with the police in San Diego, for communities of color, has been like trying to assemble a jigsaw puzzle. One with too many pieces – due to years of bad history.

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Gentrifying Dystopia in Bombay Beach – Summer Chronicles 2018 #5

July 17, 2018 by Jim Miller

There’s something compelling about desolation, about lost places filled with traces of forgotten histories both personal and collective. That’s why I’ve always had a penchant for little towns around the Salton Sea, the vast, dying body of water I describe in my first novel, Drift:

It was a mistake, the product of a vulgar utopia gone awry. At the turn of the century, they dreamed of transforming the desert into a garden by bleeding nature of more than she readily offered.

When they sought to divert the waters of the Colorado, they flooded downhill and formed the Salton Sea. In the wake of this disaster, they dreamed of turning the floodwaters into their own depraved version of Eden, a haven for real estate boosters, businessmen, and all the hungry failures who had lost out on the golden dream in Los Angeles and San Diego.

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City Council Bi-Partisan Majority Saves Coastal Communities, Votes Down Mayor’s Proposal on Short Term Rentals – Votes for Councilwoman Bry’s

July 16, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

After 5 plus hours of public testimony, a bi-partisan majority of the San Diego City Council today, Monday July 16, halted Mayor Faulconer’s proposal on short term vacation rentals and approved by a vote of 6 to 3 Councilwoman Bry’s proposal to limit the rentals to “primary residence” and onsite granny flat.

In the end, 4 Democrats (Bry, Cole, Gomez, Ward ) and 2 Republicans (Zapf and Kersey) voted for the so-called “Bry Proposal”. In essence, the Bry plan limits short term rentals to the primary residence – and if there’s an accessory unit, a so-called “granny flat” – the host is allowed to rent that out as well, as that still meets the requirement for the host to be on the property during the visit.

This historic vote has, in effect, saved San Diego’s coastal communities – including Ocean Beach

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US Chief Executive Waves Bye-Bye After Visit to Jolly ol England

July 13, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

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Persist With Pride, San Diego

July 13, 2018 by Doug Porter

This weekend provides the opportunity to observe some of the accomplishments of the past few decades by activists and allies in the LBGTQ movement.

San Diego Pride festivities have grown from a small grassroots march for equal rights in the 1970s into the largest civic event in the region, with activities spanning a full week.

The organizers of San Diego Pride have donated over 2.5 million dollars to LGBTQ-serving nonprofits

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Point Loma Nazarene University Added to Previous Lawsuit Involving Former Student and Professor

July 13, 2018 by Source

by Andrew Eakes / LomaBeat / July 9, 2018

Amy McClanahan, the woman suing former Point Loma Nazarene University professor and pastor John Wright, is now naming PLNU in her lawsuit. She filed the additional name on May 9. The civil case management was last Friday, June 29 at the San Diego County Courthouse, which was held to discuss how the case would be handled. PLNU did not appear in court.

The university, along with Wright and Mid-City Church of the Nazarene (where Wright was her pastor), is being sued by McClanahan for negligent hiring and retention related to Wright’s employment at PLNU.

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Man Detained Suspected of Setting 8 Fires in Ocean Beach – One Apartment Complex Had to Be Evacuated

July 13, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Police have detained a man suspected of setting up to 8 fires in Ocean Beach between 11pm Thursday to about 6am Friday morning, July 13.

One fire caused the evacuation of an apartment complex.

SDFD Capt. Cory Beckwith told the media Fire Department crews responded to 8 different fires – all clearly intentionally set from about midnight to about 6 a.m. Friday. The fires were in plastic trash cans, dumpsters and at least one car. Most fires were set in trash bins pulled up next to a car.

And law enforcement may have caught a man red-handed as reportedly he was seen in the process of starting a fire on Long Branch Avenue and was then detained.

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The Future of Ocean Beach Is Very Likely to Be Decided on Monday, July 16

July 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It is a truth that is staggering. And it is not hyperbole.

The future of Ocean Beach very likely will be decided this coming Monday, July 16, when the San Diego City Council votes on regulating short term vacation rentals.

This will be their 4th major hearing on these type of rentals, often called mini-hotels – having failed over 3 years to set policy. Up for discussion is Mayor Faulconer’s proposed “compromise” and all he and the short term platform companies like Airbnb need is 5 votes.

If Faulconer’s plan passes in total or in substance – the future of this community has been decided

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Explosion and Fire on Bacon Street Sends Ocean Beach Resident to Hospital

July 12, 2018 by Staff

An explosion and fire in an upstairs apartment building sent an OB resident with burn injuries to the hospital on Wednesday, July 11. The unidentified man’s injuries and their severity are not known.

Firefighters arrived after 911 calls came in after 2:20 pm and quickly doused the flames within 10 minutes at a two-story apartment complex on Bacon Street near Cape May Avenue. From Station 15 we’re assuming.

Fortunately, the fire was contained to a single studio apartment on the second floor.

According to Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Monica Munoz, the fire caused an estimated

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SB 237 Threatens Community Choice Energy

July 12, 2018 by Source

By Laura Sisk-Hackworth

SB 237, authored by California State Senator Hertzberg (D-18), threatens to increase the use of fossil fuels in California by undercutting Community Choice Energy (CCE) programs. The bill would allow businesses to circumvent CCE providers and buy electricity directly from suppliers. These suppliers would be subject to the state’s required minimum on the renewable content of the electricity – whereas CCEs consistently exceed those minimums. Therefore, this bill would reduce the use of renewables, hurt renewable energy job growth, and likely bankrupt all current CCEs. This bill would effectively end existing CCE programs and halt their future expansion throughout California.

Community Choice Energy allows communities, rather than the utility companies, to purchase electricity.

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If Judge Kavanaugh Is Confirmed, SeaWorld Will Have a Friend on the Supreme Court

July 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

“If Brett Kavanaugh wins Senate confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Ken Stone over at The Times of San Diego warns us, “SeaWorld may have a friend in high places.”

It was just in 2014 that Kavanaugh saddled up to SeaWorld’s side in a case involving the death 4 years earlier of a SeaWorld trainer by one of the killer whales. The trainer was Dawn Brancheau and the Orca was named Tilikum, and the case was about a $70,000 OSHA fine slapped on the theme park – which SeaWorld contested and took it to court.

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‘No One From Ocean Beach Showed’ at Historical Board Vote on Nati’s Building

July 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

In Julie Stalmer’s recent San Diego Reader article on the vote by the San Diego Historical Resources Board to deny the OB Nati’s buildings any historic designation, she reported “no one from the Ocean Beach community showed” at their June 28 hearing.

This was according to Amie Hayes, a historic resources specialist with Save Our Heritage Organization, quoted by Stalmer; Hayes was there for the hearing. Hayes said:

“The vote was 2-7, so it didn’t pass. This means the property can now be demolished.”

There was one email on record from a couple who appeared to be OBceans opposing the buildings destruction and extolling the “quirky charm and character” of OB. The email read, in part:

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OB Rag Interviews With Ocean Beach Heroes Over the Years

July 11, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

OB Rag writers have interviewed a good number of local individuals over the years, people whom we consider “Heroes of OB”. What better time to bring these interviews out from the archives and highlight these folks once again – during the doldrums of summer.

Gary Gilmore – from October 2010

Gary Gilmore – Newport Avenue’s goldsmith par excellence – is proud of the fact that he arrived in Ocean Beach in 1973 with nothing else but the clothes on his back, his guitar, and his leather tools. He had journeyed across the country and had found heaven. And he’s been in OB ever since. His is a true classic rags to riches story. Yet it’s an OB hippie version of the classic. For Gary Gilmore certainly looked like a hippie when he arrived 37 years ago.

Gretchen Newsom – from November 2013

It is plain to see why the Ocean Beach Town Council chose Gretchen Kinney Newsom as its new president this Fall. Gretchen is poised, attractive, smart, clear-headed and brings to this off-the-beaten-track seaside village more political experience than the Board usually sees in a decade.

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Coalition of Community Groups Opposes Faulconer’s Short Term Rental Plan and Makes Own Recommendations

July 11, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Public Forum on STVRs – Thursday, July 12

A San Diego coalition of town councils – including the Ocean Beach Town Council – and other community groups has just strongly come out against Mayor Faulconer’s proposed ordinance on regulating short term vacation rentals, and instead have their own set of recommendations and proposals.

The coalition, called the San Diego Community Short Term Vacation Rental Working Group, is trying to gear up San Diegans opposed to STVRs to attend the upcoming City Council meeting on Monday, July 16 where they are set to vote and pass regulations on the controversial rentals.

The STVR Working Group is also hosting a public forum on July 12 to answer questions or concerns about how the proposed Faulconer ordinance will affect schools and residential neighborhoods of San Diego

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Malcolm X and Police Accountability on My Mind

July 11, 2018 by Ernie McCray

Photo of Malcolm X poster labeled "NOT FOR SALE"

By Ernie McCray

I attended a meeting the other night at the Malcolm X Library about a proposed Amendment to the City of San Diego Charter to create a Commission on Police Practices.

I couldn’t help but think of Malcolm throughout the evening because he would be pleased at the very idea

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Ocean Beach Through the Lens of ACE

July 10, 2018 by Source

ACE is Albert C Elliott, a local surfboard maker and photographer, who occasionally lets us pick into his portfolio of 2-dimensional treasures.

Which brings us to this collection of visuals from around the Village of OB. And as Albert occasionally gets up on a board himself, this collection includes a number of shots from June in our local waters.

So, sit back and enjoy the sights as you flip through these fotos from the lens of ACE.

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Former San Diego Police Chief Zimmerman’s Fake News on Marijuana Takes on a Life of Its Own

July 10, 2018 by Source

By Jessica Sutherland / Daily Kos

Ever since the term “Fake News” entered the popular lexicon, almost everyone knows to check their news sources closely, and roll their eyes at Trump. But what’s a responsible citizen to do when “Fake News” and “alternative facts” originate with reliable, trusted sources?

Recently retired San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman should, in theory, have been one of those reliable, trusted sources, assuming you trust law enforcement. Unfortunately, a recent investigation by Voice of San Diego’s Jesse Marx reveals that the former chief manufactured crime statistics in an apparent effort to block expansion of the cannabis industry within America’s Finest City. Worse, her fake facts are now being used to justify and shape cannabis attitudes and policy in other municipalities.

This is how it begins.

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U.N. Breastfeeding Resolution Opposed by Trump Administration’s Corporate Shills

July 10, 2018 by Source

“What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the U.S. holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on the best way to protect infant and young child health.”

By Julia Conley / Common Dreams

International delegates to the United Nation’s World Health Assembly looked on at the group’s recent meeting, as U.S. representatives appeared to put the interests of the $70 billion baby food industry ahead of those of parents and children—and pressured other countries to do the same.

The New York Times reported Sunday that American officials, led by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, attempted to strongarm Ecuadorean delegates out of introducing a resolution to encourage and support breastfeeding and urge governments to restrict misleading marketing claims about baby formula.

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Summer Chronicles 2018 # 4: Getting Inside the Inexhaustibility

July 10, 2018 by Jim Miller

“A desire to be inside the inexhaustibility.”
–Karl Ove Knausgaard My Struggle

In Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle, he writes eloquently about how writing is what helps one escape the prison of our “purely fabricated world” that gives us the feeling that “the world is small, tightly enclosed around itself, without openings to anywhere else.”

This bubble world that the construct of modern civilization has locked us into is only exacerbated by the closed feedback loop of our cell phones and social media which pretend to expand our known worlds while, in reality, deeply limiting our consciousness to a simulacrum of screens.

What does writing do? Well, as Knausgaard observes, it speaks to our desire for more,

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