Like most humans, things take awhile to percolate through my brain.

Absurdity doesn’t always reveal itself right away.

Maybe the weirdities of America’s mascot controversy easily escape me because I attended UC Santa Cruz — where we have the slippery Banana Slug as our sports team rep.

The paradoxes have been opaque, even as I’ve maintained a consistent fascination with this debate ever since I first encountered it as a South San Francisco high-schooler in the late ‘70s.

In every one of these disputations, the discussion has been about whether or not a Native American mascot is OK.

I’ve had…


The other night I went out with three of my favorite men in Dallas — the wildman theatre producer, Tom Riccio, who also wrote the emotional program for the world’s best-known robot, Sophia; David Jeremiah, the up-and-coming Dallas conceptual artist; and Eric Knouse, the founder of the company, Mindful Science, which dominates online meditation instruction in the Spanish world (and, hopefully, in the English world very soon!).

Tom and I got into a knock-down-drag-out debate about the nature of consciousness, and, as I awoke this morning, some principles about the phenomenon started buzzing through my head.

Ever since civilization’s first…


An Artist’s Trying Year

By Eric Shaw

It was the best of days for the artist, Guy Frozette. 2021 had dawned, and Biden was prez, Tom Brady had put Superbowl whoop-ass on the Chiefs, and Stevie Wonder had just bought out his last show of paintings.

He was top o’ the world.

As he entered his uptown flat, his wife, Jeff, greeted him at the door with a wet kiss. “When’s DoorDash coming?” Guy probed. Jeff said, “Oh . . . soon.” Was he pouting? Guy was unsure. He could never follow the weather patterns of his moods. One day pouty, one day effusive…


Two weeks ago, I spearheaded a tiny protest against the cancellation of some art in DFW’s Bishop Arts District.

Until last Monday, I’d gloried in 4 pictures that were posted in my apartment’s foyer.

We have forward-looking management in my place. They’re young, hip, and healthily focused on customer service; I’ve been here five months and they’ve made all the right moves for the cultural creatives who fill my building.

Though . . . not this time.

The four foyer paintings were by the Israeli artist, Amit Shimoni (b. 1987). After communicating with us about every tiny detail of daily…


Trump’s Maoist-style Insurgents Lunge forth from the Countryside

One way to frame the Trump movement and its storming of the capital is to see it as another climax in a long line of volk movements familiar from Nazism, Islamicism, and even the La Raza movement in Hispanic culture.

To non-German speakers, volk is familiar to people through “Volkswagen” and, indeed, the name harkens back to the meaning assigned to it here. Volkswagenwerk, or “The People’s Car Company” premiered in Hitler’s Germany in 1937. “The people” is actually a bad translation of volk.


My brother, Stan Shaw, with his baby-momma, Vange.

A Storyline with a Brother Disappears

By Eric Shaw

My older brother, Stanley Martin Shaw, died last weekend.

At 61, he had no bald spot or grey hair.

His health was radiant — he biked to work all his life and had taken up running these last 10 years.

He died quick.

Cycling in Portland — his lifelong home — he blacked out, broke a neck-bone in the crash, and failed to breathe for 9 minutes (they knew ’cause of his wrist-worn fitness tracker).

The EMTs found him blue and likely brain-damaged, but motored him to a hospital without delay…


Our body, psychology, and personality are so infinitely more than what we can conceive them to be.

They are infinitely changeable and elusive. They point to unguessed-at futures.

Think about your body and all its particulars — and how this differs from every other.

And I don’t mean, just in how it appears, but in the tension of your muscles, the patterns of your movement, your blood’s circulation, your speed of response, your tics, your style of walking, your style of sitting down, your way of interpreting and responding to other bodies — open or closed, fearing or loving —…


Though he’d made prominent missteps, when Kobe Bryant’s helicopter fell from the sky Sunday, he was basketball’s most impressive ambassador.

In his on-air conversations, you felt the force of one of basketball’s great minds.

He was always poised, completely self-possessed, and profoundly articulate.

When he retired in 2016, his 20-year career was the longest of any guard in NBA history.

His stamina was buttressed by his relative youth.

Like the league’s current top star, LeBron James, Kobe went straight from high school to the pros. …


Two things inspired me to write about the controversial yoga superstar, Bikram Choudhury today:

  1. Three days ago, I found this historic pic of Bikram Choudhury (b. 1944) that I’d previously lost. (I collect archival yoga images.)
  2. Two days ago Netflix just came out with a new documentary on the man. It’s ominously titled: Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator.

In the above pic, BC poses in front of his Beverly Hills studio with Bishwanath Ghosh (b. 1944) the son of Bikrams’s guru, visiting from India.

It’s probably 1976.

Contrary to popular expectations and his own pronouncements, Bikram (in an echo of the…


“God chooses imperfect people to do his perfect work.”

It can’t be otherwise.

Though the Gen 2.0 teacher, Yogi Bhajan (born Harbhajan Singh Khalsa, 1929–2000), had a controversial career, the yoga style he created, Kundalini Yoga, has an undeniable transformative power.

He arrived in Toronto in November of ’68 and shortly thereafter relocated to LA.

It was the high point of the 1960s counter-culture movement.

The Summer of Love had happened the previous year.

Bhajan’s Kundalini Yoga would be popularized at Woodstock the following August.

He formed the 3HO (Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization) shortly after his North American landfall largely…

Eric Shaw

Eric Shaw is a writer on art, yoga, politics and consciousness from Dallas, Texas.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store