Magazine cover of "common" for November 2013, featuring a puppet character with orange hair, glasses, and a colorful kimono against a green splattered background and text about various articles.

November 2013

The Humor Issue

What better way to enter our 40th year than to attempt a little humor? I agree with Mark Twain, who said, “The human race has only one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” Hopefully, this issue provides a bit of weaponry to the cause.

For starters, we have an interview with Puppetji, the world’s most popular puppet guru. He’s a bit circuitous, but he also floats much valid advice—notably that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. I only wish readers could hear his beguiling Indian accent.

You’re going to love reading Damon Orion’s feature describing how a weekend seminar changed him from a wannabe adept into a bona fide Tantra Man. Hysterical.

Suzanne Morrison shares the details of a startling yoga wellness retreat in Bali. There, much to her surprise, she learns that she is alone in her resistance to embrace the benefits of urine therapy. Apprehensive of getting called out as the lone dissenter, she likens the experience to the many zombie movies she has studied, where the key to survival is to blend in with the natives.

In another true story, Steve Heilig recounts the time President Nixon saw him naked as part of a surfer’s streaking prank. Much like Common Ground’s beginnings, it happened nearly 40 years ago.

In his geezer’s lament, Wes Nisker reflects humorously on the perils of aging, while Gar Smith satirizes the perils of global warming in his essay “A Braised New World.” We have a Q&A with Tofu Roshi and even a serious essay by Marc Gafni about the importance of laughter. And much more. We’ve even included a sequence of new age-y comics titled “Comic Ground.” Go inside and roam.

Thank you for your kind praise of October’s Women issue. Our interview with Marianne Williamson hinted that she was preparing a big announcement. Now it’s official: Marianne is running for Congress in Los Angeles. A truth seeker with mature spiritual values, she’s the sort of candidate one wouldn’t imagine to come along for decades to come. Marianne will run as an independent and thus make a stand against the private-interest money game that pervades politics. For this, she will face vigorous opposition. We support her and all she stands for.

We look forward to seeing you at the Green Festival this month. Sadly, this marks the end of an era, as the Concourse Exhibition Center on Eighth Street and Brannan is slated for demolition—to be replaced with expensive condos. A sign of the times.

Our next issue, the December-January Holiday edition, is themed “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise.” In February we are planning the Love issue, followed by our Food issue in March and our Green issue in April. If there’s a story we need to know about, send an email. All feedback is welcome.

As ever, we are grateful for your support and ask only that your appreciation is expressed by patronizing our advertisers—the best. See you next month.



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