As a teenager, I was convinced I would become an astronaut — the first step in my plan was to attend the US Air Force Academy and become a pilot. Within a year of this resolute decision, my eyes were opened by the torment and senselessness of the Viet Nam conflict.

That war symbolized and embodied the central deceptive, repeating crusades of political opportunists. Whether against foreign or domestic forces, human or pathogenic, declaring the need for unity against an enemy is almost always a ruse. Power and fortune are the true motivating factors.

My childhood dream ended; I’d have to bomb Viet Nam in order to fly a spaceship to the moon.

I knew that very powerful forces were at work and felt I had no ability to affect them. By the time I went to college, studying philosophy seemed the only way to begin understanding and processing what I observed in the world. I was particularly fascinated and inspired by the wisdom and science of ancient China and went on to learn and practice Traditional Chinese Medicine.

I later trained as an emergency medical technician and supervised the ambulance of a volunteer fire department, working closely with our local hospital.

My second career in journalism began when I could no longer ignore or tolerate the hypocrisy of the political world. As an investigative reporter and producer, I worked on documentaries and biographies that attempted to reveal new perspectives on widely accepted views and versions of events.

I’ve also produced and directed a few independent feature documentaries. In The Cobbler’s Shoes, the story of a beloved village shoe repairman was a Mill Valley Film Festival selection.

In returning to my earlier interests in Chinese philosophy I wrote The Way, an interpretation of the Chinese classic, the Tao Te Ching, available at LaoTzu-TheWay.org

The pandemic initiated a new wave of my writing; I was a Children’s Health Defense Fellow for 2022. This Substack is a continuation of that endeavor, along with publishing analysis, interviews, satire, and fiction — all pieces that take a broader view of the current plight of humanity.

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David Marks

Writer, Investigative Reporter, Documentary Producer and Director