Gaga for Greg

Image for post
Image for post
(Photo courtesy of the author)

“What’s up with all [of] this Afghan Whigs stuff?” a date recently asked.

It was a rare occasion when I actually wanted to meet a guy in-person, and even rarer occasion when I’d invited him to come inside of my apartment.

Sitting on the couch of my living room and listening to vinyl (Coltrane), he had remarked about the shelves of books and my collection of Nikon cameras.

Then his attention shifted to my collection of autographed Greg Dulli paraphernalia on-display: Afghan Whigs’ framed tour posters and promo band photos, laminated VIP lanyards, vinyl albums, and In Spades tarot-inspired cards…


Image for post
Image for post
(Playboy Bunny image, copyright unknown)

In a 2019 Wall Street Journal interview, Camile Paglia, the renowned feminist (or anti-feminist feminist) professor was quoted as saying, “I insist that capitalism has produced the glorious emancipation of women.” Some might ask, “How?” to wit she expounded, “[that women can] support themselves and live on their own, and no longer must humiliatingly depend on father or husband.”

Shifts in the employment market have afforded many American women the ability to do just as Paglia states: “support themselves and live on their own.” But notwithstanding living in an age when most women can achieve success in a free market…


Image for post
Image for post
(Swiss Alps, photo courtesy of the author)

Whenever I’m flying, I experience a certain elation. I’m overcome by a sense of excitement watching as titanium and silver clouds brushed against the airplane’s body as we propelled among these buoyant clusters of gas. Soaring across miles of Monopoly-sized houses and miniature mountainous terrains of the Swiss Alps sprinkled in snow like powdered sugar, from this altitude the world seems so small, relatively speaking.

Staring outside the porthole window on this December day, the sky was a morphing of blues and grays and white, reminding me of those Monet watercolors I’d seen at Musee d’Orsay in Paris. …


Image for post
Image for post
(My feline “spirit animal,” Miss Kitty)

For entertainment, I recently decided to check my Bumble account, something I hardly do because frankly, I hate to be reminded of how bad I am at dating. Promptly thereafter, the following exchange ensued:

Me: “You’re really cute but way too young.”

Him: “Youre [sic] really attractive though. You sure I’m too young. [sic] Make an exception?”

“Really cute” was an understatement. He was categorically good looking. Green eyes, blondish hair that suggested he spent a fair amount of time outdoors. His profile stated he was 35 but something about the symmetric architecture of his facial features suggested he was…


Image for post
Image for post
(Image courtesy of Facebook, Inc.)

As Isaac Newton famously discovered, for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. The creation of digital media is an action that has had a devastating effect on legacy media. Consequently, these organizations have reacted, most recently having called upon the government to intervene and reign in Big Tech competitors that are dominating the digital advertising market.

Corporate media’s plight to salvage what remains of print media and save the soul of journalism from this existential crisis, however, has proven futile. …


Image for post
Image for post
(Photo courtesy BuzzFeed News)

C.S. Lewis said, “You can make anything by writing.”

Aela Mannsmann seemed to have heeded Lewis’ advice. In a matter of just a few words, she crafted a mystery — a well-plotted teaser written in a manner to dramatize what in reality is an example of the “anything” Lewis alluded to: Mannsmann’s opinion.

On its face, Mannsmann’s “tale” seems innocent — a 15-year-old girl making her classmates aware of a school rapist. However, her word choice unequivocally suggested that she was aware of this individual’s identity. Yet despite advertising her knowledge of the “who” in her “whodunnit,” Mannsmann refrained from…


In a recent New York Times Op-Ed piece, Free Speech is Killing Us, writer Andrew Marantz argues, “[n]oxious speech is causing tangible harm.” While he clearly fails to acknowledge that “noxious” words aren’t synonymous with “fighting words,” as defined by the Supreme Court, he’s speaking to an audience easily triggered by emotion, and likely ignorant of the reasons why the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that there is no hate speech exception to the First Amendment.

One might contend that such a subtle distinction in semantics is superfluous. …


Image for post
Image for post

The Kodachrome image of a marigold blonde with peridot eyes sitting on my nightstand was taken around the time we met, years before the unblemished porcelain canvas of her face had tainted ruddy from chronic alcoholism. The photo depicts a child with a sunny disposition and was still naïve, oblivious to the long-term effects being the firstborn daughter of an addict with manic tendencies would have. Aged 4, she was also too young to anticipate what her legacy might be or fathom certain life milestones such as a first kiss with a boy or graduating cum laude from an Ivy…


Image for post
Image for post
(All photos courtesy of the author: www.thelittleitaliangirl.myportfolio.com)

Just as the commingling of the French and Spanish inspired the establishment of Vieux Carre, the spirits of the French Quarter’s past reportedly still commingle among the living. Ghosts of its most notorious ancestors — Jean Lafitte, Madame Delphine LaLaurie, and Marie Laveau —are said to still exist. These captivating characters and their legacies seem unable to break away from NoLa’s magnetic pull as if each is tethered to the city’s most haunted properties: Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar, the LaLaurie Mansion, St. Louis Cemetery №1.

I can’t blame them for not wanting to leave. NoLa is a city with a…


Image for post
Image for post

47 U.S.C. Section 230, otherwise known as the Communications Decency Act (CDA), has enabled Big Tech platforms to all but evade liability in a host of lawsuits for many years. But what happens if the bubble of section 230 protection is finally pierced and Big Tech becomes subject to state scrutiny? What if these entities are legally recognized as de facto public forums operated by private companies?

Is Big Tech’s right to free speech more important than an individual’s? Should our courts continue to permit Big Tech’s monopolization of free speech and freedom of expression by continuing to narrowly interpret…

Holly Bella

Attorney Wrangler. Writer. Photographer. Loves: dogs, music, vinyl, bourbon, guitars (Tele’s), the First Amendment, travel, books, law, tattoos, and the ocean.

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