The Dopamine Chronicles No. 1 – Class Reunion

Hi there. In case you’ve forgotten – an understandable lapse - my name is Michael Jewel Haley. We’ve met before, you and I. Here, within these pages at ANewsCafe, I once offered the occasional opinion about films and popular music – and you liked it. It was my desire at the outset of our relationship to make this more of a regular thing, something you could depend on. My plan was to share my takes on art, music, film and literature, and alert you to cool pop culture events happening here in the north state and around the world. However, for various reasons - which we can discuss later - it’s been a few years since we last connected. You’ve probably moved on. No hard feelings. I understand.

All kidding aside, the point is this: I have returned to ANewsCafe. My intention is to pick up where I left off in January of 2016 (a piece on the death of David Bowie) and continue writing opinion pieces on the work of artists and writers that interest me – and, I hope, you as well. One significant change will be the occasional inclusion of material of a more personal nature, stories – like the one that follows below - that will shed some light on the reason for my extended absence from “The Café”. I look forward to sharing with the readership here at ANewsCafe, and exchanging ideas and opinions about words written, published, sung, and filmed. I have never had a conversation I didn’t learn something from. Let’s continue that tradition.

But first, a little backstory…

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Michael Jewel Haley
Michael Jewel Haley is a Bay Area artist, photographer and writer.  He grew up in Redding, and developed his love of movies during Saturday matinees at the Cascade Theater. See samples of his artwork here.
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15 Responses

  1. Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

    There is this cliff, and I’m hanging from it. This doesn’t seem like it’s going in a good direction, but I guess that’s the point of a cliffhanger—we’ll see.

    I remember that Bowie column from a couple years back. I might have gone on a bit about how I discovered his genius through my appreciation of Iggy Pop.

    • Yes, it’s a cliffhanger. Michael’s an excellent writer, and he’ll make it worth your while to hang in there.

      • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

        I lectured on central nervous system physiology at UCD for a couple of years, so from the title of the series and the symptoms I feel pretty certain I know where the diagnosis is going. I’m hanging on for the journey.

    • Michael Jewel Haley Michael Jewel Haley says:

      Thanks for the response, Steven.

      As you noted, we lost a genius when David Bowie died. And then, to lose Prince only three months later made for a dual blow to the music world.

      I made a pilgrimage to Paisley Park in suburban Minneapolis three months after Prince’s death. It was a most affecting, most emotional experience. I still feel it today.

  2. Beverly Stafford says:

    Sounds like Parkinson’s. Have you looked into Focused Ultrasound?

    • Beverly, patience, my dear. This is a series. The story will unfold with each column and he’ll share more about his diagnosis, which he’s had for years. (Hint: “The Dopamine Chronicles”)

      Stay tuned. It’s worth it.

    • Michael Jewel Haley Michael Jewel Haley says:

      Hi Beverly! It sounds exactly like Parkinson’s Disease, doesn’t it? That’s where my mind went, too.

  3. sue says:


    • Michael Jewel Haley Michael Jewel Haley says:

      Thank you for your interest, Sue. I hope the series is ultimately a satisfying read for you.

  4. AJ AJ says:

    My breath is baited . . . . I know, I know, if I brushed my teeth, my breath wouldn’t smell like that.

    • Beverly Stafford says:

      My husband calls it, “Waiting with tainted breath.”

    • Michael Jewel Haley Michael Jewel Haley says:

      Hi AJ. The New York Times Sunday Magazine has a fantastic weekly feature called “Diagnosis” that showcases a series of real-life chin scratching medical puzzlers. This is not that column. The focus of The Dopamine Chronicles isn’t “What is it?” The focus here is, ultimately, “Okay. What now?”

  5. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    I’m am hooked on this story. I’m ready for the next installment. Thank you Michael for sharing a link to your art work. I love your work…..I book marked your page so I can go back and look again.

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