Unintentional Subterfuge

Crippledom. The word is a noun that sadly connotes, promotes, and strongly encourages insignificant, ultra-provincial, minutely microcosmic, and chronically monochromatic negative imagery, but this ignorant connection of paralysis to lugubrious expectations is not, for me, a reality understood by my personal experience. My paralysis is almost always surrounded by ineffable thaumaturgy as that witnessed during every seasonal change. Life is merely the opportunity to react positively to the unexpected. And the choice is… everyone’s. Every now and then, I try to challenge a perceived veracity. Why can’t crippledom be fun?

Crippledom is rarely laughed at but is rife with comic possibilities. What if somebody confined to a wheelchair falls out of it? Depends on whether it’s a drama or comedy. My college professor, Dr. Steve Bluestone, once told me that the difference between a drama and a comedy can be demonstrated by a man’s tripping and falling to the ground. If the scene is a closeup, the pain in the man’s visage creates a dramatic event; the audience empathizes with the man. If the scene is envisioned from afar, the scene becomes more comic; the audience is purposely separated from the emotional connections; laughing is then easier.

It would be so groovy to watch a sitcom with the setting of a bustling city sidewalk: two characters are discussing the sundry aspects of their lives when a paraplegic navigates her wheelchair too close to the edge of a curb on the other side of the street, tips over, and falls (unnoticed by everything but the camera) into water that has stagnated in the gutter on the side of the street―the two characters continue their discourse without ever acknowledging the incident that in reality would cause as much commotion as two epileptic lizards dancing to Glenn Miller’s In The Mood. Now that’s funny! but you’ll never see it because of a fear quickened by demagogic pedagogy used to obfuscate unfounded christian and social dogma to sterilize our society, a herded skein of sycophantic ovine supplicants who graze hypnotically in pastureland programmed in life-like detail on electronic games that desensitizes the flock to graphic violence but a society that must, ironically, revert to calling a crippled boy physically challenged because the former appellation might offend moral sensitivities.

Yes, I have thus far in my life of paralysis fallen out of my wheelchair on two occasions and have fallen out of my Hoyer Lift twice. A Hoyer Lift (pictured on the left) is a tool hoyerLiftwith a hydraulic pump that uses chains connected to an extended arm and to a net that is placed underneath my fleshy hind end; the pump is then used to raise me up so that I may transfer from my bed to my wheelchair and visa-verse without causing permanent back damage to whomever is helping me. It’s really like a lift on the docks that transfers cargo to a ship but instead of bananas from Guam, the Hoyer transfers my fat ass.

The first time I fell from my Hoyer lift was when I was living in the infamous Columbia Apartments in Decatur, Georgia. I was getting ready for bed while, ironically, the Slam Dunk Competition for the NBA’s All-Star Weekend was on television. The person who was helping me was a really effeminate dude, but I knew him from my days at Shepherd Spinal Center, where he still worked; he was very personable, affable, congenial, and smartly dressed; most importantly, he was very concerned with my well being. He had come to me at a time when I was not having much luck with my attendant care, and we got along really well. Obviously, I was very fond of him.

After he pumped me up in the Hoyer lift so high in the stratosphere that I grew dizzy from the lack of oxygen, something happened and I came crashing down to the ground with the force comparable to the energy created by flatulent expulsion from an exceedingly corpulent man after his rapid mass consumption of a recipe that includes NoFartingvolatile chili peppers of varying sizes, colors, and heat intensity; greasy pork renderings; a five-day old burrito; and semi-chunky milk from the carton with a very questionable expiration date. It happened so quickly that there was no pain (the fact that I have no sensation in over 90% of my body is irrelevant!), but what was really unbelievable was that my friend was determined to try to pick me up without assistance―this really tiny effeminate man was carrying on like a hysterical woman trying to overcome what he had given his lifetime to proliferate, i.e. excessive feminine emotions. From the ground, I calmed him down and had him go get help from some neighbors, which he did. This was when Dominique Wilkins unjustly lost to Michael Jordan in the NBA dunking competition, and I can sympathize with Dominique; I didn’t receive appropriate recognition for my slam dunk either!

The second time I fell from the lift was when my father and I went, ironically, to Panacea, Florida. We enjoyed a little bar on Alligator Point that had an incredible ramp up to the front entrance that was ten or more feet from the sandy ground. Unfortunately, this bar no longer exists due to a hurricane; however, it had a beautiful back deck that faced the oftimes placid Gulf of Mexico from which I witnessed many breathtaking nocturnal vistas. It was the July fourth weekend, and this is where we decided to spend the three days; however, there were no hotel vacancies anywhere around to accommodate us. We ended up bedding down in Tallahassee then driving the thirty or so miles to spend our days nearer the ocean.

Luckily, we found a motel in Florida’s capital city, and it provided beds under which the Hoyer’s base could fit; many beds I’ve used in various motels have a solid base which forbids the use of my Hoyer Lift. When this happens, a two-man transfer must be employed for me to get into bed. Since my father was the only person from whom I was to receive assistance at this time, it was rather fortunate that the Hoyer could be used. My father pumped me up and swung the Hoyer around so that I was floating above the bed, but something happened and I felt the effects of gravity as I started free-falling toward the bed. In those few infinite seconds neither of us got excited; I was, after all, falling toward the soft bed, but when I hit the mattress, I bounced back upward… towards the oncoming Hoyer Lift, and it came crashing down on my head with the force comparable to the energy created by an exceedingly corpulent man… wait… I’ve already used that metaphor… let’s see… the Hoyer came crashing down on my head with the force comparable to the aromatic energy created by underwater flatulence the morning following an evening of late-night, hasty Krystal hamburger consumption after hours of excessive imbibing. (Now that was a bit too detailed!) Anyway, after my liberal use of a more vitriolic nature, we started laughing. It was, after all, funny… well, after the pain subsided.

The two times I fell out of my wheelchair involved my next door neighbors when I lived near Lake Bottom Park in Columbus, Georgia, the Fountain City. I rented a house from a simoniac Baptist preacher who coveted the greenback and used his interpretation of Christianity to buy many houses that he could rent out at exorbitant fees… but I digress. My friend Tom Perry, with whom I attended high school, was cooking out in his backyard, and I strolled over in my wheelchair to experience the elevated testosterone that accompanies my gender and barbecues. As I came through his gate, I noticed holes in the yard that his dogs had excavated for reasons known only to the canine species but probably deriving from some instinctual preservation for prehistoric mating rituals used by the ancestral male to attract his potential bitch-mate by showing her what a nice hole he could dig, or maybe Tom’s dogs just liked moving dirt. I pulled back on my control lever so that my wheelchair would reverse direction, but the ground was sandy and my wheels lost traction, spinning ineffectively and almost pleading with my chair to back-up out of danger, but my front left wheel found the hole, and I, once again, felt the effects of gravity as it pulled me toward the earth.

“Here I go!”

It was all I could say, and I said it with such insouciance that the crash must’ve shocked Tom, but he quickly put down his cooking instruments and made me more comfortable on the ground, then he got his wife Diana to help. The really wonderful thing about the whole experience was that they got me back into my chair, arranged my clothes to help me appear less disheveled, and Tom never burned the meat! Tom shall remain evermore in my mind the consummate outdoor gastronome.

The second time I fell out of my chair was at the house that I rented from the cupidinous Baptist preacher, but this time only Tom’s wife Diana was with me. My high school coach and his brothers had built me a long straight ramp that led to the front porch, a front porch I really enjoyed. I was talking to Diana as we approached the ramp, but I missed it with my left wheel, and the wheelchair careened off the lip of the sidewalk, sending me like Icarus to the soft carpet of grass. I remember reading that the definition of flying is to throw oneself at the ground but to miss it. I didn’t miss the ground, so I guess I wasn’t flying.

“Here I go again.”

Diana straightened out my body so that I’d be more comfortable on the ground then phoned my uncle for help. It was a beautiful early spring day, and the sun was graciously warm. Diana went inside and got a blanket and a pillow to make me more comfortable. So there I was, laying supine on the blanket with a pillow under my head, and I was absorbing the sun’s warm embrace, talking amiably with the wife of my good friend. After about twenty minutes, Gary Gotterby and a friend of his pulled into my driveway. Gary and my uncle had coached together at a local high school, and it was through my uncle that I had met him. My uncle was tied up with work when Diana had called him, so he called Gary and asked him to check on me. Gary and I affably embarked on the casual conversation that spontaneously quickens on almost perfect days such as we were experiencing when Diana asked what method Gary and his friend were going to use to get me back into my chair.

Gary was taken aback because he wasn’t informed that I had fallen; he merely thought I was sunbathing. After the laughter died down, Gary and his friend lifted me into my chair and life was again chary (pun intended). It was then that I realized there are times I don’t look crippled.

Peace Through Music

Legalize the weed, man.

Jesus Wept

Long and wavy black hair cascades
his haggard-fierce Judean face–
the quintessence of sympathetic love–
piercing dark brown eyes sympathize,
scrutinizing a dark emaciated thin-tight skeletal boy,
his singe-mottled tufts of thinning hair, splotch-pied,
a mangy skein of craniate patchwork;
embossed ridge-jutting sebaceous welts,
crust-scabby, lacerated ebony skin, viscous,
pocked with illimitable needle pricks–
scar tissue from dilapidated hypodermic derricks
drilling for hallucinogenic nebulae;
his bruised and sunken, amber-streaked indigo eyes;
his swollen jowls framing jagged blood-creased teeth.

Baptizing tears gently fall upon the wasted child,
healing, cleansing, an ethereal renaissance
as the sympathetic joiner adjoins together
diaphanous, color-veined, stained glass wings
to the laughing, rejuvenated child
who giddily flies toward sunset meadows
of kaleidoscopic butterfly-tickled wildflowers,
hovering above silver serpentine streams,
silently disclosing phantasmagoric dreams.

The grieving carpenter confides to his gentle mother,
“Each pious soul who silently witnessed this suicide
is just as guilty of murder.”

Rusty Taylor
January 2016

Template for 2016 Uber Conservative Presidential Candidates

I’m a man. I’m white, educated, and I believe that I have already earned a post-terrestrial invitation to a sybaritic Heaven simply because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and it has been revealed to me by God’s celestial guidance, the singular omniscient and omnipotent being who looks an awful lot like Charlton Heston and who has directly directed me to understand which biblical texts are his true words and which words can be ignored without affecting my promised post-terrestrial salvation. It should be obvious then to everyone else who also seeks a similar post-terrestrial eternity of hedonism that what I think is important regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or universal address.

Ironically, the prodigal and carnal pleasures that I proudly and loudly (although not truthfully) proclaim to shun within my current sublunary life cycle are the very rewards I will receive for an eternity after I shuffle off this mortal coil that currently incarcerates my spiritual manifestation, which is a bit difficult to explain because I can only experience these bodily pleasures on Earth. My physical body is a miracle that can only be sensuously understood within an environment that is exactly like the atmospheric conditions on Earth within the very limited span of time between extreme terrestrial conditions that is the human epoch, which is solely conducive for human life. When we leave the planet, Earth’s atmosphere must be simulated in spacesuits or spacecrafts; this leaves the vast remaining Universe uninhabitable, totally useless for all human intents and purposes. Fortunately, my Faith will (and does) overcome my Ignorance, and it is with this Faith that I submit my volition always. This lack of energy to pursue the Truth may come across to the heathen as lassitude or apathy, but it is, in real reality, God’s will.

I am the id of our nation, the most base, bigoted, nationalistic, and religious extremist who knows better than anyone else, and since the current trend in our nation’s politics have shifted left and made same-sex marriage not only tolerated but acceptable, I’ve decided that abortion should be our nation’s current moral benchmark, mostly because I will never have to make a decision about any baby’s future, a miniature human that is extant exclusively because some obscure woman is the undeveloped organism’s life source, even if I were the masculine partner that inseminated the egg that quickened Life. I have not only the right but responsibility to make moral decisions for the female gender of our national community not only because no other opinion matters but, more importantly, women couldn’t possible be responsible enough to make decisions concerning their own bodies. Read the Bible! Woman are subordinate to the dominant male. God has written the Truth! Obviously, I should be the exclusive deciding factor in fetal life or death, but I should also determine how I can maintain a ludicrous lifestyle while others about whom I could care less remain not only obligated but honored to work tirelessly and with minimal remuneration for me to maintain the wealth I so apparently deserve.

Women, rightfully, believe that I, as a male, could never understand the concerns of an impregnated woman. True. I agree totally; I couldn’t possibly understand the ineffable grace of understanding that a separate human life is insidiously developing within my very corporeal existence, that I have been granted a miracle by unknowable biological puissance, the power to, like a goddess, create Life. In the same way, I am also totally ignorant about poverty, about being hungry, not ready-to-eat, mind you, but hungry for any significant amount of time, so how can I possibly be a spokesperson for or against abortion? But I submit the same point of contention for women who aren’t poor. How could they possibly understand the impossible decision to terminate a life prematurely when the only other option is to bring a child into a world with zero positive opportunities. Neither of us could understand the heart-rending torture about even considering the possibility that killing off a part of myself can be the least destructive decision I could make. However, abortion doesn’t directly affect me or my passions, so it is only I who can make this decision for all women… at least it won’t affect my wealthy constituency, and no one really cares about the dregs of society, even if I’ve done everything in my political power to keep the dregs in the mire that controls their lack of upward mobility.

It tickles me that anyone can espouse a pro-life advocacy yet still deny food stamps to an infant that is carried to full term (or, for that matter, how can one be pro-life and simultaneously support preemptive war or the death penalty?) Abortion will never adversely affect me nor any of my wealthy colleagues; it will exclusively affect the poor, which is as it should be. Women of means who are confronted with unwanted gestation can easily take a leisurely vacation to a country whose moral compass doesn’t include abortion as an abomination. If one were truly pro-life, she’d do everything in her power to help the woman who is contemplating termination of a significant part of her very self so that she’d be able to choose to bring the fetus to birth by giving her the things that would make it easier—bring the pregnant woman into her home and feed, clothe, and shelter her until she can get back on her feet. Of course that would be difficult, but if living a moral life were easy, we’d all be saints.

Great wealth is proof of a superior moral compass, and I am rich… very rich, a tyrant… uh, I mean a tycoon, which is irrefutable proof of divine sanction to even the most cerebrally impaired vagabond who tirelessly sucks at the economic dug of compassion as created through the empathetic “trickle down” social program that almost unfairly aids certain lazy welfare thugs who deserve far less. The beauty of this economic program is that it is quid pro quo; the poor get the help they need and we, the really, really rich, get tax breaks that allow us to keep millions of dollars even as our country’s infrastructure decays. This is the main reason I am against the proposed Iran Nuclear deal. Plus its potential success would be credited to Barack Obama, who, if you haven’t noticed, is a black man who is, quite probably, a Muslim… or, at least, a Muslim sympathizer.

The United States of America has the weapons of mass destruction, enough to totally annihilate humanity a few times over, but we are also the only nation to use nuclear weapons, twice, against another nation! Yet we still develop ever more powerful weapons merely because we can. We don’t need any more weapons when we can already destroy our species. And what do we do with weapons that are obsolete? We sell them to other nations. Why? The answer is simple: the CEOs of our national war machine corporations want to horde ever more wealth. We can sell fighter jets to Saudi Arabia knowing full well that we can take out those same jets with unmanned drones… but does that make our planet any safer? Luckily we have the NRA to assure that our society truly believes that more weapons will make us safer despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The NRA helps disseminate the mantra that the only way to get rid of a bad man with a gun is with a good man with a gun. Propaganda works.

I am smart… very smart. I’m not religious, per se; it gets in the way of some of my other interests; however, I use religion and implied racism to get rubes to vote for me. I don’t give a rat’s ass about abortion, same-sex marriage, homosexuality, immigration, but my voting constituents do. Think about it: how many times since 1973 (Roe vs Wade) has Congress been controlled by our party? And why wasn’t any legislation enacted to put an end to these abominations? We divert our voters’ attentions with threats of war, Ebola, terrorism, false reports about Benghazi, errant email scams, sanguine security threats determined by varying shades of red as a warning for imminent danger, whatever it takes. Obviously, the government can’t eradicate abortion if we are under attack from imaginary threats or real threats we create ourselves. The irony of it is that my party claims to espouse less governmental interference except when dealing with abortion, corporate bailouts, or bankruptcy. Nobody wants the government unless its involvement benefits her interests.

As an uber conservative politician, I strongly support unchecked Capitalism as a political aspiration, profits over people. A corporation’s main responsibility should be to its stockholders and CEOs not to its employees, the country, or to the planet. Socialism is a bane; all business should be privatized, not so much because government is evil but because my party has done everything in its power to defund many governmental agencies so that they are impotent, which almost backfired on us when we shut down the government, which weakened the CDC and the Ebola virus crossed into Texas.

Theoretically, we would love to become a nation of healthy people who never break the law, but if this were true, both prisons and hospitals would lose money; they’d be unnecessary. Making them for-profit institutions is unconscionable. In order for these corporations to make money, they need patients and prisoners regardless of their health or malfeasance. That’s currently why our prisons are overpopulated with nonviolent prisoners and it costs an arm and a leg for one aspirin at Our Lady of Chronic Perpetuity Memorial Hospital. Education and pharmaceutical developers should also be nonprofit. Socialism? Maybe, but humanity is a social animal. Even a troglodyte needs occasional human contact; it does take a community to raise a healthy child.

We put the fun in fundamentalism, overstating our support for the Constitution and Christianity in order to obscure our proclivity to relentlessly pursue income inequality, planet destroying industrial pollution, and corporate greed. It requires so little effort that I am, at times but very briefly, ashamed to dupe my voting constituency, but when they make it so easy, it almost becomes obligatory, like the televangelist’s scolding a supporter for buying medicine instead of tithing, and when the flock of ignorance watches Fox so-called news, the news for the new Confederacy, I have to exert negligible effort. It’s funny to me how we use Islam to turn our constituency against theocracy yet insidiously insinuate that theology based on Christianity is a boon. I seriously don’t know how we can motivate so many people by hate- and fear-mongering. Thank God, literally, that the millennials aren’t motivated to vote. It would surely mean our party’s death.

I am, admittedly, a bit concerned about the future of our conservative party. For decades, we’ve used racial ambiguity to attract bigoted voters, but now Donald Trump has entered the race, and his racial intolerance is far more brash than our more subtle insinuations. He plangently proclaims the bigotry we’ve worked so hard to disguise. I guess we’ll have to double down on the George W. Bush mastery of repetition: to repeat lies ad nauseam until they’re taken as truth. It’s sadly funny how many of our voters still believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attacks or that Obama is a Kenyan Muslim. Again, thank God, literally, that we have Fox Entertainment on our side. It’s a shame that it is no longer acceptable to hoist the Confederate flag.

Peace Through Music
September 21, 2015

Alchemy of Conscious

A medieval cauldron over fire glows;
orange embers breath in the night—
an infinitesimal fury slowly grows,
burning, searching for enlightenment,
and fusing elements (earth, air, water, and fire)
into an eternal philosophy
of elemental passions reigning desire
for universal immortality.

Ebony vulcan silhouette with muscles tense,
fiery amber face, and iron hammer to wield
(as setting sun signals that the day is done),
forges malleable base thoughts with intense
bellowing heat and vengeful reddened steel
to create the aspired philosopher’s stone.

Russell (Rusty) Allen Taylor
The end of college, late ’90s

Crossroads: The Sixth Mass Extinction

Does anything positive ever evolve when one questions the social traditions, habits, or patterns of a Life widely considered typical within one’s personal microcosm, which prepares her to think independently? Is it propitious energy to wonder if the unconscious repeated actions of a community are salubrious to the individual or to the community itself… or if they are even necessary? Is it socially responsible to question authority, especially when it is so obviously detrimental to individual existence or the existence of groups of people who are different and are thereby considered unworthy by them who have somehow acquired the usurped authority? In a Democracy, is one a traitor to question a nefarious elected leader especially when the leader lies to his constituency in order to execute illegal activities like, let’s just say, preemptively attacking a sovereign nation without justifiable cause?

I’ve often heard the aphorism, “Individuals can be intelligent; it’s groups of people who are dangerous.” An easy example of this adage is the cult, and as I sit back and view the contemporary terrestrial milieu by which I’m surrounded, I see very easily that the majority of individuals I observe, including myself, are, in fact, automatons unconsciously reacting to the stimuli of daily existence by following the myriad examples propagated by mass appeal through ubiquitous social media overseen by the childish proclivity of granting immediate egocentric satisfaction of acquiring specious baubles and trinkets by depleting planetary resources without replenishing them, desperately seeking immediate solutions without exploring the possible pernicious results that may not be experienced until a future when the decisions will have been forgotten or irrelevant to the desperate immediacy of the expected time of cataclysmic result — the metaphoric sheep blindingly following an assumed beneficent shepherd: the group of liberal dilettantes who decide not to immunize their children for measles and who inadvertently create pockets of infection when the disease was thought to have been eradicated, the cult of Christian Conservatism that distracts its victims away from community and towards the coddling of the soi disant intellectual and moral superiority of the individual.

I recall my first questioning of what was, in retrospect, the dogmatic pursuit of cultic influence. In third grade, I, as a young Catholic student, was preparing for the sacrament of Communion. In the Catholic tradition it is believed that the bread and wine served in the ecclesiastic ceremony celebrating Jesus’ last supper with his disciples actually turns into the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and there’s even a word for it: transubstantiation. The nun conducting the lessons asked a small group of us if the transformation would cause the bread and wine to taste differently. As I was but a child, I naturally thought that if wine actually turned into blood and a thin bread-like wafer actually turned into the body of a man, then they would both taste significantly different. Forget about the horrors of cannibalism, which I too easily ignored because of the magic of faith, I figured that a hamburger, which, to me, was meat — or what I considered would be a substitute for the actual body of Christ — would taste differently than the original rather tasteless wafer. The same with the wine and blood. In my defense, at the time, my mind was filled with childlike bewilderment, so instead of worrying about the veracity of what was lectured to me, I probably began wondering immediately about something else, like whether or not a fly loops or flips over when landing upside-down on the ceiling.

Obviously, the question of transubstantiation made a lasting impression on my young mind, lingering in a remote address of my inner psyche, patiently waiting to tickle my curiosity once again for futuristic cogitation along with supernumerary other flash-thoughts that are eagerly awaiting the flood of thought-thaw, desperate for rumination.

Albert Einstein is reputed to have said that Evil succeeds when good people do nothing to stop it, and as I slowly trudge through my allotted four-score life span, I fully understand how apathy or disinterest can lead to this conclusion, how turning a blind eye from reality can bring about the downfall of an empire; it’s happened throughout human history but can be best exemplified by the acceptance of Hitler’s atrocities by a majority of the German population who had no desire to get involved. Like a hapless ovine flock, black and brown sheep are led to the abattoir while the remaining white flock blindly ruminate… or daydream in sunny pastures about how beneficent their shepherd is by preserving their lives while destroying the others who are inferred to be somehow less superior — the survivors (unaffected) choose to believe that they are the shepherd’s chosen and thereby deserve absolution. Whether or not this blind, unjustifiable, egocentric attitude is arrogance or childish innocence, it is still unconscionable asocial behavior that reeks with the pungent hubris of a televangelist’s asking his followers to refrain from buying prescription drugs or food so that they may tithe to his multi-million dollar institution.

Ignoring obvious hypocrisies has been around for millennia, but today’s blinding indifference even branches out to negatively affect politically salient groups who ignore scientifically predicted mass destruction. As I write this, the government of the nation to which I am geographically bound, the most powerful nation on the planet, the only country to use nuclear weapons of mass destruction against a perceived enemy, is fighting internally about Climate Control, which isn’t inherently insipid, but approaching the conflict from a bipartisan aspect is the most puerile thing I can think of. The very saddest aspect of this debate is that each side is approaching the problem from a woefully inefficient prospective: they are debating whether or not climate change is caused by humanity. The fact that climate change is occurring is not debated. Let me repeat that: the fact that climate change is occurring is NOT debated! What our government is debating is whether or not the drastic climate change is caused by humanity. Our planet is turning into a medium-sized star-orbiting rock that is slowly becoming uninhabitable for our species to survive! And instead of directing our national directive toward a solution to the problem, we are debating its cataclysmic origin. That seems insane to me. May I suggest that we solve the problem first, then look back to uncover its origins?

Humanity is not powerful enough to destroy the planet, only themselves. Regardless of the events that have brought into motion the symptoms of climate change, the planet is dramatically transforming. Scientists world-wide agree that the planet is going through a process of warming never experienced in human history, but the planet has been extant for about 4.6 billion years (give or take a few months); modern humanity is estimated at only 20,000 years. This means that the planet Earth lived 4,599,980,000 years before Homo sapiens ever climbed down from the trees! Within that time frame, the planet went through many changes: from a molten rock surface to a surface completely covered with ice and every variant in-between. The Earth is still changing, evolving. Again, the planet’s morphing is not disputed; instead of investigating what has caused it, the question should be what are we going to do about it?

Seems to me that there are only three answers: We can change some habits of energy acquisition that scientists strongly suggest will counter the effects of global warming, a.k.a. go green! We can attempt to build hermetically sealed biospheres within which we can maintain a fabricated terrestrial environment conducive to our species’ salubrity; or we can do nothing and try to survive the predicted cataclysm.

What it then boils down to is the arrogance of the terrestrial citizens of the planet. If we do nothing, then the planet will change, evolve, becoming uninhabitable for the human organism. Ultimately, insidiously, these changes will cause the planet to no longer support our species in its current manifestation, which will either become extinct or will evolve, along with the planet, into a new species or subspecies of humanity. That’s pretty straight forward, but it directly contradicts the fantasies of millions who irrationally believe that the human being has developed to its potential, that humanity is created in the image of an omniscient, omnipotent puissance, that, in fact, humanity is the nexus between “God Almighty” and the rest of the vast Universe. Unmalleable. Perfect?

Let’s move on.

I imagine that we may have the technology currently available to create hermetically sealed biospheres that could continue to support humanity in its current organic manifestation, but biospheres are artificially terrestrial, and if the planet’s predicted chaotic atmospheric violence doesn’t destroy these fabricated environments, our species will begin to errantly believe that our organic evolution is unnecessary; it’s easy to believe that en masse arrogance will encourage a feeling of invulnerability. We, as a species, would then have to maintain mobile hermetically sealed environments in order to explore the very vast Universe, as we do now with rockets and the International Space Station, but that seems to encourage a lack of humility, the egocentric feeling that humanity is the center of all creation, which is ridiculous.

Homo sapiens is a species of modern man that has evolved symbiotically with the planet Earth but within a very insignificant timeframe considering how very long the planet has been extant and with regards to the dramatic changes undergone by the planet before the terrestrial introduction of the human element. Seems to me that our human organic bodies have evolved to exist exclusively on this planet or on other celestial bodies with atmospheric properties almost exactly complimentary with our planet’s current conditions. How much less than one percent of the vast Universe is that? Even within the comparably insignificant solar system in which we reside, Earth is the only planet upon which humanity can exist naked… Earth, one of, arguably, eight planets, the fourth smallest existing within an orbit around our sun with four additional “Super Giant” planets much more massively significant and with many moons that are also more interesting.

The most effective course to take against Global Warming is, of course, to change our social habits, but I don’t see that happening unless dramatic changes evolve in planetary collective thinking… and by collective thinking, I’m strongly suggesting that we begin to think globally instead of regionally, a utilitarian, terrestrial emphasis instead of along national, manmade boundaries. We need to stop razing the planet of its carbon-based resources that make an insignificant number of folks ludicrously wealthy while enslaving the majority into lifestyles that sustain the status quo. We need to embrace renewable energy before we become an extinct side note in some extraterrestrial archeological investigation.

Unfortunately, we are not ready to sacrifice our perceived individual rights for the good of humanity; that would, correctly, be called a social movement but would be errantly labeled Socialism… and we are brainwashed against Socialism, plus our current world leaders exclusively attempt to make the world safer for the protection of their treasures instead of seeking solutions to terrestrial concerns, so our species’ ultimate destiny is extinction. We will all be gone in 1,000 years. In 10,000 years we will either be totally forgotten or will be a fable taught to younger extraterrestrial generations about the follies of avarice.

I’d like to think that humanity is smart enough to realize that we terrestrial citizenry are doomed unless we make major changes, but Einstein was right. Duh? Evil succeeds when good people do nothing to stop it. And the noted aphorism still rings, supplementing Pythagorean Universal Harmony: Individuals can be intelligent; it’s groups of people who are dangerous. In this moment in the history of mankind, as insignificant as it is, our terrestrial interests are deliberately obfuscated for the interests of oligarchic megalomaniacal comfort, which may be the event horizon of our species’ existence, the point of no return.

Russell (Rusty) Allen Taylor
March 18, 2015

Scylla and Charybdis

Through the Straits of Coffee and Cream,
he converges upon a tiny white Charybdis,
swirling, sucking into unfathomable depths
the flotsam and jetsam that races
around then through the lumen,
down twirling streaks of asphalt and cream,
then smashing crystalline cubes of sweetness.
He stands among anility,
immersed in agitated waters,
tumbling in turmoil…to dream.

Six termagant women,
log necks stretching for biscuits and
porcelain teeth snatching at crumbs,
stir cups of swirling coffee,
crooked little fingers semi-extended
and the thumb and index pinching tiny spoons.
With sardonic smiles and insincere gestures,
they defile men as pigs,
and their conversation shifts from
who did what to whom
to praising Homeric poetry
and reminiscing the good fight
when their condensed and evaporated faces
could launch a thousand ships.

Rusty Taylor
written in the mid-1990s

There Is No War on the Winter Solstice

The Winter season is upon us, at least according to the Gregorian calendar; I’m still using my air-conditioner, although, thankfully, the fractal peace associated with the silent, geometrically irregular season of anticipatory slumber is still extant… if one travels far enough from the city’s bustle to experience the remaining limited natural resources available to those of us who still enjoy merely sitting outside in an introverted stillness that is totally dichotomous to the mindless idolatry of ubiquitous spasmodic Capitalistic superfluity that has become associated with the usurping reason for the season—silently listening to the orchestration of the wind through the crinkly leaves of skeletal arboreal shepherds sans the incessant buzzing of insects, chirping of birds, and the full-throated encroachment of bellowing frogs… the innate understanding of cosmic verity at its most intensely sublime.

Looking back upon my prepubescent associations with Winter and the more reward-influenced connotations of Christmas during my formative years, I admit a narcissistic interpretation based on a querulous insistence in a benevolent elfin benefactor from whom I could amass a bounty of needless baubles and trinkets acquired solely to satisfy my immediate desires. I’m quite sure that I am not the only child to ignorantly misinterpret the fundamental reason for celebrating the romanticized virginal birth of a major religious icon. It is, however, a shame some of us never alter this egoistic vision but instead embrace a non-sustainable and puerile acceptance that the main yet unintended influence for this seasonal celebration is urgently connected to unfettered Capitalism—that social encouragement to stimulate our national economy by purchasing disposable, cheaply-made goods and services made possible through the modernized slavery of the sub-bourgeois workforce supplemented by an errant belief that terrestrial resources are boundless and that these resources can and should be exploited even at the cost of planetary destruction. It is a coddling philosophy that embraces and justifies greed at its most base, humanitarian level; it encourages a blind acceptance of privilege as not only deserved but earned within a Sardanapalian fostering, nurturing, and adapting of religious and moral dogma to aggressively pursue illimitable cupidity but to also direct culpability of far less morally stringent acts of dishonesty to the extremely penurious who lack the power, skill, or motivation to fight against it. It just doesn’t seem right, to me, to put so much economic pressure on poor people to celebrate Christmas thusly. Maybe it’s the unconscionable image of Santa’s giving luxury automobiles adorned with a ridiculously huge red bow to rich people while too many planetary citizens of lesser means anxiously wonder if they will ever eat a hot, nourishing meal again.

In recent decades, there has been an importunate, supercilious “war on Christmas” plangently waged by shallow people whose collective voice is far greater than any cerebral capacity to use it effectively… or morally. This litany is nothing new; it has been fostered throughout our nation’s history, which has its foundations built on the shifting sands of ambition’s exploiting free labor from slaves and migrant workers (Irish, Chinese, Mexican, et al), and this debasement of human character is now seeping into the castigation of global citizens who follow religious dogma that differs ever so slightly from Christianity or from the abused poverty of third-world cultures that cheaply assemble together technological innovations very cost-effectively under perilous circumstances. These are the same people who seem to embrace the horrors of War as long as it represents their myopic religious ideologies; quite simply, they approve a political foundation based on theocracy as long as the accepted religious ideology centers on Christianity. If, however, the theocracy centers on Islam or any other theology that differs from the dozens of versions of Christianity, then War is not only acceptable but the preferred method of oppositional removal. I’ve heard too many of my associates proclaim that the person who dies with the most toys wins, and they spend most of their adult lives indentured to a progress of hoarding wealth for retirement and justifying it on moral grounds. They errantly believe that their path of Life is not only emulous but the only ethically correct option. The plangent mantra of “war on Christmas” has become a reproaching against this myopic pursuit of future paradise at the cost of living life to the fullest each and every day… including the days of one’s young adulthood when one dreamt of becoming an artist, writer, poet, or lead vocalist for an acoustic Irish band. But this outcry is only noise; it saddens my greatly that, for some, it supersedes the peace and love that should represent the season.

This “war on Christmas,” as spouted by stringent conservative rhetoric, never reproaches the obvious obstacles to the desired images of falsely idolized religious identity that they wish to connote, such as the sheer animalistic barbarity of “Black Friday” or the fact that our collective nationalistic sensibilities are incessantly bombarded with materialistic motivations to purchase highly priced luxury items to effectively demonstrate our lust for someone or something else and that these suggestions begin inundating us the very day after Halloween, not to mention the ubiquitous Christmas music used by egoistic managers of wealth to subliminally suggest excessive stressful seasonal consumption. The true conflict that arises during this season has nothing to do with animosity against the natal celebration of Jesus but against the economic cupidity of unrestrictive Capitalistic frenzy… the majority of the querulous whining is merely sad people orally projecting their personal failures onto a flock of sheep who would much rather ruminate by chewing and re-chewing regurgitated cud instead of ruminating serious matters of cognitive concern.

Life is not a right; it is not a privilege; it has never been guaranteed; it can’t be… regardless of what anybody thinks. We humans are all destined to die, and it is of no concern to any post-terrestrial jurisprudence how effectively or to what degree we choose to live our lives, so if anyone feels destined to live the life of Riley in retirement after sacrificing her dreams in order to accrue substantial future surplus throughout her early adulthood, then she is, at best, merely ignorant, or at worst, a fool. Life is temporal, a metaphoric hour upon a stage full of sound and fury yet signifying nothing; although, Life is also a gift, a special exclusively terrestrial gift we should celebrate each waking moment. The Universe is not concerned with any human individual; if one chooses to dedicate her entire adult life establishing and increasing her material worth through Capitalistic indenture simply to assure a brighter future, then she’s lost the game. Ignorance of living is no absolution of culpability; you are not worthy of any type of reward merely because you’ve chosen to pursue the path expected of you, by whomever, especially if you’ve disregarded your adolescent dreams to ensure a never-promised brighter retirement. There is no war on Christmas but on the childish way many choose to celebrate it.

Peace Through Music
Winter Solstice 2015