The Twenty-Eighth Amendment

•January 12, 2019 • Leave a Comment

This editorial from the New York Times’ Editorial Board rightfully applauds the decision by Florida voters to restore voting rights to convicted felons. Why not enshrine the right to vote for all in the Constitution once and for all? Currently, the Thirteenth (slaves/former slaves), Nineteenth (women), and the Twenty-Sixth (lowering the voting age from 21 to 18) Amendments each expand the franchise. Why not amend the constitution to combine those three and establish the right to vote for citizens absolutely and permanently?

Proposal, the Twenty-Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution: “The Right to vote is hereby affirmed for all United States citizens aged eighteen or older, and shall not be abrogated for any reason.”

Clear as crystal.

 

Advertisements

Straight From the Cat’s Mouth

•December 24, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Ah, dear Ariel — this is only a short clip, but this is continuous on the rare occasions he’s awake.

https://soundcloud.com/ben-taylor-2/ariel

Nostalghia Rerum

•December 20, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Take me back, dear memory, to the Bush years, to a future yet unfolding, possibilities yet unpronounced, opportunities unclaimed, when books by Russian “subversives” along with a crunchy new englander, a husband and wife pair of american academics and a sorrow-beladen German poet (among many) could lead you to experience the other side of night, drinking strong coffee while night dwindled, educating myself in what the coming eight hours would nor.

Being Thankful

•November 22, 2018 • 1 Comment

Thanksgiving is one of the most quintessentially American holidays, marked by excess, overeating, torpor and American football. I rate it second only to the Fourth of July, on which we blow shit up and feast on grilled meat and drink beer while doing the above. Today, to my knowledge, the USA is the only nation for which this is a national holiday (a leadup to the consumer late-capitalist coke-opioids-and-red bull-fueled mania that comes tomorrow, but that’s a different topic for a different time.) However wildly inaccurate and offensive to native peoples the narrative passed on to many Americans, “Thanksgiving” does retain a patina of straightforward wisdom, once the excess is put to the side.

Thanksgiving as a concept — not as a parade, or a Roman paean to debauchery or a day off work (rare those have become) — retains power if one considers it as a principle, to be contemplated and acted upon in daily life. Be thankful. Appreciate those whom you love and who love you, regardless of whether or not you think yourself deserving. It’s an American holiday, but a universal principle: of all the infinite possible combinations of matter and energy to which we cannot yet append a name — out of that improbable chaos, you are here. Your family is here, your friends are here, and you play a part in the cantata that is existence. For that, for you, I am thankful.

Is this just fantasy?

•November 3, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Today’s tilt against top of table (level on points with City, second on GD) and unbeaten Liverpool is easily the most important match of the young season for Unai Emery’s crew. While one can’t dismiss the opening pair of losses to title contenders City and Chelsea, this is now a squad with its own 13-game unbeaten streak in hand and a growing acclimation to Emery’s pace and attack forward scheme. Liverpool will not be facing the Arsenal of August. Yet the questions remain: can this rather shoddy back three survive Mane, Firmino, and Salah?

Critically, though, this is one of those seemingly few and fewer EPL matches in which the outcome matters more than the politics — an Arsenal win cements their status as a return to top-four and potential chaos breaker title challengers; a draw pushes Arsenal to a dogfight for top-four, to Liverpool cementing top-four, but dampening title hopes; a Liverpool win puts Arsenal on the back foot with a fixture stretch ahead in the waning days of 2018 that includes two North London derbies (both at the Emirates), and trips to Old Trafford and Anfield, and makes Liverpool v. Man City the race to watch among the major leagues. Top-four was my hope in a Emery’s inaugural season — a chance at a treble (EPL, FA, Carabao/League Cup), however unlikely, is beyond my wildest dreams.

Whew. One match at a time, Benji.

The Heart is a…

•October 13, 2018 • Leave a Comment

When we post un-narrated risible phone videos to our favorite platforms, certain that this — this! captures more than anything else l’esprit du temps. Only in *this* moment, we tell ourselves, is the full nature of existence distilled down, readymade for American consumption. Cowboys and clowns, oder? Yet the camera, the graphic chip, the video card, can never quite capture the Now-ness of a moment. Time cannot not proceed while attempts are made to crystallize that which has already passed. The self-image has lost its exchange value — one’s body, the basic unit of currency has long (a decade is an eternity) been rendered worthless in light of the endless pornography available for no cost to the viewer. And fuck the viewee — that’s what she or he is there for, no? The IG “snap,” carefully edited, posed and posted only when it’s certain to receive the maximum views is always already obsolete. For a market in which marginal value accrues to those who provide most dear at pennies, the camera, the iPhone, IG, Twitter — they don’t stop watching. The world does not sleep.

Zero.

•October 13, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I opened this thinking to write something short and witty related to scraping frost off of my beat-up Civic (Arsenal, Dartmouth, HRC, and rainbow stickers prominent) and how much of a pain in any ass that is, but people I don’t know personally (whatever that, in 2018, means) unintentionally dissuaded me. I’m torn. Part of me wants to swear fealty to the chaos and just respond when asked, “Who rules here?” answer “No one and never.”

Part of me just wants to be left alone, to pursue what mind beyond Tennyson’s bounds may drift.

What I fear is the adoption of neither, rather of “leave us alone. This is not our fight.” Now, “Game of Thrones” is a fiction based on a fiction. But the underlying themes are present with us at our gyms, on our subways, in our boardrooms, at our food trucks, our reflecting pools. Physical space belongs always to those who control it. The mind and the spirit, however, obey no one. Free to stalk the discarded dreams of stars dead long ago, fire and light reaching us millennia after their extinguishing. …almost makes one believe in light or something akin to, say, redemption?

 
%d bloggers like this: