The Daily

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The Donald and Jackson

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RIP Poetry

How important is metered verse? Does it matter if it’s written in hexameter and quatrains? How about the number of iambs? Perusing online poets at random, it seems pretty apparent that the rules governing poetry do not matter. Poets throughout history wrote rhythmic prose or payed attention to syllables. It’s incredibly easy to rhyme a bunch of lines. Namely the last word of each sentence. That matters very little unless it’s prose. Prose doesn’t necessarily have to rhyme, but it has to flow. Meters are not used in prose. Sentences and paragraphs are the grammatical structure within prose. That’s fine. But somehow, poetry has been associated with rhyming. For those that take it as a serious form of art that requires effort, to see people write poetry the wrong way kind saps the spirit. Maybe the lack of academic attention to poetry is the root cause. If you don’t know how to read poetry and discern it, how can you write it? Painters go to school and learn. From there they can take the art anywhere. En plein air comes to mind. The impressionist were taught to use their talent. That innate talent with education allowed them to devise a new art form. At first it was hated. Impressionism horrified Parisians. What horrifies a poet? A lot of really bad poetry that doesn’t make sense to a learned poet. Maybe it should be called “folk poetry.” Sometimes folk art is pretty good, but the lack of training is very clear. A sculpture by Rodin looks pretty different than a bunch of scrap metal fused to resemble a person or thing. But if it’s fun, good for them. The problem for serious poets that try their best to master their craft is the bottomless pit of nonsense crowding the showroom floor. It makes sense that people don’t read much poetry. They probably wouldn’t know if it was poetry unless it was some nursery rhyme. Again, rhyming words does not, a poet make. People have always appreciated the arts. Their tastes can vary widely. But art has form. When form isn’t followed, there is chaos. Chaos begets more chaos until the art is lost forever. In its present form, with its millennia of tinkering, the essence of poetry has passed. It’s rules as wide as they are, are not followed leaving the audience cheering for something they don’t understand. Poetry has been swallowed by the internet. Prose, once the dominant way of storytelling  is left to rust in the acid rain of pop fiction. RIP poetry.

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In Silhouette 

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#MOMinority (Op-Ed)

Welcome to a place near hell’s demesne. Missouri is a deeply disturbing place to live. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People warns African-Americans about even stepping foot in MO. They are right. Discrimination is normal in this state. It’s a trait carried like an umbrella. Ready to unfurl at the first sign of difference. It isn’t politics or ideology that angers the MO populace. It’s just a notion that the good folk have towards anyone that doesn’t fit a pre-conceived mold. The MO public has a worldview that is outdated and frankly dangerous. As a person with a disability, the animosity flung my way is palbable. I have to eat it like crow everyday. The NAACP issued the warning because the police are trained to target African-Americans. To view them with suspicion. The courts have consistently ruled that the bar for lethal force is extremely low. Besides the police targeting minority citizens, our trained killing machine/governor doesn’t like the idea that discrimination is illegal. There is a lot of hate leftover for other minorities. If you are on the autism spectrum and you don’t get it or understand the hate, I do. Neuro-typical thinking is part of that MO mold. If you are a minority, have a disability, or are different, than stay away from MO. That’s the broader warning. Missouri, is an ugly place with uglier ideas. Our state should have a new motto. “You are not welcome!” That’s the reality. And until the people that tow that line die off, it is here to stay. Thomas Kuhn observerd that certain truths win the day, not because opponents change their minds, but because they die. That fits with the philosophy here in Missouri. The truth is that the police discriminate. The statistics prove it. Look at Ferguson for example. But the narrow-minded model wins the day because like that are in charge. The NAACP is right, but until that Missouri mindset dies off, nothing will change. The quote is a little out of context but it applies. Hate is a cancer and MO is in stage 4. If an opportunity presents itself, flee this state before it kills your soul. Or stay and continue to be socially banished and unwelcome. If you care about neurodiversity, MO doesn’t have it. In fact, it’s not on anyone’s radar. Ask someone at random and find out that they don’t even know what that means. More radical for some is the penalty for the color of your skin. It could mean death or a law that stops your right to say discrimination is wrong. The real life terminater of lives, our governor will see to that domestic culling. He wants to legalize discrimination. He will hail it as a victory. Missouri is not a healthy state. Travelers beware, or you may catch Missouri’s hate propagating bacterium. Kansas City is a good place to catch it. A near-sighted view of the the big picture is not treatable by anti-biotics. Is a vote a potential antidote? Perhaps, but for the practical minded, wait until equality is for all. Education is a safer bet. Take it and run.

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Tong Pass

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A Playbook for Tyranny

The framers knew all about tyranny. That was the whole point behind the Declaration of Jndependance. It was an indictment on King John’s repressive attitude towards the colonies. It stated that John was a tyrant and the colonies had a god given right to be free. To have dignity before the law. Skip ahead two and a half centuries. Tyrants are more common than gnats on a cow in summertime. In fact tyrants abound in governments. They flourish. All it takes is to squash the will of the people. Take their freedom, their hope, and their happiness. If you want to be a tyrant, check off those three items and crown yourself king. What is to stop a president from doing that in an established democracy run by and for the people? It’s not as hard as you think. First, nullify the voice of dissension. There are numerous ways to do so, from prison, to sowing doubt. Doubt is like a bacteria. It spreads. So start there. Next, stomp out that pesky rule of law as it applies to the one in power. Apply it wholeheartedly to publius, but if the law aims her sword at you, pull off her blind and throw her in jail too. In other words, treat law as if it is another voice of dissension used as a tool to undermine the power structure of the one in charge. Two down, one to go. This last piece is a bit trickier. How to keep the peace and prevent an insurgencey of the unhappy public. Two choices, benevolence or iron fisted fear. The latter can harden the hearts of your enemies so it’s not advised, but in the short term, you can achieve a lot. Benevolence is a viable option. Let the people have their cake. A hungry person doesn’t care what they are eating, just as long as they are eating. As far as history and the legacy of the ruler that supplanted democracy? It depends on how successful they become. The longer they maintain power, the more successful they become. History will begrudgingly credit that regardless of what you did or how you did it. So if you want to rule a modern democracy while neutering the things that make it such, follow these suggestions. You may end up a leader that answers only to themselves. 

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