A More Perfect Union

Ok, I got an A in college Economics, I’ve actually read Smith, Mill, Marx, Keynes, Malthus, Burke, Friedman, some of the reformers, etc. I have at least a better than average understanding of how our system works and doesn’t work. So riddle me this: as this system benefits so few and is so destructive to the environment that provides the raw materials as well as sustaining life, why the hell are we not changing to a better system?
Seriously. We create these systems, we decide what will be used as money & its value, we create the hierarchies and everything else not strictly biological. So why are we do wed to that which is so obviously not working except for a few, and isn’t sustainable even for them.
Let’s just switch. Right now: boom!
First move? May 1st General Strike.
Second + moves? Recall ALL senators and reps who are non-responsive to the will of the people. Demand that the 25th amendment be invoked and that criminal charges be levied against 45, Pence, McConnell, etc. Do what should have been done in 2018- nullify the election due to foreign intervention. Throw every federal appointee off their benches, revoke the new tax laws and every other piece of crappy legislation enacted since 2017. Do NOT reopen schools- don’t even think about it this close to the end of term.
Demand that the stock of PPE seized by the feds be redistributed among the states that ordered them. Renew our relationship with WHO and get scientists back on the CDC, ASAP.
We the People form the more perfect union, so stop acting like scared children. Take back your power, take off the dunce caps and get your brains back in gear and prop up your spines!
These are not leaders, they are most definitely not supposed to be our rulers: they are representatives of our collective will.
Get rid of the frigging Electoral College, for pity’s sake! Demand that mail ballots be sent to every voter in the USA. Make voter registration automatic when a citizen turns 18. If AARP can find every human’s birth age, and if BBB can find you to send those coupons, so can the Feds.
Create a universal basic income. Tax the wealthy, corporations, and religious establishments. Expand Social Security, save the USPS, support veterans. Eliminate corporate lobbying, revoke corporate personhood and Citizens United. Raise the minimum wage to $22 per hour and make Jeff Bezos pay for all of it. Seriously- that guy…
Clean house!!!!
Invoke the right to “Do over” and use it to actually form a more perfect union that works to benefit ALL.

“Debt cancellation would not only relieve human suffering, it would also remind us that money is not ineffable, that these are human arrangements and that if democracy is going to mean anything, it is the ability to all agree to arrange things in a different way.”

— David Graeber

Normal Doesn’t Always Equal Good

I just read an important blog post on Medium by Dr. Lyra D. Montiero, “Please Professors: Stop Pretending the Dying Isn’t Happening.” It was written by her after reading the tweet above, and in turn, what she wrote inspired this short response from me.

Several of my students have lost relatives in the past two weeks, others are working in hospitals and groceries as poorly paid, mostly unprotected “essential workers” and they’re frightened or worse, too numb to feel afraid, too dependent on their pay to simply “shelter at home.” Two that I know of are ill. What we say to them and how we treat them always matters, but at this traumatic moment, it’s crucial that we empathize and allow them some space to learn a new “normal.”

When my brother died (in the same week that beloved relatives were murdered) a professor on my dissertation committee told me I should work through it and put it all into my work. I’ve rarely been more shocked and infuriated and hurt (I thought he was an understanding human being until then)
My response to him was “My brother was worthy of my mourning him and I’m taking time to do so.”

There’s a huge push to act and produce normally, but in the face of these upheavals and death, that can be a dehumanizing and cruel position to take. For some people keeping to a schedule is comforting, but in my experience, that’s often part of a delayed reaction or even denial. I’m a big believer in being present to your feelings and actually feeling them, not only thinking them. It’s part of our essential humanity and connection to Life and it’s a part we should want to cultivate as we consider the society we’ll be creating post pandemic, because whatever else happens, we are not returning to the “normal”we had before. And that can be an extremely good thing.

Oddities I consider in the small hours of the morning

I know many folktales and songs. When I was a kid, my mother would sometimes sing songs from her childhood in North Carolina, and I was young when the folkies of the early Sixties were on the rise. At school we learned anthems, more folksongs and dances from around the world, so there are a number of obscure lyrics rattling around in my head, a number of which are quite disturbing to me.

Since I was quite young, I’ve found Polly Vonn a particularly disturbing song. You can’t tell me that dude didn’t intentionally murder his fiancé. I always figured that it was an arranged marriage and the thought of being tied to some long necked pasty faced woman with a honking voice sent my boy over the edge. Hunting at dusk is suspicious and who eats swans? The meat isn’t desirable, and by all accounts takes more prep than chitterlings to make it palatable. (Thanks to Dr. Kendra Hamilton for this information)
What about it, crime solvers? Innocent mistake or premeditated murder?

Furthermore, let’s consider Charming Billy:

Who is questioning him, and what is up with Charming Billy? That’s a pretty intense interrogation, so Billy either has some incredibly nosey neighbors, a suspicious mum, or he’s been in the pub trying to convince the fellas that he actually has left his basement without a pub stop and has been on a date with a real, live, human girl. So:
Is his intended actually far too young for him?
Is she dodging his creepiness?
Is she actually a Time Lord? (My TL thought was that given the contrasting ages, she might be different ages at each appearance as she slips in and out of their time together.)
Is she a figment of Charming Bill’s imagination?

Inquiring minds want to know. Folklorists, where are you?