Manifest Young Scion Chapter 3

I guess I’m saying people relate to others through themselves. And that that is always the case. They will always see a bit of themselves in that person. And it isn’t how similar the stranger is to the judge; it’s how similar the stranger appears to the judge, because it all lies in how the judge sees them. Once again, this is all inside the judge’s own mind and he is using himself as a platform to relate to people. I suppose it’s slightly existential. -Kurt

Donald had an issue. He agreed with the entirety of Kurt’s response. He could pretend to play Devil’s Advocate, but then he would come off as cranky. Donald hit this wall on occasion. The mental corner of an argument run dry. A frustrated response wouldn’t be the solution. He knew he would need to sit on his thoughts for a moment, maybe propose a new theory.

Maybe, he would run into Dagny again. She had added Donald on Facebook about three major parties ago. He had hoped her circle would be in attendance to no avail. He desperately needed to speak to her. Was she her name’s sake? Was the ghost of Ayn Rand blocking Donald from calling her number?

Donald met Ayn Rand in junior year of high school — a copy of “Atlas Shrugged” in the back of a friend’s car while on a film shoot. The back posed the question, “Who is John Galt?”

Donald wanted to know. He wasted a week of reading to find that John Galt was no one he wanted to know. He read “The Fountainhead” and found it could possess a faded beauty. Rand, Donald decided, was a poet with the sense of a duck. Stalin had that effect on people.

Donald heard the rap on the door. It was time for him to head out with the Commander for food before a day of spliffs. The Cook was welcome to join, but you didn’t see him before Dusk on weekends and sometimes not until after midnight.

The Beacon Street dining commons have a patio conquered in the 90’s by the musical theatre majors. Freshmen rehearse midnight to dawn dreaming of the day they are awake enough to enjoy Sunday brunch. Their dorm is on the opposite end of the commons over on Tremont. The College of the Stage and the College of Letters are housed downtown and share the flagship location along with The Tower, which focused on communication theory. The College of Visual Arts and The Conservatory are down in Back Bay by the old symphony hall and the Castle. The Technical Institute was housed in South Boston by the warehouses and mafia-run gay bars.

Everyone was a double major. Donald worked with the College of Letters and The Tower (Literature and Media epistemology). The Blond Commander was a member of both the College of Visual Art and the Technical Institute (Fine Art and Installations). The Cook was of the College of Letters, the Conservatory and the Technical Institute (Playwriting, Music Theory, and Culinary Arts). The Cook never stopped like some Alaskan day.

Donald blushed as he thought of how he damned his chances to explore the city. A student could live at any of their majors’ Colleges. The Blond Commander lived by the Castle but trekked to the gardens all the same. The Cook lived downtown across the Gardens and Common on the corner of Boylston and Tremont. The family dinners he cooked for his friends made their alcohol poisoning survivable. The Cook’s bike got him to back alleys of Southie and whisking in the school dining hall where he worked by dawn. Playwrights haunted the halls as they scavenged evacuated stages to splinter their skin and gain their desired ethereal connection. The Cook’s people fought the sun and he marched onward for everything one marches for.

If Dagny was about brunches on the street level patio, Donald could aspire to mimosas and all the discarded yolks his heart could withstand. It was good to be a faceless author.

The Trio however did not dine inside the building or outside on the street level patio. Rather the dining hall staff permitted The Trio to dine on the roof and lent a blind eye to the strange juices camouflaged by fine China. The roof overlooked the Public Garden and had been empty when they first gained access to it, but now the surface looked like a well-furnished coffee shop. The tables had been gained on a truck ride to New Hampshire and the chairs made in North Adams. The sofas from Craigslist. It was a luxurious set up with personal loveseats, end tables, main tables, and lanterns.

A Midwesterner like the Commander had his uses. The Commander had also wrangled table side service into the bargain. The Cook worked the occasional shift and stored a minifridge for personal requests. They rigged a buzzer system to prevent any unwarranted visitors.

The leaves had begun to pile. Donald had purchased a set of rakes and shovels. They had attempted to turn a Pacific play tunnel into a garbage shoot as to avoid the long walk up and down the stairs.

The weather had begun to grey and the leaves began to murk. Their palace faced severe issues, it was built for summers.

“The snow is going to be an issue,” Donald said as they hauled down garbage bags of leaves. Tax deductible donations were Donald’s folks’ game and the Brahmins concurred with their opinion. The money must flow. Damn the building codes.

“I’d say the cold gets us first,” said the Blond Commander as they sat back down on the couches on the roof. His speech slowed from the climb up the stairs. He pulled out a blunt and lit it

“I thought you had rewired the heating lamps down stairs, the staff said we could use them if we fixed them”.

“That’s a ton of energy to blow; we can’t be sending miners down to die for that”.

“What if we built something like a sun porch?”

“You go on your sun porch in the winter?”

“What if we throw some ventilation into a greenhouse? Would the lamps would work then?”

“That’s some cash.”

“I can swing it in a few weeks”

They smoked for a moment in silence. Family wealth can be a sensitive subject in these times. Donald estimated the green house worth budgeting into his ten million a year investment based income. The dreaded moment of being responsible for his own wealth was approaching. He avoided the subject.

“What do you think I am?”

“Not sure. Outwardly you’re quite blank,” said the Commander.

“Blank?”

“You still dress in the clothes your mother bought you”.

“What gave it away?”

“That’s Billy Joel, Donald.”

Donald had never shopped for himself or anyone else on any other occasion. He had no patience for it. Clothes were to cover your shame if his teachers were to be believed. God will provide for all; nuns don’t recycle. He just needed enough cover to get him service at most chains.

“What’s my style then?”

“You tell me.”

“Not sure.”

“We need some shrooms,” said the Commander.

There comes a time once or twice a year when man (in the Tolkien sense of the word) must break his mind in order to restore it. Donald turned off his screens and ventured into the wilds of New England. When the day had the dying warmth of August with the breeze of the coming fall, one could decide without the pressures of history, with the knowledge that clouds still moved and rivers would flow. The fear of self being ignored for Donald now lived past the age of Myspace when social media was a Wild West of Freedom and Expression. In the age of the minimalist Facebook and Twitter, only crafted responses need reply. Tumblr would kill Blogger and turn WordPress into a Land of Would and Might Be’s. Original expression was something to fear. Donald needed less sleep. Dreams killed.

ᴥᴥᴥᴥᴥ

Donald would never intern and he thought that must say something. Somehow the idea that a 30 million budget can’t find 8 dollars an hour to pay a servant struck Donald as un-American. A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s labor. It built the Pru and that was something to talk about. Instead, he volunteered in service to his community. Fahrenheit 451 was written in a library. No one wanted to build America anymore these days, except Donald and he had too many living relatives to fund anything. Too many John Galts.

“People relate to others through themselves.” Kurt’s words explained the appeal of Personal Objectivism, the core of every notion was the Self. Most people just got over it.

Donald buzzed for coffee.

“We should get a Mr. Coffee up here. I think there is an old one in the basement”, said Donald. The Commander and he still relaxing on their private rooftop patio on the dining commons.

“You don’t need to keep covering up with that frugal stuff. It’s okay to be rich. I’m not here on scholarship either.”

“What?”

“Who said I wasn’t rich?”

“You certainly don’t dress it and you always try to hide your purchases, not that I don’t appreciate this setup.”

The Blond Commander pulled out a massive Sherlock pipe and his grinder. He dug into his messenger bag for a freezer bag. The Commander selected five long buds and brimmed the seasoned wood.

“I did buzz a few moments ago, maybe we should wait to get high until after the coffee is delivered. We wouldn’t want to be kicked out before midterms,” said Donald.

“Maybe the library needs a new wing to go with the restoration, we can get a little high and the school can get a little nicer to overcharge tuition”.

Maybe it did. Donald lit up to a smooth sensation. These were not the Midz he was looking for. White as snow to the average eye. Everyone comes from somewhere and some come from a long beginning.

“Does the Cook know?” asked Donald.

“Nah, and does he need to?”

“I guess not.”

The numbed throb of the past night’s alcohol poisoning held Donald in limbo. Existence tore at his bones and robbed his mind of speed and function. He’d hold on for the next 12 hours til the poison returned to his body.

The door opened and the dining hall worker, DHW, delivered two towering thermoses of relief. One of the chefs from Jersey had shipped in some good porkroll. According to the chef, it was apparently one of America’s national treasures and a secret that was in part guarded by Nick Cage, at least according to the DHW’s sources. Donald knew the follow up.

“Can we get that on the usual breakfast bagel pile with a mellow mushroom pizza?”

“Yea dude. That might take some time though,” said DHW.

“No problem, I can get you cash later or give you a half of Diesel now,” said the Blond Commander. He took over as head diplomat, it was his birthright. The Genteel Rancher, a man of action and elegance.

“Half an O?”

“Pound,” as the Commander passed over the bag.

“I can accept this as proper payment.” With that DHW disappeared from behind the girl, hopefully to arrange for the shrooms and more importantly a taste of what this porkroll was all about. Donald was a patriot at heart after all.

“You overpaid. It would be cheaper to cultivate them yourself,” said Donald

“Usually is and who says I don’t,” said the Commander.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to offend,” said Donald.

“Don’t worry; it can be a dangerous topic in certain circles. I could show you how it wasn’t that big of a loss, but let’s not discuss it here or now or for a while,” said the Commander

“I get my trust when I turn eighteen in a few weeks and wouldn’t mind making some lifestyle investments; I figure I got some cash for a foundation without hurting the core,” said Donald.

In the noon sun on the roof, they enjoyed their coffee and burned deeper into the mound of green. The clouds soared past. Donald enjoyed when one could easily notice the movement of clouds, across the sky – a billboard advertising the flow of the universe.

But it still moves…the statement that shifted Donald from his scientific pursuits for a life of beauty. As much as Donald confessed, he still couldn’t achieve anything more than cafeteria status with the catechism.

Their breakfast arrived. Donald’s brunch consisted of a bagel with cheddar, bacon, ham, porkroll, and 3 eggs. He usually ate it with a breakfast burrito on the side, as he preferred his sausage intake in tortilla format. His mother believed in Pepsi for hangovers and Donald believed in being dutiful.

Pancakes got involved shortly after. Donald hoped that the shrooms would arrive post midafternoon burgers and wings and the supper of barnyard burgers, a fusion of bacon, chicken, and beef which he had dreamed up. Donald hoped it would be a wicked midnight. A romp through the cobbled Northend and a splash or two in Columbus Park. Had the pollution in the harbor made the jellyfish glow? He could only hope. The Gypsy Bar had glowing jellyfish, but that bar was the insect zapper of the city. The jellyfish trapped the people within the dress code of the vacuous.

“We need to get a library up here and a projection screen,” said Donald.

“Mass expansion”.

“I’m looking to invest.”

“Decadent,” said the Blond Commander.

“Maybe, we should get a house in Allston out by Harvard Ave. They have some nice basements out that way. The top can be a gallery. And maybe get another house to have offices and studies. I want one for digital purposes and another for more serious matters. A shared study for discussions. A kitchen and offices for the Cook. Whatever studio space you require and same for study. Emergency bed space,” said Donald.

“Two Ten-bedroom houses should work with enough porch space and backyard space to have some outdoor events.”

“I will miss our breakfasts here”.

They sat silent for a moment

“The Cook awaking before dusk would be travesty, he sleeps too much. I only ever see him at night” said the Commander.

“He might be a vampire or maybe secret daylight friends who he isn’t embarrassed to be seen with. Should we expand the Trio?”

“I don’t think the Cook is embarrassed to be seen with us, I think he just runs out of booze and crashes. I would support inviting someone to join for the morning hours while the Cook sleeps or where ever he spends his daylight?”

“An addition to our circus of ideas with one day degreed clowns,” said Donald.

“It would be a pointless search, the Cook is irreplaceable. I just wish he wouldn’t sleep all day long. I thinking living with him could cure that,” said the Commander.

Donald lit a cigarette, an American Spirit Light. The yellow box matched his disposition and he preferred his smoking breaks to be marathons. 20 years ago, he could have smoked indoors and he would have no need to take breaks.

“Back to the place in Allston. Maybe we need a third house that is a library with a media playback room as well.”

“It would be an uninsurable tinderbox but it isn’t bad to support the arts”.

Donald smiled. He would have his books. He may still be tabula rasa in fashion, but he would not be alone. Donald stretched out on the sofa beneath the clear autumn sky and curled up so that couches arms blocked the breeze.

Sofa naps are a time honored tradition to be protected above all obligations on an autumn weekend.

“Fireplaces.”

“In every room.”

They would not be barbarians.

Donald closed his eyes, comforted by the knowledge that the Cook would be there with DHW’s surprise upon awaking.

Donald dreamed his eventual message in a form close to the final.

Kurt,
I believe I can agree with your statement of “people relate to others through themselves”. I think that might be a good conclusion to this topic for the moment possibly. If so, I have a theory for you:
Opposites can’t succeed as a couple. Sure opposite attract only until the novelty of the differences wears off. Then the pair is sure to fail due to the lack of common ground.

Donald

Manifest Young Scion Chapter 1

In a new feature, I (E.C. Fiori) will be self publishing my novel “Manifest Young Scion” on The Radical Centrists. Over the next few months, I will publish a chapter every Tuesday

“The days of infinity are coming to a close,” said Donald to Kurt.

“Kurt, you need to do something for me when you ship off to your next life,” said Donald.

“Alright. Shoot,” Kurt said.

“Keep in touch primarily through philosophy. I’ll start the chain.”

Kurt nodded his eyes on the ground.

“Actually, why you don’t start it? You’ll get to school before me,” said Donald.

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Philosophy From Boredom

People relate to others through themselves. People see parts of themselves in others and that is what causes them to like/dislike their peers. For example, if someone sees a murderer and they can say to themselves, “Well, if I was in a situation like that, I might murder someone too” then they will like the murderer more and sympathize more than if they can’t relate to the murderer at all.

Tell me what you think. It gets deeper. Feel free to dwell on this.
–Kurt’s first message to Donald.

At the threshold of his new home at The Brahmin University in Boston, Donald stared at the name carved into the granite doorway of the dormitory for students of the College of Letters: Emerson Hall.

Donald’s Orientation Leader, the keeper of the old ways and gatekeeper to the Academy prattled while Donald kept pace during the tour. “The stone of Emerson Hall was cut from the quarries by Medway and the granite exterior crafted in New Hampshire. The Boston Brahmins wished for the house to reflect those who stayed within the walls. As each new medium entered culture, so too did a new hall spring up in the Academy to guide the future within the traditions of those who built Boston. Each brick laid by devout masons honoring the Lord by building Him halls, where His beauty could be contemplated. Whereas Harvard held the vast array of science and law across the river, we at the Academy seek God in his rawest. The annals of Brahimin’s library houses prints and manuscripts lost to other collections. Dig through and you will find your twin soul preserved through ink and wood pulp,” As Donald had skipped acceptance day the previous May, the rituals of the new pupil would need to be observed before Donald could lie in his new bed, his first new bed since he left the crib.

He awoke a week later with a throb in his head.

“Should’ve gone to Spain,” raced through his brain as he lay in bed.

Derrida. Donald felt the only other experience on a similar level to first reading Derrida was when he first got high and he always assumed it was the aluminum. Then he met Derrida and later that night: Her. Who was She? She is late night cigs on a stoop for hours. A mutual friend invited them to see a movie. She went to school and lived in the same hall as the Ex. She came to Donald from the mythical Los Angeles. California had always been a hobby of Donald’s; it began when his family made the trek to visit his Godfather. The weed, the gays, and the graffiti were all things his parents had a strong stance against at times. His mother cried the first time he smoked weed. He never knew why. She smoked and so did his father. His family smoked. The world smokes, maybe not all the time, but everyone had to inhale at least once.

Anyway, that was before they filled the SUV with his life and gave his room away. He now lived where America began. He strolled along the dirty waters at night, his cigarette acting as a warning light.

Back to She. She wanted to smoke and he decided his penance complete. Hempfest was a proud Boston tradition where people smoke openly as undercovers attempt entrapment. Some face arrests are made and shitty metal is heard. Donald knew his chances of actually buying weed were slim plus it was just bad rally etiquette. Instead, he purchased Salvia. It was a hell of a time. He doubted it was a strong as the man said, but he lit up anyway.

He yawned, legs shaking. Don’t obey the shuffle. Enjoy it. Negativity has no home here. Don’t focus, one will see the cracks. Fuck it. He came back into being in an alley in Allston from the brick buildings, Donald assumed he was between Harvard Ave and Kelton.

The road from Allston to downtown is a single street with a slight curve. It was made for stumbling and down Donald went. Along the way, a friendly man offered him the drugs he was looking for.

Sit down. He put his hand in Donald’s pocket. Put that shit away. Whistle at the girl passing. Donald slipped the bill into the ragged denim and caught the next gust passing by.

Chronic. Laced. Good.

The pipe was back in his hand, his room miles away. For a city of colleges, the town shut down pretty early. Donald pissed on a door; the basement steps gave decent cover. His Dell DJ was broken; he would have to provide his own sound track.

He had shit to consider anyway. Kurt’s message was a thought, a reason, a quandary, but there had to be a reason why everyone doesn’t sympathize with every murderer?

Were some acts just in another world beyond understanding?

He had the avenue to himself and he paused to consider the space. The sounds of life were echoes not too different to the small town he came from. In this moment, the city was his. Donald didn’t enjoy the sensation for long. The emptiness ate at him.

The Ex was a block away at her dorm. Donald went for his phone to find the battery drained. It wasn’t her number he needed to dial anyway. He could call She, but he knew that moment had passed as well. The number he needed didn’t exist. His friends had moved south or west. The kids so far at school were squares and so what if they drank. Everyone did. Donald saw his mom puke a few times.

It was time to find a smoke circle. Not the drumming kind or the rapping kind, but a Salon. The kind, they had when the world tried. The members haunt the streets with a bag of fun. People fighting the apathetic state of sleep with beer, weed, cigs, and anything else they picked up along the way. Common threads stitched bridges.

The traditional Brownstones of Boston were a queer sort of neighborhood: pricey, but not as unreasonable as some of the gaudy condos lowering property values up the Hill. The Brahmins made this city in their academic image. Donald’s University had sold their Brownstone classrooms within the past decade. The other arts needed larger classrooms for demonstrations.

The College of Letters should have kept those traditional halls and not just the dorms. The modern chic design of the new buildings was no place to house discussion of literature. Donald’s tenure as a student had been a disappointing lesson in the stubbornness of academia. The College of Letters was founded with the University in 1880. Donald believed that the course descriptions hadn’t changed since. His fellow writing majors dismissed Hemingway and praised the commercial drivel stamped by Oprah. The kids in his phonebook squealed and dreamed of Perez.

Donald could never objectify money or fame as he was born with a larger bank account than he had any right to spend and his surname carried the weight of an Egyptian sarcophagus. His parents built a reasonable middle class life to give Donald a sense of balance and a level of understanding. He took the bus to the tax funded school down the road and not the private citadels that start the class separation while young. He had no need to rise within the ranks of the masses. His parents for all their middle class ideals, did have a few items in their budget. His parents believed in tithing and funded the complete upkeep and restoration of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The local library benefited from their patronage as well. The definition of the 1% of America with about a fifty million a year income, but besides those two exceptions lived a traditional middle class budgetary life style. His family’s wealth began before Versailles was signed. His parent’s remaining charity, and there was a large remainder, supported the various classical Art organizations: the opera companies, the public broadcasting stations, the art museums (plaque, not wing material). Donald felt terribly bourgeois, a word from James, Donald cousin, who lived in Boston as a public school teacher. James gave Donald books by Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Bob Woodward, and Howard Zimmerman. Donald wanted to be a man of the people, perhaps one up his parents and give away his inheritance. Yet, he could not leave the box seats of the opera behind. With wealth came true culture; if he entered the land of no savings accounts, Donald would stagnant in the swamp of television and new media. To be ethical was one ideal, but to be cursed to a life of Lolcats was not Donald’s intention.

He inhaled. Otherwise the smoked weed would be a waste of his last twenty dollar bill until he hit eighteen in a few months. Kerouac met Ginsberg and company at Columbia. Donald assumed his prestigious surrounding would have been filled with mirrors. The spawn of the Yuppies who dreamed of the vapid 80’s when the bricks of oligarchy were laid. There were plenty of fake punks and hippies and other ghosts of revolutions past, all consumed by the Hipster machine. Donald knew he lived a similar life, cannibalizing the writing of others. A thief.

He came of age when Olympus stood. An age of symbols faded in the current time, a centerless culture drifting due to inertia into the edge of dark matter never to connect again. Objects without source or destination. Each moment valued as the moment before and after. The act of creation denied order and expanded entropy in the contextless universe? Could such an act be deemed ethical?

He’d been reading any manifesto he could google for answers. Donald had the Futurists on his bedside at the moment. They wanted the classics to burn. The world needed room for new pieces according to Marinetti. The futurists got gunned and gassed in the trenches. The world turned without them.

He sat on a stone wall and rolled a cigarette. The tobacco littered the sidewalk as Donald fumbled with inexperience; Donald was used to the convenience of the prerolled products of Winston Salem. The harsh charring smoke produced a hack. The second drag went smoother. Things were changing. The pouch would be dry soon and his 18th was months off. A child, still. A visiting friend attempting to impress his girlfriend had bought Donald the tobacco. Now he was running dry and lacked a local source.

In his small town, he had often fled into the woods for isolation, but here in the city, Donald couldn’t escape the nothingness. Donald’s inability to make friends began as a child when he was watching strange kids play on the beach and they dragged him into the festivities. Donald managed to flee, but they tracked his steps back to his family’s umbrella encampment and asked for “Dylan” to return and play. Donald couldn’t remember the event himself, but his parents loved to tell it for him. In middle school, he was placed into the trouble kid courses (because of his mellowness according to his mom) and joined their fun after a day of being spit on. The school framed his klepto habits as an omen of violence. Donald’s actions inspired his old classmates in the gifted courses to steal trading cards from shops. Donald accepted his acceptance. People talked to him after the bell and that was good enough for Donald.

Donald’s stumbling returned to a normal swagger as he entered the Gardens. A copper Washington defended the Brahmin’s legacy: the labeled trees. A curfew had been cast over the Commons and Garden due to recent shootings, but Donald had no time for right angles. He hid the bud in his ratty sneaks next to his ID and keys. He hadn’t skated since he was single digits, but he kept buying the shoes. More space, more drugs.

The arch shined across the street, this was another Brahmin dorm. Donald couldn’t recognize the stone of the building. Donald rolled a cig as he waited for the light to change at the crosswalk. The archway of this dorm was filled with light and life. Comrades in arms about to ship out on a mission to get high. Donald drafted himself alongside the crew. He had seen a few of these people before one was Blond Commander, an ex-gamer with a stockpile of Camels. The other student, Donald recognized was the Cook. He petitioned for ovens in the dorm lounge, to free his fellow students from the dining commons. The admins rejected it on principle, but shielded themselves in articles of fire code. As much as he spoke of his culinary talents, he funded his blunts through busking during closing time. He breathed musical notes.

“That a joint?”

The question came from the Blond Commander,

“Nah, cig, but I could roll one if you guys wanted,” said Donald.

“Word,” said the Blond Commander.

“We’re about to rip at the docks, you’re welcome to join,” said the Cook.

The other troops were day players and honorary members looking for a weekend.

They marched into the former marshes. Donald couldn’t roll for shit, but he could pack a bowl. His parents searched the mail and his friends overcharged for head shop purchases. The circumstances forced Donald to grind with his hands and not a doodad.

“Super Bowl,” spoke the Cook.

“Football hasn’t started yet,” said the Blond Commander.

“No, this bowl has gone around like fifty times,” said the Cook.

“Hmmmm,” said Donald.

“You’re a quiet fucking dude,” spoke the Blond Commander.

“Sometimes.”

“Oh yea?”

“You like Marley,” and with that the Cook and the Blond Commander led an acappella rendition of “Is This Love?”

It quickly descended into a discussion of the FBI’s stalking of feared cultural icons in the 60’s.

The bag ran dry and the exodus to their beds began. As the group splintered by building, the Blond Commander and the Cook remained behind with Donald. They pulled out their hidden bags and discussed the problems of modern counter culture.

“Empty symbols, man,” spoke the Cook.

“Cannibalistic surbanites,” offered Donald.

“Astroturf independents” ended the Blond Commander.

They sat and shared Camels. Sharing the fire. They left as the sun returned. El Jefe, the fuzz, would be coming.

He then scribbled down his response on a fast food wrapper in a nearby waste bin with a borrowed pen.

Kurt,
People’s feelings about each other are based on the qualities the other person has. A person will be liked if they have qualities that the judge has or desires. A person will be hated if the judge sees their less favorite traits of their in that person. No one likes to be reminded of their dark side. Except when they do.
It should be noted that even though a person can relate through emotions, this does not guarantee, they will agree with another’s actions. A man could understand the murder, but still think it wasn’t a reasonable action. Think about a pacifist, they could understand the rage, but still couldn’t condone the use of violence.
This topic is very broad and I can only touch some of the different ways this can be interpreted. And they are all correct in the facet of humanity they address. The human mind is too complex for one master universal answer to your idea.

Donald

E.C. Fiori

Day 1006: Binders Full of Nothing

Sometimes I feel my relationship with the Democratic Party is the Supremes’ classic “Where Did Our Love Go”. In a time where the status quo is up for grabs, the Party offers a greatest hits of past ideas that people like until they hear the details. I’m bewildered. Trump’s election was caused by many things but a key aspect I’ve come to accept was he offered new alternatives. Greenland, the space force, funding high tech manufacturing in America for national security reasons are all good ideas. It is the beginning of an actual vision of the future.

There will be a tomorrow and a next day whether we live to see it or not. The current “dark green” moment is unfounded. Climate change is real and no good but we do have tools to fight it without resorting to death cults. We can harness nuclear energy more and despite the idea of danger (thanks to Big Oil propaganda) it isn’t going to destroy the world as we know it like fossil fuels will. When France and Vermont shut down nuclear power plants for renewable alternatives, they increased their reliance on fossil fuels.

Why are we stuck in this nostalgia crusade? Why in a time when individual actors have more capabilities than the largest bureaucracies of history dems only offer more centralization? Didn’t the election of Trump show us the limits of the presidency and the administrative state?

Biden’s self defenestration is mind boggling. I nominally viewed him as a viable candidate based on his shoot from the hip style as VP. Yet his campaign continually shoots itself in the foot over legitimate past choices. Most recently over Trump’s lynching comments in relation to his impeachment inquiry. Based on the scandal, one could assume we are a nation of grammar nazis not one where 70% never picks up a book post schooling.

Its hard to see any of the democratic candidates defeating Trump in 2020. If primary continues to be about regaining the voters who deflected to the Green party in 2016 rather than the ones who deflected to Trump. Clinton amd Obama’s grand coalitions will have been a blimps in history.

Politics is the art of the possible. It requires imagination. There is one Democrat whose possesses that quality: Andrew Yang. Many decry his lack of government experience but no one on the democrat stage possesses any achievements in government outside Biden who distances himself from much of what he accomplished. Unless we now consider showing up to collect a paycheck, a legislative achievement. Yang actually lives in 2019 America. The Freedom Dividend (UBI) is hos flagship proposal. It is the only policy being proposed that will meaningfully benefit most Americans. But Medicare for all you will say. By all recent budget breakdowns, the cost of medicare for all will require a federal budget increase of 75%. You will pay the same for your care now and more covering the cost of others in taxes. Same with most of Warren or Sanders soak the rich for gov programs ideas. Unlike the oil that funds the nordic dream, the rich aren’t a natural resource. They are quite the opposite. It’s hard to see companies and their leaders remaining in America at a cost to their bottom line. Much as Russian and Chinese elite now buy American and European real estate that can’t be seized by their home countries. The American elite would explore wealth alternatives.

That isn’t to say wealth inequality isn’t an issue but it is. I don’t think taxes will save us alone. Because it isn’t just some have so much and others have so little but your wealth decides most factors in our lives. Once the boss and you went to church together and your spouses and kids were friends. We were integrated beyond the workday. In our fragmented society today, we lost that community. I doubt that we can go back. I doubt that I would want to go back. The America we live in today where people are more free to be themselves socially than ever isn’t a bad place. Sometimes, I feel we are superficial in our tolerance as shown by our building of echo chambers. We have to reach and let ourselves be reached out to across group barriers. There might not be much or anything in common at all to begin with but simply spending time together is a commonality. We can’t just pay the government to do this work for us.

JFK didn’t say he alone or even the government alone could solve the challenges the country faced. “What you can do for your country”. That’s a message missing from the debate stage. It’s certainly not a question Trump has ever asked himself. Maybe it’s time we sold the elite a future.

-E.C. Fiori

A Refounding

Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it towards some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”

– T.S. Elliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

The Founding Fathers had a refounding with the ratification of the Constitution after the Articles of Confederation. The Radical Centrists may not be creating the greatest governing document ever written but sliced bread can only be invented once. While I am Catholic and believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We like all Americans love a second act.

The Radical Centrists was founded on the day of Trump’s election. Its purpose was to get our heterodox hot takes on the to the minute national conversation. A transmission into space, the saga of time carved into the rock of our collective tomb. Just as Rome once stood there was The United States America and it was beautiful.

Then the world didn’t end. We are a species capable of infinite outrage except us we burnt out some resignations and indictments ago. But isn’t that digital life? All the knowledge, all the beauty, and all the well: things. Yet we can’t forget there is always more: to scroll, tap, and reply. The conversations on sugar, porn, tv, video games, and drugs are all the same. When we remade ourselves in our own image the society we formed granted us unfettered access to get off in all the ways we wanted and we have. Sometimes it feels like we are building our own Truman Show.

We aim to make this a more productive space. We wish to focus wider. There was once more to our lives than politics and we believe that is the way forward. There will be discussions of cinema and literature. Meditations on the raindrop on our office window pane. Debates on office break room leftover ethics. We still support Mueller’s investigation without a doubt. Even if the conclusion was no collusion. Our expansion is an advance not a retreat.

At Easter Mass this year, the homily was on resurrections. It has stayed with me recently as I look back at where I was at the election and where I am today. In my opening salvo, I stated there was no such thing as a guilty pleasure. It was a statement I stand by though I said it hypocritically. The posts that followed were a guilty pleasure. In that my goal was to be right. The age of rebellion has past and an age of building must begin. In the new Radical Centrists, we aim to build. Each day will be a new brick.

E.C. Fiori

Day 222: No Charity for the Rich

Tax cuts for the already wealthy do not bring more or better jobs. Just handouts for the well off for being well off. 

The bottom 80% move the Earth to generate the riches. We don’t deserve less for the more taxes we pay each year. We don’t deserve stagnant wages for higher productivity since 90.

A 20 percent corporate tax cut isn’t draining the swamp but an expansion of it. 

-E.C. Fiori

Day 217: No Wall

Trump said it would be paid by Mexico and be like the Great Wall of China.

Trump said it would be funded by America and Mexico would get us back and it was a chain link fence.

Trump’s going to shut down America for a fence paid for by Mexico.

We elected Lear.

-E.C. Fiori

Day 191: Better Mousetrap

The state of modern drug testing in the workplace has barely improved since Reagan started the trend. I cannot understand why. Failed tests take a toll on the economy . At a least one plant, half of a failures are due to positive marijuana results. I’m pro-marijuana but safe work places especially when working with literal tons of metal are more important. The problem is current testing can’t tell if you are high now or were a month ago (just for thc, other chemicals fade faster). This means workers even in states where it is legal. Workers can’t enjoy the fruits of their labor without fear of being flagged. We can implant a microchip to operate as a credit card but we can’t tell when one last smoked is ridiculous. 
 Marijuana is safer than Alcohol and better for dealing with long term chronic pain than opiates. We can talk in circles all we want about mental addiction but you can be mentally addicted to any reinforced action and physical addiction that comes from alcohol, opiates, and other drugs has a far greater toll. I’m sure all physically addicted (to which there is no cure just the continuous work of recovery) would trade for a mental addiction (closer to a bad habit and can end). Studies have disproven the gateway theory. To deny the healthiest high on the grounds of tradition is bad policy. 
To those who preach sobriety, I would argue without the human desire to get high, we would not have society and civilization as we know it. The history of beer is the history of us. That being said there is virtue in moderation and a balance between states is needed. Theres no reason or need to be high in most jobs. There can be great danger. Your supervisor might be a son of a bitch but he’s the son of a bitch whose job it is to get you back to your wife and kids. He needs better tools. 
Perhaps it is a generational gap but we need 21st century solutions today because the century is going to pass us by.
-E.C. Fiori