Trumpanization of a Nation

It seems insane that a man who has excellent government health insurance is able to lift himself from a surgeon’s table, hop a plane from Arizona to Washington, D.C. and then cast the Senate’s deciding vote opening the opportunity to strip healthcare protection from everyday citizens; but this is the world now in which we hurl, where the sky is green, and the Grim Reaper is now the Giver of Life, and facts are lies, and the truth isn’t published anywhere, and can never be known — because nothing is understandable, and everything else is just all made up to set up the next spin of a still life into a grave.

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The Nebraska Abolitionist: When Slave Owners Won the Day

When I was in sixth grade in Nebraska — around the time Alex Haley’s ovaricRoots” novel was making its debut in the world conversation about America’s shameful treatment of slaves — our teacher, who was Lily-white born and bred and a staunch conservative from Oklahoma, decided to hold a “historical” debate with a bunch of 11-year-olds on the topic of abolition.

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When Your Third Place Does Not Want You: Elderly Entitlement and Fighting the New Old Korean Queens Gang

I’ve been following an ongoing saga in the New York Times concerning a local McDonald’s restaurant in Queens and how elderly Koreans in the neighborhood have taken over the place as their community hub.

This new, “old,” gang doesn’t really buy anything and they stay all day long taking up space and not making any money for the business.  There’s a Senior Citizen Community Center nearby, with van service for those who cannot walk that far, but the retired don’t want to go there because it’s in a Church basement.

The one thing you take away from reading about this ongoing conflict between elder entitlement and the business needs of McDonald’s is that the old people — like the Millennials behind them — believe they have the freedom and the right to sit wherever they want, and linger as long as they wish, with no repercussion whatsoever. Asking them to leave to make room for others is a cultural slap in the face that will not be tolerated.

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David Boles’ Personal History: December 13, 1994

A career is an interesting thing in comparison with a life. The career is temporary, but the life is both temporal, and temporary. The other day, for some reason, Ezra Stone was bothering my mind, as I tried to remember why he had contacted me so many years ago. I did a quick search of my Google Docs and his name popped up in a document titled — “David Boles’ Personal History” — dated December 13, 1994. That file turned out to be a wowser!

I am not sure why that document was originally written. I was three years out of my MFA at Columbia University in the City of New York. Oftentimes, these personal histories are written for grants, but this file was too personal, and specific for a grant committee — the file reads as if I were forcing myself to remember what happened for some existential reason.

One thing I noticed about the file is that it is filled with names — and that still astonishes me, that so much effort and time for what I was trying to do was not really ever about the actual work, but it was more about the personalities involved. I’m an INTJ, not really a people person, so it makes sense I had more ongoing success working alone in Nebraska than I ever did working with the creative gangs in New York City. On your own, you’re on your own to live or die; I always thrived. In the City, you a play a limited role by design, and you have to hope others are as dedicated to you, and to your idea, as you are — but it never turns out that way.

Nobody wants to pay for anything; they want every idea for free; and you always hope it’s about the work — but as you’ll see — it’s never about the work. It’s only about — the money!

This document may have been a tipping point or a turning point — two years later I started Go Inside Magazine — and began writing and publishing on my own. I could serve only the Master I knew, and no longer the talents I did not understand.

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Jersey City Salutes Police Officer Melvin Santiago

Rookie Jersey City Police Office Melvin Santiago was assassinated on Sunday responding to a call at a local Walgreens.  Yesterday, over a 1,000 people lined up outside a funeral home to salute an officer who gave his life in service to a city in the hard, urban core.  Officer Santiago was 23 and — during his wake — was promoted to the rank of Detective and given the Medal of Honor in death by the Mayor of Jersey City.

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On Winning the 1975 Pinewood Derby

If you’re a Cub Scout, there’s a yearly reckoning waiting for you — the Pinewood Derby — where you get to build your own race car out of wood and plastic and nails and race it down a track to see how fast your mind and hands are in the creation of something separate and spectacular that you cannot control. You build it and let it run away from you.  I had some success with the Pinewood Derby, as I share here:

As a Cub Scout in Lincoln, Nebraska David Boles entered, and won the Pinewood Derby. In 1973, igniting the fighting Fireball #8, he came in second place. In 1974, riding The Phantom, he did not place, likely due to the air-sucking quality of the jaw-like bat mouth. In 1975 — flying the Spirit of ’76 — he won First Place as the Grand Champion, even though race officials drilled out an ounce of golden lead weight from his undercarriage! Here are the requisite beauty shots of those historic racing fascinations.

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This Was the Week in Blood

The internets have lately been filled with delicious and vile revelations about our blood.  The media is in a tizzy of mice and memes and surgeons and even strippers — each one vying to try to measure and mess with our blood — and I’m sure all of this is all just the start of what just may become a regular Boles Blogs featurette: This Was the Week in Blood!

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