Winter threw her outstretched hand over us this morning. A blanket of snow covered the earth to keep it warm from the 20 degree weather. It feels deathly cold and at the bus stop in St. Paul no one was speaking nor acknowledging. We all stare at our toes and beg them for a warm fire and maybe some hot cocoa to go with it. As cold as it is today, 20 degrees will feel like a blessing once we pierce winter’s heart and the winds of her dying breath slice at our skin and leads our minds, for 18 thousandth time, to wonder why do we stay here and why don’t we just move south already? And for the 18 thousandth time we remember that the south is full of republican rednecks and religious nut jobs and that there is just no way you could expect us enlightened folks of the north to live amongst such people. The bus arrives to bring us all to Minneapolis from St. Paul, and with a shrug I step on.
I begin to exhale a joy of relief at the anticipated warmth only to discover it to be even colder. I shudder, and look around to see a bus full of people. A combination of static and ringing in my ears tells me it is far too quiet. I sit down in an unoccupied seat that faced the back of the bus. Farthest back a girl with poorly maintained dreadlocks growing from her head stares without blinking at the floor. Her head slightly tilted and eyes held as wide as she could make them. I could almost see the rats ripping apart the neurons of her brain. But what is it? What troubles her mind? As a hippy she should be fun loving and joyous, always. Well it appears it’s not as simple as that. Maybe, despite her obvious attempts to portray herself as a free and loving child of the 70’s, maybe, just maybe, she may feel the same emotions that any 1st world white college student in Minnesota would feel. But what? The fact that I will never know what she is thinking, what emotion she is feeling or the idea that is weighing so heavily upon her mind just… I don’t know… it just makes me uncomfortable. Hell, maybe she’s just tired after a long day and I’m looking way too much into this, besides it’s none of my business. I observe her for a while longer and her eyes eventually float over to meet mine. Her mind was seeing something, but it certainly wasn’t me.
The bus stops and collects a few more passengers. Two girls sit across from me and start chatting in a language I couldn’t quite put my thumb on, but it sounded very familiar. One girl was of Asian descent and the other, well, I couldn’t quite figure it out. Middle Eastern? Turkish? I guess that perhaps they are from Kazakhstan or some other north Asian country where it seemed likely for those two ethnicities to coexist.
To my left a blonde American girl followed by two Somali men sits together and talk. They know each other, for there were only warm smiles and no awkward pauses. Conversation flowed smoothly between the blond and one of the Somalis. The other was shy and spent his time listening intently to what the other two were saying, shifting his gaze back and forth between the two each time the speaker changed. He kept a mostly straight and non- expressing face except for those rare moments when the blonde decided to include him in their conversation by making brief eye contact with him. His face then brightened instantaneously, his eyes twinkled and his lips broadened. Perhaps a desperate attempt to appear affable enough for her to say something to him, but it will take more than that, I thought. I wonder what held his tongue. I wonder what prevented him from noticing the brunette that kept glancing his way obviously curious about the trio and wanting to prove that she too was a cultured white American college girl.
The Northern Asian girls were still chatting away. The seat next to me was empty and I took the opportunity to use it as a foot rest. I relax and close my eyes and listened to the way they pronounced their words. I wasn’t trying to be nosey, just sometimes it’s nice to just hear words that have absolutely no meaning to you. However, after a while I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to know where they were from and what they were speaking. Why? Well, I don’t really know to be honest. I have a curiosity that threatens to swallow the entire earth and my mind can’t cope with the idea of not knowing something. “Excuse me,” I interrupt.
“Yes?” said the girl I thought to be Middle Eastern. She was absolutely beautiful; shyness made it hard to keep looking into her gorgeous brown eyes, but it was it was impossible to look away.
“Where are you guys from?”
“Brazil!” they both shouted harmoniously.
“Born and raised?” I asked, looking skeptically at the Asian girl.
“Yes!” They said together.
“Hmm,” I ponder. Focusing my attention on the Asian, I delve carefully, wanting to appear neither ignorant nor offensive. “But you… you’re obviously descended from… from somewhere else. Where did…Where are your ancestors from?”
“Really!?” I said enthusiastically, my back straightening. “What made them go to Brazil?”
They were both had warm smiles for me. They seemed excited that I was interested in such a thing. “They wanted to expand their minds,” she told me. “They wanted to find meaning in this world.”
“And did they find it?” I questioned with a laugh to hide my sincerity.
“Well, I don’t think I’d be here if they hadn’t!” They both laughed. At the next stop they got off and said goodbye to me. I was left with a feeling that something important had happened, but the logical side of my brain couldn’t quite put it into words.
- R. T. Torsan
I’ve been told all throughout this election season that a vote for Gary Johnson is a wasted vote. I looked at them as the fool they saw me as. One does not simply vote libertarian on a whim; people who have seen disastrous policies, enacted by both parties, bring our country to the brink, vote libertarian. People who realize that the choice between socialism and enforced Christianity is no choice at all. One who votes libertarian understands what real American values stand for, what the dream of America truly was when our ancestors first set sail: Freedom. Freedom is the blood that flows through our veins, it’s what makes all of us more than what we descended form; it’s what distinguishes us as Americans, it is our identity and without it we have nothing. So yes, while the rest of the country fought over whether government would control us or corporations would, I am proud to say that I am the 1 % that chose another path; I am part of the 1 % who chose liberty over tyranny; part of the 1 % who still remembers why we fought the British in the first place. While I continue to hear that neither Ron Paul nor Gary Johnson won the the election so my vote was wasted, I happen to see a much brighter story. I see Ron Paul attain far more votes this primary season than he did in 2008 and a huge increase in delegates, I see the republican party shift their policies towards libertarian as they realize their old way of doing things can’t last, and I saw Gary Johnson attain more votes than any libertarian presidential candidate ever got since the party’s beginning. I see no failures, only progress. Change doesn’t happen overnight, it’s going to take a lot of hard work and strength for “Freedom is Hammered out on the anvil” and the benefits will always be worth it. Americans are saying no to the steps we are taking toward tyranny, and, rest assured, we are not going away. This election I was part of the 1 %, next election i will be part of the 5 %, then the 10 %, 20 %,50 %! Until we win and remind the world why America is great, we will not stop.
-R. T. Torsan
“He said that you thought I was just sitting around and wasting my time.”
“What?” An expression of confusion painted my face. I grew nervous. I was worried that I was going to appear as if I did in fact say that, when I didn’t. Of course, little did I know that it was my worrying that made me appear guilty. I can tell a lie and feel guiltless enough to stare a man in the face afterwards. Oh, I play that game, and I play it well. Deception comes naturally to me, probably from years of admiration for those who do it best. I grew up with politicians as my idols. The way they spoke and the way others believed those crooked words spilling from their sharpened tongues. I have never trusted a man before, well not since my father left me, so their charming breeze that soothed the eager ears of many couldn’t even ruffle my hair. I noticed how those meaningless words were, indeed, meaningless to the untrained ear, but if you stare at it from a different angle you see a much clearer picture, shift yet again and another will appear. It’s what those modern artists call “abstract.” I see a godly work of art that has been painted before us.
So yes, lying is easy. Well, I don’t particularly like to say lying because lying implies that one is being untruthful. I, for one, am always truthful. I just tend to make sure certain information reaches certain ears while other bits fail to be mentioned. In a way, it’s much like how the modern media works. But back to the point, lying, well deceiving, comes naturally, that isn’t what is challenging. No, what is challenging is staring a man in the face only to tell him what is purely, from the bottom of the heart, truthful. I begin to sweat and shake. I feel how I’ve been laden bare and vulnerable. My guts spilled upon the carpet for all the world to poke through.
I looked at him and take a deep breath. “No I did not say that.” I notice my left cheek start to twitch as it often does when I’m anxious. I’m having a hard to keeping eye contact. These symptoms cause worry that perhaps he is interpreting my signals the wrong way, and rightly he should! I for one would have. However, it only causes those symptoms of the sickness I call honesty to increase.
- R.T. Torsan
”El Ermitaño” by Sebastián Giacobino
The Loneliest Whale in the World.
In 2004, The New York Times wrote an article about the loneliest whale in the world. Scientists have been tracking her since 1992 and they discovered the problem:
She isn’t like any other baleen whale. Unlike all other whales, she doesn’t have friends. She doesn’t have a family. She doesn’t belong to any tribe, pack or gang. She doesn’t have a lover. She never had one. Her songs come in groups of two to six calls, lasting for five to six seconds each. But her voice is unlike any other baleen whale. It is unique—while the rest of her kind communicate between 12 and 25hz, she sings at 52hz. You see, that’s precisely the problem. No other whales can hear her. Every one of her desperate calls to communicate remains unanswered. Each cry ignored. And, with every lonely song, she becomes sadder and more frustrated, her notes going deeper in despair as the years go by.
Just imagine that massive mammal, floating alone and singing—too big to connect with any of the beings it passes, feeling paradoxically small in the vast stretches of empty, open ocean.
“A cryptozoologist has suggested that the 52-Hertz whale could even be lonelier than we realize, a hybrid between two different species of whale, or the last survivor of an unidentified species, plying the oceans in a doomed search for another of its kind, singing its broken song.”
The Republican Party claims to believe in freedom. But not really. Certainly not if that means being able to vote for someone who truly believes in liberty.
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a Republican who cut spending while advocating legalization of marijuana, originally ran for the GOP presidential nomination. But most of the debate organizers refused to let him join the largely undistinguished candidate herd which included another unknown former governor (Jon Huntsman) and a businessman with no political experience (Herman Cain).
— Circle Takes the Square