Page 1

The Annual Collection of Student Work across the Disciplines at the Ohio State University-Newark

T A P R O O T

Volume 4 - 2008


Cover Art: Tropical Ink by Elizabeth Alvarez

Experience Taproot Online, the alternate Taproot venue! Same great writing, full-color art, music, and video at http://newarkcampus.org/development/Taproot/taproot.htm

Copyright 2008 The Ohio State University at Newark 1179 University Ave. Newark, OH 43055 Printed in Columbus, OH, by Bookmasters Printing


Welcome to TAPROOT This is the fourth volume of Taproot, the interdisciplinary student and alumni journal of the Newark campus of The Ohio State University. As always, it features student/alumnicreated academic essays, fiction and creative non-fiction, photography, artwork, and poetry. This year it appears in a new, larger format. And this year it also appears online, featuring web access to the same great content plus full-color art and multimedia submissions. We hope you enjoy the following cross-section of texts within the journal, several of which have won university prizes. We invite OSU Newark students and alumni to submit their work from any class or creative endeavor for publication in Taproot. Send all text (in Word), art, or music/video work (digital only) to taprootproject@gmail.com. You many submit your work at any time before February 20, 2009; the next print and online volume will be released in spring. The editorial board this year (The Collective) included Samantha Boring, Ashley Caggiano, Jonathan Holmes, Camille Knoderer, Dustin Oyler, David Pennington, Nick Powell, and Lee Waller. Special thanks go out to Dr. Elizabeth Weiser for her role as professor of record and faculty advisor. Next year, the Taproot saga will continue to evolve with a brand new set of students in the winter quarter class of English 662 Literary Publishing. Members of this class learn about the history and theory of print and digital publishing and then practice handson production from start to finish of volume five of Taproot. Upon successful completion of the course they can rightfully add ―Editorial Associate‖ to their resume. For information, contact Dr. Weiser at weiser.23@osu.edu. Taproot: it‘s your journal. Enjoy it. —The Board of Editors (a.k.a. The Collective)


Table of Contents Following the Rainbow: A Look into the Events that Sparked the Stonewall Riots

1

Kelly Whitney

Chillin‘

6

Colleen Gaffney

―Tradition,‖ ―Punch Line‖

10

Jarod K. Anderson

Untitled

10

Matthew Benedetti

70W

11

Michael Morrison

Exit 122

15

Shane Hardesty

―I wish I were three‖

16

Lee Waller

A (Con)textual Argument of America’s Globalization from an Outsider’s View

17

William Brown

Untitled

20

William Brown

―The Crimson Shield‖

21

April Sears

―Long Live Love‖

21

Elizabeth Varrasso

Untitled

22

Elizabeth Varrasso

―Maddie‘s Wake (Lay Down Gently)‖

22

James Barry Ryan

The Statement of an Uncomfortable Generation

24

Steven Beha

―Disposable Razor,‖ ―Erosion,‖ ―The Problem With Sundays‖

31

Jarod K. Anderson

Disloyalty

32

Ashley Caggiano

Untitled

34

Michael Gleckler

―Crystalline Cats‖

34

Michael Mitchell

Ravenwood

35

Shane Hardesty

Untitled

36

Matthew Benedetti


―Ohio Autumn‖

36

Jarod K. Anderson

Prey

37

Sonya Green

Imitation Manpower

38 39

Sonya Green Samantha Boring

―Cancer Stick‖ Untitled

43 44

Samantha Boring Matthew Benedetti

―Dare to Dream‖

44

Retha Sloter Murray

An Inquiry Regarding the Necessity of the Existence of God

45

Jonathan Holmes

Mary Lake

46 50

Elizabeth Alvarez Craig Hammerstein

―The Greatest of These‖

50

James Barry Ryan

The Evolution of Social Welfare & Government Assistance in Ohio

52

Ashley Miravalle

―Bored In Class‖

59

James Barry Ryan

Face

60

Elizabeth Alvarez

How to Live for Even One Day

61

Michael Morrison

Untitled

62

Matthew Benedetti

Untitled

63

Michael Gleckler

―Grandma at Best Buy‖ ―The Stone Apart‖

65 66

Samantha Boring James Barry Ryan

Companionship

67

Jarod K. Anderson

Moonbaby

71

Sonya Green

―The Thaw‖

72

Jarod K. Anderson

Mitternacht

72

Shane Hardesty

Editor and Contributor Bios

73


Seaton Essay Contest 1st place essay

Following the Rainbow: A Look into the Events that Sparked the Stonewall Riots -Kelly Whitney As the product of a movement that paved the way for equal rights, I must remember and honor those activists who began our fight for equality decades ago. Every year we honor those who began the gay-rights movement that fateful day in New York City; we march the streets of downtown Columbus to commemorate the trials that we overcame. We remember the Stonewall Riots, and continue to march to symbolize the fights that remain ahead of us. To many people, the Stonewall Riots that began June 27, 1969, marked the beginning of the gay-rights movement. Although this was not the first time gays joined together to fight against the structures who tried to take away their rights, the riots at the Stonewall Inn symbolized the gay

community‘s refusal to tolerate discrimination. However, I will discuss neither the events that occurred during the five days of riots nor the changes that were made as a result of the riots, but instead why these riots occurred. While the turbulent sixties were a decade of reform for many minority groups, the political and worldly events of this decade caused gays to unify as one voice and rise up against the government that oppressed them. Liberalism vs. Conservatism: The Shift of Leadership in New York City In 1969, the year of the riots, Republican Mayor John Lindsay held New York City‘s highest governmental seat. During this time, he was preparing his re-election campaign to serve the city for another four

1


years. His political ambitions and need for constituent approval motivated him to take strong action against the crime and chaos occurring in the city, so he aggressively took a stance for reform to correct what he perceived to be the city‘s problems. At the same time, his administration was quickly falling apart. Residents of New York City began to turn on him. The dramatic issues of politics in New York during this time created corrupt leaders and a city in chaos (Witkin). In order to understand the political turmoil of New York City in 1969, we must take a look into the prior decade‘s shift in leadership from Democratic control to Republican rule. The local New York City government, much like the government at the national level, maintained Democratic power beginning in the early 1960s. The same liberal force for social and legislative changes at these levels resulted in overwhelming support for liberal leaders. Thus, just as Lyndon Johnson led the United States through the majority of the 1960‘s, Democratic Mayor Wagner won the New York City mayoral

ticket in 1953 and served the city for three consecutive terms. During this time, John Lindsay was serving his second term as Congressman (―Against Running‖). He spent his time studying the problems of the Middle East and actively participated in U.S. foreign policy (Weaver). The New York Republican Organization appreciated Lindsay‘s passion for the world community and his desire to help the oppressed peoples of other countries. The Organization wanted to bring his leadership and enthusiasm to the people of New York (Weaver). In 1960 Lindsay was given the opportunity to run for mayor; however, he rejected the offer, reiterating, ―My answer is very firmly no‖ (―Against Running‖). After this assertion, the people of New York would reelect Wagner for one more term. Nonetheless, after much persuasion by the Republican Party, Lindsay announced his mayoral candidacy on May 13, 1964. Two weeks later, Mayor Wagner announced he would not be running for reelection in the 1965 election. He stunned the nation with his announcement, confessing 2


to the public the promise he had made to his late wife to care for their children as a ―full-time father‖ (Witkin). The Democratic Party scrambled for weeks to find a candidate worthy of competing against Lindsay, who, by this point, had become popular in New York. The Democrats eventually decided on City Controller Abraham Beame (Witkin). The race was on. The strong presence of Democratic liberalism in the city would be the emphasis of Lindsay‘s campaign; he praised the character of Mayor Wagner, but insisted that the city needed a change from Democratic rule. New York residents began to embrace conservatism before the nation as a whole. Lindsay was elected in ―the closest mayoral election in at least a quarter century,‖ winning 46% of the popular vote. He became the first Republican mayor since 1945; nonetheless, Democrats maintained control of the City Council and the City Controller, indicating there were still mixed feelings as to which party should lead the city (Witkin). Ready to lead the people, Lindsay wanted to revive the purity of the city. He

declared he would ―give New York the most hard-working, the most dedicated and…the most exciting and successful administration this city has ever seen‖ (Witkin). Lindsay established himself as a leader and a prominent politician during his tenure as mayor. It was believed he was using the city as a stepping stone to earn the 1972 Presidential nomination (Witkin). Yet his experience in foreign policy provided him no authority for leading a city; he quickly became very unpopular and the public turned on him in the 1969 primary election. He lost the primary and the possibility of the Presidential ticket. Lindsay, however, remained determined to win the general election. He knew he had to get the traditional Republican voters—white Christians—to the polls. For the past two decades, the Christian voters had been leaning towards a liberal government (Hailey). Lindsay needed to bring them back to the conservative side in order to gain any hope of winning the general election. To spark their interest, he focused on an epideictic campaign; he convinced the Christian constituents that the city had be3


come corrupt and chaotic and assured them that proper Christian values would be restored to the city. He vowed that ―if we join together in the rigorous, exalting struggles ahead, we assure the eventual conquest of the pending, recurrent and unforeseen crises afflicting our city‖ (Witkin). He began by declaring a clean-up of the city‘s bars— especially the bars occupied by the ―immoral‖ homosexuals—which included the Stonewall Inn.

when groups began to band together. Court cases such as Brown v. Board of Education gained momentum on paper, but blacks were continually oppressed and discriminated against. They knew they had to be more aggressive to secure the rights they were due. The Montgomery Bus Boycott (19551956), which received international attention and support, would be their first chance to show the world what they were ready to endure. Organized by the NAACP, blacks boycotted the segregated bus system of Montgomery, Alabama, pushing it to the verge of bankruptcy. The bus system eventually gave in and desegregated the buses. Although a regional victory, it was a great inspiration to blacks around the nation. They had a new understanding of how to win their fight for equal rights. Blacks continued to rally together and declared equality in one unified voice. In 1963, the March on Washington allowed Martin Luther King, Jr., to give his famous speech inspiring average whites and blacks all over the country to unite. He gave the nation hope that peace between the races

Civil Rights Movement and Legislative Reform We recognize Rosa Parks, The Feminine Mystique, Freedom Rides, the Economic Opportunity Act, Ralph Nader, and Martin Luther King, Jr., among those emblems of an era that defined reform and a push for equality. While most are remembered for improving relations between blacks and whites, the Civil Rights Movement also helped address many other issues, such as those concerning women, Native Americans, automobile safety, the environment, and education. Although the fight for civil rights began before WWI, it was not until after WWII

4


was not only possible but necessary for the growth of the country. This major historical event influenced two great pieces of legislation: the 1964 Civil Rights Act ending segregation, banned discrimination, and protected women‘s rights, and the 1965 Voting Rights Act protecting voting rights for blacks in the south. By taking the fight into the streets and refusing to surrender to white supremacy, blacks had forever changed the way they would live. Gays became aware of how blacks came together and fought for equality. They realized they would never win their own battle for equality if they did not unify and rise up against their oppressors. Stonewall veteran William Henderson recalled the sentiment of brother- (or sister-) hood during the movement: ―People, especially Gays at this time in history with all of the civil rights movements, were feeling our oats. ‗Coming out‘ and ‗Standing up‘ were growing‖ (Henderson). Gays were getting ready to fight their own battle, and began to form their own groups in order to do so.

“We are the Stonewall Girls”: Gays and Lesbians Unite Seeing the success of the numerous black pride groups that had risen in the sixties, gays decided it was time to join together as well. Although many attribute the start of gay unity to the Stonewall riots, the 1950s marked a wave of the first homophile groups. These groups were the first to unify gays and lesbians, giving them pride and power to begin their impending struggle. In November of 1950, five gay men joined together to form a group, later named the Mattachine Society, that would begin the drive for homosexual equality. Harry Hay, Rudi Gernreich, Bob Hull, Dale Jennings, and Chuck Rowland frequently met to discuss ways to educate the public about homosexuality .The Mattachine Society‘s influence spread across the country. Discussion groups were formed to provide a safe place for gays to express their thoughts and the meetings created opportunities for gay communities to gather in places other than gay bars. The Mattachine Society also produced the first homophile magazine in the United 5


States, called One. This publication unified gays across the country and allowed news

and events to be shared in major cities. Furthermore, the Mattachine Society created affiliates in large cities known for their gay populations, including New York, Boston, Chicago, Denver, and Washington DC (Hunter). The group‘s first legal opportunity to establish its purpose came in 1952 when Mattachine Society cofounder Dale Jennings was arrested on sex charges in Los Angeles. The Mattachine Society defended Jennings and was able to get the case dismissed due to the lack of evidence against Jennings. The group distributed information about the case, assuring gays around the country that they would be protected and supported by the Mattachine Society (Hunter). Gays across the country began to realize they were not alone.

Chillin’

-Colleen Gaffney

6


“Your Worst Fears Made Flesh”: The Cold War and the Fear of Queer Communists The gay community suffered a huge setback when Mattachine Society cofounder Harry Hay was tied to the Communist party (Rapp). At the peak of the Red Scare, this was arguably the worst connection that could have been made for the movement. In 1935, Hay worked on an anti-Nazi play, Till the Day I Die. Hay played a homosexual who tortured communists, which sparked his interest in the Communist party. He joined the party in 1951, the same year the Mattachine Society became official (Rapp). In March, 1953, a journalist from the Los Angeles Daily Mirror found this link while investigating the Mattachine Society. He found the ―strange new pressure group [of] sexual deviates were uniting to form a political voice‖ (Hunter). While investigating the personal life of Hay the journalist found he was an ―unfriendly and uncooperative witness before the House Un-American Activities Committee,‖ which investigated Communism in the United States (Davidson). This revelation caused members of the Mattachine Society to panic and the heterosex-

ual community to fear the political loyalty of gays. The disparity between the straights and gays grew with this revelation. This possibly gave authorities more incentive to invade the Stonewall Inn and reprimand the disloyal gays who very well could have been Communists. The original leaders were radical activists; they aggressively endorsed political reform and self-identity. However, after the original founders resigned, the new delegates drastically changed the group‘s mission. They believed in conformity and opposed social change. They wanted to portray themselves as no different than heterosexuals, stripping gay men of their individuality. This passive approach to reform caused membership to decrease and support to decline. The Mattachine Society reached its end in 1961, eight years before the Stonewall riots (Hunter). Five years after the Mattachine Society met for the first time, a lesbian couple, Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, started a homophile group with other lesbian friends. Naming themselves the Daughters of Bilitis, this women‘s group discussed lesbian is7


sues and, like the Mattachine Society, conducted public forums to educate the public about homosexuality. They also provided support to lesbian women, especially to white, middle-class lesbians who ―had the most to lose should they be identified as lesbian‖ (Theophano). Their purpose was similar to that of the Mattachine Society; they wanted to bring a sense of sisterhood and pride to lesbians across the country, assuring them that they were not alone. Allied with the Mattachine Society, the Daughters of Bilitis published their own monthly magazine called The Ladder. This, like One, reached lesbians across the country, unifying them as one voice. Daughters of Bilitis groups also began in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Rhode Island (Theophano). Lyon and Martin led a conservative group and advised conformity with mainstream heterosexual lifestyle. They encouraged lesbians to maintain their femininity and discouraged masculinity and drag wardrobe. They included only conservative poetry, short stories, essays, and research in The Ladder (Theophano). Much like the futile

court cases protecting blacks, this overtlyconservative leadership would not ignite change for gay rights. The 1960‘s created a shift in emphasis from lesbian rights to women‘s rights following the feminist movement of the decade. The group began to support active objection to the oppressive government and endorse radical behavior among women and lesbians. The new leaders understood that the only way for change to occur was through aggressive means; the former leaders disagreed on the position the group should take and soon after they disbanded. Although both groups rose, peaked, and fell before the riots of 1969, their sentiment of unifying the gay community would last through the twentieth century. They represented the growing desire for equality and the willingness to join together to fight for what they deserved. They also created opportunities for gay men and women to meet other activists who would be leading the struggle for gay rights in the subsequent decades. The ―gay power‖ impulse followed these groups to the riots of 1969.

8


During the riots, the protesters joined together—inspired by the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis—as one voice, proclaiming, ―We are the Stonewall girls!‖ (Duberman). Stonewall veteran William Henderson validates this sentiment of sisterhood, recalling, The detectives, the vice squad, the liquor authority, the state fuzz, the local cops, ultimately the tactical patrol forces and whoever else the authorities had that night picked the wrong time (1 a.m. Gay time) and the wrong place (Gay club) and, for sure, in the wrong section (Gay GREENWICH VILLAGE) of the wrong city (Gay MANHATTAN of N.Y.C.) for any further Gay oppression. One drag queen responded to the riots, ―We may have lost the battle, sweets, but the war is far from over‖ (Lisker). They would fight, and continue to fight, until they had attained their ultimate goal: equality.

“Do Whatever Little Girls Do”: Continuing the Battle From Stonewall to Los Angeles, the activists who began the fight in the sixties knew they had to take the fight to the streets. Their passion and frustration motivated the battle, and their actions resonate in our continued fight for equality today. Now, by the opportunities created from the rioters, we can fight our battles in the courtroom to carry on the very issue those activists fought for on the streets forty years ago. We are blessed that gays in the generation of reform decided to rise up and fight for equality, because now a lesbian couple may walk down the street without fear of scrutiny, a gay man can wear make-up and heels and be celebrated for it, two gay men may be approved to adopt a child, and when a teenage girl decides her heart takes to women, she can acknowledge those feelings without fear. We thank those who stepped up forty years ago and decided to make a stand.

9


Tradition My legs have stood chimney-straight out from green swamps, displacing two naked calves worth of the primordial. Once I was a mossy cave, uncharted full of slick wet noise. The crawling things named me a name of inner circles. Tonight I lick salt from country roads. Light and thunder break the old agreements but scavengers remember their respects. ~Jarod K. Anderson

Punch Line At sixteen, every girl is an in-joke. The hijacked party winds down and still muffled giggles stream in little lavender trickles. Outside one tightly knit huddle the other guests talk so softly-wondering if such a madness

Untitled

can all be blamed on Mom's champagne. ~Jarod K. Anderson

10

-Michael Gleckler


70W -Michael Morrison We woke up hung over in Kansas. We had spent the night in Kevin‘s Ford Escort, parked at the dead-end of some new housing development. It was the second day of our road trip and just a little after sunrise. We pulled back onto Interstate 70, headed west. Kevin had emailed me two weeks before asking if I had any plans for Spring Break. ―I don‘t know what I am looking for, but I believe it is West.‖ Kevin is an old roommate from college and we still see each other a lot. Our plans never coalesced into anything beyond the idea that West was good, better than East. All we knew was that we needed some movement in our lives. A word about road trips… Driving by car is absolutely the best way to travel. It has every element you could wish for when trying to get away from home. Planes are faster, but they don‘t feel fast. Once up in

the air, you might as well be sitting in your living room instead of screaming through the atmosphere at 600 mph. When you are going 70 mph in an Escort, you can feel the speed, which is crucial. In seat 3A, you can‘t decide to stop in weird-sounding little towns you see along the way. Control is a necessary element of road trips, because sometimes you just don‘t know where you want to be until you get there. And since you can‘t eat pretzels or other snacks while driving a motorcycle, you need a car. You also need an atlas, and a strong need to go somewhere far away. Driving across Kansas you lose all sense of distance. Kevin and I would play the game of guessing how far away a grain silo or radio tower was. We‘d guess about 1 maybe 2 miles, only for it to turn out to be more like 4 or 5. Kansas is flat and the sky dominates the landscape. It is empty, with few trees or buildings to break the monoto11


ny of soy and corn fields. But we were happy because it didn‘t look like Ohio anymore. Kansas is long too; driving at breakneck speed stopping only for gas, hours and hours are still required to cross the state line. Eastern Colorado is also flat. We began to feel bored and depressed, until the horizon got a little dark. Slowly we realized those were mountains ahead, the Front Range of the Rockies. We pulled into Denver right after watching the sun set behind the peaks. It felt good to see something new. After walking around the Statehouse we realized we had no idea what to do in Denver. Plus it was only 7 PM. There was time to keep driving, so we pulled the atlas out again. West of Denver, there is very little until Salt Lake City, so we looked north and south. I was pretty sure that the University of Wyoming was in Laramie, and didn‘t look too far away from Denver. Plus, Wyoming had a certain appeal to it. It sounded rugged. Two hours later we were driving up 287, a twisting, curving road that climbs a mountain on its way to Laramie. It was

night, but there was a full moon illuminating the landscape, casting dramatic shadows around the massive boulders that littered the ground. Then it started to snow. It snowed so hard, Kevin had trouble seeing the road as it skirted along cliffs. We drove up the mountain in a snowstorm blaring Led Zeppelin on the radio. It was fantastic. It wasn‘t Ohio. Laramie is an interesting town surrounded by mountains. Interstate 80 runs right past it and several railroads intersect. It is a quintessential western town. Men wear cowboy hats without irony. Every third pickup truck has a dog riding in the bed. The college also has a presence. Here you end up with a downtown that has stores which sell saddles and lasso rope right next to a yoga center. Laramie is also where Mathew Shepard was tied to a fence, beaten, and left to die—as a visitor you can‘t get away from that memory. It is always in the back your mind whispering to you. In that regard Laramie is in the company of other towns like Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, Waco, Texas, and Littleton, 12


Colorado. Towns which are known by most Americans for a single horrific incident. The kind of towns that people flinch a little when they hear the name. It‘s not fair, but it happens. It was still snowing and occasionally sleeting when we pulled into Laramie. If we slept in the car we would freeze. We decided we needed to meet someone, and ―work it‖ so that they would invite us to crash at their place; this seemed like the only way to avoid hypothermia. The day before, we had decided that we needed to meet at least one person everywhere we went and have a real conversation with them. So trying to crash at someone‘s place felt like the next level of our little test. After driving around, we found a bar across the street from campus. In the parking lot we honed our story, knowing we‘d have to make a good impression. We needed to look cool, confident, and not at all creepy; otherwise no one would be crazy enough to let us crash on their couch. Strangely, we wouldn‘t make the connection between Matthew and our efforts to get ―picked up‖ until the next morning. We

didn‘t talk about it much, it made us uncomfortable, and we had to psych ourselves up because we were pretty terrified at this prospect. We are not the kind of guys who make friends in bars. We are the kind of guys you see sitting in the corner, probably having an interesting conversation, and putting decent songs on the jukebox. But we are not the guys who come over and talk to you, and ask if maybe, we could sorta, stay at your place for the night. There was a small crowd inside for a Monday night, and it was a nice place; it reminded us of our favorite bar. We sat at the bar and scoped out potential marks. We thought the story of two guys bravely traversing this great country would sound good, but we didn‘t know how to start. We sat there for an hour just cursing our cowardice under our breath, not talking to anyone. Then some people started playing pool and we saw an opening. We put our quarters on the edge of the table and waited for our turn. Soon we were playing against two sorority sisters. They didn‘t recognize us, and asked if we went to Wyoming. Perfect. Why no actually, we didn‘t, we were in 13


fact, on a road trip. ―So why are you guys in Laramie?‖ ―Cause it‘s just a little further than Denver,‖ said Kevin, who apparently had turned into a badass for the evening. ―Oh my God, you guys have to meet Jonas, he‘ll love this.‖ The girls introduced us to Jonas Dickson; a rather short guy, 22, with shaggy hair. ―So you guys are just travelin‘. I love that man, I love that. You guys are so free.‖ Jonas kinda talked as if he was from California instead of Rock Springs, Wyoming. It didn‘t fit. We got to talking with Jonas and he really was impressed with what we were doing. He said he always wanted to just drive and ―see what‘s out there, ya know?‖ We knew. That‘s why we were in Laramie on a Monday. It was getting a little late, so Kevin and I decided to up our game. We made some not so subtle references to sleeping in the car. ―Boy it sure is going to be cold.‖ Stuff like that, which would have been embarrassingly obvious if anybody had been sober. And Jonas, the kind hearted fellow he was, seemed horrified. ―Man, you guys are crashing at my place. You don‘t need to be sleeping in any car.‖

We bought Jonas some orange beer, the least we could do. Orange beer is a delicacy that exists only on the left hand side of the Mississippi River. Order a Miller Light, PBR, or Bud, and tell the bartender to make it orange, and he or she will then pour several ounces of orange juice into your otherwise perfectly good beer. We saw them in Kansas, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska. No one could believe we had never heard of them. You can also make it red and add tomato juice. Surprisingly, it‘s so delicious that we drank them the entire trip. Sadly, we are yet to make it catch on back east. So we left the bar with Jonas, having made several new friends. In the car following his SUV the two blocks to his apartment, I looked over at Kevin. ―He could kill us you know.‖ ―Yeeeah, but we could kill him too, for all he knows.‖ We realized this was insane, and laughed idiotically. But it was really cold out, and Jonas didn‘t seem like a serial killer. Inside his apartment Jonas scrambled up some eggs for us; our first meal in over 12 hours. He showed us his place, his extensive movie collection, his 14


nunchucks, and most importantly his couch. Kevin and I rock, paper, scissored for it. I won. ―Either of you guys smoke?‖ Jonas asked. And he held his fingers up to his lips in the universal sign for smoking pot, explaining the California accent. We didn‘t want to be rude to our host, but neither of us smoke. He didn‘t mind and soon was lighting up while he and I talked about life. Kevin was passed out on the floor. Jonas was going to graduate in a few months and

move to New York City. He wanted to act on Broadway. He was a talker. We watched a terrible movie on basic cable and before I knew it, it was 3:00. Jonas got up to go to the bathroom, and Kevin‘s eyes popped open, ―Man is he ever going to go to sleep?‖ ―Bastard, you‘ve been faking?‖ ―Kind of, thanks for taking one for the team,‖ and he shut his eyes again. Over an hour later Jonas finally shuffled off to bed, but not before wishing us luck on the rest of our journey. I passed out immediately.

Exit 122

-Shane Hardesty

15


We woke up early that morning, decided not to use the offered shower, and wrote Jonas a short note. We left without waking him to say goodbye like he had asked us. Days later, we would send him a postcard from the Gateway Arch. We stopped at a rest area outside of town, the highest point on Interstate 80. We brushed our teeth, washed our faces, and after putting on clean shirts, felt refreshed and ready for the day. We sprinted across the parking lot to test our lungs in the oxygen-starved air. We stopped when black spots bloomed in front of our eyes. From an overlook, we could still see Laramie spread below us. We stood there for a moment, staring out at the now white mountains and the black scratch of the interstate. We felt triumphant, the sky was endlessly blue, and we were in Wyoming, but it was time to move on.

_____________ I wish I were three So you don't need me, never did and never will That's fine, I knew that long ago Three year olds take the world as it comes And think logically Do it if they can, give up if the will isn't there But being twenty means I don't have to care Or think logically I don't have to give up when will is lax Because the only thing I've learned in the seventeen years that have passed is everything has its own time, and sometimes things we let go, come back better than before. The only thing in life that never changes Is that everything changes eventually. ~Lee Waller

16


A (Con)textual Argument of America’s Globalization from an Outsider’s View -William G. Brown The American/British imperialistic influences that have spread around the world are a heated debate. Whether one sees it as a beginning or dying trend (results may vary in a world economy that is starting to see a heavy Asian influence), there is no doubt that all sides usually portray it as a moral issue of right and wrong. As Condoleezza Rice stated in 2000, ―It is best for the world if the USA continues to enforce its own interest, because American values are universal values.‖ It is clear that America‘s current administration is in favor of pushing Americanization further. Therefore, the American position is probably best compared to Joseph Kipling‘s argument for British colonialism when he stated that it was the ―white man‘s burden‖ to westernize the whole of the world. The outsider‘s view,

from countries that are being modernized and westernized, does not seem as favorable toward America‘s ―burden.‖ This is the argument put forth by the Slovenian musical artists Laibach, represented as a single entity like a communist nation. Laibach, which consists of various factions (such as the band 300,000 VK) and various members who come and go ―as needed,‖ is a cocreator of the NSK (New Slovenian Art), the biggest art movement from Western Europe of the last 25 to 30 years (Laibach). It has always used the medium of popular music to construct its political art. Laibach represents a voice that comes from a rapidly Westernizing nation currently playing catch up in the world‘s race to Americanize. How does it present its argument against Americanization, and whom does it attempt to

17


persuade (Americans, Slovenians, or other nations)? With the release of Laibach‘s new album, Volk, the world is exposed to the next installment of political revolution. Its albums, all influenced by a Slovenian upbringing during the Communist occupation, have always fused moral contemplation with the art of politics, and this album is no different. With fourteen songs based off of fourteen nations‘ national anthems (including one for the NSK‘s virtual nation), Volk gives the listener a global critique of world politics. The song ―America,‖ based off of the ―Star Spangled Banner,‖ is an argument, from an outsider‘s perspective, constructed against American globalization. The song starts with a loud distortion of bass, arranged similar to the rapid fire of an automatic weapon. It grabs the listeners‘ attention and, once it has their attention, then the song is free to move at its own pace and to present Laibach‘s argument as clearly and precisely as possible. From here the song takes on a stark contrast with the very mild background sounds of police sirens. By link-

ing the sounds of gun fire and police sirens, the song is immediately associated with a message of crime. After establishing this mindset of crime, the song proceeds by utilizing words from the ―Star Spangled Banner‖ in the foreground of the argument. ―The land of the free and the home of the brave‖ gives a specific symbolic identity to the people of the United States of America that would be lost on those without the knowledge of this reference. Although there are other songs on the album that one might be likely to be familiar with, such as the use of the words ―God Save the Queen‖ in the song ―Anglia,‖ which is utilizing these words from the United Kingdom‘s national anthem, these songs are best served in symbolically representing the intended nation. If one is not from that specific country the words are less likely to create a connection with the listener. The direction of the argument is not only substantiated by the use of symbolic identity, but also by Laibach‘s specific uses of the word ―you‖ several times throughout the song. When Laibach states, ―You the 18


people of the United States,‖ it suggests that the listener is supposed to think ―We the people of the United States‖ from the Declaration of Independence, which furthers the symbolic identity. However, the specific use of ―you‖ heightens the awareness of the intended audience, and separates the speaker from the audience as well. In the song ―Yisrael,‖ based off of the national anthem of Israel, Laibach‘s words for the chorus are ―My Country.‖ Although Laibach is Slovenian born, the band‘s words in the song ―Yisrael‖ suggests that they are speaking for Israel, though not necessarily on their behalf, because the use of ―My‖ suggests the speaker is Israeli, but not necessarily pro-Israel. However, in ―America‖ the speaker states ―How blind can you get for your country,‖ suggesting that he is speaking out against the policies of the US. Furthermore, the word ―you‖ is not overly used on the album except in the songs ―America‖ and ―Anglia,‖ which both are critiques of imperialism. Art is not always straightforward in its presentation, but rather, intentionally or unintentionally, leaves room for the inter-

preter to draw their own conclusions. Knowing this, Laibach supplied a quote in their liner notes from the US President, George W. Bush, from 2000 stating, ―Our nation is chosen by God and commissioned in history to be a model for the world.‖ When compared with a quote from ―America‖ stating, ―Praise the holy spirit to save us from your freedom, justice, peace, and illusion from arrogance and pride, from violence and confusion,‖ the impression is given that Laibach feels that the rest of the world is not as embracing of American values as George W. Bush believes. As Laibach further states, ―Your Bill of Rights the enterprise.‖ Indeed, the outsider‘s view, at least from this source, is that American interests are only for the best of American interests. The song does borrow words from America‘s national anthem, but it also borrows words from a prior release of Laibach‘s called ―Satanic Verses,‖ which originally appeared on the album WAT. This demonstrates a furthering of a prior argument. Laibach states in both songs: ―Satanic verses of your superstition / The Land of 19


Plenty (and of Ammunition) / Your selfesteem and self-desire / Your trust in God and religious fire." Laibach draws upon its past argument to show how those elements still remain. The new argument is a further demonstration of how the ―Land of Plenty,‖ a land with so much that it must have been chosen by God, still needs to ―terrorize‖ people into ―salvation‖ (Laibach). Ironically, the salvation that Laibach hopes to achieve through this song is filtered through the language of the oppressor, because America will not learn the Slovenian language in order to continue the argument. Even more irony lies in the circumstances surrounding Laibach‘s 1987 cover of ―Opus Dei,‖ written by an Austrian band, Opus. In defiance of the native language of rock ‗n‘ roll, Laibach took this song written in English and placed it in the native language (German) of Opus. In spite of the stance that Laibach was attempting to make, it is in fact the English cover of the song that remains Laibach‘s biggest hit and most notable trademark. Also, in spite of the stance it is attempting to make

against imperialism, it is the language of the imperialist that communicates the message.

Untitled 20

-William Brown


The Crimson Shield Twice a corpse and once a thread, Leaks human sin of thin bloodshed. Death breathes life into the wound. A medal, one can only assume.

Long Live Love Long live my false King My destroyer My lover Long live the hated passion I haven't made it home yet Times are changing and I'm lost I can't run I'm nothing I love the man I hate He beats me in the night He holds me in the light I hold the marks of love and hide the marks he leaves I'll stand through the nights Lie in the day of my life Marvel at his words and Quiver at his feel Long live his beaten Queen crouching at his feet

Personifying further pulse, Scarlet bleeds my next impulse. I seize my sword; in earth I ground, Vision swaying, fleeting sound. My flesh, it quakes under my weight, To Angels and my God I pray. My course is slighted, doubting me, With power pointed steadily. Skin pouring rivers of thick wine, I pace forward; with faith I bind. Bruised can solely compete with Time, Alas my mark succeeded thine. Courage burning my last breath, Succumbed both rays and lurking death, My cherished weapon beats in breast, For heart prevails the blushed sunset.

~Elizabeth Varrasso

~April Sears

21


Maddie's Wake (Lay Down Gently) Won't anyone listen to her story? The story she never told That broke upon her pony lips Each time it bore its woe That night she saved me Put me in her ambulance Sapped the dullness from me With her radiant, cooling glance It still clings to me, the leach The night she really knew Her audience the world passed The single sound, her laughing cry eternal last

Untitled

~Elizabeth Varrasso

22


I begged her for one last refrain

Maddie wake

To turn the sorrow of our first goodbye

Lay her down gently

Into eaves that paining ebb

Maddie wake

As my soul was suckled dry

Lay me down gently My heart will take

My heart will sing her song

This regret

Now that she has gone

Time will make

It will flash her truest right

Me forget

And break the hearts gone wrong

Maddie Wake It's Morning ~ James Barry Ryan

23


Best History Paper

The Statement of an Uncomfortable Generation -Steve Beha *Read a version of this paper with endnotes and bibliography inTaproot Online* ―We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit.‖ These words formed the opening sentence of The Port Huron Statement of 1962, but they held much more significance. These words shaped a new movement that changed the role of students within the American political system. The Port Huron Statement became the most circulated literature of the 1960‘s student movement and influenced the ideas that were being formed throughout the educational institutions of America. With this document as its manifesto, the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) catapulted itself into the forefront of student activism. The Port Huron Statement has remained a statement that sheds light on the New Left generation of

the 1960‘s and their hope to entice social change in America. To understand the critical role that The Port Huron Statement played in the student movement of the 1960s, one must first understand the environment that fashioned the original drafting of the SDS manifesto. SDS started as a student offspring of the League for Industrial Democracy (LID) to spread the ideas of the American labor movement throughout the 1950s and to promote anticommunist beliefs all through the student population. In 1958, the Student League for Industrial Democracy (SLID) only had three chapters remaining on college campuses. However, in 1960, SDS was formed from the remains of SLID and funding was given to University of Michigan graduate student Alan Haber to form a na-

24


tional student ―think tank‖ that would publish papers for the student movement that would advance the ideas of the LID. Haber provided SDS with organizational and intellectual skills that were needed to run a national program; Thomas Hayden provided the passion that propelled SDS into the front lines of the student movement. He was a University of Michigan student and editor of the student paper, Michigan Daily. Hayden was selected as the field secretary reporting in the South, while Haber served as the national officer. Haber believed that the student movement must begin with academic writing and political pushes by SDS. Hayden, on the other hand, wanted to pursue an action-based plan to implement social programs for the poor and then allow the working class to make the political moves. Nevertheless, both men wanted to unite the liberal students and the radical students that wanted a voice in their national government as well as in their local universities. Hayden had been greatly influenced by the writings of sociologist C. Wright Mills, especially his Letter to the New Left. Having

been selected to create a draft for the SDS manifesto, Hayden used many ideas that Mills had originally put forth. One such idea was that the student movement had grown out of apathy and would end what Mills called an ―Age of Complacency.‖ Mills argued that there could be a revolutionary student movement that would end the dependence on workers by the socialists and could also become the energy behind radical changes in America. Together, Haber and Hayden wrote a statement that represented the direction of student activism and presented it on June 11th of 1962 to the SDS convention at Port Huron, Michigan. A group of forty to sixty students gathered to debate the new manifesto that was to guide the student movement through civil rights and other political movements that were led by students. SDS quickly alienated their parent organization, LID, which was a hard-line anticommunist group. The reason for the split was because of SDS‘s strong words against the United States‘ participation in the Cold War. SDS shared more common ground with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee 25


(SNCC) in 1962 and they had helped SNCC advance civil rights during the previous two years. The draft that Haber and Hayden proposed to SDS placed civil rights at the top of their priorities because of their work with SNCC and because of their belief in a participatory democracy. Participatory democracy was central to The Port Huron Statement and was the main political statement made by Haber and Hayden. With the acceptance of the SDS manifesto, the members agreed to push toward a society that would allow every person a voice not only in governmental representation, but also an individual ability to affect changes deemed necessary to society. Hayden refused to believe that only a privileged few men could control an entire population of individuals. Instead, Hayden said, ―Independence can be a fact about ordinary people. And democracy, real participating democracy, rests on the independence of ordinary people.‖ The ability of the masses to control governmental decisions has some socialistic ideals in it. However, unlike socialism, The Port Huron Statement never states the steps

needed to achieve a participatory democracy. Instead, Hayden incorporated a list of political principles that a participatory democracy needed to abide by in order to succeed. Nevertheless, while many of the members of SDS agreed that the democracy that governed their country did not need to be overthrown, a social change needed to be advanced by SDS and the student movement. The vagueness of The Port Huron Statement allowed it to be a ―living‖ document that could be changed as needed over time. The distribution of the indistinct SDS manifesto ―was an open invitation to embark on a shared adventure of political discovery.‖ Besides the new political system that the SDS manifesto suggested, the position of students and the educational system within the movement was essential to The Port Huron Statement. The idea of a participatory democracy made this group of students different from students of the Old Left. The New Student Left‘s rejection of a national radical party to lead the movement was another major difference that separated the generations of students. Hayden and Haber 26


suggested that the student population of America had grown stagnant and, as a result, had become subjugated by the government. Thus, they concluded that the students and teachers would not only lead the movement, but they would also gain the most from change. Some deficiencies of The Port Huron Statement have been made clear since its first presentation in 1962. One problem with the statement was the call for all students to disengage from society. SDS wanted to form a society of truth and honesty. They claimed that the American society was not truthful or honest. Therefore, they had to separate themselves from that society to remain pure. The question, then, was how would they change a society in which they would not participate? The answer that Hayden and the rest of the uppermiddle class members of SDS enacted was the development of a project called the Economic Research and Action Project (ERAP). The ERAP was designed to organize poor communities and enable them to create their own jobs. This gave SDS ―a way to act

effectively in the world without becoming corrupted by it.‖ Another problem with the manifesto was the audience to which it attempted to reach and the belief that change could be inspired by the poor-working class. The idea that change could arise from the bottom up was a central notion to the movements sponsored by SDS. The members of SDS concluded that it was the bureaucracy of the American government that did not care about the individuals that were the backbone of society. However, The Port Huron Statement was not written for the working class of America; it was written for the intellectual middle class students that attended the elite universities across America. It was these intellectual elites who were to organize the lower classes and form the skeletal structure to lure the working class to revolt. The idea that the lower class would lead the charge for social change, but only with the help of the students of the middle class, was a fallacy that Hayden addressed in his manifesto. The working class, he would argue, would not revolt on its own and would 27


not implement drastic changes to its society without being prompted by the New Left students. His idea of a change from the bottom up relied on the fact that the working industrial class was the only population large enough to make a difference to the American society as a whole. Richard Flacks, a major contributor to the social ideas of SDS, wrote in an essay that ―the new leftist had been socialized for elite roles.‖ He continued to comment on the fact that most people who induce political change came from the upper-middle class, but the members of SDS were different because of their parents‘ infusion of moral obligation to those who were less fortunate. Flacks argued that any political change must come from the social elite that felt guilt for any self-serving actions for themselves. The theoretical ideas of a new political system and the contradictory language of The Port Huron Statement is not the entire substance of the document. Haber and Hayden also listed problems they viewed with American society and policy. Moreover, they included solutions to the problems

and listed who they believed should act to correct them. The apathy of American students and teachers was viewed as a catalyst for the student movement, but it was still a problem that needed to be addressed. The lack of difference between the two major political parties was also a major concern. The purpose of the parties was to create a choice for the public; with the parties so close on many major issues, the public no longer had a voice in governmental decisions. America‘s foreign policy regarding communism was another issue that the manifesto stated was a problem that affected American society. The choice made by the government to approach all encounters with communism with a militant response was a great fear, not only to SDS, but also to the general public. The last major problem was that of the inequality between social classes. Haber and Hayden concluded that the resources to end poverty were becoming progressively more available, but they were not being utilized to their full potential. Haber and Hayden then turned their focus to the solutions needed to correct the problems caused by the American govern28


ment. Their solutions were not revolutionary and stated the obvious answers. However, their inclusion in The Port Huron Statement publicized the fact that the remedies were there, they just had to be implemented. The manifesto proposed that the public sector be inflated and that public housing should be more available to the poor. Health insurance coverage needed to be increased by Congress to provide more people with the healthcare that they needed. SDS promoted the position that the United States should not be competing in a nuclear arms race. The leaders of SDS understood that the students could not implement these reforms on their own; they needed the help of organized labor, civil rights leaders, and other liberal forces that could carry more political weight than students alone. The final step in understanding The Port Huron Statement and its impact on the student movement is to appreciate the document‘s denouncement of violence, and how SDS dissolved because of their descent into violence as the 1960‘s came to an end. Hayden wrote in his memoirs that the statement

which included his stance on violence was an afterthought and did not receive much debate during the drafting of The Port Huron Statement. The manifesto stated ―violence to be abhorrent because it requires generally the transformation of the target, be it a human being or a community of people, into a depersonalized object of hate.‖ This declaration clearly portrayed the position of Hayden and SDS against violence. The fact that Hayden considered it an afterthought confirms the fact that SDS never foresaw violence as a part of its future. In fact, it was the violence of the student movement that created the national attention that social programs never achieved. A pamphlet distributed by SDS in 1969 describes the differences between the early years of SDS and the student group as it existed in 1969. The pamphlet describes the early years as a time of multiple issues and ideology inspired by The Port Huron Statement. The change in 1969, the pamphlet concludes, was a move away from the leftliberal stance of the SDS manifesto and the mass population of students, who became anti-imperialists and radicals. 29


In the SDS convention notes of 1968, Hayden was still promoting non-violence; however, his position on the effectiveness of violence had clearly changed. He claimed that violence was ―a major method of change,‖ but it was impossible to mobilize the mass of students to fight a war at the conventions. He did state, however, that ―wars may be fought locally.‖ He also recommended that violence not be used because it might have affected the amount of new recruits negatively. There was still a slight hint that Hayden believed that the social issues of civil rights would inspire new recruits. In 1969, the House Committee on Internal Security issued a report that discussed the involvement of SDS in the high schools of America. The committee reported that ―there has never been such a determined effort by young people [SDS] to destroy established authority.‖ It was clear that the radical message had reached the House of Representatives. However, the committee had not met to enact social changes as The Port Huron Statement had wished. Instead, the committee was trying to devise a plan to

keep the violent radicals out of high schools. The committee concluded that SDS was dedicated to ―direct action and violence‖ and that it had crossed the line of disorderly dissent ―long ago.‖ The impact of The Port Huron Statement can be measured in many different ways: as a new set of ideas written as a manifesto, as a document to be interpreted and implemented by leadership, and as an ignored statement advocating peaceful change. The manifesto of SDS has served as the framework for political and social change, as well as a vague statement that remains open to analysis and execution. The refusal of SDS to follow the non-violent path that their manifesto suggested eventually led to its dissolution and the end to a movement that was striding towards social change. In the end, the members of SDS rejected The Port Huron Statement and left the condition of the world in the same ―uncomfortable‖ state as they had found it.

30


Erosion The vicissitudes of smaller sadness, the day to day discomforts nobody counts gather in low pools below notice.

Disposable Razor On impact, the blood flattens, perfect circles swelling in slender blooms. For a slow, weightless instant, the water barely takes notice:

Water trickles into infinitesimal cracks beneath pavement, waiting for a freeze. Ice tears stone like bread crusts.

then each living stain erupts dropping groves of smoky tendrils, breaking rank as they flee the surface.

When they took you to the hospital nature gave up subtlety. The roads heaved splintered, and all foundations fell to ruin. ~Jarod K. Anderson

A fresh wound on the morning, the copper, sea-salt taste of mortality reduced to an inconvenience. One by one the drops forget themselves, give up their boarders and smile back blankly from the sink

The Problem with Sundays It is important to consider household objects to hijack the kitchen table centerpiece the cobalt blue bowl piled with wax fruit.

fading from sight in broken crescents.

Why not upturn the thing, crown yourself? You are the cobalt queen of synthetic pears so toast yourself with Monday's coffee.

~Jarod K. Anderson

~Jarod K. Anderson

31


Disloyalty Ashley Caggiano My finger’s not on the trigger yet. The thought repeated itself as his fingers grazed the pistol at his side. His weapon called to him to take it up, screamed to seize it and shoot, but that was just the gun talking and he was trying to ignore it for the first time. The metal was unmistakably cool even as a heavy breeze blew through the darkened town, and yet sweat slipped down the back of Hugh‘s neck and pooled between his shoulder blades. The sun should have been up, or at least he thought it would have been more appropriate, but then he hadn‘t seen the sun for years. Most people didn‘t miss it, and he couldn‘t remember what things looked like under natural light anyway, but he could remember just how that bright sphere had been blinding when he stared straight at it. But of course, his father would then whack him in

the back of the head and tell him not to be so stupid. ―Problem, Hugh?‖ Elliot‘s condescending tone sailed down the dusty street and his teeth glinted in what light shined from the bar, its doors thrown open when the crowd inside heard the man‘s warning shot. Now, as artificial light flooded down onto the makeshift street, broken by the overexcited bystanders‘ shadows, the tension rose. Everyone would see and bargaining would be nigh impossible. As Elliot‘s barrel smoked, the smell made its way to Hugh and filled him with the memory of two younger boys. Elliot would break open the casing and pour the black grains out onto the kitchen table, mixing them with the white, then claim the first hit, exploiting his seniority. Hugh would gladly follow suit, arranging his straw with the line of gunpowder and cocaine just like

32


his big brother. The pain was awful, as was the smell and taste, but back then they would do anything for that unrivaled sensation. And ammo was cheap. But things were different now and they had followed different paths that they both knew would cross eventually. ―Well,‖ Elliot holstered his pistol and snorted, ―I‘d say I‘m making this fair, but we both know that‘s impossible.‖ There it was, that arrogance that made Hugh twitch, made him almost grasp the handle. Point. Shoot. But he fought it, just for a second more. Anyway, it was true; they weren‘t equals when it came to gunslinging, but what Hugh lacked in speed he made up in precision. Shadows fell into the hollows of Elliot‘s face, thinning out his cheeks and darkening his brow. He reached up slowly and ran his tongue over his thumb then wiped the saliva where his heart would have been in that forceful, careless way. He was like an animal, his hand leisurely falling back to stalk his pistol, a beast pacing just behind his pupils. Hugh tried to convince himself that the

man before him was no longer his brother, just an animal. And a disloyal one at that. The crowds loomed in doorways, their elongated shadows flickering in the dim light. Hugh knew it would be soon, he could feel the moment mounting. He saw Elliot shift, but as he drew his weapon, light from the tavern caught the space just below Elliot‘s left shoulder and a glint of silver blinded him. It was short, sudden, and as if it didn‘t even happen. His brother‘s form lay limply in a cloud of dust as the shot echoed out into the desert, crimson pooling at his side then greedily lapped up by the dry earth. Elliot rubbed excess dust from his badge again, the silver gleaming as he meandered up to the motionless form and crouched at his side, ―Unfortunate it ended this way, huh?‖ He snorted, carelessly poking at the chest wound of his fallen sibling with the instrument of his demise. Somewhere in the distance the crowd cheered for their sheriff, crawling from the protection of their wayward houses, but Elliot focused on Hugh‘s last shallow breath. ―I couldn‘t let you stop me, though.‖ 33


Untitled

- Michael Gleckler

Crystalline Cats

stalking lost despair that startles coveys of dovish hopes guarded by diamond-cut snake rings forged in fiery embers blanketing the unquiet sleep of timeless beggars greedily awaiting coinage none can spare. ~Michael Mitchell

Crystalline cats intently stare through glassy eyes as they pad through fragmented dreams scattering misty sorrows banished by sun sequined dawn as she rises above liatris scented fields

34


Ravenwood

-Shane Hardesty

35


Untitled -Matthew Benedetti

Ohio Autumn The crooked blinds plow the evening like a palsied old farmhand; yet, the careless rows of dusk yield such elegant shades of contrast.

This room recalls the drive home after my grandfather's funeral, when the whole world seemed to stand in firm ranks of withered crops.

The shifting bars of soiled yellow cross or deepen the old scars in our wounded hardwood floor, briefly hosting galaxies of dust that defy all sense of symmetry.

My father and I met the empty miles with something a step past silence. I think we always knew it was a sin to end life so politely. ~Jarod K. Anderson 36


Prey -Sonya Green

37


Imitation

-Sonya Green

38


Man Power -Samantha Boring The edge of the paved road cracked beneath the weight of Kira‘s car as she turned left towards home, instead of right. Her tires skirted the edges of the old forgotten Township 17 pulling her down closer towards the ditch. ―This is what I get for going to see Pam,‖ she said aloud as she was pulled off the road by its crumbling edges. Her muffler fell off when she wrangled her way back onto the road. She was trying to think of a way to swoop back to it, and ended up driving on the other side of the road instead. She quickly jerked herself back onto her side when she remembered it was Thursday. The farmers would be out soon with their tractors; and she really didn‘t feel like buying yet another car after yet another accident. She turned left again into Pam‘s 3 mile gravel driveway and swerved to avoid the improperly placed garbage can.

Pam had been home the whole day. Her office building was flooded and her entire section was given the week off. She heard Kira‘s car swerve and cursed the garbage men for their ignorance and lack of respect. ―No feck. No feck at all.‖ She then placed two glasses on her table and went to the cupboard for the vodka as Kira entered. ―This is prolly the first and last time I will ever say this, but thank god for that damned trash can. Snapt me out of a mood I was having. I lost my muffler again getting here and Tom won‘t be happy with that.‖ Kira flung her purse around for punctuation as she spoke, eventually placing it on the table, taking up instead the bottle of vodka. Kira went to put the bottle to her mouth but then saw the glasses; the liquid made a general sloshing sound as she poured. Thank god for vodka.

39


―I thought you had to work today.‖ Pam said after she had gulped down a hefty portion. ―I did. I got promoted.‖ Kira beamed with pride and chugged from the bottle. This is the best job I’m ever going to get. ―Um, Kira? I know it‘s great getting a raise and all but…‖ ―I‘m not a waitress anymore. They put me on the register; you know the one with a chair? It‘ll be so nice to get to sit for a change.‖ He’ll call that lazy. She lifted her glass and with a glug it was gone. ―They gave me the rest of the day off. I also get vacation time now. They encouraged me to get a bank account in my name. They don’t want Tom’s greasy hands on my money. Told me to go buy nicer clothes, treat myself.‖ As soon as Tom finds out about the clothes he’ll think I’m whoring myself. Kira chugged like a pro. ―So I thought I‘d just stop by and spoil myself with friendly company and good alcohol.‖ I’d rather be here than home. She looked down at the nearly empty bottle and pulled a fresh one out of her purse. ―Tom should be gone the whole day. So you and I have the chance to catch up.‖ Keep me here…

―Well I‘ll let you get drunk here but remember that you do eventually have to go back home and you probably shouldn‘t drive drunk. You‘re bad enough at it as it is.‖ They both chuckled. It’s not the driving I’m worried about. They sat and played a card game called ―speed‖ for a few hours while they talked about the past few months. Pam revealed another man in the mix of her life and Kira mostly talked about what Tom did in their free time. Kira‘s focus was Tom; he wouldn‘t have it any other way. Her own hopes and dreams died a long time ago, when he proposed. He told her not to worry anymore and that their life together would be perfect if he was in charge, so she gave him the control. Around 8:30 Pam‘s automatic lights kicked on and signaled Kira to go home. ―Now Kira you drive safely, ya‘ hear? If anything starts to go bad you let me know. I‘ll come get you.‖ ―Thanks Pam, I‘ll keep my cell phone on in case.‖ Kira drove home with the radio blasting Blind Melon. It was one of her favorite 40


songs, even though it had an eerie message of lost hope. She felt understood while listening to a dead man‘s explanation of her life. She sang along with a drunken gusto, ―And obvious I have seen it all before-ooore…my feet are so cold… and I can’t believe that I have to bang-my-head-against-the-wallagainnnnn. Whoa the blows they have just a liiitle more space in between the-hem. Gonna take a breath and try TRY AGAIN.‖ She took great pleasure in all the whoa o oooh‘s that followed, driving with her eyes closed when the harmonica sang. At night she often hoped for a crash. The lights were on at her house when she arrived ten minutes later. ―Could you open the door Tom?‖ Because of tight money situations Kira and Tom had been unable to fix the door after the last break-in. Instead Tom had opted for the simple and cheap method of sliding a dresser in front of the door. To him it would keep people either out or in. Kira floated across the welcome mat and into the shag carpeted living room. ―Why are you home early?‖ His words sounded like a threat.

―I got a raise and they let me go home.‖ She froze waiting for the next question. ―How much of a raise?‖ His tone was jealousy. ―A dollar.‖ Her heart skipped a beat at the white lie. She wondered if he already knew. She wanted to keep the extra dollar for the new account she opened. If she ever got pregnant, her last hope for freedom, Tom would question the paternity and she needed a nest egg. ―They want me to get nicer clothes so I can be the cashier.‖ ―How did that happen? What did you sleep with your boss? Dance around in front him?‖ he raised one eyebrow in mock humor and lowered the corners of his mouth in a snarl. ―No, of course not. They just see my potential. Please don‘t make assumptions like that.‖ ―Well, let‘s drink to YOUR success.‖ He reached into the liquor cabinet and pulled out tequila and gin. Kira‘s stomach turned as she thought of how the vodka would sit next to gin. But she was far more afraid of the effects the tequila would have on Tom.

41


―Whad‘ya want babe?‖ He said ‗babe‘ with sarcasm and indignation. ―I‘d rather not Tom.‖ ―Well this is the perfect occasion to get shit faced, and that‘s what we are going to do.‖ He slammed down the tequila bottle in front of Kira and went for the glasses. She wondered whether or not it was her success or his alcoholism that made him want to drink. Either way it’s bad. Kira‘s stomach performed acrobatic feats as he poured two glasses for her, and he chugged from the bottle. ―Really it‘s no big thing, except I‘ll get… I‘ll get a paid vacation in 6 months.‖ She hesitated to say it. Tom‘s face began turning red as the tequila took over. He had been working in the same construction company for years and never got a paid vacation. To Kira the red looked more like rage. ―Well… isn‘t that nice? Paid Vacation.‖ The particles of spit that came out of his mouth gave more light to his sarcasm. ―Aren‘t ya‘ gonna drink?‖ he scooted the glasses closer to her by flicking each at the base. ―It‘s your party, YOU should drink.‖ Beads of sweat were forming on his fore-

head. He looked down at her with drunken determination. ―Drink!‖ Kira lifted one shot to her face and gagged on the smell. She hated mixing liquors but didn‘t dare say she already celebrated. She obeyed and swallowed it down. She closed her eyes for the second shot, and Tom used the opportunity to stand up to walk closer to her. As she was gasping for air after the harsh taste, he leaned down in her face and asked, ―Why didn‘t you tell me you had gone to Pam‘s?‖ Kira went pale. He was waiting for me? ―How do you know I went to her house?‖ ―You came from the wrong direction when you pulled in the driveway. Why do you do this to yourself? To me? I fucking hate lairs and hiding is… is the same as lying.‖ He turned away and made a disgusted face. ―But Tom…‖ ―Don‘t you fucking ‗but Tom‘ me!‖ He whipped his arm around and hit her ear with enough force that he knocked her out of her seat.

42


Kira had been through this many times before. She went limp and let Tom work out his anger. He stomped around for a bit like a child‘s temper tantrum, and then came back to kick her in the stomach. She had no idea why he was still attacking her until she saw her shot glass fall and break and heard no sound. That must be it. I’m not responding. Kira knew that not answering whatever questions or accusations was worse than answering them wrong. ―Please Tom no!‖ She cried in vain as he kicked her in the head. Her ear bled slowly. She was too close to the dresser. One more solid kick and my head will collide with it. Kira tried to stand up but her stomach bruises kept her in a fetal position. Tom pointed a finger at her and said something that only sounded like static. There was a faint mumble in the other ear. She turned her head slowly and painfully to try to hear. ―And that‘s why you‘re always going to have nothing! You are nothing! I deserve better than you…‖ Tom walked closer. What why? What did I do? I don’t understand. ―Not a fucking cunt like you… you make me

sick!‖ He buried his knee under her chin. The back of her head collided with a drawer handle and the lights went out. A little while later she woke to find Tom pumping away on top of her. She didn‘t want to open her eyes. ―So you wanna hide money from me? Is that it? Cause you want a baby? Well have my baby, Baby.‖ The rhythm increased as well as the pressure on her arms, pinning her to the floor. This was not her idea of make-up sex; they had not made up. Kira started to cry, and Tom saw she was awake again. ―You don‘t get it do you?‖ He head butted her and the lights were out, for good. The ultimate freedom… _____________

Cancer Stick Tiny toxins trickle through the tubular tip of my taxable addiction. Apathetic towards the agony tickling across my trachea, I trudge on, taking all the terrible truths as a mockery of mortality. ~Samantha Boring

43


Dare to Dream

Untitled

-Matthew Benedetti

Once I stood where you now stand. For once I dared to dream. With trembling knees and shaking hands I took that giant step. With furrowed brow I look at you, a smile upon my face. With trembling knees and shaking hands, you now take my place. Do not be afraid my dear to take that giant step. Reach for the stars, on your walk through life, and always dare to dream. ~Retha Sloter Murray

44


An Inquiry Regarding the Necessity of the Existence of God -Jonathan Holmes For modern philosophy, the argument for the existence of God really began with a few philosophically-minded theologians. Some theologians were concerned with articulating an argument for the existence of God that did not rely on traditions and texts. Christian scholars constructed their arguments to defend their beliefs against competing religions and skeptics alike. These arguments were eloquently put forth by figures such as Anselm of Canterbury, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Rene Descartes. The original philosophical arguments for the existence of God are generally categorized as either ontological or cosmological. Ontological arguments are a priori, they claim that the existence of God is evident through the idea of God. Cosmological arguments are characterized as a posteriori;

they claim that the existence of God is somehow evident in the world around us. Some philosophers also make a distinction of a third argument, the teleological. Teleological arguments are based on the idea of intelligent design, but because they are a posteriori arguments, they may be considered a type of cosmological argument. Before we attempt to counter these arguments, it would probably be wise to offer further clarification of the arguments themselves. Anselm of Canterbury first put forth the ontological argument in his Proslogion where he wrote of God as ―that-than-whichnothing-greater-can-be-thought.‖ Anselm then goes on to construct a reasonably simple argument which, even in its simplicity, is somewhat difficult to explain, but his conclusion is that, if God exists as an

45


idea, than he must exist in reality. A few hundred years later, Descartes supports this train of thought in his Meditations on First Philosophy. Descartes writes that his idea of God is perfect, and because Descartes himself is imperfect, only God could be the source of his idea of God. One could draw some parallels between Descartes‘ ontological argument and certain cosmo- Mary logical arguments, but we will come to that shortly.

The cosmological argument was originally articulated by St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica. His thoughts consist of five specific points: Motion begets motion, but this must have started with an ―unmoved mover‖. Cause leads to effect, which in turn becomes a new cause, and so on. This must have begun with an ultimate cause. If something necessarily exits then it -Elizabeth Alvarez must actually exist. Characteristics are flawed, and therefore, perfec46


tion must exist. The universe seems to exhibit design, then there must have been a designer. Various philosophers who came after Aquinas did take up support for one or more of these concepts. The idea of a designed universe seems to have been the most popular of the five. Of course, there is an obvious parallel between the supposition that necessary existence is linked to actual existence, and the ontological suppositions of Anselm. There is an even stronger link between the cosmological supposition that perfection must exist and the ontological ideas of Descartes. But, the primary difference between the cosmological arguments and the ontological arguments is that the cosmological arguments rely on experience. Much of the strength of the ontological arguments seems to lie in their simplicity and thoughtful rhetoric. Both Descartes and Anselm, while trying to prove that God exists, describe a characteristic of God. Neither of them are discussing, simply, God. Both of them are describing God as a perfect being. Why? Why does God necessarily have to be perfect?

Anselm‘s Proslogion also includes a response that was articulated to him by Gaunilo of Marmoutiers. Gaunilo argues that if ―that-than-which-nothing-greater-can-bethought‖ must exist in reality, then what if you replace ―that‖ with an island? By Anselm‘s logic, if one thinks of an island which is greater than any other island that one could conceive of, then that island must really exist. Anselm countered by stating that God is very different from an island, and islands are something which we know through experience. But why is God different from an island? Is it only because islands can be known through experience and God cannot? What do we make of the idea of perfection? Perfection by itself would, by definition, fit into this construct of Anselm‘s logic. Perfection is also convenient in that it does not exist anywhere in the world as we know it. But why would this lead us to believe that perfection does exist in reality? And, if God does exist, then how can anyone make claims of certainty and proof as to the characteristics of God? Both of these questions provide an excellent segue into a critique of 47


the cosmological arguments. However, there remains a valid question that should be put forth against the ontological argument. Descartes makes mention of the possible existence of a demonic deceiver. He describes how a demon could be tricking our senses, skewing our thoughts and manipulating our minds. Why, then, could this same demon not be the source of our idea of God, our concept of perfection, or our association of God with perfection? Thomas Aquinas started the cosmological argument with the concept of motion. Motion in one object causes motion in another object, which causes motion in yet another object, and so forth. According to Aquinas, this chain of motion must have started with an unmoved mover. We could ask why, but then that would most likely lead us into a discussion involving physics. Perhaps a more intriguing question would be, ―Why do we find it necessary that everything have a beginning and an ending?‖ This leads us straight into the second point, which invokes the concept of causation, the supposition that causation operates as a chain and that chain must have started with

an ultimate cause. Again, we are left with a supposition that assumes a necessity of beginning and ending. The third point which Aquinas makes regarding cosmology involves necessary existence and actual existence. This point could be convincing except that, since our inquiry revolves around necessity, it might prove sensible to simply move on to the next argument. The fourth point brings us back to the concept of perfection. However, we should keep in mind that this argument, which involves perfection, is different than the ontological argument because it is a posteriori. Aquinas writes of the characteristic flaws of the world. He describes our tendency to ascribe a hierarchy to things which we are comparing. Thus, because of this hierarchy, something must exist which exhibits perfection. But why must the existence of imperfection lead us to the conclusion of the existence of perfection? Perfection and imperfection are concepts, not actions requiring equal and opposite reactions. If one idea exists in reality, why must we believe that its antithesis also exists in reality? Do all ideas require an op48


posing idea? Is the world really so black and white? And if not, what does the gray entail and imply? And what do we make of the fifth and final point which Aquinas puts forth, that the world exhibits design, and therefore there must have been a designer? Many literate and eloquent persons have taken up points for and against this argument throughout the ages, so we will keep this simple. If person A looks at the world and sees design and person B looks at the world and sees mere chance, disorder, and mayhem then why are person A‘s views considered more valid? Even if one were able to ascertain that there were more person A‘s in the world than person B‘s, being in the majority does not make one right.

49


Lake ~Craig Hammerstein

The Greatest of These Salvation is a selfish thing That one should want for one No thought or care to others bring Save only thoughts their deeds outdone See those holy men there on that raised pedestal Those there, bared high upon the dawn Those just and trustworthy idols with their jeweled diadems Glowing as they raise the beam of mankind's most gracious wrong

50


To those righteous few comes salvation's black-eyed dove Boiling and brooding by as it lowers its simmered head Patting backs and casting lots as it cackles to the sinners above ―You must play the game, you know, to live after you‘re dead‖ Hearing this I collapsed on the shore of an endless sea Those loved and lost were brought before the dove From the waves a black mare rode out and sat beside me He turned to me and said there is no greater love Then I offered a sacrifice scorned by the heavens above The dove crowed and took flight but the mare gave me confirmation There upon the shore I threw away my salvation for the sake of that love The mare led me safely across the sea; salvation for salvation Salvation is a selfish thing The tide has a vicious flow No greater love could I ever bring The devil told me so. ~ James Barry Ryan

51


Seaton Essay Contest 3rd place essay

The Evolution of Social Welfare & Government Assistance in Ohio -Ashley Miravalle Poverty and need have long been a part of mankind‘s history, and efforts to combat them trailed their existence. Over the last four hundred years the attempt to end poverty by means of social welfare and government assistance has been ever present. The key to understanding the evolution of social welfare and government assistance in Ohio is to understand its evolution on a greater scale; the idea of those in need was in place long before Ohio. The evolution of social welfare programs and government resources in Ohio is largely influenced by the history of social assistance policy making, inside and outside of the United States. In England in 1601 the Elizabethan Poor Law was ratified, placing the responsibility of the needy on society as a whole. This one

law brought together all previously existing laws concerning the poor and consolidated them into one policy. The Elizabethan Poor Law is especially important because social welfare programs in the United States are influenced greatly by this law—which came into the twenty-first century largely unaltered. Understanding the Elizabethan Poor Law is paramount to understanding social welfare today in the United States and Ohio. For the first time in history mandatory taxes were placed on people ―of ability‖ to provide relief to the poor; some wealthy who refused to comply with the law were threatened with the loss of their personal property. Originally, British citizens were only responsible for their ―own poor‖ and were taxed within their own parish.

52


The Elizabethan Poor Law was designed to help only certain types of people known as the ―worthy poor.‖ This included people who were unable to work (orphans, or people who were too old or too sick), and people who came to be known as the ―laboring poor.‖ These people were willing and able to work, but for various reasons were not able to financially support themselves with the jobs available to them. The type of assistance available to the ―worthy poor‖ included cash assistance (in the form of weekly pensions), tangible goods, (clothing and fuel, for example), and various services (medical care) thanks to the funds collected from taxes. The ―unworthy poor,‖ who were not allowed access to this aid, consisted of unwed mothers, drifters, and those who were capable of working but unwilling to do so. This type of discrimination of the poor has withstood the test of time, and still today government assistance and social welfare programs in the United States are limited to certain groups of people. Throughout history attitudes toward the needy fluctuate between sympathy and

empathy to a sort of prejudice. This could possibly be the result of economic changes. When times are tough, like during the great Depression, the inclination to give charity rises and more people are willing to contribute. When need becomes great among all levels of society, and all types of people are negatively affected by circumstances beyond individual control, it becomes more socially acceptable to provide and receive assistance. On the contrary, in times of economic boom and prosperity, attitudes shift in the opposite direction. If most people are economically prosperous and there are still percentages that are not, it seems to be that the people who are getting ahead look down upon those who cannot. The assumption among the better off might be that those not well off are simply not doing enough to get ahead. Therefore, the desire to give to charity decreases because the successful feel like they are aiding those people who can, but refuse to, help themselves. This attitude reflects the Elizabethan Poor Law and its classifications of ―worthy poor‖ and ―unworthy poor.‖ Over four hundred years have gone by since the Elizabethan 53


Poor Law went into effect, but it seems in many ways time has not changed. Helping the poor has rarely been viewed by all as a noble cause. The influence of the Elizabethan Poor Law reached the New World in the 1600s as colonists brought with them ideas from England. By the mid-17th century the idea that ―self-discipline, frugality, and hard work‖ were ―characteristics of the deserving‖ shaped social policy. Unemployed people and those who were dependent on society were frowned upon. Calvinist and Lutheran teaching had a stronghold in present day Ohio. Religious beliefs often shaped social policies, due to the fact that the morals of the people who made those social policies reflected their respective religion. Helping the poor was one of the ways man could redeem himself in the eyes of God. Living an unselfish life by way of charity could make man worthy in God‘s eyes. During the 1700s, social welfare in Ohio lands took a backseat to other issues. As settlers moved into Ohio territory, discrepancies arose between the settlers and Indians.

Land speculation was also a primary focus. Survival was the mindset. There was no true government at the time, much less mandated governmental assistance programs. It was not until 1776 that the United States declared itself independent from Britain. For many years after that the United States was fragile. The new government remained fairly weak until the Constitution of 1789 promised to do things like ―promote the general welfare.‖ At this point, the people of the United States (and future Ohioans) are primarily concerned with exploration and development. It was not until the 1800s that social welfare and government assistance to the poor began implementation in Ohio and the rest of the United States. The first social welfare agencies began to arrive in urban areas in the early 1800s, where the plight of the poor was the worst. Not coincidentally, this is the time when social work began to develop as a profession. Before this time the responsibility of the poor was often left in the hands of the church. Formal education in social work also arose.

54


In 1875 The Ohio State University offered its first course in Social Work, and in 1919 an accredited Social Work program was developed. The Ohio State University has the self-proclaimed ―oldest continuously accredited public Social Work Program.‖ The development of programs like these springing up in universities and places of higher education displays the attitude of the society. The issue of social welfare was obviously important enough to develop an educational curriculum in order to train students in the specific subject. During the economic slump of the Great Depression, Ohio and the rest of the country found itself in trouble. Suddenly ―need‖ was not only the vocabulary of the poor. Many people from all walks of life lost everything they had—homes, jobs, and life savings. By 1933 the unemployment rate in Ohio rose to 37.3 percent. A sort of panic rose as people began to wonder how a country was to pull itself out of such a mess. The answer to the Great Depression of the 1930s was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt‘s New Deal programs, and more specifically the Social Security Act of 1935.

The Social Security Act lies became the blue print for the federal government‘s social service system. Many of the programs that exist today, like Aid to Families with Dependent Children (which was replaced in 1996 by the Temporary Assistance to Families or TANF ) are based off of programs initiated at the dawn of the Social Security Act. Since its inception, the Social Security Act has been amended to include health benefits (Medicaid and Medicare in the 1960s), cash assistance, and services for families, children, seniors, the blind, and the disabled. The effects of the New Deal Programs were felt immediately. A study done in Cincinnati, Ohio in the late 1930s by the U.S. Children‘s Bureau found that 478 families were ―receiving aid to dependent children and 2,153 families were receiving emergency aid.‖ As useful as the Social Security Act was in the 1930s, it did not go without expansion. In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson added Medicaid benefits and food stamps to the list of government assistance available. An attitude shift also took place in the 1960s and public aid and social services 55


came to be seen not so much as a charity but as something citizens of the United States were entitled to. The Economic Opportunity Act, as this was known, was part of Johnson‘s greater War on Poverty. The expansion of social security programs and government assistance came to a halt in the 1980s under the Reagan administration. Although President Ronald Reagan‘s true feelings concerning Social Security and government assistance to the needy are thought to have been negative, he did not altogether halt programs. Reagan did tighten eligibility requirements by forcing states to set eligibility and income verification standards, and today is credited with ―saving‖ Social Security, although that topic is up for debate. Reagan might have tightened the budget, but it had devastating effects on people who relied on government assistance. Reagan had three main goals for government assistance to the needy: first, to implement changes in entitlement programs which would help to lessen short-term spending; second, to give more welfare responsibility to individual states, and third, to reduce reliance on government benefits

by encouraging individuals to rely more on their own resources. Although Roosevelt made social welfare a federal priority in the 1930s, Reagan‘s goal in the 1980s was to make social welfare programs a state and local concern. Under Reagan only the very poor, the ―poorest of the poor,‖ were able to receive benefits, and this was oftentimes not enough, denying the ―unworthy poor‖ benefits, like the Elizabethan Poor Law did in England in the 1600s. There were new developments in the 1990s as President Bill Clinton vowed to ―end welfare as we know it.‖ In 1996 the United States Congress passed the personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which put an end to the national welfare program. Instead of the government dispersing money for social welfare benefits, states were given grants by the federal government to do with as each individual state deemed necessary. The benefit to this might be that individual states understand their own needs and may allocate funds better than the federal government. The only conditions set to the 56


states for receiving the grants are that welfare recipients can only collect monetary benefits (cash assistance) for up to five years, and that they also must be working and/or participating in job-training programs. The affect the new policy has on Ohio was great. Ohioans are currently living under this welfare policy. On July 2, 1997 Governor George Voinovich signed the bill into law, and by October 1, 1997 the law went into effect. Ohio was one of thirteen states allowing individual counties to design their own welfare reform plans. As mentioned before, there were only a few rules mandated by the federal government for receiving aid. How programs were going to be developed and implemented was entirely up to Ohio‘s individual counties. By January 1, 2000 all counties were required to have plans of action. The Ohio Works First program, as it is known, is portrayed as being effective in lowering the amount in welfare checks being cut monthly—but that can be deceiving. The number of recipients receiving cash assistance in Ohio dropped, but reliance on

other forms of welfare increased. The trend is now a mix of benefits being used—combining food stamps with a medical card and childcare, for example. Also, food pantries are being visited now more than ever. And recipients are now required to work at least thirty hours per week, if not more, or participate in approved work or educational programs. The difficulty, of course, is that the type jobs being offered to people on welfare are often low-paying and the work unskilled. The goal of Ohio Works First was to motivate people into the workforce by giving them a sense of self-accomplishment, but this may be low in a retail or service environment. Another downside is that Ohio actually became more restrictive with the federal grant money in order to better allocate the funds and guarantee that individual counties are following the rules. This is an odd idea, considering that Ohio Works First was supposed to allow the counties more freedom to develop plans to fit individual needs, and it actually gave less freedom. The status of federal welfare assistance is such that the government is no longer re57


sponsible for social welfare and has passed off responsibility to the states. The benefits of doing this seem great—Ohio is allowed to design its own plan to fit its own needs, so long as the guidelines of federal regulations are followed. The downside is what has happened already. In order to establish better control among counties, Ohio has tightened the leash on everything. Ohio probably would have been better off if counties had not been able to develop individual plans. Ohio has 88 counties and 88 different ways of combating the same problem. It becomes nearly impossible to effectively track what is going on with these programs. If Ohio was not interested in developing one statewide plan, it would have been interesting to see what might have happened if the state had been divided into larger districts. In theory individual areas could get the required attention, but the state would not have to keep track of 88 plans. The influence of the Elizabethan Poor Law is undeniable. England truly set the stage for social welfare and government assistance in the United States, although the

success in developing effective programs to eliminate poverty is questionable. Now in the twenty-first century, states are left to themselves to combat their own poverty. It is truly similar to the Elizabethan era and how society was divided up by parish, so that citizens were only responsible for their ―own poor.‖ Right now Ohio is making its own history in terms of social welfare policies. The present policy has been in effect for just under ten years, so the long term results have yet to be seen.

58


2.

1a.

Have you heard the news? My muse Is…dead. She tried to save a man Who bore the world upon his head. He longed to know why Why he didn't know why. "Because" was the best anyone could supply— I don't know why. Have you heard the news? My muse Is…dead. She died when this pen Met the voice within my head.

There was a fly in a shoe. The fly knew how to fly. The fly new everything there was to know about the shoe. The fly saw a light. The fly wanted to know if there was anything outside the shoe. The fly flew toward the light but was frightened. So it flew to the bottom of the shoe, wrote a thesis paper on the light, and died. The fly is man.

Bored In Class 1b. There was a cookie. It was half black and half white. It was only found in a big apple. There aren‘t any other sides to it, so don‘t even bother arguing. It was delicious.

-James Barry Ryan

59


Face -Elizabeth Alvarez

60


How to Live for Even One Day Michael Morrison The London of Virginia Woolf‘s Mrs. Dalloway is an epic place. The city, like everything else, was changed by the events of World War I. It can be overwhelming with its noise and bustle. Clarissa suspects that it is ―very, very dangerous to live even one day‖ (Woolf 2390). The citizens of London must now learn how to cope in the new world. Some, such as Lady Bruton and Sir William, remain unchanged and already seem like relics of another age. Septimus Smith has been so changed that he is no longer himself, and he has lost touch with the world around him. Clarissa feels the world very deeply, yet she is able to hold on. In fact, Clarissa provides a model for dealing with this post-War world. She is aware of its changes but still can find happiness, a feat that no one else in the novel is able to accomplish.

Life in England has changed since the War, even ―dear‖ Richard realizes that ―really it was a miracle thinking of the War, and the thousands of poor chaps with all their lives before them, shoveled together, already half forgotten; it was a miracle‖ that he could walk home holding flowers (Woolf 2445). Several characters are unaffected by the seismic change in the world; they do not see the miracle. They remain secure in their old certainties of right and wrong and ideas of patriotism and nationalism. Lady Bruton is a powerful woman. She is so sure of herself and her plan for the emigration of young people to Canada that even she admits, ―She had perhaps lost her sense of proportion‖ (Woolf 2442). This is potentially dangerous because being a part of the old guard requires one to maintain a sense of proportion at all times. Lady Bruton defines herself by her certainty and her

61


proportion. In fact, she looks down on introspection, ―broad and simple – why could not everyone be broad and simple?‖ (Woolf 2442). This new world requires introspection; the old certainties have been destroyed so they can no longer be relied upon.

Sir William also believes in proportion. Divine proportion in fact, is Sir William‘s ―goddess,‖ achieved by living a proper life. He believes that by ―worshipping proportion, Sir William not only prospered himself but made England prosper‖ (Woolf 2437). This may have once been true but no longer. He is too blind to see what he has done to his own wife: ―nothing you could put your finger on; there had been no scene, no snap‘ only the slow sinking, water-logged, of her will into his‖ (Woolf 2438). He is so wrapped-up in his own image of himself that his thoughts verge on parody. If it were not for the power he wields as a doctor he would be as amusing and harmless as Hugh; instead he is frightening. Lady Bruton and Sir William are dinosaurs. They do not recognize the world in which they live; both are trapped in an England that no longer exists. If they have changed too little, Septimus Smith has changed too much. He once was able to find enjoyment and pleasure in life, but the war has robbed him of that. Septimus once loved Shakespeare, but now ―That boy‘s business of the intoxication of language had

Untitled -Matthew Benedetti

62


shriveled utterly‖ (Woolf 2431). Septimus does not engage with his surroundings, he can only observe from the distance of his own mind. Even his own wife is now only a distraction from his thoughts. He is capable of introspection only, and is as paralyzed as Sir William. As Morris Philipson says in his essay ―‗Mrs. Dalloway‘, ‗What‘s the Sense of Your Parties,‘‖ ―Septimus Warren Smith is overwhelmingly fractured by forces he cannot control; to be overwhelmed is to suffer impressions without having the counterbalancing powers of a personality to absorb them‖ (129). Clarissa also knows that things can no longer be counted and quantified. She cannot even know her own mind; ―she would not say of herself, I am this, I am that‖ (Woolf 2390). She does not believe in patriotism or proportion; Jacob Littleton says in his essay ―Mrs. Dalloway: Portrait of the Artist as a Middle-Aged Woman,‖ ―As a result, she must face disordered reality without accepted props and create her own meaning for it‖ (37). Like the other characters who do not believe in the old conven-

Untitled

-Michael Gleckler

tions, Clarissa must find a new way to stay grounded in this world of troubles. Peter criticizes Clarissa for her shallowness, her marriage to Richard, and her par-

63


Michael Morrison

ties, ―the perfect hostess he called her‖ (Woolf 2389). He could not be more wrong; a woman who contemplates humanity while going flower shopping must have depth. ―Such fools we are. For Heaven only knows why one loves it so, how one sees it so, making it up, building it round one‖ (Woolf 2387). Yet Peter does not really think that Clarissa is shallow; he knows that ―she had her reserves; it was a mere sketch, he often felt, that even he after all these years, could make of Clarissa‖ (Woolf 2426). Peter thinks her choices have been shallow, that she has settled by choosing Richard and worrying about parties. He does not understand her reasoning behind these choices. They are too plain and ordinary for his tastes. Abstractions do not help Clarissa. In her eyes philosophy, patriotism, and religion hold no power; Clarissa relies upon the tactile and the real. ―Perhaps the most fundamental fact of Clarissa‘s psyche is the pleasure she takes in physical, sensual existence‖ (Littleton 37). This is how she deals with this newly fractured world, by using

the mundane and everyday to make herself happy. After thinking about her daughter and Miss Kilman, Clarissa is upset but allows herself to be lost among the flowers ―as if this beauty, this scent this colour, and Miss Pym liking her, trusting her, were a wave which she let flow over her and surmount that hatred, that monster, surmount it all; and it lifted her up and up‖ (Woolf 2392). This is what buoys her throughout the novel. It is the same sensation she feels when she sees the ―fat lady in the cab‖ for ―she loved; life; London; this moment in June‖ (Woolf 2388). She is not like Septimus or even Peter because of her ability to find pleasure in her surroundings. Peter‘s walk through London contrasts her own. He too reflects on what he sees and occasionally finds pleasure in it, but it is not the same. He internalizes it too much, never able to turn off his running criticism. Instead of enjoying the beautiful woman who walks by, he must create a narrative, and by doing so own her and the moment. Like Septimus, Peter‘s

64


introspection prevents him from enjoying the world as Clarissa does. Clarissa does not need that. ―Her appreciation depends only on experience. In fact, her delight is free of self-interest or discrimination. She does not appreciate the scene for what it is, but simply because it is‖ (Littleton 37). This is her breakthrough, that even a world as difficult as this can be embraced simply as it is. This is why Clarissa‘s parties are not shallow exercises in vanity. They are a way for her to create the moments she so treasures. While reflecting on both Richard‘s and Peter‘s criticism of her parties, Clarissa responds that, ―both were quite wrong. What she liked was simply life‖ (Woolf 2448). In her imagination, Peter asks her, ―What‘s the sense of your parties?‖ and all she can say is, ―They‘re an offering‖ (Woolf 2448). Some aspects of the parties may be shallow, but Clarissa is offering her guests a chance at her happiness, to partake in the sensual pleasure of being with people.

_______________________

Grandma at Best Buy

Damn my ovaries, they waited until I was too old to enjoy this new freedom. I'm surrounded by young fresh supple bodies darting back and forth like bees around the honey pot of my fat wallet; saying with lover voices "can I help you ma'am?" Underneath my purple smock a wild jazz band begins to play and I long to practice my fellatio-arpeggios on the clerk's sizable trombone. Walking in a sultry woman's sway I feel my hip crack; and turning towards the boy dripping in overactive-sex drive, I bat my graying eyes in apology, and simply state "I sure hope so." -Samantha Boring

65


The Stone Apart Today I gazed down upon a meadow full of blossoming flowers, Yet saw only a single weed. I caught my breath for the beauty of it: A tiny parasite in an ocean of truth.

Now I was bleeding, for I could distinctly see the trail of life I left in the sand. Upon my action the stowaway seemed to have grown twice in coarseness and in measure. Trapped in the confines between my overcoat and my cast, It stole my rhythm.

Not wanting another to come and compromise this, I stooped and ripped it from the ground, root and all. Placing it in my breast pocket, I continued Through the meadow to the edge of a cliff.

Knowing the fault was mine I let the reality continue.

Looking down. I watched the ocean's symphony as it beat out its cadence into the sand and yet Noticed only the pebble Left to its own

Tomorrow the stone apart, Yesterday the weed longing to bloom. Today I gazed down upon a meadow of blossoming flowers

not wanting the small stone to be apart from the Chord any longer. I hurried down to it Stooping again I clutched at it and returned it to the Measure

And saw only myself. ~ James Barry Ryan

66


Companionship Jarod K. Anderson On the walk home, there was always time to see the last callers stumbling out of the Main street bars. Jason never made eyecontact, but he could usually watch them unnoticed. He wondered where they were going, who they were with. He wished he had a window on the street so he could watch the taxis coming and going, but the only window in his apartment faced the alley that held his only entrance and exit. Jason‘s alley ran alongside an ugly little bar called the ―Lamb‘s Head.‖ Narrow and crowded with electrical cables and fire escapes, the original brick alley wore a torn and ill-tailored coat of crumbling macadam, as if all effort to maintain the little passage had been abandoned long ago. When he stood in front of his door, he fumbled in his pocket for his keys and drew them out with an exaggerated motion. He always tried to make as much noise as he

could in the alley. He‘d jangle his keys and clear his throat as loudly as possible. The silence in that place seemed insistent and unfriendly, and Jason did all he could to break it. Sometimes he glimpsed, or thought he glimpsed, a stray dog pacing between the abandoned trashcans and stacked milk crates where the alley dead-ended about thirty feet from his door. Once, he even put out food for the dog, but he could never coax it into coming any nearer to the crooked wall-mounted light that illuminated a little yellow semicircle outside his door; it seemed to be a friend of the silence. ―Feeling like company tonight old friend?‖ Jason said aloud to the dark end of the alley as he fitted his key into the deadbolt. He turned the key and pushed his way inside. ―I didn‘t think so.‖ He slammed the door as a parting shot to the silence. Even though he had never seen the dog in full, he

67


decided for himself that he was sure it was there. He‘d seen a silhouette, a silhouette with fur and a dog‘s shape. And once he even thought he‘d seen its eyes: not points of light exactly, but two pools of glossy darkness like polished obsidian. He sank down onto his lumpy grey futon and quickly fell asleep to the soft sound of late night infomercials on the television. The next day he decided to stay in until it was time for work. Even from his claustrophobic little window it was easy to see that it was a bleak day. Filtered by a curtain of steady rain, a pale column of light landed squarely on his battered hardwood floor, illuminating swirling galaxies of dust that defied all sense of symmetry. Jason stared moodily at the rain streaked panes between loads of laundry and thought unhappily about work that evening. Assistant managers, he reminded himself, don‘t call in sick. At 3:30 in the afternoon, Jason pulled up the hood on his green army surplus poncho and jerked open the door. He was startled to see the open mouth of a battered metal trash can blocking his path as he began to step over the threshold. Kicking the obstacle

out of his path, he stepped into the rain and peered toward the cluttered end of the alley. The can, he thought, must have come from down there, though he couldn‘t imagine how, since the thing was far too warped to roll. ―Maybe I‘ll try another peace offering,‖ he thought as he turned toward the street. ―Now what‘s a fair trade for a bent up trash can?‖ he wondered with a smile. Maybe the night would be interesting after all. After cleaning up the shop, Jason found a small plastic bag and filled it with a mix of pepperoni slices and Italian sausage. Last time, he had tried to tempt the dog with garlic bread. He thought this offering was more realistic, though he wasn‘t entirely sure what to expect. He locked the shop and turned for home, grateful that the rain had stopped an hour earlier, although he shot a distrustful glance skyward. Ohio weather could, and usually did, change without notice. Umbrella in one hand and plastic bag in the other, he made his way home with deliberate steps on the slick brick streets. The rain had driven in most of the usual bar crowd, so there was little to occupy his 68


mind on his way to the alley. He thought of a wet, hungry, miserable canine, happy for a handout and ready to accept a little company. Maybe he could bring him something from the shop every night. Maybe there would be a furry friend waiting in the quiet alley, a friend to make the silence seem less alien, less unwelcoming. Jason rounded the corner and walked down the narrow path toward his tired little door light. He leaned his umbrella against the door jamb and opened the plastic bag. He could see nothing but darkness down the alley. The sky was still heavy with the promise of more rain, and there was no sign of moon or stars. At first he thought of just throwing a few pieces of meat as an enticement, and then placing the open bag near the door. But, that hardly seemed like a gesture of friendship. How would the animal even associate him with the food? No, it had to be an act of trust. He knew what it felt like to be an outcast, and he knew it would take real effort to reach out to another, even a dog. Jason threw back his hood and began to walk steadily toward the jumbled piles he

knew were just ahead, hidden in shadow. When his shoes began crunching crumpled newspaper and scraps of cardboard he stopped. He couldn‘t make out many of the shapes in front of him, but he knew he must be standing at the margins of trash that littered the end of the alley. He hesitated and waited for his eyes to adjust. After a few moments, the utter blackness began to shift to a deep grey. Yet, he seemed to be standing about a foot away from the furthest reaches of his little light. Beyond that, he could see nothing: just a dim guess of tumbled trashcans and stacked boxes. ―I brought something for you,‖ he said, louder than he had intended. At first there didn‘t seem to be any response, only a deeper silence, but then he heard breathing. A kind of deep intake of breath, followed by a pause, then repeated. He followed the sound with his eyes, followed it to what must have been a gap in the trashcans where two reflections promised to be something other than empty darkness. ―There you are,‖ Jason said in a breathy whisper. ―Are you hungry?‖ He opened the bag and placed it on his right palm. Stoop69


ing slightly, he held it forward. The bag seemed to disappear into the shadows only a foot or so away from his body, beyond the margins of the door light. ―It‘s alright,‖ he whispered. The eyes seemed to rock back and forth, then they advanced. There was still no sound, but the eyes grew larger and seemed to be moving directly toward the bag. ―That‘s it,‖ he said, trying to sound friendly. He felt a shock of cold, and the muscles in his back stiffened. Something like a wet nose pressed against his upper wrist and then pulled back. He tried to stay perfectly still, to be as silent as the creature sniffing his arm. Then he felt a slow, steady pressure around his forearm. ―Hey!‖ he yelled, and pulled back with all his weight. Stepping back, and staring down at his arm, for an instant Jason saw a broad dark hand clutching him with long slender fingers. In another split second his whole arm, up to the shoulder was pulled back into the shadow. He planted his heels and pulled again, exhaling all the air in his body with a guttural growl. Again, he managed to return his arm to the light, but this time he seemed to be staring at the snout of a huge black

dog—in form like a German shepherd, but bigger and darker than any dog he had ever seen. Jason started to scream, and he struck out with his other hand at the dog‘s eyes. But before he struck his attacker the dog released him and he stumbled back several paces before falling in a puddle. Panting, he rolled on to his stomach, pushed himself to his feet and sprinted for his door. After what seemed an eternity of fumbling with his keys, Jason was inside. He locked the door and stood shaking just inside the entryway. He could hear nothing outside the door, and he began to question if the last few moments had actually occurred. He walked to the bathroom, removing his poncho and throwing it on the futon. He stood in front of the mirror and examined his arm under the bright lights of the vanity. There were two parallel rows of bruises forming on either side of his forearm and one particularly ugly spot where the bite had drawn a small ribbon of blood. ―Jesus‖ he said, shaking his head. He thought of the dark hand pulling him toward the shadows. He knew he should call the police, but he wasn‘t sure 70


what he would tell them, what he could tell told her friends that she lived in an alley them. It was so dark and it all happened so with two stray dogs, though she was never fast. He walked to the futon and sat with a able to get a good look at them. sigh. He shut his eyes to think, but fell into an uneasy sleep. Jason dreamed he heard something rattling his doorknob, trying to come into the apartment. To his surprise, he wasn‘t afraid. He wanted to unlock the door, to let in the visitor. He had a vague feeling that a loved one, long missed, was just outside the door waiting to embrace him. He strode toward the door, smiling in anticipation The next day Jason didn‘t arrive at work. When he missed two more days, he was officially let go; though, it wasn‘t clear if Jason knew he was no longer employed. He had no answering machine and had stopped answering the phone. A couple weeks later, the manager of Jason‘s building found the door to Jason‘s apartment slightly ajar. After the auction, the apartment Moonbaby ~Sonya Green was leased to a young woman. She 71


The Thaw

Where is April‘s great battle that demands atheist miracles and warm-blooded monarchy over hateful cities of ice?

The winter made us matter; then it still meant something to be set on stubborn legs in spite of frigid indifference.

Today I overheard fifty people celebrating the return of spring.

Walking, exhaling visible life in some proud stretch of desolation sweetened that seductive old lie that signed over the deed to earth.

I heard frantic pantings behind heaps of budding briars and warm wet clamors beside my green plastic dumpster.

Humanity wouldn't lie dormant, didn't retreat into earthy burrows or claw a tangle of rotten wood to escape the burning winds.

In sociology I remember learning that suicide is the province of the rich. ~Jarod K. Anderson

Mitternacht ~Shane Hardesty

72


Editorial Board & Contributor Bios Samantha Boring, 3 credits away from being an English major junior, does not really live in a shoe, but she does have too many cats. She also does not need any more Amish suitors. Ashley Caggiano is the future supreme leader of the universe, so you'd better start worshipping now. Jon Holmes is a third-year English major who has a tendency to ravenously engorge himself on tiramisu and Wheaties. Then, he regurgitates enough conjunctions to keep an unkindness of ravens well fed for a week. Camille Knoderer wants to be funny and witty, but she feels like that's not her, so she is a senior at OSUN and intends to graduate with a bachelor's in English next spring. Dustin Oyler graduated from OSU with a degree in English, but also apprenticed in the roles of an astronaut, a bear, and a cowboy. He is equally deadly in all three. David Pennington II, gentleman scholar, warrior poet, slacker king, village idiot, after conquering Taproot plans to live out of his car for a year because that is what all aspiring young writers should do. Nick Powell lives off the grid. Lee Waller is half-man, half-beast, inhabiting his infinite domain known as the writing world. Elizabeth Weiser always thought she would either open a bookstore or study the social be-

havior of chimpanzees. Instead she has done both by becoming an English professor. __________________

Elizabeth Alvarez is a first-year art major. Jarod K. Anderson is a graduating English major. Steven Beha is a graduating history major. Matthew Benedetti is a first-year student. William Brown is a graduating English major. Colleen Gaffney is a first-year student majoring in athletic training. Michael Gleckler is a first-year pre-med/psychology major. Sonya Green is an art alumna who now works at Huntington National Bank. Craig Hammerstein is a first-year mechanical engineering major. Shane Hardesty is a third-year English major. Ashley Miravalle has graduated with a degree in psychology. Michael Mitchell is an English alumnus who now practices law for the State of Rhode Island. Michael Morrison is a graduating English major. Retha Sloter Murray is an alumna who now works as a librarian for Denison University. James Barry Ryan is a first-year English major. April Sears is a second-year English major and future novelist. Elizabeth Varrasso is a secondyear history/education major.

73


Editing Policy In editing each written work in this collection, we have sought to preserve the style of the original and have relied upon the authors to comply within the conventions of formatting. In presenting each graphic work we have used digital representations and have made changes to optimize the resolution and to fit the page in printing. In all cases we have sought to preserve the original proportions of the images.

74

Taproot 2008  

The Ohio State University at Newark annual student journal.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you