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The Dragon's Story

Once she raised two eggs on a cliff on the moor. Word spread the Dragon had not been seen. Was she gone? Had she taken ill? Who would protect them! Armed bandits were the first to plan their raid on the nearby villagers. First they sent out a search party. As they neared, they saw she was in her lair. "Why are you here? I should ask you," the Dragon said. "I am the dragon but I fly no more. I fly no more yet am the dragon still." They thought she said, "I cannot fly now." They reported she was roosting eggs. That she did not fly. "Were they golden?" "How do you know?" "Is it true they have magic power?" On they talked until they believed it must be worth the risk. Now the Captain was a pious pirate, the best of the lot. He had risen as chief of them having some schooling in him before he ran from home and lettered, he added arithmetic, and map reading, and had made himself useful until he knew several of the seven seas. He was
Recent posts

Addressing Ageism: A Week in the Life of the Human Rights Commission

  Rain has washed away a snowdrift in the corner of the 24hr Dunkin' Donuts parking lot in Somerville’s Magoun square revealing a fallen sign promoting a Walk to End Alzheimer’s event last October. In this out of date sign I stop and reflect with gratitude for the event organizers and those dedicated participants. That month I spent largely oblivious to the elderly in my midst, preoccupied with our newborn and launching the kids to school routines and planning to make my sweet potato chili for Halloween, not to mention the opening stages of what International Court of Justice has ruled applying the law of Genocide to call for an end to hostilities and delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. Though they remain largely invisible in one of the Commonwealth’s youngest cities, the elderly, classed in our society among the most vulnerable persons, and their needs, have lately come to my attention in my capacity as Chair of the Somerville Human Rights Commission. For over a decad

Submarines, Gaza, and the Village Square

Einstein spoke to the UN in 1946 saying that the "village square" did not want a nuclear arms race. The iconic Armageddon Clock of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists  is 90 seconds to midnight, rating the current and never-before-faced proximal threat of nuclear war. Currently the US is "showing force" near Gaza--Meanwhile, blatently disregarding its US Treaty Obligations under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty signed by the US in 1968, the U.S. Navy has announced the commissioning site of a submarine still under construction.   1. Nuclear Weapons and Gaza, 2. USS Massachusetts to be commissioned in Boston Nuclear Weapons and Gaza The US silence on Israel's possession of nuclear weapons is one violation of the Non Proliferation Treaty. I point to the foundations of this in the Golda Meir-Nixon agreement  in my essay " Gaza Babies and Achille Mbembe's  Necropolitics "  but disarmament activists are making other connections.  Nine wer

Gaza Babies and Achille Mbembe's Necropolitics: Doubt, Scandal, and the Palestinian's abyss

Where is a middle ground in a polarization of the discourses of hope and the discourses of despair? How do ‘we’ feel about our consumption of breaking news about war?    “‘Surgeries have had to stop,’ said the hospital’s director, Dr. Mohamed Abu Salmiya. ‘Kidney dialysis has stopped and the neonatal unit is in a very dire situation. A baby has died because of lack of oxygen and electricity and heat.’ …The hospital has more than three dozen premature babies in incubators, Medhat Abbas, the director-general of Gaza’s Health Ministry, said in a text message on Saturday”–Raja Abdulrahim, Ameera Harouda and Alan Yuhas, “ Plight of Gaza’s Main Hospital Worsens as Israeli Defense Force Close In ” 12 Nov. 2023 New York Times.    In reality, as opposed to the social construction of discourses, war is not a topic of conversation among soldiers alone (take Brian de Palma’s Redacted for example of a fictional retelling of U.S. soldiers in Iraq as point of view shifts to interpret a father mournin

Holding the Tension: A Bystander's Metaphor in Colum McCann's Apeirogon

The many-sided truth is thematically at the heart of Colum McCann’s Apeirogon, a shape with infinite sides. In a dramatic scene, the high-wire artist who McCann previously had described in As the Great World Spins makes a return, this time in an act crossing a valley uniting Palestinian and Israeli observers in awe. Spectacle and symbol unite when a dove perches on Petit’s head. The bird’s talons clutch his scalp. Dazed by pain he holds his balance bar still,  only narrowing his focus. Then. As the bird flaps, he sets one foot ahead on the tightrope. He moves forward and the claws release. A photographer’s image shows the dove flapping a foot over the artist’s head.  The narrator has switched view to observe an artefact reproducing the scene. Notice the camera in the photographer’s hands. Held on a strap around a man’s neck under his checkered Kafia. A sympathetic foreigner, not a casual observer. It could be a Nikon, examining Petit’s absence of fear with a highly-powered lens. Above