Baron of Magister Valley Chapter 16 Support Group

There are going to be SPOILERS for MAGISTER VALLEY here, but I’ll keep them in the comments.

So, you’ve read chapter sixteen, and you’re ready to yell at Steven about it?

Readers of Dragaeran historical romances will be familiar with wishing to yell at Paarfi and Steven. But this one is really going to cause some wailing and gnashing of teeth. Comments here for us to commiserate together.

A Song Whose Time is Now

I open the door and wave to the man
Just getting out of his UPS van
A box in his hands and a mask on his face
He comes up the stairs and my steps I retrace

And it’s
Step two three, back two three
Maintain the spread
Don’t get too close or you might become dead
Friend, lover, and neighbor, each one exalts
The social distancing waltz

The grocery store is a dancehall now
Two carts’ distance is what they’ll allow
Mind your feet well, listen for the refrain
As you notch your way up to the checkout lane

And it’s…

It’s a part of me now, and all of my group:
An invisible twelve-foot diameter hoop
Perhaps you’d survive, but why take the chance
You can join complete strangers enjoying the dance

And it’s…

My Opponent’s Tweet

(Posting this here so I can find it again)

A time there was when life was good
I’d greet each day with verve
I’d meet each challenge to come my way
No less than I deserved
Though adversity might slow me down
I knew that soon or late
I would triumph over life’s cruelty
I thought it was my fate.
I feel naught but bitter mockery now
In the smiles of those I meet
The light has gone from out my eyes
Someone “liked” my opponent’s tweet.

I’d thought that I had crushed him sure
With logic none could refute
That all I would receive was praise:
“You’re so brilliant, sharp, astute.”
I welcomed his so vain discourse
(So cruel is irony)
For I felt my argument so strong
All would, perforce, agree
I knew that all who saw the thread
Would know that he’d been beat
Pride goeth sure before a fall
Someone “liked” my opponent’s tweet.

That a virtual heart could be so cruel
Surpasses comprehension
Yet the evidence lies before my eyes
Trapped within my mentions
Now I tread on life’s harsh road
Each day by weary day
With bleak horizon greeting me
The sky unbroke slate gray.
Where once the wind was at my back
I trudge through gale and sleet
All Mudville shines compared to me
Someone “liked” my opponent’s tweet.

A Brief Thought on Disbanding the Police

First of all, I’m not going to say much about the cry to “defund the police” because I’m not sure what it means. If by “defunding” they mean entirely removing its budget, that’s identical to disbanding; if not, it means they’re talking about what they did in LA, which is reduce it’s budget by a tiny fraction, probably causing them to drop their “community outreach” programs that never did anything anyway.

What struck me about the other demand, to disband the police, is its contradictory nature.

When it is put forward by capitalist politicians, it means, “We are going to totally remove the police department and replace it with one that is identical except for cosmetic changes and we hope this will make you people shut up and quit trying to actively change things.”

But when it is put forward by masses of outraged protesters, it has a revolutionary content.  They are not thinking cosmetic change, they are talking—no matter to what degree they consciously realize it—about striking at the violent coercion that permits the existence of class society, particularly capitalism.

The danger, then, is obvious: that the desires of millions of protesters will be harmlessly funneled into a dead end producing apathy and hopelessness.  But simultaneously, the opportunity for true revolutionary change—worldwide, as are the protests—has never been greater.