May 23, 2019

A capriciously disseminated newsletter written by a hemp-inspired quadriplegic jester who, like King Lear, impotently screams ineffective vitriol at the raging antediluvian squalls of societal indifference that violently smash the planet and callously destroy the things I love. I cry, defeated by a redoubtable sea of troubles as my siblings, whose pursuits of happiness do not coincide with the status quo, are mowed down by ignorant privilege while comfortably content indifference ignores the anguished cries of people's suffering simply because they don't look the same.
— SSTJazzVocalist

#Wheelchairistocracy #GroovicusMaximus @frangeladuo


Welcome to QuadTalk. I am Rusty Taylor, a complete, level C-4 spinal cord injury who, for thirty-three years (and counting), has been unable to perform even the most rudimentary acts of daily living, and, as such, I am a victim of the nefarious for-profit healthcare system we, the citizens of the U.S.A., have callously ignored for too long. This will not be a media blitz of superfluity; I am a vitriolic antagonist against the status quo, so if you are naively looking for a feelgood story about a “poor li’l ol’ cripple boy” who done good against the odds, then I suggest you go find the Hallmark Channel and infuse your brain with enough endorphins to make you forget that separating children from their families is simply morally unconscionable or that a casual rapist majestically sits as Supreme Court judge. Otherwise, welcome...


This newsletter is inspired by my capricious Muse. Unfortunately, I alone am responsible for its content and dissemination. I have no proof-reader or editor nor do I have corporate sponsors to moderate my tone and style, so...

I alone am responsible for all the typos contained herein, and all I can do is promise to try not to make additional grievous errors. Please excuse an occasional rhetorical mistake. They are unintentional.

Time to Quit? Depends on Who You Are

It’s time that I come to accept the fact that, as long as the state of my current terrestrial manifestation is extant, my time to do anything worthwhile has passed. I was kind of hoping that I’d find my soul mate, a somebody with whom I would share synergy, someone who would make me become more complete, someone I could help complete, but that ain’t gonna happen. I am simply too physically fucked up to attract anybody; a soul mate for me is simply a fantasy.

So what’s the use in my trying to live on? This is not only a question that I’ve incessantly asked myself since 1986… but it must also be the unasked question by the people in my life who find my paralysis increasingly more inconvenient, so much so that family members who visit can notice that I’ve either shat my drawers or pissed on myself, and they’ll fucking leave with the expectation that somebody else will willingly clean me (a lowly CNA who somehow deserves to clean up shit and urine because of… well, she probably deserves to be treated as if her pursuits of happiness are invalid [pun intended]).

Why should a crippled dude like me be allowed to waste many more resources than I’ve ever provided? I am a recovering Capitalist; despite the fact that I have been unable to perform even the most rudimentary acts of daily living, I graduated from college; got a fulltime job and, for 16 years, did not use governmental assistance; got fired because the corporation wanted to become too involved with my urinary tract system; recorded a CD of jazz vocals; and I currently sing in public to people who seem to dig my style?

I, a hemp-inspired jester, don’t deserve to die. I am pretty sure that everybody, sans the psychopath, agrees that my assisted suicide is not an option; however, I also don’t deserve all the resources that I enjoy because… well, that is hard to articulate, but it sure feels right. And I have faith that it is right. Right?

I am, however, going to sing with my friend Ted McVay this Friday for the Opelika Songwriters Festival. I have known Ted since 1977 (the same year Elvis Presley died). He’s a retired professor from Auburn, a songwriter in the Americana/storytelling genre of music for which I provide vocal harmony. The festival is an inaugural event, but it has drawn Grammy winners, so, hopefully, Ted’s music will get exposure, and I believe that Ted’s music is special, which is interesting in and of itself. What if Ted and I get famous because of this exposure? Regardless, the festival should be fun, so why should this be interesting?

I am a jazz singer, which is an art form that has taken me 19 years and counting to try to learn, and I have been developing a unique style that allows other really gifted musicians to actually call me a jazz vocalist; it is an art form that takes most people a lifetime to master. And I am continuing to better my craft. It seems funny, to me, that my singing folk music may garner more fans than my singing jazz.

Well, it ain’t all that surprising.

Idolizing mediocrity has been the history of humanity. Someone with comparably less skill has nearly always exploited the especially gifted. Now these exploiters are in charge of directing our nation’s political policy, which emphasizes patronizing ignorant yet braggadocious speciosity. For some reason, we have become a nation that ostracizes hoarders except when people hoard wealth; Americans adore the Carnegies, Vanderbilts, and Roosevelts while calling the indigenous American population savages even though the American Indian treated the planet as the living organism it is instead of exploiting its riches.

The hoarders are still hoarding. The Kochs and Mercers are contemporary robber barons, and they’ve not only exploited the GOP, they’ve exploited the average citizens into working at least 40 hours a week for as little a wage as possible (especially when the employees are minorities), and, in return, the hoarders offer lackluster insurance (unless one has a pre-existing condition) and a few weeks vacation (for those who can afford it). I witness this from my wheelchair and weep at the thought that many of these people openly brag about living such uninspiring lives. It’s vexing to witness such overt acquiescence to ennui and why I try not to debate the veracity of Santa Claus with prepubescence. I have finally come to understand that while I am trying to find my place in the universe, many of my contemporaries are trying to assess their status terrestrially.

And yet I feel like I have to justify my life.

Peace Through Music

Make Stages Wheelchair Accessible
or I'll break your face...

Charismatic Buffoonery
For those of you who may not know, I’ve been writing vitriolic rhetoric against negative conservative politics for a while. The following article was written in April 2004, not quite three years after Saudi Arabians flew into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. And if, perchance, you’re a red MAGA-hat wearin’ Trump supporter, I hate to break it to you, but it wasn’t Saddam Hussein who was responsible for the 9/11 tragedy; it was Osama Bin Laden, but I digress. Still it was only just under three years after the tragedy that I penned this for an op-ed in my local newspaper that had a three- or four-hundred word limit… with some minor aesthetic corrections… I cain’t he’p it:

During the election of 2000, I recall that one of the reasons Bush ultimately prevailed was that his buffoonery was widely interpreted as a refreshingly charming alternative against Gore’s more somber, intellectual tone. As Bush mangled the English language with cute malapropisms, Gore was trying to morph his mental acuity into adorable amicability so that he could better appeal to voters. Tragically, September 11th happened, and Bush’s charismatic appeal and simple rhetoric initially gained him popularity among the emotional masses seeking solace amongst the devastation.

We’ve since disclosed that the president, colloquially referred to as W, is a hubristic president with a myopic preoccupation to overrun a mad foreign leader who possessed too much bravado and zero weapons of mass destruction. In a fit of Napoleonic grandeur, Bush waged war on an insignificant country while the more powerful threat to national security, a threat known by certain cabinet members the president chose to ignore, ambles with impunity through the desert with tangible forces and at least one dialysis machine.

In retrospect, after the 9/11 tragedy, we had a president desperate to appeal to our nation’s rampant patriotism by hiding his ineptitude behind ambiguous rhetoric, each litany beginning with “the terrorist attack of 9/11...”

Is it any wonder why Bush insists on being interviewed alongside Chaney? Since the War, Bush has obfuscated his rhetoric into such a twisted skein of incoherency that linguistic experts are baffled at his intended meaning. He and his administration had advanced notice of an intended attack on American soil by Bin Laden (not Saddam), and he dropped the ball… more than once. I can’t help but wonder what a more somber, intelligent president [like Gore] would’ve done.

Russell (Rusty) Allen Taylor
April 2004

Peace and Love
Progressive Aphorisms

Mike Pence and the multimillionaire televangelists who support him argue that to be a Christian one must discriminate against gay people, use the power of the state to prevent women from getting abortions or birth control, support tearing refugee children from their parents, and prevent the working poor from having access to healthcare... Pete Buttigieg has opened a new and much-needed conversation about what it means to be a Christian. He takes his inspiration from Matthew 25, the place in the Bible where Jesus explicitly tells his disciples what they have to do to get into heaven, which says that we must feed the hungry, heal the sick, and welcome the stranger.
—The Rude Pundit

“I have a pretty dim view of his decision to use his privileged status to fake a disability in order to avoid serving in Vietnam… If he were a conscientious objector, I’d admire that… [b]ut this is somebody who, I think it’s fairly obvious to most of us, took advantage of the fact that he was a child of a multimillionaire, in order to pretend to be disabled so that somebody could go to war in his place… I know that that dredges up old wounds from a complicated time during a complicated war… [b]ut I’m also old enough to remember when conservatives talked about character as something that mattered in the presidency. And so I think it deserves to be talked about.”
—Pete Buttigieg

In addition to dodging the draft, Donald Trump has repeatedly mocked military veterans, including the late Sen. John McCain. He refused to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial outside Paris earlier this year to commemorate American service members who died during World War I because he did not want to get caught in a light drizzle (the leaders of Canada, France, and Germany were among those who managed to pack an umbrella). He has personally attacked the families of soldiers who died in the line of duty, and publicly called others liars from the grounds of the White House.
—Think Progress

Pro Help Thy Neighbor

For the readers who think that my essay on abortion is a recent obsession, I offer another 300-word op-ed written to Columbus, Georgia’s Ledger-Enquirer on or around July 2004:

It seems to me that one of the most unnatural acts in all humanity is for a woman to take the life of her child. Sure there are women like Susan Smith who can callously watch innocent eyes submerge into watery death, but I’m more concerned with women who are so desperate and confused that they sincerely believe that killing a part of themselves is the only alternative for a happier life.

These women have very few choices and are stuck in a distorted, terrestrial hell in which killing a potential happiness seems their best option. Unfortunately, these women cannot hand over their unwanted child to a nanny, which is legal abortion for the wealthy wherein the abandoned child dies a more insidious, psychological death…but I digress.

Too many doors have already been shut on impoverished women. Why shut one more door into faces that are already calloused and indifferent to the social apathy they incessantly receive from aristocratic hubris? Instead, why don’t we try to figure out what they need in order to choose against abortion? Instead of forcing these already desperate women further into depression, let’s open up our hearts and minds and find out what we can do to help them choose a path they’d much rather choose themselves. Instead of condemning a choice they’d rather not have to make, let’s give them what they need in order to birth the child and raise it in a loving environment.

That would be a much more Christian way to approach the subject of abortion unless, of course, your Christianity embraces the horrific hardness of the Inquisition. To make abortion illegal without other options is as insipid as telling a man weak with hunger that he cannot die of malnutrition and yet give him no bread.

Peace Through Knowledge
July 28, 2004

It Ain't Jazz, But...

Opelika Songwriters Festival
May 24-26, 2019
It ain't jazz, but singer/songwriter Ted McVay and I (featured in the video above... my mother is sitting between us) will be singing for the upcoming Opelika Songwriters Festival. What is the Opelika Songwriters Festival, you ask? Well, according to the website of the Auburn/Opelika's board of tourism...

The Opelika Songwriters Festival, a new annual event based in Opelika, Alabama, will entertain music fans at its inaugural celebration over Memorial Day Weekend (May 24-26, 2019) at multiple venues in the town's historic downtown. Rob and Jen Slocumb, a.k.a. Martha's Trouble (a husband-and-wife folk/rock duo and owners of Opelika recording studio/event center The Sound Wall) are bringing the new festival to life. The Opelika Songwriters Festival is a co-production of The Sound Wall and The Arts Association of East Alabama. Confirmed sponsors include the City of Opelika, Auburn Opelika Tourism, and Sundilla Concert Series, and proceeds from the festival go to benefit The Arts Association of East Alabama. Attendees from across the Southeast and further afield are expected to gather for this very special event.

More than 30 singer-songwriters will make up the roster of performers, from local acts to internationally touring artists, including Grammy Award-winner Dan Navarro, Kate Campbell, Harpeth Rising, and many more. 

The festival will take place in Downtown Opelika at more than nine venues, including John Emerald Distillery, Sneak & Dawdle, Irish Bred Pub, Eighth & Rail, Ma Fia's Outdoor Patio, The Depot Outdoor Stage, Zazu Gastro Pub, and Studio 319 - Festival Merch Hub.

I ain't braggin' (yes I am), but Ted and I share a special, synergetic harmony that'll transcend music-genre stereotypes and touch the souls of listeners who are passionate about music . Additionally, Ted's lyrical wit and compassionate tone encourages the active listener to experience the gamut of emotions from heart-wrenching sorrow to riotous laughter and... yodeling. For more info, click here .
Dr. David Banks is the current president of the Columbus Jazz Society that has been extant since 1977. If you'd like to receive an email containing area jazz events, send him an email, and get added to his distribution list by clicking here .

Interesting Free Podcasts

Shameless Solicitation

It’s time. I need money to pay for someone to help me because I’m wearing out my family. I’m hoping to solicit enough money to overpay someone to help me throughout the day and night for a weekend... or longer; my septuagenarian parents need a break. Please read my story, and if you can, donate a few bucks. If a bunch of folks give just a little, I can stay home; otherwise, I will consider going into a nursing home. I am tired of being a burden on my family. If you are unable to donate, your support will be just as appreciated. Thank you very much.

Read my story...
...or you can buy my CD of jazz Vocals


To enhance the Quality of Life of People with Disabilities and the Under-served by Creating Music and Arts opportunities for Employment and Enjoyment!