August 5, 2019, C.E. 
or cut-n-paste

Caveat: Sincere apologies for the delay in posting this issue of QuadTalk, a phillipic soliloquy shouting my love for Jazz against my personal discontent with the for-profit health-care system that haunts our nation's privileged indifference towards the inequitable distribution of wealth and power. Be that as it may, I've recently been hospitalized with yet another UTI; however, I came home from the hospital with a bedsore, a decubis ulcer, which is the first one I've had in my 33 years of paralysis, and, yes, the hospital stay exacerbated my inaugural bedsore, but that's merely preachin' to the choir, right?

Mroe importantantly, this past Tuesday, July 30, I was given a wonderful opportunity to perform at the Buckhead Theater for Abel2, Inc's Show-Ability, and it was a wonderful show...

I was unable to promote the gig because I was in the hospital fighting another UTI, and, unfortunately, I came home with my first bed sore... in 33 years. But instead of devoting any negative energy delineating about my negative hospital experience, I feel the need to promote, Show-Ability:

Abel 2, Inc. (pronounced “able to”) is a 501(c)3 human services nonprofit organization that uses music and arts as platforms to affect positive change to the narrative of the abilities of people with disabilities. Its mission: To enhance the Quality of Life of People with Disabilities and the Under-served by Creating Music and Arts opportunities for Employment and Enjoyment!

Abel 2 is unique in that it targets people with disabilities (PWD) and under-served populations whose needs and talents are often overlooked to develop high quality artistic programming that aid these communities in empowering themselves. We want to showcase their unlimited talent and not focus on their challenges.We truly believe that Music and The Arts can encourage change in individuals as well as the society. Our motto is “proving ability through creativity”. You can call it Arts Activism. Fo' mo' info, visit our website.

Because of my inaugural bedsore, I have to spend more time in bed... to allow the healing process to toughen the skin. This makes it impossible for me to do anything but watch TV and sleep, the two activities a body type like mine has trained for... extensively; therefore, I will post previously written essays that will, if nothing else, effectively delineate how long I've been writing.


BTW, the photo below is the curtain call for the 2019 Show-Ability Talent Showcase at the historic Buckhead Theater in Atlanta, Georgia.

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 terrestrial 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.

Are You Kidding Me?
Archived Esasy from July 1, 2014
I was voluntarily incarcerated in the corporate life for sixteen years, and, admittedly, I met some really groovy people, but since my release in 2008, my rhetoric concerning the corporate lifestyle has been... well, vitriolic.


Well there are myriad reasons, but one of the more prevailing reasons for my disdain came from fellow corporate lackeys whose questionable actions seemed to have been motivated by fear... a fear that quickened from the deep-seated realization that they were unworthy of the success they somehow acquired despite their being, at best, mediocre. I, too, felt unworthy of the money I was making while sitting in an air-conditioned office pecking at a computer’s keyboard while police and fire departments, military personnel, medical professionals, and teachers put so much more of their time and talents into their careers with far less financial rewards or fanfare. TSYS, the corporation for which I worked, seems to have bred sarcasm and hubris instead of community.

The TSYS Big House

I was recently perusing some long forgotten papers and found the following email reply that really highlights the childish behavior of many of my cohorts. I wrote the email to a co-worker from whom I had recently solicited assistance in an area of programming with which I was unfamiliar: the VRU, which, if I recall correctly, was a proprietary voice response software package. I believe that you can tell from the tone of my electronic missive why working with some of our “corporate family” was such a pain in the... well, it could be a hemorrhoidal affair—Corporate Family, a phrase that, for me, has become an oxymoron... and yes, the interpolated parenthetical expressions have been added to protect me from future litigation:

Dear Ms. [x]

First of all, I’d like to sincerely thank you for the help you’ve given me concerning the VRU, although your tone is a bit abrasive, bordering on hubristic, especially concerning the fact that it is unwarranted. First of all, you state that I should go to my manager for help. I appreciate your concern for my following standard operational procedures, but I did go to my manager; it was his suggestion that I ask you for help, and this is mainly because this type of project is not common or even parallel with what we normally do. For you to reproach me for lack of training, which connotes lack of enthusiasm for my work, is like being called an idiot by someone with Down Syndrome —hardly worthy of the rhetoric. You have no idea about my abilities, and for you to suggest any failures on my part without knowing the facts involved is hardly a professional attitude. To use your words, “There seems to be major training issues.” Might I suggest for you extra training in communication skills?

You’re information to me may be useful, but I’m hardly likely to ask you for any help in the future because of your lack of humility, and it seems to me that those who so callously lash out at people whom they feel are subordinate to their soi-disant superiority are the ones who lack self confidence. I have an IQ if 139.5; your perspicacity does not impress me; after all, I’ve never seen any example of your mental acuity save for the acrimonious response to me, and I have enough confidence to realize that I am capable of learning anything I desire; however, I also have enough common sense to realize that I don’t know everything and to realize when to ask questions. I was once told that the only stupid question was the unasked question. I must modify this to include that a stupid question is one presented to a shallow, know-it-all with low self-esteem and who tries to belittle the one seeking enlightenment. Ignorance is only temporary, but shallowness might take a lifetime to overcome. Might I, again, suggest counseling.

By the way, I’m sending a copy of this memo to [my department head], [my supervisor’s manager], and [my immediate supervisor] because I think it’s important that they know how employees of TSYS communicate with one another. This hardly exemplifies a team spirit.

Very sincerely,


Of course, the hypocrisy of the corporate world insidiously took its toll on my personal emotional salubrity as well; unfortunately, it wasn’t difficult to match the condescension by which I was surrounded. As a quadriplegic, I have become, for better or worse, more than the sum of my individual parts. I now represent quadriplegia in general, and as such, I have certain obligations. Fortunately, I’ve been granted gifts which help me immeasurably. Sometimes, however, I’m asked to participate in events that are not conducive to my emotional salubrity.

After about seven years of working in the corporate world as a computer programmer, my newly appointed supervisor decided that the corporation had a responsibility to provide me assistance with my catheterization, the process I use to eliminate liquid wastes from my body. To that end, I was assigned a counselor from our government who somehow got me 90-days worth of assistance. He then asked me to speak at his upcoming retirement to explain all he and the government had accomplished for me.

I hate hypocrisy, so I submitted a copy of my intended speech to my supervisor. Subsequently (but not surprisingly), I was asked asked not to speak:

Mr. [counselor dude] asked me to speak here today; I’m afraid that this might be the last time he’ll ever ask me to speak on his behalf, but as I’ve committed to this engagement, here am I.

First of all, I must emphasize that I’m a very non-aggressive person; I am no demagogue, no Reverend Al Sharpton who incessantly and plangently cries out against minutia so that like the boy who cries “wolf!” no one listens. Instead, I better represent King Lear who blasts nature with an anger that stems from genuine injustice…and in return, I am bequeathed the same resulting indifference granted the emotionally usurped monarch.

I was asked to speak today about the Department of Human Resources and my relationship with the department through the thirteen years of my paralysis. I’m really at a loss for words, but as Sister Mary Gracia, my eleventh-grade English teacher, always stressed, “Write about what you know,” and at very least, I know what’s true. In the words of Cordelia, King Lear’s third daughter, “Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave\ my heart into my mouth” (Lear I.i.91-92); I must needs speak the truth for then I speak with impunity.

I was blessed on April 18, 1986 when I was involved in a single-car accident that left me permanently paralyzed. I contend that I was blessed on this day because I found out then how very strongly my family loves me, and it marks the incipience of the period in my life when my family demonstrated this love by providing me the support I would need to not only overcome this adversity but to enjoy many aspects of my life of paralysis. Of course, there are times when my paralysis disheartens me; like every other human on this planet, I have bad days, but it’s because of my family and friends that the good days I experience far outnumber the bad ones, which is more than I can say about some verticals I’ve seen wallowing through life like human chattel.

When I was first injured, in fact it was before my release from Shepherd Spinal Center, I was assigned a rehab counselor from the Department of Human Resources. Belinda Hudson had a southern accent that could charm the last doughnut from any police officer; her voice soothed as if she had caressed her listener’s soul with silk. She was fresh out of college and anxious to put her training to use, and although she was willing enough to do whatever it took to get me employed, she really had very little to do as far as motivating me against the myriad obstacles I was to confront; I was already motivated.

Of course there were mistakes, but she did get me into the Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation’s Independent Living Program. I was enrolled into this program less than a year after my accident, but, again, I was already motivated, and although much of the counseling was superfluous in my case, I was introduced to the Georgia Computer Programming Project, which was sponsored by Goodwill and held on the Georgia Tech campus. This program was designed to teach those with physical handicaps COBOL, and the exclusive goal of this program was employment for its students. For this I will forever be grateful; it was the incipience into a career path I have since followed to my current status.

While I was enrolled in the programming classes, I met a fellow student who was the same level spinal-cord injury as I, but he had no intention of getting a job after the classes; his only reason for attending the class was because his rehab counselor told him that he’d lose his benefits if he didn’t make any effort to gain employment. Of course, his reasoning was actually pragmatic; he was told, as was I, that if he were to become employed, he would lose all his benefits. As it was, the government bought his electric wheelchair; (He was at least 300 pounds and his wheelchair was huge!) he had an accessible van courtesy of Uncle Sam; his attendant-care was paid for as was his pharmaceuticals. It really wasn’t worth his efforts to lose all this for meaningful employment that would’ve actually brought in far less. This seems to be the way our government deals with special physical cases such as his and mine: threatening the welfare recipient with his benefits to perform jumps through hoops that are intended to impress only the blind.

The current status quo offers no incentive for one receiving benefits to seek alternatives, and it seems to me that this method costs the state. Think about it: if I didn’t have the family support that I currently do, I would be, like my classmate, totally dependent on the state, costing the state illimitable funds. However, since October 1993, I haven’t received anything courtesy of our government; that’s why even today I sleep during the week alone in a house from ten pm., when my attendant leaves (an attendant I pay out of my own pocket), until 5:30 when she returns to prepare me for work. My parents help me on the weekend because I just can’t afford the attendant care.

It seems that in certain cases such as mine, which I admit is really rare, arrangements could be made so that funds could be appropriated to pay someone to stay with me at night; I guess the only way this idea will ever reach fruition is when my house burns down and my charred remains become the main focus of a spectacular media blitz, which will move the general public to react on my behalf…posthumously, of course.

I’ve been working full-time for almost eight years; I pay taxes, yet I still live precariously because I’m not wealthy enough to pay for my own safety. However, I do give back, via the taxes I pay, to the very institution that probably still buys my ex-classmate his amenities, but even he has to perform circus tricks to keep his small piece of the pie. Why is it so hard?

Maybe I’m a victim of disinformation. Maybe the government has special programs that meet my needs, but shouldn’t this information be available. I strongly contend that there’d be far more handicapped employees in the work force if it weren’t so difficult.

For the past year, TSYS has been working hard with the Department of Human Resources in an effort to help me become more productive, and great strides have been made. Together they have concluded that a color-printer, a certain mouth-stick, and a software package should be purchased with varying funds, and these have been approved and are in varying stages of fruition; in fact, I’ve had the color-printer for a while and it has helped more than words can connote.

However, I have a very unique situation with regards to urine removal, and, again, the people who are acting on my behalf are asked to perform sundry tricks for the really uninterested. I have very recently been told that I’ve been approved for 90 days for funds to pay for someone to help me with this problem. When I asked what’s to happen after 90 days, I got uncertainty. I’ve been paralyzed since 1986, before the fall of Communism. Is it seriously expected that I miraculously regain ambulation and total sensation within the next three months?

I appreciate everything that’s been accomplished on my behalf, I seriously do, but I can’t remain idle while there’s so much indifference within the system. It seems ludicrous that one should work so hard just to work, and I am unable to “live,\ and pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh\ at gilded butterflies” (Lear V.iii.11-13) as if everything is so irrevocably beneficent. Open your eyes; there’s more work to be done.

It seems obvious that working within the confines of such emotionally destructive ignorance sharpened my sarcasm into a finely tuned instrument. I could easily be provoked into harsh callousness by the slightest hint of hypocrisy or aggression. After my release from indentured servitude, I remember that when I rolled out of the front door of the campus, I literally felt the pressure of trying to comply with the rampant hypocritical nonsense as it noticeably separated from my corporeal body, silently evanescing into the surrounding atmosphere. I was told by more than one lawyer that I had a convincing case against the corporation, but I didn’t want to be given anything... still don’t.

The truth is that I don’t know if Karma exists, but it doesn’t seem right for me to gain anything at the expense of anyone or anything else. The people who are the hierarchy of the corporation for which I once worked must deal with any negative responses that may or may not adversely affect their terrestrial existence or their post-terrestrial manifestation, whatever that may be. I was given a gift when I was fired, and I am now pursuing music. I am at peace with myself and with my surrounding environment, including the few I’ve embraced as family. I now want nothing but the opportunity to express myself... through my writings and through song.

Peace Through Music

Make Stages Wheelchair Accessible
Beauty and the Big Band
Archived Essay from December 25, 2013

Last Tuesday, my nephew Austin drove me to Decatur, Georgia for the weekly jazz jam at Twain’s Billiards and Pub hosted by Joe Gransden, and, once again, I had a blast! It was the fourth time that I’ve been there, and Joe warmly acknowledged me once again, but what was really cool was that he seemed to really got off on the “swing” we experienced while playing Cole Porter’s “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To.” Before we started, Joe snapped his fingers to a cadence that suggested a slow ballad, but I said “faster,” to which he replied, eyebrows slightly raised, “You wanna swing it?” and when I affirmed and requested an even faster pace, he smiled and we took off. After the initial chorus, I scatted, and I was really pleased with the result, although I did start off a little trepidly. After the other musicians took their solos, we traded eights with the drummer. When he finished his licks, we were back to the head, and I came in with the vocals on beat! Again, it was a total blast, and I think that Joe was really geeked!

While my nephew and I were mesmerized by the jazz jam and its kickin’ musical vibe, a brochure was passed around that announced an upcoming Christmas concert, so Monday evening, my parents and I went to Duluth, Georgia to hear Joe Gransden’s Big Band along with special guest Annie Sellick. It was beyond charming. Duluth is a small town just north of Atlanta, and nestled amongst quaint shops on Main Street is a small theater of about 260 seats, the Red Clay Theater, which was packed for the show.

Historic Duluth boasts a Main Street that welcomes visitors with a comforting blend of retro charm and contemporary vibe. With the motto, ‘where everything old is renewed again,’ and a city slogan, ‘pride in old and new,’ you get the sense this community has fully embraced the concept of revitalization. And, in the midst of the tantalizing eateries, quaint shops, the lure of an open-air town green and intriguing mix of arts and entertainment venues sits a treasure — the Red Clay Theater.

from the website:

Although the handicapped seating was both minimal and a bit inconvenient (two places in the very front on the extreme sides of the stage... from where I sat I could only see three members of the 16-piece band and Joe with an occasional glimpse of Miss Annie when she sauntered toward center stage); however, it seems like minor changes could ameliorate much of the inconvenience relatively cheaply. Plus, there were two unisex bathrooms; the one I used was spacious and wheelchair friendly, which is a convenience that I, surprisingly, don’t find as often as I would like in public places. If I, perchance, were to patronize the Red Clay Theater on a more regular schedule, I strongly believe that the owner wouldn’t be adverse to making a few changes for wheelchair bound patrons. I just need to get out more. By becoming an ubiquitous patron of jazz, I may become a subconscious causal agent toward architectural change, helping other venues in the southeast to better embrace the handicapped population. After all, we’re not all pariah.

Be that as it may, the night was very enjoyable, each soloist demonstrated virtuosic skills, and both Joe and Miss Annie were charming to the max, musically groovy and enchanting, and too much fun. After the show, they were both available to sign CDs and to confab with fans. Not surprisingly, both were really amicable towards me and my folks, remembering us from their respective visits to the Columbus Jazz Society. Annie hugged me, twice, and warmly; both she and Joe were pleasantly surprised that my parents and I made the trip from Columbus, Georgia, and although the car ride through the heart of Atlanta is a white-knuckle affair, the thought of the genuine warmth from both jazz stars made the ride home much more pleasant. Needless to say, I am a big fan of both jazz artists, and although their musicality is virtuosic, I truly dig them as very special human beings.

Peace Through Music
Russell (Rusty) Allen Taylor
December 25, 2013

Peace and Love
If you want to read the funniest, non-politically correct book about quadriplegia and alcoholism, then this is the book. If you want to know what motivates me, then read this book. It's a no-holds barred, slap in the face that'll make you cry with laughter. I just found out that Hollywood made a film about the book's author John Callahan back in 2018, and the movie stars Joaquin Phoenix. Looks like I've serendipitously found subject matter for a future essay. Life is good. BTW, click on the book to learn more about it.
It Ain't Jazz, But...

Opelika Songwriters Festival
May 24-26, 2019
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!