Chess Meister & Mama Change

Note: Thought of titling this Grand Chess Meister and Big Mama Change. Or Big Mother Change Chess Meister. Grand Cartoonist Stephan Pastis should scroll back to The Pun Party. Grand Master Meister should telephone me instead of reading this. [Pause.] Ah, I guess R.M. can consider glancing at the beginning of the previous post here. This is an unedited first draft, written in 15′.

Chess Meister & Mama Change

Dedicated to Robert Meister and the potential he holds in his hands
by Ox… with R.L. and D.D. at

It is not surprising that a little over a thousand years ago so many sports and pastimes related to war. Not at all, if one knows what was coming down around the year 1000.

Riding and archery had obvious practical applications, while the strategies of the chessboard provided a metaphor for the maneuverings of the battlefield. Developed in the East, chess reached Spain and southern France thanks to the Arabs. It is not certain when it arrived in England (where I first learned the game as a very young boy), but a Swiss poem of the 990s describes the moves of the queen and how the game ends when the king is in check-mate.

In the year 1000 the queen was actually one of the weaker pieces on the board, and the game was even slower and more drawn out — much longer — than it is today. It was not until the fifteenth century that the queen was given the extraordinary range of moves which made her the superpower of the board, when the game was so revolutionized that it was sometimes renamed New Chess, Queen’s Chess, or La Dame Enragee. Perhaps that all paved the way for Lady Macbeth?

Seriously, though, the chess board provides an analogy that’s very useful in trying to become more militant with the powers that be. Especially when you factor in the history of women. I’ll touch upon that latter point at the end here.

“Now is the time to plan for a militant response. We must be prepared for whoever wins.”

That’s a line from Professor Robert Meister of UCSC, an institution which is not too far from where I live. A place from which we could wage a battle that would send magisterial ripples across the country, culminating in many victories. Without heads getting bashed in on the so-called barricades. Without youngsters having to be profiled forever more with odious police records. Without so much that’s obsolete now. Without any currently popular model of action which is being used as the primary or exclusive means to bring about change; all popular paradigms need a supplement… of macroscopic proportions. All good, well-intentioned works being pulled off in what I call little corners are begging for movement in militant solidarity from a new angle. [Please see at the very bottom a fundamental point I make about obsolete paradigms.]

How to become more militant then?

I look forward to delineating HOW as soon Prof. Meister returns from San Francisco and gets in touch with me… as I think he’s promised, or suggested he would. Maybe I should say as I hope he does. Or say as I pray he does. For the whole disgruntled, deeply pained spectrum of citizens aligned against the powers that be at UC cannot afford going for broke on the back of obsolete forms of protest. Prof. Meister and his minions must get with me ASAP… so that I can delineate a plan for action in private. Out of the public eye for starters. Without the megaphones which are always used to notify the powers that be ahead of time… unnecessarily… and in a way that serves as a red flag for (guaranteed) failure. I mean, FAILURE. However many seeds might be planted. I’m not attached to my particular proposal, but it deserves an intense airing.

But back to chess.

We do not want to, as I say ad nauseum, replace white rooks with red ones. Nor will we benefit by a black bishop being replaced by a green piece. Traditional reform is too tame. And takes too much time in the face of the deadlines we face. Deadlines which go unacknowledged to this day. [Pause.] Ask me what they are. [Pause.] Better, you tell me… so that I can learn something about you.

What we want to do, in my view, is to upend the game board. Put ourselves in a position of being able to start fresh. Without the parameters which are imposed by the banks and their first cousins in power… in official capacities here, there and everywhere… where one looks for a break… which cannot be found these days anywhere. [Pause.] With new rules.

Anyhow, HOW to pull that off… and further elaboration on WHY this approach is necessary… I’ll be honored to run through for Professor Meister if he comes through.

There is a window of opportunity right now that will not come again. Something like the crossroads that women faced around July 13, 1848. When the rules began to change… against the most daunting of odds.


Like I said in the beginning of the previous post, we can have a new beginning — securing significant reins of power legally and nonviolently — BUT we must not stand by any rationalization which demands that we wait for the federal elections to be over.

We must begin to take action IMMEDIATELY that will lead to the very old chess game being over and done with. We can set up new rules. Kind of dictate what’s going to come down in California. Without a care in the world respecting what comes down on the federal level… for now.

Fundamental point about obsolete paradigms: I have much more to say on this topic, of course, but for now permit me to simply touch upon one example of this neglected subject. [Pause.] When Troy Davis was sitting on death row in Georgia waiting to be executed, a million people signed a petition begging the powers that be to spare his life; I signed, the Pope signed, Jimmy Carter signed, conservative politicians from Georgia signed, Angela Davis signed, a million plus people signed, concerned citizens one and all. The thing is, I did NOT sign with the idea that putting my signature down was going to be the PRIMARY OR EXCLUSIVE MEANS for saving Troy’s life. I had planned to do something else. The “something else” wasn’t embraced by other activists, but… I had approached the whole shebang from an additional (supplementary) angle. I ALWAYS do so when signing a petition because, as you must know, petitions are too infrequently effective enough. Troy, innocent as he was, was put to death on my birthday last year. He was only 42. Born in ‘42… I’m 70 as I write this October 27th, 2012. Before I die I’d like to make a difference on this score and more. Embrace something new with me, will ‘ya?

“The upper class is depicted in this film as capricious and self-indulgent, with little regard for the consequences of their actions.” — the author’s twelve-year-old, knowing about this article, reading out loud a description about Jean Renoir’s Rules of the Game. We need new rules.