On Student Debt, the Albatross and the Year of Jubilee

It would seem the know-nothings are again reaching into our ancient traditions, our Bible, seeking as they always to do assume the forms if not the functions of our faith – crediting the ideas unto themselves in a society that knows no better. To them, who are calling for ‘jubilee’ – I would posit another way that is perhaps more fair, more reasonable, and with a greater sense of responsibility. For is it not that which is lacking from our society today?

Joel D. Hirst's Blog

Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung

So goes a stanza from the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. The albatross, that grand bird which to the sailor of old meant the approaching of blessed land. A sign of good luck; but in the poem killed by a seafarer – who was afterward forced to wear the carcass around his neck by his fellow mariners, as a sign of shame and stupidity and arrogance as an evil fate befalls the ship and the sailor’s recklessness is shared with all his peers.

But what has this olden rhyme to do with now? We no longer sail ships, we no longer lust for land as the water turns brackish in the barrels and the hardtack begins to crawl with weevils. An allegory – a…

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About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).
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