Friday, May 28, 2010


There are days when nothing’s available. I’ll sit in front of the screen with violent discourses battling in my head, but not a thought emerges that’s worth writing. I have pages of notes on things to comment on, notebooks full of pithy quotes, great and powerful solutions to offer, but the truth is that my mind is a blank. Or perhaps it’s simply overloaded.

What can one say about the BP oil spill that’s now a month old? A recent column in the Washington Post claims it’s all the fault of environmentalists who, by calling for laws against drilling in protected areas such as Alaskan park land and the California coast, have forced oil companies to go ever deeper—5000 feet, as it turns out. There’s a weird, perverted logic to this, sort of like a spoiled brat saying he won’t be responsible for his actions if denied what he wants now.

What can one say about the recent decision by the Supreme Court to close its majestic front entrance to the public—a reaction, we’re told, to fears of terrorist acts. Ever since the Reagan years when Pennsylvania Avenue was closed off to traffic, we’ve seen our ability to move about in the Nation’s Capital slowly wane. We can’t fly kits on the Mall anymore, either, so another simple joy is taken away without debate. Are the terrorists winning here, even if it’s in a small way?

I don’t understand why the hours at my library are being cut back, as is the staffing, even as its neighborhood is being ravaged by urban development that wants to bring more suburbanites, more jobs, more stores, more roads, but no additional schools, teachers, police, medical or firefighting capabilities.

I’m still struggling with the concept of billion-dollar armament and the notion—now accepted—that a project’s cost will double or triple with no apparent repercussions. I’m pretty sure that a small private business that consistently failed to meet its goals and tried to soak its clients to compensate for its own ineptitude, well, it wouldn’t last long. Think of going to the dry cleaners to get your shirts and being told that sorry, the agreed upon price is no longer applicable. You now owe them not two bucks a shirt, but six.

Hell, I don’t even understand why radishes and tomatoes no longer have any taste, and why a navel orange’s skin is a quarter-inch thick.

Like I said. Overload.

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