Sunday, March 3, 2013

Snow and ice

I went out this morning at 5:30 a.m. - a crazy fellow, I'd already walked the dog and gone to the corner gas station/mini mart to pick up the Sunday paper - to clean off the wife's car. It's been sitting in the driveway; she's still weeks away from driving after her rotator cuff surgery.

I tried to brush off the snow. No deal; ice had built up in the week since I last drove it. I started chipping at the ice. It was thick. Then I got an idea. I turned the car on with the heater blasting, and sat in the driver's seat reading some section of the newspaper.

I read about the various government impasses at the nation, state, and local levels. I read with amusement the newspaper editorial lamenting the impasses - caused by people the newspaper had endorsed. I read about the city school board that had imposed strict attendance rules for students - even as the meeting attendance rates of its own members all failed to meet the standards they set for students. I read an article about spending gaps between wealthy school districts and poor school districts - and thought: I've been reading articles exactly like this since I began reading newspapers decades ago, all suggesting the same sorts of solutions, few if any of which will be tried. I read about the gun control debate and the slogans spouted by both sides. I read about a dispute over a low/moderate income housing project being proposed for a wealthy suburb. I read about yet another rally to end violence in the city at which people mouthed platitudes and hugged, but did not mention any realistic ways to address the underlying issues of poverty and broken families and more that help to lead to that violence.

After 15 minutes or so of sitting in the car I got out and managed to get all of the now softened and melted snow and ice off. Success.

Then I thought about what I had been reading in the car.

Seems there's lots of snow and ice in the world. Too bad there isn't a convenient moral/ethical/social heater we can just use to blast away at it all and make solving problems a little easier.

I guess we'll just have to keep chipping away.

Pax et bonum

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