1.30.2007

A Common Denominator

Alison and I spent a fun weekend in Richmond, VA with Trey and Megan. (that's Alison's brother and sister-in-law [and in-laws all-around for me]). We ate lots of good food, had fun shopping around in Carytown (an endless row of funky, locally-owned shops) and saw the movie Pan's Labarinth, which, i do believe, could easily fit into the category of Gory Christian Allegory.

But that's not the point of this post. Here's my point (or the beginning, thereof): For Sunday morning breakfast Alison and i went over to Trey and Megan's (we stayed at a hotel). We stopped and bought some sausage and the Richmond Sunday paper. In that paper was a story about how parents letting kids drink alcohol at parties was responsible for the deaths of several area teenagers per year. Turns out that thirty states in the U.S. allow parents to give consent to their children drinking--and anywhere! Like at a restaurant and stuff. How cool! Did you guys know this?

Alright. Now hold on to your britches...

Anyone who has visited Charleston has seen sweetgrass baskets. Local folks--gullah folks--have made an independent living down here for a long time by making these baskets. They sell them downtown in the touristy Market and they sell them on the side of the highway coming into town. Well, growth around here is threatening the well-being of a particular type of grass of which these baskets are best made. It's a shame because to lose these basket makers and their art would be a terrible loss.

Here's another one:

There is very close to 3,100 dead soldiers in Iraq as of this writing.

and another:

My mfa project consisted of work that took place in two poor crime-ridden neighborhoods in New Bedford. During the time i was living there, Alison stayed in Nashville in our house--also in a poor, crime-ridden neighborhood. Also, when i drove back and forth between these two places i would pass through one of the poorest, most crime-ridden neighborhoods of all: the South Bronx.

or:

it appears that we are altering the climate of the planet rather quickly.

or:

the average American spends almost 45 minutes of their day driving to and from work.

or:

14.4 billion dollars were spent on public safety by the Department of Transportation in 2004.

or....

naw, that's enough. The common denominator, of course, is the automobile.

I recently started playing a game called "what part does the car play in this?" and discovered that it's a big factor in a lottalotta stuff. It's amazing what kind of hoops we'll jump through just to keep from saying "hmmmm...maybe limiting the use of the automobile is the solution here."

Give this game a try for yourself and see what happens. When another sticky issue raises it's head--whether it's the destruction of a neighborhood or making child car seats affordable to the working class or U.S./Chile relations--try factoring how that situation would change if the automatic right for the use of an automobile was to have its carte blanche revoked.

2 comments:

Bookninja said...

You have to consider all hypotheses. Namely, what does Baxter have to do with this? Perhaps your animal companion is a cause of global strife? Bet ya never thought of that Mr. Fancypants. Or should I say Comrade Fancypantski.

Biffle said...

now that's what i call a commie...i mean a comment!