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the SOTU, snowdust and Seeger

January 30, 2014

It’s difficult composing this post because I can barely see the keyboard.  I’m doubled up with laughter, so I have to type with my nose.  Two mirth-making events have happened simultaneously.  The first is the Rabid Right’s response to the State of the Union address.  I have my own issues with Obama, especially about the environment, but to listen to his most wild-eyed distractors, he’s determined to send the U.S. spiraling off into socialism, communism AND fascism.

I think that’s politically, maybe physically, impossible; but these folks are light on the details.  The SOTU is a generally useless exercise to me.  It summarizes the nation’s recent successes, ignores its recent failures and hints at its future accomplishments with sweeping statements.  And then there’s some guaranteed crowd-pleaser to symbolize that We’re All In This Together.  This time it was a salute to a disabled soldier with the First Lady at his side.

Politicians of all stripes were quick to feast on that, even with pundits cautioning them not to politicize our servicemen and women.  That’s like asking them not to breathe, eat and reproduce.  But the republic will survive.

The second knee-slapper is Atlanta’s response to what we call a dusting of snow in Canada.  The metro area went nuts and everyone left home and school at the same time, changing its usual near-gridlocked roads into parking lots.  Schoolkids and others were forced to sleep in schools, buses, cars and Taco Bells.

Baseball great Chipper Jones, who just retired from the Atlanta Braves, grabbed headlines by rescuing current Brave Freddy Freeman from his car.  Jones faced the peril of an inch or so of snow on his ATV, taking Freeman home and leaving the question “Who will move Freddy’s car when traffic starts inching along again?”.  I guess that’s the price one pays when you’re the hometown of CNN.

My daughter lives in Hampton Roads, Virginia.  She reports that the response there was similar.  I’m more grateful than usual that she homeschools her two children.

This hysteria is hilarious, but not unprecedented.  I lived in Shreveport, Louisiana, in the early 60’s.  My dad was driving me to school one day in a spit of snow, barely a flurry.  The lead story on the KEEL-AM newscast was “Mother Nature has unleashed her savage fury on the city!”

I have to admit that I didn’t closely follow the career of iconic folk singer Pete Seeger.  I most remember him for the time he got in trouble (yet again) with a song originally cut from his appearance on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1967.  However, I deeply admire a man whose career spanned censure during the 1950’s McCarthy witch hunt to a 2013 Grammy nomination.  More on him next post.

  1. January 30, 2014 6:44 pm

    A snowstorm would seriously affect San Diego.. lots of hills that are slick with oil… the freeways would be horrible! Even a light rain is enough to cause accidents here. But what I’ve realized is that most of the people who’ve lived here their entire lives have never even seen snow except in pictures, and they truly have no concept of what it’s like to drive in it. (One young cashier asked me if snow was slippery!) I feel sorry for them, snow can be beautiful and fun, and it would be a shame to never spend a week or so in snow.

    • February 1, 2014 10:32 am

      Hey, Beanie. I don’t know if San Diego could respond any worse than Atlanta did, and Atlanta had plenty of warning (and experience). It’s in the foothills of a mountain range, not on the ocean.

  2. January 31, 2014 6:42 am

    I was surprised that my kids in Austin had “Snow” days. Further North in the DFW region we did not get anything. Not even a flurry. I lived thru the blizzard of ’78 when we had more than enough of the white stuff that left us paralyzed in Peru Indiana. Snow was expected and after a day or so we were fine. My girlfriend was whisked away on a snow mobile in labor with her 3rd child. I was lucky enough to make it to her house and call for help. It was a memorable time. I love the snow and we do not see much of it here. I know it has it’s perils but it also has it’s beauty.

    • February 1, 2014 10:36 am

      And DFW has seen some truly wintry weather at times.

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