Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Musings on: an 8 month-old in a restaurant, Elk River, credibility gaps, bookcases

Hope your Tuesday is going well.  I am about ready to start ordering my seeds and plants.  By the middle of nest month I will be starting some of them under the grow light upstairs.  Let's see what is on the net this morning.

Jesse's Cafe Americain has a piece this morning on a topic we have commented on here: credibility--of government, social, and financial leaders and organizations.  It comes up almost weekly when the government stats on the labor market are released.  We hear the numbers and simply don't believe it.  We take almost any pronouncement with more than a grain of salt.  We greeted Obama's so-called Promise Zones with the question of which corporate interests would benefit most.  Every time some politician speaks the word "reform" I wonder whose ox will be gored.

A Chicago chef (at a very pricy restaurant) posted a tweet that became one of the dominant stories on our local news and actually got a mention on Good Morning America.  A couple arrived for dinner with an 8 month old baby in tow and the baby started crying about an hour into the meal.  At one point they were asked to take the baby into the foyer or the restroom and quiet it.  After the family left, other diners nearby started complaining.  The chef felt caught in the middle.  He didn't want to refuse patrons with children but sympathized with diners who were spending $250/head for a "special dining experience."  I have a bit of a different take on the story.  It is part and parcel of a process that has, over the last century or more, separated people by age.  We separate children in some form of school for most of their time or in other groups with only a couple of adults supposedly supervising.  We separate older folks in "retirement communities" or "nursing" homes.  Working age adults don't often see, much less interact, with anyone much younger or older than themselves.  And we have little sympathy or patience for them.  Which brings me to my second reaction to this story.  We have become so self-absorbed, so selfish that we can't empathize with anyone else's predicaments--especially if those conditions in even the mildest way interferes with our "experience."  We can't be bothered to be polite or tolerant or, heaven forbid, helpful.  It isn't much of a step from complaining (as the other diners did) to pulling out a gun and blazing away (as happened, evidently, in Florida.)  Mom and I have very suspicious and cynical minds that run parallel.  We wondered how many of the complaining diners hoped to cash in on their "spoiled" experience and get a discount from the management.

The people who designed these bookcases not only love books, they have one heck of a design sense.

Rude Pundit is somewhat restrained in his rudeness today writing about the chemical spill on the Elk River.  According to the news the situation in W. Virginia has eased and many areas will be able to use tap water (if they trust the system after the last week).  However, Cincinnati has taken measures to deal with pollution reaching that area.  I wish I was hopeful that the politicians would finally choose people over corporate profits but I am not.  I think the news media will move on and the public pressure to do something will dissipate.  That seems to be the way these things go.  I am intrigued that Cincinnati's actions received only a one line mention on the TV news this morning.  So far I haven't found anything on a NBC or a couple of other sites.  I wonder if our collective amnesia is already kicking in.

Ouch!!!  Tell me again--who won the Cold War???

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