The news was so horrible today, I took a rare break from it. I had plenty to do in other corners of the internet, and it made for a good excuse. Thanks to Jolene and others for keeping us informed of the high points of the day’s developments (and Coozledad for serving as the voice of my id Thursday); it meant I didn’t have to wade into the swamp. I’m sure there are not only alligators there, but snakes, mosquitoes and stinking mud.
These events are awful in so may ways beyond the obvious. I simply dread the weeks of bullshit, the moronic discussions on cable news, the self-promoting talking heads who simply aren’t helping in any way. How did we get to a point that this much static is simply expected? Maybe it’s time to do that thing people do and stop paying attention.
At least, stop paying attention to most of it. If anyone comes across the inevitable men’s rights advocates talking about the dangers of “low-status males,” let me know so I can go to ground for another week or so.
While we wait for a few things to settle out, and we learn more about those involved — like this roommate who apparently listened to this guy’s murder fantasies for six months without saying anything about it; talk about a piece of work — let’s look at a few other stories.
I’m not much for most newspaper think pieces, but as a swimmer, I found this one interesting:
Once a mainstay of cities nationwide, public swimming pools are becoming relics, waylaid by budget cuts, changing tastes and perception issues that touch on race and class. In the past few years alone, public pools have closed from Westland and Dearborn to Detroit and Royal Oak Township.
That’s not to say there’s nowhere to swim. There are 1,200 outdoor pools in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties that Michigan regulators define as “public.” More than 90 percent are anything but, tucked behind gates of subdivisions, marinas or swim clubs where membership fees of $2,000 aren’t uncommon.
It’s hard to imagine for me; I grew up in a bathing suit, living at the pool all summer long, along with everybody else in my neighborhood and school. Lessons were in the morning, then we came home for lunch and went back in the summer for general goofing off. The rules: No running, no horseplay on “the deck” (it was tolerated in the pool), few others. In this wildly unstructured block of summer, we all came of age. So this was interesting:
A simple swimming pool doesn’t cut it anymore, Yack said.
“If you don’t have a pool with lots of gadgets, gizmos and slides, chances are it’s going to be under-utilized and the cost of maintaining it will be difficult,” said Yack, who retired as supervisor in 2008 and is now serving as a township trustee.
We had diving boards, and that was pretty much it for gadgets, gizmos and slides. Of course, we were allowed to take floaties into the water, something verboten at our pool. We have a slide, with a million rules — no jewelry, no metal of any sort on one’s suit, only so many people allowed on the steps at a time, and so on and on and on.
I hate to see this, though. Swimming is a life skill. It shouldn’t be yet another thing divided by class and money.
I had one more story to share, but I see it’s about Rachel Dolezal, and her 15 minutes are up.
Happy weekend, all.