Don’t let it bring you down

Do I absolutely love the way that we, as Americans, have managed to butcher the English language over the years, the way we “misremember” certain events and our innate ability to perceive the world only through our very own, self-created blinders? You betcha I do. And I mean that with every ounce of sarcasm I can possibly conjure up.

The various 24-hour “news” stations, pretend politicians and socially-inept commentators – each and every one – have made certain of this. Sometimes I think I’d be better off watching re-runs of old Loony Tunes cartoons – they’re just as informative, in most instances, and definitely more entertaining.

I mean really, where else can people turn these days when they’d like to find out anything and everything possible on the latest from Lindsay Lohan, the fact that Michael Vick wants a dog and the dangers of eating contaminated catfish raw from a landfill in South Dakota? OK, so I made that last one up, I’ll admit it, but sometimes it seems that we’ve become so infatuated with the inane, the insane and the positively pointless that these “news” outlets and garbage-spouting, quasi-celebrities, in reality (a place they’ve obviously never visited), don’t have to work all that hard to draw our attention. And that’s downright depressing.

I often wonder what our founding fathers would think of the ridiculous situation we’ve created for ourselves with our mass media, mega-corporation, profit-induced hysteria. Would they laugh or cry? Or would they simply be angry with the fact that we’ve managed to completely corrupt and misinterpret, in just over two hundred years, the ideals and beliefs they envisioned when they founded our nation? Myself, if I were one of them, let’s just say that yes, I’d be more-than-a-little peeved.

And we have a perfect example of our political representatives continued failure to understand the needs and rights of their constituents right here in Chenango County: The imminent closing of the Rogers Conservation Center.

I’ve been going to Rogers regularly for well over two decades now and probably closer to three. I can’t even begin to imagine how many thousands of children have enjoyed the trails, wildlife and educational opportunities Rogers’ provides. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it’s one of the most valuable resources we have here in Chenango County.

It’s a mystery to me these days just what, if anything, our representatives in Albany and Washington have personally sacrificed during these trying economic times. I’m guessing zilch, zero, nada – absolutely nothing. Have they ever gone hungry in order to feed a child? When was the last time they lived on hot dogs and cheap, generic macaroni-and-cheese because that’s all they could afford? My guess is never. They’re so out-of-touch with the realities facing the average American these days that it’s almost funny, in a twisted, sick kind of way. And here they are, just days away from shutting down a facility that’s been utilized and enjoyed by countless generations of county residents, their families, friends and children. A facility we’ve begged them to leave alone so that we can continue to experience the extraordinary benefits it provides to people of all ages.

Not that this is a judicial issue in any sense, but I always thought Lady Justice was supposed to be blind. I never realized that, as far as our political representatives are concerned, she’s deaf as well. It just doesn’t seem right, or just, for those in power to carelessly make decisions which will have absolutely no effect on their quality of life, even as it destroys one more little piece of what makes this such a great place to live. They’re obviously not listening, or they don’t care. Either way, that’s more than a little scary.

Follow me on Twitter ... @evesunbrian.

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