Monthly Archives: August 2009
Herd About It?
by Ana Grarian
I just read Farm City the Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter. It is a fun book documenting her exploits into raising everything from fruits and veggies to bees to chicks to pigs in a vacant lot in a not so desirable section of Oakland California. You get to know her and her neighbors through their interactions over her unusual enterprise. Though in her neighborhood nothing is exactly usual. Read more
More brilliant satire from William K. Wolfrum:
By William K. Wolfrum
William K. Wolfrum Chronicles
BERLIN (Aug. 25, 1939) A townhall meeting led by Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels was interrupted by angry protesters, shouting anti-Nazi chants and carrying signs that compared Fuhrer Adolf Hitler to Barack Obama. The townhall meeting – which had the purpose of gaining support for Germanys planned attack of Poland – was briefly delayed as the protesters had their say.
We want our Germany back, screamed one protester. We will not go down the radical path America went down with Obama!
Not that we want them back in power, of course!
You might notice I also posted part one. I know this is a repost. I thought it would make sense to do this to help readers understand my use of the rhetorical train wreck. Only this edition is the great rhetorical train wreck on much smaller scale. Even the smallest communities seem to have problems discussing issues. I believe it is tearing society apart. Oh, and there is an actual train in this part of our story! I will start with a quote from the previous Inspection…
“We have become a society which argues by extreme; absurd, hyperbole… and that has become the standard for ‘rationale’ discussion. Those who disagree with us are cast in absurd stage lights while we toss rotten tomatoes: personal insults and mischaracterizations, at them. Many of these comments are no more than mere smears that would make Boris Badenov seem more human: more real. Of course another factor here is the tendency to portray whatever those who disagree with us believe in as always resulting in worst case scenarios, while whatever you believe in will always result in best case scenarios.”
“Worst and best case scenarios almost never come true.”
Beaver River Station is a quiet hamlet in what some refer to as “The Central Adirondacks.” It’s a bit more southwest than “central,” but years ago someone… maybe Mr. Cohen or Adirondack French Louie: I’m not sure… started calling the area “central” and it has super glued itself to the region since at least my great Grandfather was a guide.
There are no roads to Beaver River Station; not since the Flow, as it used to be called, was flooded near the turn of the previous century. But there is a railroad going right through the center of town. On a rare occasion I will see a train, or maintenance crews with railcars: trucks really, riding the rails past my retirement home.
There also is a controversy surrounding this railroad which is a great rhetorical train wreck on a very small scale.
When we bought our place there in 05 I longed to return to the peaceful, quiet; “get out of Dodge while going to Dodge City” town I first fell in love with in the early 60s. The kind of place where a stranger: a teen, could sit at a restaurant and play cards until past midnight with the owner’s wife and the parents of many locals… some who are now on opposing sides in this train wreck.
This sometimes rather nasty divide is over whether to rip out the rails and create a recreational trail out of what is used for snowmobiles when the train isn’t operating in the winter… or support the railroad’s efforts to hopefully have regular passenger service that passes through the Station. There’s an added incentive: a necessarily limited ability to ride the rails with a railcar.
Ever had a controversy where you feel you’re on a rack and screw and you’d rather not have one side pulling on your arms, or the other stretching your legs? This is the way I feel about this issue. I can see advantages and disadvantages either way in this debate. But what I do see is what this issue might do to my beloved Beaver River Station. As fellow Beaver River-ite Bill Partridge and I agreed a few years ago…
“This town doesn’t need, and is too small, for this kind of %$#@!.”
(I provided the “color” to our comments, to clear Bill of any foul language there may have been.)
Like all issues, we should return to some rather obvious observations from the previous Inspection…