Two things came together this past week to get me thinking ...
First was the huge derecho storm that powered through Northern Virginia last Friday night, leaving severe damage and widespread power outages in its wake; in fact, there are still a fairly large number of people in the Virginia-Maryland region still without electricity.
No electricity! No air conditioning! No cell phones! AAAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!
Oddly enough, though, we survived for many thousands of years without electricity and the comforts and conveniences it has delivered ... most of which are now regarded as necessities. The ancient Egyptians built a vast and complex civilization and built the pyramids some 5,000 years ago, without a single lawsuit against the Nile Basin Electric Cooperative because the a/c went out. The Napoleonic Wars were won and lost (depending on your preferred side) without electricity. Yours truly grew up in a comfortable home in Pittsburgh without air conditioning ... and somehow survived with fans (granted, it wasn't quite this hot in Western Pennsylvania in the 50's and 60's, but still ...). Not having cable TV and a good Internet connection is a pain ... but people have been reading printed books and playing cards and board games by candlelight for a long, long time.
Somehow, we survived. I think we may need a refresher course in what we define as essentials. A pain in the neck - to be sure. The end of life as we know it - probably not.
The other thing on my mind is the death of Andy Griffith.
For those of you reading this outside the US, Andy Griffith was one of our most beloved television actors, famous for his portrayal of folksy sheriff Andy Taylor in the long-running series set in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina. He was also an accomplished dramatic actor and a fine comedian ... one of his most popular and well-known routines was the story of the country bumpkin who stumbles into a football game and tries to make sense of what he's seeing in "What It Was, Was Football" ...
We need a chance to slow down and take life a bit easier. To read more and surf the web less. To live in a place where we know our neighbors and enjoy the sort of life that may never really have existed here in America.
It may be too late, given our dependence on a high-tech environment cooled and powered by electricity and our descent into the politics of extremism and bitter dispute ... but wouldn't it be nice to make a bit of a start?
Have a good day, and stay cool - with our without a/c. See you tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday.
More thoughts then.