I am calling Bravo Sierra on this one.
I was out taking my daily run. I tried a new trail which runs this area of the city. It is an urban trail which, for the most part, winds behind homes in a residential area. Some of the yards are bounded wood railings. Some of them have short chain link fences meant more to keep the dog in than to provide any real barrier. Many of them have nothing at all.
As I came around a bend I noted a ten-foot high fence on my right. The chain links were painted ominous black and were too small to put one’s hand through. At its top, the fence arched back over the trail just in case someone figured out a way to climb what was essentially an impermeable wall.
I wondered what this fence was for. Was there a prison here? Could it be a lion sanctuary? Perhaps it was a home for sexually promiscuous girls. As I drew nearer I saw the the fence actually stood guard over a golf course.
Now I get the arrogance of the golf course turning its spun steel nose up at the otherwise friendly neighborhood. And I get the need to assert to the social superiority of those who can afford to spend thousands of dollars on fees, equipment and accouterments to drive around and hit a little ball. What struck me was what I saw on the other side of the fence.
They were vacuuming the golf course.
No, I am not kidding. There was a tractor pulling a machine around, vacuuming the grass. There were no leaves because, of course, there are no trees in the middle of the golf course. There was no trash because the sort of uncouth riffraff who would litter were effectively barred by the fence. So, I assume, this activity was merely to make the golf course look more attractive.
When I turn on the evening news or read a news website, my mind is filled with dire warnings of economic chaos. You would think that, soon, all of our houses will be empty and there will be fighting in the streets over dumpster space.
Now I am in no way an economist or a financier. I can barely balance a check book. But I do know history. I know that the Depression was a time of pestilence, famine, disease, and weather like the breath of hell. There was no unemployment insurance, Medicaid, Social Security or welfare. The only thing approximating a social program were soup lines.
Yet these sensationalists journalists who sells subscriptions to fear want us to believe that The Grapes of Wrath was a utopian tale compared to what is happening now. Excuse me but if we have so few problems that we can worry about the neat appearance of a golf course in the middle of winter, we are about as close to The Depression as Oprah is to Scarlett Johansen.
So to these irresponsible cretins who want us to lose hope I say: bullshit.