I covered a small-town festival on Saturday for the newspaper. This is my kind of weekend assignment. I get to go, walk around, talk to people, eat KettleKorn, and make some money. Could be worse.
They had a parade that was MAYBE half a mile long. It was a mild fall day. At one point, the high school band came to a complete grinding halt in the middle of the parade so they could get watered.
Eager-looking volunteers came out with squirt bottles to give water to each and every band member (holding a nappy under their chins for dribbles) while an overwrought band mom yelled "Don't lock your knees! Everyone bend your knees!"
I understand the compulsion. Everyone wants to be safe and comfy and well-hydrated. Everyone wants a little important job to do like the shouting overwrought band mom.
But crikey. If India and China beat the snot out of us in the world economy, it's going to be this kind of idiocy that does us in. Kids - young, healthy kids - that can't march half a mile without halting a parade to get a drinky?? How did we get so weak?
I feel like a major old geez. "Back in my day, whippersnapper, our band marched for 5 miles in the blazing sun wearing wool uniforms that had never been laundered and 18-inch Shakos while playing John Philip Sousa marches and THEY never needed water! Kids these days!"
In other news of wimpiness, one of my favorite bloggers posted begging people to write letters and sign petitions to end a horror in a foreign country.
One of the commenters said that she should realize that she would get her "name on a list" with activities like that. Again, how freaking weak and impotent do we want to act?
Despite the Bush regime revoking habeas corpus, despite torture now being legal, it still isn't exactly Argentina's dirty war, is it?
And don't you think, on the list of thought crimes, that signing a petition against some tinpot dictator is going to be pretty far down on the list, even assuming that thought criminals are going to start being hauled off in the dark of night?
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing," said Edmund Burke. Right on, brother man. It's no time for wimpiness. No time for timidity. No time to stop for a drink of water.
If you're at a loss for what to do, join Amnesty International or at least sign up for their email alerts. They are one of the most-respected human rights groups in the world, and they have plenty of stuff to work on. If you're interested in a specific topic - women's rights, children's rights, death penalty - they have special campaigns for each.