Someone yesterday -- someone with great organizational skills, I'd have to say -- organized a community appreciation event to honor the residential industrialists of our city, for our humanitarian initiatives of the last few days.
It was a great sight -- and a great reminder of the spirit of a people when they can come together in common cause. In this case, we've been facing an enemy that none of us care for when it turns evil, and that's the weather.
Mark Twain famously said on his blog, 'No one does anything about it," referring to the weather, but, thanks to modern conveniences, the great humorist at this late date turns out to be wrong. In the face of bitterly hot temps, we step forth with air conditioners, fans, and sprinkler hoses. And in the face of pounding rains and unprecedented floods, we step forth with hip waders, boats, sandbags, and the like.
Who did all of this? Clue: It wasn't the major industrial powers! The "usual suspects," those who've been screwing us for years with "mainstream" manufacturing, stood on the sidelines, and more or less said, "You haven't got an air conditioner in this sweltering heat? Get a second job and maybe you can afford one!" They said, more or less, "Floods getting you down? We have a few boats and sandbags we can sell you, if you take out a second mortgage on your home to pay for it, which, incidentally, happens to be floating by even now as we speak!" We've heard of a homeowner being "under water," but this is ridiculous!
That's one of the ways the majors have been screwing us for years, by manufacturing just enough stuff to keep the prices high and the supply low. So you end up with a situation where there's one air conditioner for every third person who wants one. The way it is with fans is a little better, but fans aren't quite as good. You never hear of a house for sale where they tout they have "centralized fan." It's always air conditioners. And it's been forever since I heard anyone get that excited about a sprinkler hose!
No, it was those of the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM), who proved to be the neighbors we could count on. And, look, there's a built in advantage the RIM has: We have millions of factories in most of the neighborhoods of the country, doing nothing but turning out products for the consumer market. We can't tell one man what to make in his factory. It's completely up to him. So, let's say we have 40 men in town who have an idea to make paper plates, that's their business. Before, maybe you never ever heard of a paper plate manufacturer in your town; it was rare. Now, if we have 40, that's great! One, everyone has quick access to what they're making. And, two, there's such a glut, the prices are extremely low, dirt cheap. And that's what we like!
So they organized an appreciation march yesterday, which is what I'd guess you'd call it. They put the word out for RIM members to bring a sample of their air conditioners, fans, sprinkler hoses, hip waders, boats, sandbags, etc., everything we've been making the last few days to battle the terrible heat and crazy rain and flooding. And they came! Some with trucks, some with cars, some with carts or wagons! One guy, who normally makes supplies for horses, brought a horse drawn carriage literally loaded with both air conditioners and boats his plant has been making. Talk about "beasts of burden!" These horses are going to feel it in the morning!
Of course there were shouts of acclamation. Very wild stuff. It's the first parade I've seen where the crowds lining the street were spontaneously (without any planning or prompting, but simply out of great appreciation) throwing candy to the folks in the parade. And, I believe I'm saying this accurately, they don't even do that in North Korea (known for their unusual parades). Because we're good neighbors fighting a common enemy, weather that needs to get its act together, getting together in a full-throated way.