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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Let a Remedy Be Found

Among some other weblogs, I have for a long time felt allied with one called Rooks Rant, presided over by a consistently interesting fellow named Guy Andrew (Something.) I've forgotten temporarily the third component of his name, but I recall that it makes him sound like one of those mythical knights of yore.

In the time that I've observed him Rook has been through a lot of travails, and one thing that makes keeping up with his weblog so worthwhile is that he has apparently taken to heart the ancient injunction, "Know thyself," and he is not sparing in taking clear-eyed looks at himself, a rare thing, as we all know.

But knowing where he lived, in Minnesota, I would've thought that his difficulties would have a lot to do with the weather, because when I think of that state two things come to my mind first -- its weather and its consistently progressive politics. Though I've haven't been watching lately, I'm hanging on to my ancient impression that that state's voting eye is matched in virtue only by the record of my own home town, notwithstanding lapses like Minnesota's choosing Jesse Ventura as governor, and a much greater error in D.C.'s choice for a long while of Marion Barry as mayor. But when I made the mistake of giving Guy Andrew some idea of my impression of Minnesota's weather, which, when it comes to being cold, strikes me as being the most extreme anywhere in the U.S., including Alaska, he rather curtly replied that Minnesotans were used to it and there was no reason to be critical of it, etc, etc.

No, he almost never mentions Minnesota's burial in the ice pack, and from his weblog you will instead get a real and consistently interesting saga -- as befits a probable descendant of the Vikings -- involving mainly his employment.

He is in the very worthwhile field of counseling people afflicted with chemical dependency, but apparently where he lives it's not easy to get and to hold a good, stable, sufficiently paid position in which he can help these dependents pull things back together, because of budget and other kinds of problems.

Just lately, however, he managed to extricate himself from a position in which he was obliged to make a weekly 300+ mile drive northward to International Falls, traditionally the Weather Channel's marker place for the coldest spot in the entire lower 48. That drive alone impressed me greatly, because I have gotten so daunted by making a mere 10 mile drive to the nearest town in almost always moderate weather that it is probably mental .

When Rook talked to his former employer, hoping to hear something encouraging on his salary situation, which had grown dire, partly because of the great expense of that epic commute, the boss merely said something like, "Well, you'll just have to do something about that, won't you?"

That reminded me of the time when King Philip of Spain, a few centuries ago, the patron of the great painter, Velasquez, was told by his chief minister that Spain's province of Portugal had decided to break off and go it alone. The King, like Guy Andrew's boss, couldn't be bothered, and all he could find to say was, "Let a remedy be found."

So Portugal broke off and went on to become, like Spain, a bigtime colonizer and enslaver of people itself, and meanwhile the former boss has been left to face things in the ultimate icebox of International Falls, Minnesota without the stellar services of Guy Andrew, and now Rook's place of employment is only 20 miles away from his house and family, and hopefully that much more blissful situation will last far into the future ...whenever of course he can get to work even from there, because a big ice- and snowstorm is lashing Minnesota and other midwestern states even as I type, while here in Virginia the relatively balmy weather keeps going on and on, to the point where we might welcome some water from the skies ourselves, even that frigid sort.


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