“Who says nothing is impossible? Some people do it every day.”
– Alfred E. Neuman
Connecting the Dots
by Glynn Wilson
If life imitates art far more than art imitates life, as Andy Warhol and Oscar Wilde both contended, then what are we to make of Alfred W. Bush?
What, me worry?
Blah, blah. Jibber, jabber.
I am just a humble reporter, right? So what do I know about art – or running a country?
But I do know something about doing nothing and doing the impossible.
I do nothing almost every day.
Every once in a great while, I will gear myself up and do the impossible, like stopping a river from being dammed or a road from being built.
I once wrote a story with the zany, sensational headline: “Endangered Sea Turtles Killed by City Street Lights.”
The result was a new policy in the city of Gulf Shores, Alabama, to turn off the streetlights for two weeks every year – while the loggerhead sea turtles hatch on the Gulf Coast. You see, when the hatchlings come out of their holes in the sand, they are driven genetically to the moon shining off the ocean water. It’s natures of way of telling them what direction to crawl to survive.
When they crawl out and see the street lights, well, they head for the road – and a bad fate.
So what if we as a country decided to just turn out the lights for a day?
I’m not kidding.
What I am proposing is a bona fide national strike to protest all that is wrong in the world.
To all my activist friends, what about it?
What we need is not a national day of protest. What we need is a national day of rest.
Wouldn’t it be grand to see the media jump all over themselves covering a story about a country completely shutting down because no one shows up for work?
We’ll let the media off the hook on this one. They have to work even on Christmas and the Fourth of July.
When the power shuts down and the phones don’t work and the Internet crashes, someone in Washington will freak out and wonder where all the people have gone.
Look at it this way. Consider how much energy we could save in one work day just by staying home and doing nothing.
According to the federal government, every day America burns 1 million Btus of energy for every man, woman and child in the U.S. The average single-family household in the U.S. consumes a little more than 100 million Btus every year.
A national day of rest would save enough energy to keep us out of any more wars in the Middle East, and we would not have to consider drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska or within 100 miles of the Florida coast.
We would not have to consider chopping down entire forests and turning all the trees into wood chips to make a new and strange form of biofuel.
So what about it? If you are pissed off about anything, anything at all, won’t you join me in this strike? This national day of rest?
Don’t call in sick. Just don’t show up.
And turn off your lights. You might find that you have a strange new peace of mind that you have never experienced before. You might experience some peace and quiet for a change. And we might all be the better for it.
Alfred W. Bush could spend the day on his Crawford, Texas, ranch, and think about life, art – or his legacy.
Who knows? We could come out of it a better country. Maybe the world would join us and we could have a worldwide day of rest.
Talk about saving the world, and savoring life