–My attitude toward snow is entirely self-centered. As a kid in school, a snow day was like an extra Christmas. School was canceled and I got to spend the day sled-riding and watching TV. Jason Owens from down the street would come over and the two of us and my little brother would take turns riding my Flexible Flyer down the halls behind my house and dragging it back up again. Mom would make us hot chocolate and we’d sit in the living room watching Are You Being Served? or The Price is Right, or whatever else was on. Snow was a godsend.
Things flip-flopped when I went to work at Pilot, where there was no such thing as a snow day. The place is open 24 hours a day, every day, and unless my house got buried in enough snow to make the local news, I was expected in. Snowfall at Pilot was a total pain in the ass because it came on top of the shit I had to do there anyway. In addition to cleaning showers and checking restrooms, pulling trash and sweeping up, I had to shovel snow and salt steps and sidewalks, because God forbid some hardworking trucker should slip and hurt himself. Plus I had to mop the floor eighty times a day to keep on top of the melting snow and salt being constantly tracked inside. Working at Pilot made me see snow the way my father always has. Snow is always bad news for him, because it means he has to go into work and plow the parking lots and driveways. That’s probably what he spent this morning doing.
Now that I’m back in school, snow has reverted to godsend status. HCC is closing at 1 P.M. today, meaning my Music Appreciation and Screenwriting classes are both canceled. Ashley might even get out of work a little early, if the library decides to close. I’ve got a truck with 4-wheel drive and a warm place to stay, so bring on the fuckin’ snow.
–As I was listening to the radio this morning to find out about closings and cancellations, I heard a story about the Kansas school board, the group which voted to ban the teaching of evolution a few years ago. They will be meeting today to reinstate evolution into the science curriculum – more specifically, to decide which aspects of evolution will be taught to public school students. I would humbly recommend teaching them the part that says life progresses from simplicity to complexity over long periods of time, and that the universe was not created by God 6,000 years ago in six literal days. Just for a start. Check out the Reuters story here.
–I listened to Cocksucker Hall of Famer Bill O’Reilly’s radio show yesterday and caught a glistening example of why so many people hate his guts so lustfully. The topic was the Grammy Awards from the night before, and specifically the trophies picked up my Bill’s arch-nemesis Ludacris. Bill’s invited guest on the telephone was a music journalist who tried to convince Bill that Grammy voters had rewarded Ludacris because they felt his work represented the best of his genre, not because they wished to encourage the coarsening and overall decline of society. O’Reilly is of the opinion that Awards shows should not be interested in recognizing excellence in a particular field, but rather should reward or punish the morality or immorality of the individual artists. The music journalist asked Bill if he had even listened to the album that earned Ludacris his Grammys, and Bill admitted that he hadn’t listened to it, “not to the whole thing.”
“Bill, don’t you think it’s important to have a frame of reference before you attack someone’s work?” the guest very politely, almost timidly asked, adding, “That doesn’t sound like very responsible journalism to me.” A reasonable question followed by a reasonable observation, both stated with civility. O’Reilly promptly went nuts. “Don’t take that snide, condescending tone with me, Mister!” he bellowed, then ordered that his guest be taken off the air. He went on to claim that the guest had acted “disrespectfully,” and cited him as typical of the “secular progressive left-wing media.”
It was a vignette representative of O’Reilly’s problem in general. He claims to be intelligent, open-minded and informed on all the issues he discusses, but the moment he is challenged on any of those claims he throws a tantrum that would embarrass David Brent. O’Reilly’s political beliefs are far more moderate and reasonable than many of his talk-radio colleagues (Limbaugh, Hannity, Liddy); it’s his personality that makes him so detestable. Those more extreme right-wing hosts are much more open and encouraging of discussion with callers and guests of differing viewpoints – especially Liddy, surprisingly enough. But not O’Reilly. He’s a short-tempered, thin-skinned narcissist. Sound like the kind of guy you want looking out for you?