We live in a strange age. The middle class is dissolving like snowmen in April. Our new government was elected on a promise to borrow huge sums that will be spent on infrastructure, as a way to get the economy going. This weekend I read in the paper about what the major cities hope to build, and most of it seems to be focused on mass transit. Great, but I ask you this; the workers are going to get more transit so they can travel to their jobs from further and further away, but is their pay going up? We know the answer to that. Give the workers more transit; it will distract them from the fact that their standard of living is declining, and their commuting time is increasing.
Some cities are hoping to build new arenas and indoor stadiums with the money. Who can afford to go to the insanely expensive events that will happen there? I never attend concerts or sports events anymore, can’t afford it. I saw the Rolling Stones for $12 back in the day. It was fun, although they sucked on stage even then. NHL hockey tickets were $5 for standing room when I was at university. I watched the Montreal Canadiens battle the Chicago Blackhawks for the Stanley Cup, for five bucks!! Today a cup of pop costs more than that. The Canadiens moved from the Forum, one of the best arenas in the world, to a new arena which has hardly more seats. Why? Because they could build private boxes for wealthy business clients, boxes that sell for astronomical sums, which they need to pay the players their insane salaries. But in the end who pays? The fans, of course, through the nose. But not me. I don’t even watch anymore. I can’t stand all the damned advertising that’s plastered all over the boards and even on the ice. It distracts me from the game.
I heard a story from an elementary school teacher the other day. She can’t teach her class because the students are unable to pay attention for more than five seconds. Meanwhile, every one in the world will soon have a smartphone. Great, but if the ultimate result is kids who can’t think straight, thanks a lot Steve Jobs… I’m sure you never thought that far ahead, and I really don’t blame you, but now what? I was told a similar story about writing skills at universities – kids can’t write anymore. But no one fails either. The professors are intimidated by the power of the students. Everyone loses here however. There are too many distractions for students to pay attention and learn. Maybe they see what’s waiting for them when they get out of school?
But I have distractions too, like fooling around with pictures. But if you’re supposed to be doing your homework, you better quit looking at this right now and get back to work!