By L&T Columnist Gary Damron
While searching for topics for an article, I came across a number of things which seemed either ironic or a little strange – or maybe it’s simply my thought processes. I also just returned from a business trip to Chicago and as always am amazed at the number of homeless people there. In the event I ever reach the point of living on the streets, the first thing I’ll do is head south – not to a cold windy city on a lake.
Anyway, this all ties in with a recent news story featuring a nude beach near Madison, Wis. The gist is that the beach is going to begin closing on weekdays. One thought led to another, and I wondered, why on earth are people in Wisconsin, of all places, going to a beach, much less without their clothes? Further reading brought out the reason given for closing the beach on weekdays: to curtail the amount of sex practiced in the park. Which led to more questions, such as, does that mean that nudity and sex go hand in hand? Or, are we saying that nudity and sex are bad during the week, but okay on weekends, or that sex in the park while clothed would be allowed? When I mentioned all this to my wife, she declared it a nudicrous discussion.
Then, I happened on a YouTube video and National Geographic article about birds of paradise in New Guinea. Though they’re found only in one part of the world, there is amazing diversity among the species living there.
Two fellows from Cornell University have produced 10 years of scientific study and photographs, and they’re stunning.
The thing I found ironic here is that one of the duo summarized the birds as a miracle of evolution. Not being a scientist, I’ve always heard that evolution was a natural process based on scientific fact. But perhaps this evolutionary scientist is acknowledging that the belief or faith in his branch of science actually leaves some room for the miraculous.
A few weeks back, I referred to a linguist who was tracking speakers of Aramaic, and how the author was bemoaning the fact that 90 percent of all languages would be gone by the end of this century.
Sometimes placement of articles is curious, as I read one in that magazine about lost tribes of the Amazon. Peoples in South America have had their cultures devastated by encroachment of industries trying to harvest timber and other resources. The accusatory rhetoric is easy to detect.
Yet again, in the same issue, another author indicated how sad it is that major portions of the earth live in darkness. He or she is advocating that modern conveniences such as electricity be shared with those who still illuminate or not their night with primitive forms of lighting.
I couldn’t help thinking that that’ll end up hastening the demise of centuries-old civilizations, and thought how strange that people don’t see we can’t have it both ways.
The world is full of incongruities, if we just look for them. Next week – a fascinating story about an irony one hundred years in the making.