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Imagine ice & pizza

BY BEAU ELLIOT | MARCH 01, 2011 7:20 AM

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It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that spring.

Is what I’m thinking as I clang away at the ice on my sidewalk with this hunk of steel thingy.

The iceman cometh, says Eugene O’Neill.

Easy for you to say, I retort. How’s that Long Day thingy comingy?

(Not to mention “iceman.” What about “icewomen”? Oh. Never mind. There’s always someone who will find sexism when you’re trying to avoid sexism. It’s the way of all flesh, which, Butler, I’m pretty sure O’Neill didn’t write.)

Which brings us to stories. One of the best stories about the protests in Madison, Wis. — which you’ve probably heard about, being that not much else is going on in the Upper Midwest other than winter and basketball. The Republican governor’s attempt to strip collective-bargaining rights from public workers and return Wisconsin to the good old days of the late 19th century, when workers were killed attempting to organize and there was no such thingy as text-messaging (gasp — how do you organize?) has sparked large protests. Apparently, there are a good number of people who don’t particularly want to live in the 19th century

So during the protests, according to public radio (which brainwashes us so that we despise Tea Partyists), thousands of people from all over the world have ordered delivery pizzas for the protesters camped out in the Wisconsin State Capitol.

No, really. The protesters received thousands and thousands of delivery pizzas, according to public radio. Imagine, as John Lennon might say, if he were still around to witness pizza deliveries. Not to mention everything else. (What would John say about text messaging — WWJS?)

Well, OK, maybe it was only hundreds of pizzas. Imagine, anyway, while it’s still free. Sooner or later, the Tea Partyists will demand that the government cut funding for imagining and then where will you be? Free of imagination, that’s where.

The Madison story is heartwarming, maybe — the good news is that so many thousands of people supported the protesters.

The bad news is it was pizza. I mean, delivery pizza? Couldn’t those well-meaning souls have ordered delivery arugula?

The truly bad news is the most-popular flavor was macaroni-and-cheese pizza. Given the lack of taste, you’d think the Tea Partyists were ordering the pizzas.

Why do you hate Tea Partyists so much? a voice in my head says as I clang, clang away at the ice. The voice sounds suspiciously like that of my old pal Higgs, the ex-bosun who disappeared in the direction of Switzerland a while ago.

I don’t hate Tea Partyists. Clang. I just wish they’d remember that both George Washington and Benjamin Franklin strongly disagreed with the original Boston Tea Party. And I wish they’d realize there’s more to economics than fretting about deficits.As Dick Cheney said when he was vice president back in the Dark Ages, “Deficits don’t matter.”

Then, of course, the people running up the deficits were Republican conservatives. And Tea Partyists hadn’t brewed yet.

Clang, clang.

On the other hand, as NPR reports, under Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi, who’s been in the news a bit recently, that country has used dogs to terrorize naked prisoners. So, we Americans who were unsettled, to say the least, by the revelations about the practices in Abu Ghraib that included dogs and naked prisoners can rest easy. See, we can say — Muslims do it, too.

Yeah, I’m resting pretty easy right now. Except that I’m pounding ice with this steel thingy. How’s that ice thingy going, Sarah Palin asks me, you leftist-liberal wimp?

Swimmingly, I say, slogging through frostbite-temperature mini ice floes. How’s that presidential-campaign thingy going, now that you can’t see China from your porch?

Clang, clang, clang. The sound of steel clanking against ice. It’s been heard in human history since before there was steel — which, of course, you’ll just have to imagine.


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