2011. Acrylic on paper, 17 x 25″
More often than not, I don’t think people do the right thing for their children, nieces, nephews, second cousins, etc. We like to think that we do, but no, not really. For instance, every time we let a child into a car, and forgo the crash helmet, we have given up the right to proclaim we always have their best safety in mind. It’s easy to pretend that Johnny and Sue look cool and comfortable in a carpeted projectile set at a cruising speed of 70 mph, among a hundred other luxury projectiles. However, the science is clear. A kid with a crash helmet on will survive more accidents than one without. Likewise, just making a concerted effort to avoid unnecessary trips to the mall, or pediatrician who, because insurance companies told her to, refuses to come to your child’s bedside when the latter is exhausted with double pneumonia. Similarly, car manufacturers could be mandated to fit all automobiles with steel roll cages. 77% less fatalities on the road coupled with helmet wearing required by law. We could have the safest highways on earth by next year with laws passed for the betterment of society and not the institutional sleazy squeeze off overhead to make a profit.
This is how I often see the good and bad of the world—through the eyes of an omnipotent care provider. I wish I had the ultimate safety control over earth’s children. Who wouldn’t? War would end. Nuclear weapons would be dismantled and stuffed back up the crack of any nation’s nincompoop stronghold that ever thought having them was a bright idea. Pharmaceutical companies would no longer need the lure of Croesus profit to discover helpful medicines; men and women of science would have the highest honor among populations, and not need to be told by a greedy death administrator where to focus their attention. The successes of agronomists would be awarded at ceremonies broadcast prime time. For Christ’s sake, they fed the world didn’t they? Beats having a public sex change on TV. NASA would be stripped of all its Luke Skywalker Star Wars machines, and fitted with new admirable words to replace the most wasteful acronym in the history of mankind. National Altruistic Scientists Association, or something like that, and the moon remains a lit up dead thing to look at in the night sky. Finally, I would give companies like Exxon-Mobil and Range Resources thirty days to discover and implement renewable alternative energy makers under the threat of cutting each member of their board of directors (and all their unhelmeted limo drivers) in half.
Ho hum. Just wistful dreaming.
The girl in the painting is green from vanadium splashes as she dances through the sprinkler atop the Marcellus Shale on a hot summer day. Her Dad sold Range Resources the right to douse her with carcinogens, because he was told by a qualified spokesperson with no scientific research skills that fracking was safe, don’t worry, here’s a hundred grand. Dad was glad. Paid off the mortgage and the truck. The money got spent, and most unfortunately, his daughter’s natural bone development too.
All that fast money joy, and now this downer? Buzz kill! Oh well, nothing he can do about it now except move.
“For Christ’s sake, Suzy, leave the damn helmet in the yard! Get in the car. We gots to go”