Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Maybe It’s Just the Rain

Looking out my window in the mountains of the Czech Republic, up near the German border and it’s rainy, chilly and never-ending. Unlike other years, April refuses to leave, even though it’s mid-July.


Perhaps that’s clouded my sense of humor as I read Stan Greenspan’s editorial from yesterday’s New York Times, chiding us on not “being ready” for another 9/11. Maybe I missed his point in all this dampness. After all, he’s a psychiatrist who “works with both children and adults,” so I guess that leaves out Barkley, my very laid-back Labrador now snoozing in the corner. But, what is the point, Stan?


Greenspan notes that “many of us are ignoring the very real dangers posed by terrorists” and goes on to posit that the average person knows not what to do if there’s a nuclear attack in the neighborhood. Well, I guess not, Stan. I lived through the good old days of clambering under our desks in school and the nuclear attack sirens that were tested every Tuesday at noon. I can’t say that experience did a whole lot for my readiness, although it supposedly damaged the psyche of a whole generation of school kids and has been reputed as the reason for children increasingly dropping out, shooting up and staring off into space when dad wants the lawn mowed.


Perhaps Greenspan feels the market for psychiatry is threatened as well and is just trying to whip up a little business. He suggests we need specific recommendations such as designating schools to obtain medical care and exiting cities “via selected routes.” Personally, my selected route would be any-way-the-hell-out-of-here. I lived in Evanston, Illinois during the bad old days just after the Ruskies lit off their first bomb. The Evanston city council actually approved an ordinance that Chicago couldn’t evacuate by way of Evanston because they’d ruin the lawns. That’s the kind of action that comes from those with too little to do.


Relax a little, Stan. Maybe go see a shrink. Our much-maligned government, through all its stumbling and bumbling, has done a thus-far pretty good job. No doubt there will be another terrorist event, but we’ll deal with it as we’ve always dealt with unexpected disasters. When your wife is at work, you’re out on a the golf course and the kids are each at different sports programs, no planning structure in the world is going to help. But it’s almost a guarantee that someone will drive across your lawn.