Want to look your best? Well, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachman has the vision to see that you don’t save energy and reduce your carbon footprint by lighting the world with beams that make everything look weary, wan and worn out. Rather “healthy light greening” means reducing the wattage that in recent decades has grown unbelievably excessive. Special effects lighting is completely over the top, and everyday places are also over-lit. Renowned ophthalmologists like the late David Cogan warned that over-lighting was harming both our vision and our psyche. So, please, let’s support Bachman’s Light Bulb Freedom of Choice bill (write to 107 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515; fax 202-225-6475; phone 202-225-2331). This is for those who may remember how lovely the world was before fluorescents and may not have Internet access. Incidentally, this widespread techno disenfranchisement of elder persons especially needs big time attention!
But about lights—if only bikes had them like the law requires I might not have been shoved by a cyclist angered by my saying around 8 p.m. one night, “You’re supposed to walk your bike on the sidewalk, miss.” Her scooter-riding 7- or 8-year-old daughter joined her mother’s irate retorts, and I should not have further argued the law. When I stepped off the curb to get around the two then blocking the walkway, the woman pushed her bike wheel fairly forcefully into my back.
Yes, there was a doorman witness who thought the police should be called. Why did I tell him not to? Maybe because the week before, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told me at the 20th Precinct Community Council meeting, “We’re concerned about bike violations but other law-breaking must take precedence…” He stressed how crime and also traffic casualties remained at low levels. Surely not the near-misses with bikes and with the greatest pedestrian illegal threat, motorists heedlessly turning into pedestrian crosswalks.
The assault was finally reported to the 19th Precinct Community Relations officer’s answering machine, and the perp was described as twenty-something, with brown eyes, a dark complexion and a possibly Middle Eastern accent.
Why aren’t cyclists required to pay a regular fee, plus contribute to the MTA bailout, for bringing a “private wheel machine” into this high-density city? Instead, tax dollars go for 200 more miles of bike lanes in 2009, this despite community objections, including complaints from Williamsburg and Little Italy businesses losing parking space and loading zones. Where there is no total vision the people perish, especially when laws are not strictly enforced.
How about some protest songs about all the above, dear Pete Seeger? Bless you at 90, still trying to get everyone singing—another uphill cause I too have long espoused. Singing is so good for what ails us.
So is the therapeutic touch, the need for which I was most aware during a rather difficult tooth extraction last week. Sure there was Novocain (although my atrial fib-prone heart requires the “light kind”), but it was the assisting dentist’s hand to hold on to, to clench and sometimes to squeeze very hard that helped me the most, physically and emotionally. How the therapeutic value of touch needs to be stressed—just the holding of a hand to give strength and comfort—and to know one is not all alone.
Tags: Dewing Things Better
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