Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Ways to Feel Worse

It seems that there is no end to the new ways we invent to make ourselves feel worse. Take something as simple as the weather for example. In the winter it gets cold, and not content with merely being cold, we have come up with the "Wind Chill Factor", which is the seeming effect of the wind making the true temperature "feel" colder than it actually is. And now, with the dog days of summer upon us, we have the "Heat Index", another set of factors which combine the actual temperature with the lack of wind, and abundance of humidity, to let us know that we are feeling hotter than we already are. This, to me, seems a dubious practice.

It's kind of like during the Carter years. We all knew we were miserable, but they had to come up with the "Misery Index" to describe our fiscal discomfort. A way to intensify it. This heat index, as well as the wind chill factor seems about the same to me. It is specifically aimed at making you feel worse than you already do.

When I was a kid I loved when it hit 100 degrees. I would go bike riding just to say I had riden in the intense heat. There was a sense of accomplishment in dealing with it, rather than a dread of the weather. I understand that the climate has changed, and that for some groups, myself included, this new information is necessary. But it sure doesn't make me feel any better.

I went out yesterday, against all the advice of the newspapers and radio. And guess what? They were right. The air was bad, and inside of an hour I was home, feeling terrible. So, what's the answer? I don't know. But I'm going out again today. To paraphrase Dylan Thomas, I will not, "Go Gentle into That Good Night." Nor will I disappear into the blaze of a hot summer's day.

Note: The Dylan Thomas analogy may be a stretch, but it was worth the try. Here is the poem by Mr. Thomas;


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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