The Herald Bulletin

September 4, 2013

Primus Mootry: Observations on city pavement projects, anniversary march and Syria


The Herald Bulletin

---- — Here are a few observations on a range of matters that may or may not be of interest to you. If it’s the latter, that’s fine with me. My wife tells me I preach too much, think too much, and that I am half crazy. As usual, she’s half right on all three scores. So here goes:

The Madison Avenue pavement project — kudos to Mayor Smith and city leaders for the Madison Avenue re-paving work. It’s a great boost to a section of our city that has long been neglected. I’m wondering what’s next. Nichol Avenue?

As most folk well know, Nichol Avenue is the central corridor from east to west, right through the heart of the city. The snaggle-toothed business strip between Raible Avenue to Costello, or thereabouts, has been left to languish for decades. What about paving and curb work for this vital highway?

While I’m at it, the pattern of the last two decades has been to tear down on Nichol Avenue (Highway 32), and not build up. Not even beautify. Again, I was very pleased to hear city government’s appeal for Ivy Tech to consider locating in the wide open spaces there.

Such a move undoubtedly would bring new business traffic into the area and new vitality in general. If Anderson is indeed re-inventing itself, why not pay attention to what is arguably the heart of the city?

To the point, I wonder if the good folks at Ivy Tech have considered old Anderson High and the Wigwam as the spot for their new $24 million building project. There I go, thinking too much again.

Republican shame — it was disappointing to see none, nada, zero Republicans at the 1963 “Great March” 50th anniversary commemoration last week. If some were there, I sure didn’t see them.

The 1963 March on Washington was one of the greatest events of the 20th century. Partisan politics aside, the nation’s top political leaders should have all been there to celebrate a dream, as Dr. King said it, “deeply rooted in the American Dream.” Shame, shame.

Attacking Syria — it appears that the United States is inching closer to a “surgical” strike on Syria in retaliation for its use of chemical weapons against its own citizens — men, women, and many children.

I saw the pictures, and they were very upsetting. Still, I think if America is going to be the world’s moral cop, then there are lots of other places we would have to be, like Darfur, Rwanda, Yemen, and many other places where men seem to be practicing what we do best — inhumanity to our fellow man.

If there is a military strike on Syria, President Obama says there will be no boots on the ground. Just drones, I guess. That would be believable were it not for the facts of history about messing around with the Middle East mess. We stick our nose in there and, next thing you know, we are knee deep in it.

A picture’s worth a thousand words — I didn’t say that. They say Napoleon was the first to use the term. That would be fitting since so many military photos have been used as propaganda. Pictures give us a quick, visual summation of complex subjects that it would take, well, a thousand words to explain.

Think of those 9/11 photo and film shots of terrorist piloted planes crashing into the World Trade Towers. Though not intended to be propagandistic, they surely served the purpose of rallying overwhelming numbers of U.S. citizens in support of the war on Iraq.

What is important, though, is that Iraq was never proven to harbor terrorists or to have weapons of mass destruction. Still, next thing you know, there were news photos of Saddam Hussein’s statue being toppled in a public square, and a weary, dirty-faced Saddam Hussein surrendering from a hole in the ground.

Don’t watch — I’m certain no one will heed this advice: stop watching television. Very reputable researchers are saying that watching just three hours of television per day can twist your brain into a nerve knot, cause clinical depression, obesity, high blood pressure, and gallstones.

OK, I made that last one up. But the other ones are all true. The experts’ advice? Turn off your television. Don’t watch it for a whole month, and a slimmer, smarter, sexier, healthier “you” will be the result. I can picture the new you right now.

Have a nice day.

Anderson resident Primus Mootry is a retired school teacher. His column appears Wednesdays in The Herald Bulletin.