Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday photo

North State Street Transit Station, Ann Arbor, Michigan. August 2010.

Creeping socialism continues to destroy America. See it? Right in front of your eyes! The destruction of individualism and God-given capitalism is happening right now and only the most discerning Americans can recognize it!

In his 1887 book, Looking Backward, Edward Bellamy explained the crucial distinction between liberty and the socialist nightmare that he hoped to bring about. It's all about umbrellas:

A heavy rainstorm came up during the day, and I had concluded that the condition of the streets would be such that my hosts would have to give up the idea of going out to dinner, although the dining-hall I had understood to be quite near. I was much surprised when at the dinner hour the ladies appeared prepared to go out, but without either rubbers or umbrellas.

The mystery was explained when we found ourselves on the street, for a continuous waterproof covering had been let down so as to inclose the sidewalk and turn it into a well lighted and perfectly dry corridor, which was filled with a stream of ladies and gentlemen dressed for dinner. At the comers the entire open space was similarly roofed in. Edith Leete, with whom I walked, seemed much interested in learning what appeared to be entirely new to her, that in the stormy weather the streets of the Boston of my day had been impassable, except to persons protected by umbrellas, boots, and heavy clothing. "Were sidewalk coverings not used at all?" she asked. They were used, I explained, but in a scattered and utterly unsystematic way, being private enterprises. She said to me that at the present time all the streets were provided against inclement weather in the manner I saw, the apparatus being rolled out of the way when it was unnecessary. She intimated that it would be considered an extraordinary imbecility to permit the weather to have any effect on the social movements of the people.

Dr. Leete, who was walking ahead, overhearing something of our talk, turned to say that the difference between the age of individualism and that of concert was well characterized by the fact that, in the nineteenth century, when it rained, the people of Boston put up three hundred thousand umbrellas over as many heads, and in the twentieth century they put up one umbrella over all the heads.

As we walked on, Edith said, "The private umbrella is father's favorite figure to illustrate the old way when everybody lived for himself and his family. There is a nineteenth century painting at the Art Gallery representing a crowd of people in the rain, each one holding his umbrella over himself and his wife, and giving his neighbors the drippings, which he claims must have been meant by the artist as a satire on his times."

Now UM has replaced its puny little brick bus shelter with this grandiose abomination designed to coddle their students into accepting the nanny state and believing they don't need to take responsibility for keeping themselves dry. Can our final enslavement be far behind?


James Hanley said...

Of course Bellamy never stopped to consider that a multitude of umbrellas might be a better use of resources than covering every street. And imagine the stench of all that horseshit (or today, gasoline fumes) if everything was enclosed. Some utopia.

Not that I object to providing cover over some streets. It can make for delightful pedestrian malls.

Scott Hanley said...

Actually, I think pavement has done more for pedestrian traffic than covered walkways would have. It's easy to deal with rain, if you don't have to walk through mud.