Thursday, December 29, 2011

common sense

Everyone's got their own version of what constitutes common sense and I'm no different. If you want to pound a nail, you don't reach for a pair of pliers. D'oh -- common sense. But then there are the more tenuous and arguable versions of common sense, a couple of which crossed my bow this morning.

-- In Lima, Peru, 92 couples tied the nuptial knot at a mass wedding. Each ponied up about $10 in order to make things 'legal.' One of the stories I always wanted to see done -- and never did -- when I worked at a newspaper was a series of short-take appreciations by people who had been married for a number of years: Was the financial outlay worth it? If they were looking at that sort of financial outlay today, would they put their money elsewhere? Is the meaningful nature of an expensive wedding really all that meaningful? The wedding industry would say yes, of course, as would those ensorcelled by religious imagination ... but, if left to their own, common-sensical devices, what would those who have walked the walk say? Profound or dumber than a box or rocks?

-- A new report finds that American school children, particularly in poor neighborhoods, don't get enough time for unstructured play and as a result miss out on important developmental advantages. In hard times, when schools are being pressed to meet better educational standards, recess and play time has been cut back if not eliminated and so school children who may be poor are made the poorer. The 'enrichment' of an education comes around and bites itself on the ass. Good-hearted educators may wring their hands in good-hearted despair ... but it's the way of the world just now. How's that for stupid in a world dedicated to smarts?

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