Dave Richards' Weekly Column in The Woonsocket Call

Dave Richards for February 24th…………

--There are some saying which ring true and continue to do so through the ages. The old saying to which I refer today is, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” More specifically, I’m talking about the questionable wisdom of social trends.

For thousands of years humans lived in houses which were not air-tight. First caves, then shanties, then homes with fireplaces, you know what I mean. Then comes the energy crisis of the 1970s and all that heat or air-conditioned air was ‘leaking out’ and costing you money and this was a crime against you and humanity. Well, it was largely a scam and much money was made by those perpetrating it. I know, I was there. Then in the 1990s the problem got to be mold, which hardly ever happened before houses were sealed up tight as a drum. Mold made people sick and it had to be remediated by highly-paid professionals, you couldn’t do it yourself.


Then we got on the kick about germs. There’s big money in getting the public panicy about germs. You have to eradicate germs because they can make you sick. The inside of your tight-as-a-drum house must be free from dust and dirt and all forms of impurities or you just aren’t a good housewife, lady. And for heaven’s sake, don’t let your kids play outside in a sandbox or get dirty. And let’s remember to wipe down those swings in the playground with antiseptic disposable cloths before your kid gets on them! You don’t want to know what kinds of awful germs those other kids have left on them.

Well, if my mother had raised me and my 5 siblings in this day and age, we’d all have been taken away to foster homes and she’d have been tossed in the slammer for child abuse, because we played outside and got plenty dirty and, heck, our neighborhood didn’t even have a playground and our swing was made out of rope and an old board and hung from a pear tree. Oh, yeah, and we ate the pears, too. Sometimes just after they fell to the ground and before the bugs got to them.


Now, just to prove that the only thing you can truly count on is change, comes an article in the respected periodical “Pediatrics” quoting a study which clearly shows the benefit of allowing kids to get dirty once in a while. The study watched kids who did chores around the house (like we did) in which they got dirty, like washing the table dishes by hand after meals. It tracked a group of kids which did chores and another group which didn’t and found the group which didn’t do the dirty chores around the house developed allergies at a clearly higher rate.

Their conclusion is that human bodies adapt to their environments. We knew this, of course, but now they had an expensive study to prove it. And, if you subjected young human bodies to impurities and contaminants in their environments, they would develop healthy immunities to them over time. And this is a valuable thing for a young body to do.

I remind our readers how evil and unhealthful eating butter was years ago and how we all had to reject butter and eat oleo margarine. Years later it was discovered that oleo margarine was no good for you. The same thing happened to eggs. Don’t eat eggs, they’ll kill you with cholesterol, they said. Later they retracted that, too. The moral of the story is, “Don’t believe everything you hear and question all ‘conventional wisdom’.

If you hang around this ‘best-of-all-possible-worlds’ long enough you see these trends come full circle again and again and you realize just how superficial and self-serving many of these trends really are. It’s very much like men’s neck ties. For a few years they’re wide, then they get narrower for a few years, then the fashion is they all be narrow and then back again to wide. All this, just to sell neck ties. I, for one, have never thrown away a neck tie. I’m ready for what comes next from my accumulated stock.

You can count on change. You can also count on somebody trying to make money on you by scaring you to do something you don’t want to. Just like the ‘Global Warming Hoax’. Not global warming, that’s real. It started at the end of the last ice age. But the ‘Global Warming Hoax’ is the people who will scare you with it and make money off you by telling you what you need to do to stop it. NOBODY is going to stop global warming. It’s bigger than all of us put together.

Don’t be a sucker.

--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to dave@onworldwide.com or mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. Thanks for reading.


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