A column made up of the sum of its parts, or something like that:
1. Right off, the Hyundai plant is a big deal. It’s also one of those events where the reality matches the hype. A lot of us, me included, are still trying to get our head around it. Seeing from I-16 the amount of land cleared off the Mega-Site to make room for Metaplant America kind of helped me in that regard, if only because of the sheer vastness of a space once filled with pine trees. The plant that replaces it is going to be staggering, transformative, historic, monumental, etc. It’s an ALL CAPS event, the beginning of a tidal wave that is going to change this place forever.
For once, the hyperbole one runs across as a matter of course absolutely matches the reality.
2. I saw a headline the other day claiming the moon is slowly moving away from Earth.
There’s a scientific explanation and then there’s my explanation, which in short is us people. We’re so full of whiny nuts on Earth if I were the moon I’d be trying to relocate to another neighborhood myself.
Problem is, when enough people move away from something they wind up bringing the things they were moving away from with them, whether it’s traffic, noise, crime, litter, psychopaths, deadbeats, TV reporters, do-gooders, Internet influencer and social media dingbats, dumb weekly newspaper editors with oddly shaped heads, you name it.
The Coastal Empire – which is in Georgia, the Lowcountry is over in my home state of South Carolina – is proof of that.
Traffic is so far off the hook these days at certain times of day, which is almost all day, it’ll take Georgia Department of Transportation 100 years and $100 billion to catch up, and by then a good chunk of Georgia’s coast will probably be underwater anyway.
Either sea levels will rise that far or ongoing growth will suck all the water out of the aquifer beneath us, creating a giant sinkhole under I-95 from Charleston to Tampa and turning it into a big sparkly saltwater lake. Which will be popular with future jet-skiers, probably. And bankers and developers pushing waterfront lots.
3. In the meantime,it took me nearly two hours to go 16 miles from my house to the Enmarket Arena parking lot Tuesday morning. Yep, it was rush hour.
I don’t blame GDOT. I do blame folks who think taxpayer funded highways and byways should be used to make people with money more money, because their money (or that of their lenders) usually ends up in developments that bring more traffic, and more traffic, and more traffic. And that impacts the rest of us.
It used to be you had to go to Atlanta to experience such a high level of congestion and stupidity on wheels, etc. Now it’s right here outside your door. There may not be as much as there is in Atlanta, but for what we got it’s a mess, and there ain’t no fix because more roads make more traffic. Count on that.
So, there may be less awful traffic where you currently sit, but don’t worry. That’ll change. Pretty soon you, like me, will hear from your once-rural home the wail of sirens half a dozen times a day or more from first responders speeding to yet another wreck caused by some frustrated driver tired of being stuck in traffic or playing about on a phone. Ah well. Nothing much I can do about it. I’m trying to remember that and shut up about traffic and everything else I have no control over, which is most things. But not before I note the bus driver who took a busload of know-it-all media-types from Enmarket to the Hyundai groundbreaking and back was superb at driving. If I was rich I’d buy that bus and give it to her, as long as she got me to where I’m in need of going.
4. Is it just me or is it true nobody can be wrong anymore. Or told no. People don’t like hearing no, perhaps because we’ve got a generation of adults who weren’t told no as kids and aren’t about to do that to their kids. It’s impacting everything from education to fired up weirdos with no intellectual or emotional depth or breadth getting elected to Congress.
5. It seems the old adage one doesn’t discuss religion or politics in polite society is out the window, gone the same place polite society went.
Nowadays, people wear profanity-laced politics on their sleeves, T-shirts, hats, social media, window decals and so on. Somehow, I’m not sure how people think a T-Shirt is going to solve a problem. Worse, and sadly, anger seems to drive most of it, plus a mistrust of people who look, think or act differently than us.
The funny thing is, we expect respect from those we rail against, and better treatment from them than we’re willing to give them, unless of course they’re buying something. I will say it’s interesting that the political party that wants to build a wall down south is the same one once led by Ronald Reagan, who decades ago urged Soviet leader Mikhael Gorbachev to tear down his country’s wall in Berlin to advance the cause of freedom.
I was stationed in Germany when the wall fell in 1989, by the way. That event, too, was deserving of all the hyperbole in the world.
Finally, a quick circle back to hyperbole, second nature to so many of us by now we don’t even realize we’re doing it, me included. I think we’ve been marketed at for so long we long ago started believing the hype and applying it to even the commonplace without realizing it.
So being merely good became not good enough, it became great. It’s a matter of changing a word, you see. Marketing 101.
Ah well. Hope you have a great day out there.