Nature: The Ultimate Entertainment

I had the opportunity to walk through the old Rocky Point Amusement Park grounds the other day. The last time I walked this area I was likely 9 or 10 years old. The nostalgia for the lost rides, shore dinner hall, hotdogs, and cotton candy, of course, came flooding back.


Some of the supports for the gondola ride stood rusting in the sun. Wrapped with the vines that will ultimately bring them crashing down, they will return to the earth over which they once stood.

Humans are great at building temporary things. Our intelligence and skills take the elements of the earth and converts them into towering monuments to our abilities. Yet, given adequate time through the unending process of living organisms, the earth will reclaim each of these.

Humans must work to maintain the things we build. The earth just has to continue on, patiently waiting for us to abandon these things as we so often do to once again reign supreme.

The 10-year-old me would lament the loss of the merry-go-round, the games, the Ferris wheel (named after its designer George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr.), tilt-a-whirl, and myriad other rides. The memories of outings to places like Rocky Point, Lincoln Park, and Crescent Park invoke such powerful memories.

Although they pale when compared to the magic of the Magic Kingdom, my memories of these places keep a warm place in my heart. I think I prefer them to what Disney has become, although I suppose each generation feels the same of the origins of their childhood memories.

I wonder if Walt Disney himself would regret the destruction of the natural vistas to create artificial worlds filled with people losing their appreciation of this planet?

The half-a-century older me is glad the area is slowly returning to its natural state. It is a sign that we do have the potential to make sound decisions in our care of this planet when we chose to leave nature to itself.

Building ticky-tacky little houses all looking the same as we paved paradise would have made someone wealthy in the short run. (Aren’t you glad I put those songs playing in your head so you will hear them all day?) This Earth would still wait patiently for the moment to send out that first shoot of a vine or tree.


A shoot that would begin the inexorable process of taking back to the earth what man foolishly believes he has stolen for himself.

I for one am glad the vines and trees are tearing down the metal poles, reopening the vista of Narragansett Bay and the endless variations of nature’s bounty. While the view from a Ferris wheel can awaken the imagination of a young boy and create a lifelong memory, to embrace and appreciate nature creates joy for a lifetime.

The Real Victims of Religious Persecution

There are many candidates for the office of most persecuted. At various points in history, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Buddhists, Evangelicals all were the victims of religious persecution. Generally, at the hands of another Religious sect.

But there is one universally persecuted class of living beings that have been consistently, unremittingly, and extensively put upon by all religions.


Just the very mention of the word makes many people’s skin (no pun intended) crawl.

The sight of even the most harmless snake can send adults and children alike into panicked flight or overwhelming, and entirely out-of-proportion, response.

Generally always to the detriment of the snake.

For some reason yet undiscovered mythical evil intent and purpose has been attributed to the snake.

Snakes have come to represent the essence of evil temptation.

Eve was coerced by the snake into eating of the Tree of Knowledge (I never understood why the Apple hasn’t retained the same evil connotation).

Interestingly enough, Eve’s prior contact with the snake must have been at worst, benign, or we can only assume she would have either run to Adam, screaming, or taken a stick and beaten the snake to death. Why trust advice from a snake?

But the point being that there is no rest from Religious persecution for the snake. Unless the snake happens to come upon snake neutral Buddhists (who hopefully adhere to their tenants of the sanctity of all life).

Throughout history snakes have always generated fear, hatred, loathing, and in some cases, pretty good recipes.

So while persecution solely on the basis of any religious doctrine is abhorrent (we don’t kill children for believing in Santa Claus for which equally compelling evidence of actual existence as any God or Gods can be found), snakes deserve an apology from all.

It seems random chance in the snake being chosen as the instrument of evil has doomed this amazing species to eternal damnation.

Think about it, snakes have been characterized as evil, vicious, and slimy. But environmentally speaking, they occupy an important and beneficial niche in the world.

Chipmunks, on the other hand, are destructive, prolific, and a nuisance. Everyone thinks they are cute. You know the reason why?

Walt Disney.

If Disney had chosen to make snakes lovable and cute, instead of Chip and Dale, we’d all love them and no religion in the world would dare demean a Disney Character. Well, probably the Westboro Baptist lunatics but that is a whole different matter.

So to all the snakes out there, we owe you an apology.

Slither on!