PATRICK STEPHENSON

Earthbound concerns of an ascendant adult

“Nature: Still Hellish, Albeit Frozen”

by Patrick Stephenson,
seasonal depressive

TEMPERAMENTAL RIFT // Last summer, I claimed that despite its surface beauty, Nature is an emotionless and highly effective killer. Now that winter has finally arrived, after a brief and hopeful period during which it seemed snow would never fall, support for my position on nature’s wrath has been ample. We look outside. In comparison to snow’s facility as a killer, the water and Winterbugs I last mentioned seem like feathers next to WMD. Bugs may slap you briefly, and water may knock you out, but snow will fossilize your body, popsiclize your innards and hang icicles from your eyebrows. That’s terrifying enough, but ever more evil is afoot.

Cartoons, in particular those populated by Goofy, Mickey and Daffy Duck, perpetuate a life-threatening lie about winter. As a wee boy, I lived overseas in Saudi Arabia, a snowless desert, with television my only source of information on American life. On TV, my fave cartoons told me of wintertime playgrounds, where the white stuff is used for snowmen, weapons and forts, where hills become racetracks and slides. As Minnesotans, we know the opposite is true. Winter’s first snowflake isn’t a cause for celebration. Rather, it’s a death knell: for warm weather, car engines and human lives. Of course, I hadn’t a clue. My young, sponge-like mind was receptive to whatever it saw. Unfortunately, winter-set cartoons insisted on lying.

I remember Mickey and co. skating frozen lakes, building custom havens with snow bricks and then beaning incoming attackers. I also remember bits where Goofy, Disney’s resident dog-man, lived up to his name and flew off course—directly through heaped piles of snow. Within those heaps, a Goofy-shaped tunnel would lie in his wake. Snow in these cartoons never caused shivering or freezing. Snow was pudding, an element to be molded and raced through. Snow never beat Goofy the way in reality it beats people. Goofy wasn’t a victim of winter’s white, flaky excretions so much as he was of clumsiness.

That, my sugarplums, is the fantasy cartoons promote. In reality, your skating rink fractures, your snow fort collapses, your powdery snowballs are torn apart by the wind. In cartoons, Mickey and friends wear thin rags, but never show they’ve been affected by the cold. On a recent walk, I wore a sweatshirt meant for snowboarders, a heavy jacket, a winter hat, gloves and earmuffs. Thirty minutes later, I felt as though I had novocaine in my face, and my legs seemed like thick, heavy sticks of ice and frost rather than flesh and blood. If Goofy, in his cartoony duds, had ever flown into one of our snow patches, Mickey wouldn’t have seen his black, frostbitten corpse till spring.

Our need to protect our children from these cold weather lies is more pressing than ever. Last week, in Embarrass, MN (that’s the town’s actual name), temperatures dropped to 54 degrees below. That’s a mere six degrees below Minnesota’s all-time record. How can Lord Disney keep foisting trash onto us when reality proves the worldview promoted by his animation is a lie? Obviously, money is the reason. Don’t give into their untruths or pack their pockets full of moolah. Nature isn’t a playground, and snow isn’t a toy. Let your children stay inside and grow fat this winter. They’ll need the insulation.

Nature—you beast, you scoundrel!

Written by patiomensch

March 7, 2007 at 6:21 pm

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