Friday, June 26, 2009

P is for Priority

So… here it is, London’s latest fashion statement. I wonder if this fountain has a name. If it needs a name we could call it “Wasteful Willie’s Water Why”.

Our city counsel members are probably glorying in their justifications for this project as they can say that this project stimulated the economy by employing people. I can see that a catering company received employment, supplying sirloin steaks and lobster tails to all the private meetings that must have taken place. One, maybe two of the largest contracting firms in the area can now continue to make payments on their Hummers or Mercedes Benz.

Does a project like this make Londoner’s feel glad or sad? It would be hard to say that the fountain doesn’t look a bit cool – all the spraying water is nice to watch. It makes the viewer long to cool down on a hot day, but soon the viewer must be reminded that the water of the Thames River is so very polluted, that dipping a toe into the river suddenly becomes ‘out of the question’.

In 2004, when Joanne and I had returned to London, I had taken Koly for a walk along the river footpath. I threw a few sticks into the river for Koly to swim after – one of his favourite things to do. When we got home Jo’ greeted us and then looked shockingly at Koly’s fur. It was uncannily silky and smooth. Jo’ and I figured that the river must be so full of detergents to have this kind of effect on Koly’s fur. This was the last time that we’ve allowed him into the river.

It is quite common to NOT see dogs swimming in the river, anymore, as more and more people are recognizing more and more hazards that threaten us, in our immediate environment. I would think that the money used to construct this fountain could have been spent creating projects that would help clean our river of contaminates, so that maybe one day, people could actually jump in for a refreshing dip. Projects of this nature would employ many more people and educate others in our community.

London’s wildlife would benefit from river rejuvenation projects, as well. The Thames River is home to many species of fish, birds, plants and turtles that are unique to only this part of the world. That makes them pretty darn special, in my book. The Spiny Softshell Turtle is one species that has been on the ‘threatened’ list for many years. If our water pollution continues to increase then this turtle could become ‘endangered’ taking it one step closer to becoming extinct. The future of this species will assuredly be defined within my lifetime.

This fountain represents prosperity and celebration. I feel that it has been placed in the wrong time period. I can’t quite figure out what we should be celebrating, considering that only the city’s elite enjoy the cold comforts of insecure prosperity.


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