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It's so hard to resist [Dec. 29th, 2010|10:18 pm]
Davis Square Snarkarama


Regarding http://community.livejournal.com/davis_square/2469386.html?thread=28411402#t28411402
which discusses the Citywide sidewalk shovelling contest, and how he hopes that sidewalks cleared with snowblowers should be out of the running because they use fossil fuel to run the snowblower.

I wonder how his home is heated? Does he use wood? Or (shudder) oil or gas? If it's an electric house, what powers the power plant....a gerbil? Was the power plant built by hand, or was a single backhoe/crane/powerdrill used to screw in one screw of the power plant? If he uses wood, how does he ensure that the trees used for his wood were cut down with an axe (made personally by a blacksmith who cut down the tree themself for the handle, and used a wood fired forge to fashion the axe head?). Then, the tree should be cut into logs by a handsaw (not a chainsaw) then split the way Abe Lincoln split wood, with an axe and not a power splitter? Are you sure that the handsaw/axe used to make his own axe were never touched by machinery?

Until he can prove that he is wearing handspun clothing made on a loom, where the equipment (loom and spinning wheel) were all hand crafted, he should keep quiet. Then he should also prove that the sheep for his clothing was never kept in a heated building nor fed with anything that was ever touched by any machinery, and the linen and cotton for his undies grown by hand, with no mechanized items (such as plow, harvester, irrigation, etc) to grow the crops were utilized.

Prove all that mister, then you can omit snowplowed sidewalks from the danged contest.

[User Picture]From: sparkgrrl658
2010-12-30 03:31 am (UTC)
to be fair, given that this is sponsored by green streets, it does make some sense. however, for me, the incentive behind this in particular is simply to have sidewalks be maintained especially in the winter. and i don't care how it's done. especially because for some people i'm sure using a snowblower is easier than shoveling, which can be really physically taxing, obviously, and it would be unfair imo to exclude people for that reason to say the least.
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[User Picture]From: belladonna
2010-12-30 04:01 am (UTC)
Agreed. I can sort of see the point, what with Green Streets' mission, but I could do without the condescending tone and, yeah, I don't give a good goddamn how a sidewalk gets cleared as long as I can walk down it without crossing the street 5 times to get to a clear section and without cracking my skull open.
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[User Picture]From: ron_newman
2010-12-30 03:35 am (UTC)
OK, but two of the sponsors are an environmental group, and a group whose purpose is to promote physical exercise.
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[User Picture]From: ocschwar
2010-12-30 04:15 am (UTC)
Yes, to promote exercise by making it easy for people to walk even after a blizzard. Snarking at the use of a snowblower is penny wise, pound foolish.
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[User Picture]From: thespian
2010-12-30 07:24 am (UTC)
snarking people who are quite active on the snark community is just aching for someone to get out the popcorn.
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[User Picture]From: unferth
2010-12-30 07:29 am (UTC)
Ok, I know OP's following up to _snark posts rarely ends well, but a two points:

1) The contest is totally frivolous, and I rather assumed everyone reading the post knew this. I do not actually care about who's "eligible to win" or anything like that. I do think it's amusingly contradictory for an environmental group and a fitness group to be sponsoring it, when the most environmentally sound and healthiest way to clear snow (eg shoveling it by hand) does not lead to the best cleared sidewalks. I see the situation as rather similar to, say, the Green Streets group sponsoring a bike race that accidentally allows mopeds to compete. An irony, not an outrage. I'll admit my original comment may not have conveyed that tone correctly.

2) Is your thesis seriously that a) some use of fossil fuels is necessary, therefore b) no use of fossil fuels can be criticized? If so, I think the phrase that leaps to mind is "fallacy of the excluded middle".
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[User Picture]From: lbmango
2010-12-30 02:55 pm (UTC)
so, my initial reading of this was "if the goal is to judge the ARTISTRY and SKILL of the sidewalk clearing, then yes, we should eliminate snowblowers, just because they're CHEATING." then I realized that that was not the goal...

If the goal is just to get sidewalks cleared, then instead of giving out prizes to cleared sidewalks, why don't they just actually give tickets (that they're supposed to give anyway) to uncleared sidewalks...
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[User Picture]From: geekpixie
2010-12-30 04:46 pm (UTC)
I totally carved Michelangelo's David at the end of my driveway...but then the plow came by and trashed it.
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[User Picture]From: sparkgrrl658
2010-12-31 01:08 am (UTC)

even though it would only inconvenience us all, i'm now imagining some perplexing neighborhood snow removal revolt by crafting exquisite pieces of art out of snow and ice :p
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