Rick Wamre: It’s tempting to stay in bed and avoid the day

When staying in bed feels so much better than fixing the world’s ails

Do you ever wake up and just wish you hadn’t?
I don’t mean that in a “wish you were dead” way; just a wish-you-didn’t-have-to get-out-of-bed way?

These days, there are just so many mentally tiring things going on locally and around the world. And I’m not even talking about the presidential election.
Problems arise, solutions don’t, and although most of us have become adept at looking the other way, we know in the back of our minds that we’re just ignoring things rather than solving them.

Which, to me, is just plain tiring.
While reading the Dallas Observer the other day, I had time to consume a hot dog and peanuts while elevating my blood pressure about:
The most recently dismantled Tent City illegal homeless shelter under a Downtown highway overpass. But the displaced just shuffled or carted to another underpass. Bouncing homeless people from one public nuisance site to another doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy about our city tax dollars and politicians at work. But wait: The mayor has appointed a task force to study the problem. Now, I feel better.

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A sad story by Eric Nicholson about the state’s Child Protective Services (CPS) agency, which appears to have mismanaged a 4-year-old girl to death, among plenty of other problems. The story made a case for “professionalizing” CPS workers by paying them more and requiring them to have additional training, as opposed to hiring kids straight out of college who only last about six months on the job. About $400 million in additional funding annually would be a good start, the writer says, and then maybe this problem of caring for kids whose parents can’t — or won’t — will go away. Until the next time.

The Oncor bankruptcy money-grab. Jim Schutze talks about what he sees as the Hunt family’s stranglehold on city and state politics and politicians. And he notes the mayor found time while solving the homeless problem to pen a note asking the Public Utility Commission to reconsider the Hunt’s proposal to purchase Oncor, the bankrupt energy provider here in North Texas. Schutze has a consistently funny way of making complicated stories both simple and depressing, because once he explains the issue, there’s rarely a good solution. Maybe not understanding the issue is better than not knowing how to solve it?

This Observer didn’t even include a story about the South Dallas woman eaten alive by a pack of wild dogs that perhaps the city should have done a better job of controlling. Maybe that will be next week’s uplifting-story-of-the-day contribution.

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I’m not blaming the Observer for any of this: When you look in a mirror, you see what you see, warts and all.

But looking in a mirror is rarely uplifting these days, what with all of the potential hair and skin and general I-don’t-like-my-face issues that never go away, no matter how much money we throw at them.

All of this is making me long for the companionship of my pillow again. I wish I could summon some energy to face these challenges, but I just can’t.

Not today.

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