Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Enjoy your Tea Parties

I was thinking today about the participants of the Boston Tea Party.
Not the teevee "Tea Parties" going on in major moron settlements here on The Beach, with a bunch of slack-jaws tossing Tetley around to show their greedy and selfish disregard for the money required to keep our country great. Anti-American whiny boobs just love yelling about "taxation without representation."
Let the old Third Mate tell you something about "taxation with representation," my new Sons of Liberty. In 1773, you had a Parliament half a world away and a bunch of businessmen inciting willing townsfolk to protest ... erm, uh, waitaminnit, lemme try it this way...
Here in the Twenty-First century, we have representatives whose salaries come from the taxes that you pay. They have a Constitutional obligation to address your articulate grievances about the way your tax money is spent. Also be aware that those representatives answer to you every 2, 3, 4, or 6 years through our semi-annual semi-revolutions called elections. And guess what? You can even resolve to represent your neighbors and your own ideas about governance by running for a post or position or office or seat. And then you can decide how to pay for infrastructure maintenance and improvements, education, and programs to keep people from doing bad things, like stealing or dying of terrible diseases.
You should have learned all of this in civics class, but I'll bet somebody in your hometown thought that book-larnin ain't that important, so they cut taxes and left you with EMPTY where CIVICS should be.
The story of the 1773 Boston Tea Party is way more involved than the "No Taxation without Representation" slogan, and you can read about it anywhere online.
So, I was thinking about my old friend Leon, the boat architect, historian, and artist who's done work for the Boston Tea Party Ships.
Fifteen or sixteen years ago, we were traipsing around a lumber yard behind a sawmill, picking out lumber for the refit of a certain 400-ton movie prop. A storm over the previous Summer had left a lot of old oaks on the ground and we were looking for healthy and sizable lengths that we could mill and steam for hull planking. Oh, and a knee or two.
Leon explained some of the requirements of ship's lumber and my mind was receptive to every nuance while I enjoyed an Autumn afternoon's trudge through a few acres of felled old growth timber slabs, operating a peavy. CAN too I enjoyed that learning experience, and I especially enjoyed using the worn logrolling tools, whose antiquity and mechanical simplicity appealed to my antiquity and mechanical simplicity.
That I spent time doing this and rebuilding old ships does not mean that I am an expert on old lumber, but I do not believe that centuries-old machine oil-stained timbers from a recently rain-soaked cotton mill can be better for a ship than, say, whatever's been laying around the lumber yard that your shipyard generally contracts. Donated or not.
But that's just me. I like Douglas fir decking because it feels good on my bare feet.
As I freely admit: Not an expert.
But it makes me wonder why a few lengths of yellow pine removed from a factory that isn't even scheduled for demolition would be so important to Our State's Official Vessel™, Ernestina, when described in a press release from the developer which the Mayor of New Bedford sent out to the local newspaper.
Was someone really cynical enough to think that giving some wood from a building to a ship would make the people who like that ship clamor for the immediate demolition of that mill or something? What? WHAT?Oh, well.
I hate The Beach.


chuck said...

Holy crap! All these years I've been calling a "cant hook" a "peavy". You made me learn something today. I'll get you for that.

ThirdMate said...

I hope this doesn't ruin Arbor Day for you.