February 26, 2013 in Features

The Slice: Be wary when letting off steam

By The Spokesman-Review
 

After discussing school memories with readers recently, I arrived at a three-pronged theory explaining the decline of the classic science fair volcano.

Mount St. Helens set the bar impossibly high.

Dr. Evil’s pronunciation of “magma” in “Austin Powers.”

Safety concerns/fire code/school administrators’ lukewarm enthusiasm for explosions.

Re: The next Marmot Lodge meeting: Let’s tentatively aim for the next February-ending Leap Day. That, I believe, will be in 2016. Plenty of time lay in a supply of refreshments and appoint a sergeant at arms.

Today’s Slice question: What percentage of Spokane area residents have watched zero critics’ favorite TV shows, seen no “everybody’s talking about” movies, read not one “hot” book, attended zero “creating a buzz” plays, listened to no 21st century music and never been to eat at a trendy restaurant?

I don’t ask that in the spirit of a put-down. It’s just that I believe Spokane has a problem with assumed universality of interest. And I suspect the answer to the question above is a number far larger than many would guess.

Yes, I have no doubt that this perception-warping assumed universal interest dynamic exists all across the country. But I live here and so Spokane is what I know. And I can tell you that a fair number of people here who, say, graduated from college, tend to be way off in their estimate of how common a bachelor’s degree is in Spokane.

Still, one need not pretend to be any version of a cultural elite to assume that everyone is just like you.

There are Inland Northwesterners who mistakenly think we all share their attitude about outdoor recreation, cars, sports, food, golf or whatever. Let’s not even include parenting or politics.

Not all that long ago, someone I’ve talked to several times over the years expressed utter amazement when I told him I had never been hunting.

I don’t believe it made him think less of me. It just illustrated that we all have different sets of experiences and to really know people you have to take them one at a time.

Let’s move on.

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. How high is the stack of stuff on your back burners?


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