Somebody Should Do Something About All the ProblemsCommentary • Opinion • ISSUE 44•27 ISSUE 30•02 • Aug 21, 1996 By Edith Heare – Heare Me Out Edith Heare Why isn't anyone doing anything about all the problems? We're living in a time with super computers and underwater sea stations and million-dollar laboratories. And still, everyday when I watch the TV news shows I see all sorts of problems! What are the scientists doing with all that technology? Just sitting on their patoots? Just yesterday there was another plane crash. Isn't that what we have radar for? Why isn't someone taking care of that? And then there's all those people starving. You can't tell me that we can't figure out a way to feed them. What about all those high-energy vitamin supplements I read about? And what about the dehydrated space food? Someone has got to start putting this information to good use. Somebody should get on the stick and start using all those high-powered electronic microscopes to cure cancer, that's what I think. There must be someone making money off of these diseases. So many people are dying in the world. We have laser surgery, don't we? Isn't somebody using that? They put a baboon heart in a human, you know. They can make body parts out of plastic and put little camera probes in your body. Then why are there so many people dying? All this technology—robots, big machines, atomic power—and still they say we are in an energy crisis. Why isn't anyone working on a better way to make electricity? You should see my bill every month. Here we are in the most powerful country in the world and I can't afford to run my air conditioner so I could get one night of good rest once in awhile. They have all those space-age plastics and superconductors just sitting in a lab somewhere, but last week they tell me my muffler is rusted through. So now I roar and rattle down the street sounding like a tank division. Who is going to start making something decent? What about everything I read in Time? It's a downright shame. Is there no morality in science? Last night I tried to have a barbecue on my back patio and I ran inside before the spicy shish-kabobs were even half-grilled because of the mosquitoes. With all that chemical engineering going on today, with all that military technology, I should at least be able to sip a sloe gin and sour without getting run out of my own yard by something smaller than my fingernail! And now I have shingles again. With the hundreds of thousands of doctors all over this world, you are telling me that not one of them can do anything about this pain? It's killing me. This is the 20th century, isn't it? We put a man on the moon, and I can't find an hour of relief from the swelling? Can't someone assign a team to this problem and get something done for once? Then there's the fact that my kids never visit me. Here I sit all alone wondering when they'll come. We have jet planes that break the sound barrier, but Ginny can't make it from Elk Grove once a month so I can see my own flesh and blood? The Hubble sent down pictures of the galaxy, but I have yet to see my granddaughter's fourth-grade school portraits! They build a wall across China and a thousand years later I'm still putting up with my neighbor's pine trees dropping cones all over my front lawn! Isn't this a democracy? Have we stood still since Rome? I hear jabber-jabbering about the discovery of new subatomic particles. What good is a quark to me? Three and a half minutes it takes to cook a bag of microwave popcorn. Three and a half minutes! Someone is spending a billion dollars a minute to send radio messages into space, and I have to choke down a bag of Pop-Secret kernels that are only half buttered, some not even popped to full puff. God, I pray for a future when the inventor is the friend of mankind. DNA fingerprinting—that's what they're doing now. And still strawberries at Bergmann's are $2.99 a quart. It's ludicrous. It's as if we live in the Dark Ages. Cloned genes and fiber optics, but the cat still goes into heat and scratches up my new mahogany coffee table. I kicked that thing as hard as I could with my good leg and it still came back screeching and wagging its fanny like a Broadway showgirl. Isn't there something someone can do about that? I'm sure with all the vaccines and hybrid cells and carbon dating equipment we've got today someone can take a minute to whip up a pill I can force down Pumpkin's throat so I have one decent thing in this shoebox house that I worked like a dog at the phone company for 27 years in order to afford. These are the good years for me? Huh! I'm still watering my flowers and hosing off my driveway. Where is the fiber optics in that? How's superconductivity helping me when my new cotton housedress shrank up to nothing the first time I put it in the dryer? I see all the technology they talk about on the television and I ask you, who's doing anything with it? No one, and it's a dirty rotten shame.