Oh, Ulster County, how overcast is this morning, The trees are bare. What cloud cover there is may very well burn away when the sun rises at 7:24 a.m.
Even now, some stars can be seen through the clouds. But no crescent moon. No lunar manifestation will be conjured until 10:53 a.m., just 15 minutes after the low tide has arrived, the bottom-most effort of pulling this seesaw river back out into the ocean.
The warmest we can expect this December 27 is 33°, just one degree above freezing. The wintertime sun will bring only one small degree of comfort. Bask away between the hours of 2 p.m.and 3 p.m. for optimum photon bombardment.
The sun will clock out at 4:32 p.m. again, just nine hours and eight minutes after it showed up for work, plunging the world back into a moody wintertime darkness.
Overnight temperatures will slink back down to just under 19°, but Hudson Valley residents can take comfort that Kingston isn’t Reykjavik. If it were, it would be only three degrees colder, but hot springs would be available – as well as universal health care and government-mandated housing for all. All Scandinavian countries provide these things — except for the hot springs — to their citizens. Also tuition-less college. Why do they hate our freedom?
There is very little wind to speak of this morning, and no chance for rain whatsoever.
According to the long-suffering fur trapper Dionizas who lives on Mount Tremper, there remain 73 more days of winter temperatures ahead.
Now for the snow report, we turn to Bjorn Jorgensen out at Belleayre Mountain. How does the morning suit you, Bjorn?
Jorgensen: I would not like to complain that the weather is so warm, for those that suffer through the winter months, but down here from the summit I fear that before the day is through some of this snow may very well melt.
Johannes: I understand that makes for sloppy skiing.
Jorgensen: Unfortunately so.
Johannes: And what of the summit?
Jorgensen: More hilltop than mountain summit today. It’s minus eleven Celsius, and very little wind to speak of.
Johannes: And did it snow last night?
Jorgensen: Not a flake.
Johannes: Feast or famine, eh, Bjorn? Or whatever rhymes with blizzard.
Johannes: Well, well. Terror of Leporidae.You’re not alone this morning, Bjorn.
Jorgensen: No, this is true. I am not. I have spoken to you about Althea, who hunts on the mountain. She takes an interest in the snowmen. I must warn you they are garrulous this morning.
Althea: They’re a bunch of gossiping anarchists is what they are.
Karl the snowman: Redistribution of resources which were produced by the toil of all is hardly anarchy. Saying so is hardly gossip.
Althea: The world doesn’t owe you anything. And expecting that it does … you just sound entitled.
Karl: The love song of the capitalist, followed by the waltz of religion, Friedrich! Can you hear them harmonize? It’s a duet.
Friedrich the snowman: If you just work hard enough, success is your reward.
Karl: And if not in this life, never fear. Your reward awaits, dutiful laborer, in the kingdom of heaven.
Friedrich: Paint a painting, write a book if it makes you feel better. If it burns off steam. Sure. Every man an artist, as long as they don’t step out of line.
Karl: Confronted by obstacles? Only work harder! Don’t despair, or despair a little. But above all, keep working.
Friedrich: What tripe.
Althea: These snowmen!
Jorgensen: Now they don’t like art.
Friedrich: Ha! Wrinkle your noses. Certainly. But I wonder if you can hear your own words?
Karl: I’ll say it plainly. The banker and the priest, they’re in cahoots. And the police to do their bidding, and rap you on the head if you don’t.
Friedrich: I’ll say it even more plainly. You say the world doesn’t owe us anything? The world of animals. Sure. That’s flashing teeth and rending flesh. That’s hurricanes and meteor showers. That’s nature, at times bountiful and times cruel. Droughts and floods without end. That world is cruel, and nothing is owed. But the world of men? That’s different.
Karl: Not a road gets built. Not a fire gets put out. Not a police car gets a tuneup. Not a burger gets flipped. Not a power line gets draped. Not a drop of oil gets sucked up out of the earth and sold on the open market. Not a drain gets unclogged. Not a door gets opened nor a meal served, but that the worker does it. Not a dollar gets made but the worker makes it. Not a share gets traded. The world of men owes the worker everything. The worker built it. And if the worker stops, if they put down their shovels and join hands, it all comes to grinding halt.
Friedrich: That’s not entitlement, sister. That’s the social contract.
Althea: Ah ha, now they’re extortionists, Bjorn, with a gussied-up philosophy. It’s a pity they don’t have arms.
Karl: You hear, but you don’t understand.
Friedrich: You see but you don’t perceive.
Johannes: Here comes the revolution.
Karl: You joke, but the revolution is inevitable.
Johannes: As long as it comes before the springtime thaw.
Bartolomeo the snowman: Reactionary scum. Puppet of the status quo.
Johannes: Oh, ho! The third snowman speaks.
Bartolemeo: Criminals. Vagabonds. Prostitutes. Drunkards. These are the saints of the capitalist regime, who suffer without understanding and confuse their pain for revelation.
Jorgensen: Very poetic, snowman. But you know the old drinking-club joke. If push comes to shove, they can always pay one half of the poor to kill the other half.
Johannes: Look what they did to Jesus.
Karl: At least he died a socialist.