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Modern Madness And the Mute Swan

I’m lucky to live only blocks away from an unspoiled piece of nature, where a pond-side bench lets me sit and enjoy a big cup of coffee and a plastic-tipped cigar.

From this vantage point, my mind wanders freely. I often reminisce of my childhood, where in every season and at every age I spent time here.

Nowadays, I smoke my cigars and admire the brilliant beauty of the swans on the pond. Here, there is peace. But any tranquility I feel is replaced with indignation when I think of what I’ve recently learned: that the swans are to be slaughtered if the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation goes ahead with its latest management plan. This plan seeks to eradicate the species from the state by 2025.

What’s the reasoning for this possible genocide? Well, the State’s rationale falls mostly under the fact that the Mute Swan has been deemed an “invasive species.” In other words, in the eyes of the State, there are too many of them breeding successfully.

I find this absurd, since I never come across so many that I would ever think anything except we’re lucky to have the ones that we do. These magnificent symbols of peace, who usually mate for life, are one of the last remaining wildlife species able to thrive in our polluted waters; waters so contaminated, the State warns against letting dogs near them because of the deadly bacteria they contain; waters that are actually most easily monitored by having a sentinel species, like the Mute Swan, present for testing. And the state wants to kill them all?

It’s modern madness.

I think the greatest treasure we’ve lost within the modern struggle is our cultural appreciation and intimate individual connection to nature. Because of this loss, we’ve become very sick. The governing bodies now operating in our name do so with soul-less machination. We must reclaim them and right this ship. Humanity must come to terms with what it means to be part of the whole of creation and return to our roots as caretakers, rather than takers.

We’ve fenced off the soul of the world too long not to have it push up its back on us.

The growing trend to use brutality and decimation toward any living being or thing it considers “invasive” is a symptom of this madness; a reflection of collective psychosis by powerful entities who, under the spell of the dollar sign, see demons on every waterway. This sickness embraces the use of mass killing and heavy-handed chemical management as the only means for our survival, when really it is the cause of the vast environmental pathologies that so threaten us. We are stuck in a cycle of always masking and attacking the symptoms, rather than allowing for a cure.

If we participate with nature, rather than demonize it; if we submit to its wisdom, meet it halfway and love it as we should, we will build up the health of the whole system and find balance for all its species. If we do not, we will suffer and perish for it.

Please contact your politicians and sign the online petitions to stop this senseless slaughter. Then, go visit with the swans and encounter the great spirit within.

Mike Dougherty

News

This holiday season, Oyster Bay will once again be home to unique, homemade, scrumptious confections from The Chocolate Lady, in the form of a mobile chocolate boutique set up at Buckingham Variety Store on Audrey Avenue. She arrived on Sunday and plans on staying throughout the holidays, and possibly longer.

“I have been developing this concept for the last year and a half and am excited to be coming home to Oyster Bay for this year’s holiday launch,” says Lee Perrotta, aka The Chocolate Lady, who had her shop across the street from Buckingham’s for about five years before she was forced to shut her doors on Christmas Eve in 2012 due to excessive water damage at the rental space.

The Raise The Roof Concert, held at Christ Church on Nov. 9, was an intergenerational event to benefit the Life Enrichment Center of Oyster Bay’s seniors.

Board member Suzanne Paolucci explained the center’s wish to get iPods for the seniors as a source of musical therapy. She brought the idea to the center from a talk by social worker Dan Cohen, the founder of Music & Memory. He has produced a film, Alive Inside, that tells the story of music as being restorative. Music is like therapy for the elderly, in particular for those with dementia, as it has been shown to awaken memories of happier times in life, when energy and enthusiasm were boundless.


Sports

Long Island Lutheran High School senior Samantha Horton of Oyster Bay signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Siena College and compete on the Girls Division I Lacrosse Team in the goaltender position next year. Samantha will be receiving a full athletic scholarship. Horton is pictured with her family.

On the weekend of Nov. 8, the Oyster Bay High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams traveled to the State University of New York at Canton just a few miles from the Canadian border to compete in the New York State Cross Country Championships.

Alex Tosi became the first Bayman since Joe Jazwinski and Justin Nakrin (2008) to become All-State, placing 16th with a time of 16:53. Most runners ran about 20 seconds slower than their Bethpage times because of the muddy conditions on the course. Tosi’s time was basically equivalent to his best Bethpage time, as he powered through the toughest parts of the race. He led the Baymen to a seventh place finish in the Class C race, an improvement from their 11th place finish last year, which ties the highest place at the New York State Championships of a Baymen team since 2009.


Calendar

Annual Turkey Trot

Thursday, Nov. 27

Turkey Detox Workshop

Friday, Nov. 28

East Norwich Holiday

Sunday, Nov. 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com