|I'm not a hypocrite, but I play one in real life
||[Jun. 21st, 2008|11:33 pm]
The New Pool opened up about a month ago. The New Pool and I have a long history. When the city first started talking about replacing the oldest pool (we have two), I thought it was a good idea. Because the old pool was very old.
But then things started to get dicey. Instead of just replacing the pool, someone got the bright idea to build an "Aquatic Center". Because heaven forbid the kids should just have a pool to play in. And then the funding for the Aquatic Center somehow got rolled in with the funding for other things the city wanted to do. So that when the funding came up for a vote, anyone who voted against the pool was also voting against replacing the fire house, and improving the police station, and replacing or improving some other things that actually did need replacing or improving.
And then somehow the Aquatic Center wasn't good enough. No, we needed a million-dollar pool house with a conference center to go with it. And the aquatic part of the aquatic center kept getting bigger and more elaborate. Oh, that park over there? We'll just grab most of it for the Aquatic Center. That money that was supposed to build a new firehouse? We'll just use some of that for the Aquatic Center.
Only now the money wasn't enough. So the fundraising and soliciting and begging began. And the decision to make the pool public to non-residents in order to get some matching grant money. And more begging and soliciting and fundraising.
In which I firmly refused to participate. I found the whole thing distateful. It was pride. It was ego. It was a group of people wanting to be "cutting edge" just so they could brag about living in a city with a cutting edge Aquatic Center. I swore that I'd never set foot in it. It represented everything I hate about consumerism and conspicuous consumption and posturing. I found it a misuse of my taxes. Did I mention that due to the design of the New Aquatic Center, it required more lifeguards to staff a single shift than the city currently employed to fully staff the two existing pools for three shifts? And that admission would be more than double the existing admission price?
Ug. I hated everything about it. I couldn't even bear to drive past the site, as the construction went on for nearly a full year past the original opening date.
And then it finally opened. And, of course, the kids wanted to go. So, of course, today we took the kids to the new Aquatic Center.