Marble Season

by Norman Horowitz

Growing up, I lived with my mother, father, brother, and Daisy, our dog that often bit me, in an apartment in the Kingsburg Road section of the Bronx at 2785 University Ave. I remember things like school and pretty girls, but mostly I remember the “street games” we played.

These games were determined by “the season.” Not summer, winter, spring, and fall, but rather yo-yo’s, tops, baseball cards, and marbles.

The marble activity was directed to the noble pursuit of somehow aggregating all the marbles in your neighborhood (or as many as you could). In retrospect, I wonder why it mattered that you had so many marbles, but it did.

I realized that on the streets it was okay to want to have all of the marbles, but that type of behavior could not or should not be sustained. The parental admonition was and is that you must “learn to share,” yet somehow, as we grow up, we are unwilling to share and want only to have more for ourselves.

As a Democrat, I believe that our system should allow everyone to at least have “a few marbles” and that no one should be allowed to control all of them.

Consider the following:

Somehow it just seems unreasonable that the top 1% of our populace has 21% of our wealth while the bottom 80% has 38%. That was five years ago, and I believe that the numbers today would show a far greater wealth disparity.

In recent years, the Republicans want to have all of society’s “marbles.” It seems as though they never have enough.

If that isn’t unreasonable enough, they also want as much of the “information dissemination” as they can get, controlled by “kindred spirits” such as GE/NBC, CBS/Viacom, ABC/Disney, Fox/News Corp, and Time Warner.

But that’s not enough for them. And so, the House has voted to defund CPB, NPR, and PBS, and the Senate is deliberating.

According to a Harris poll conducted in 2005, NPR was the most trusted news source in the U.S. Roper polls commissioned by PBS have consistently placed that service as America’s most trusted national institution.

In my opinion, the Republicans are not anxious to save money. What they’re really interested in is stifling the message that competes with their marbles: for-profit deliverers of entertainment and news content.

These commercial people have been given the spectrum or channels without charge, and America deserves a well funded not-for-profit voice. I suggest that the feds to impose a “turnover tax” on the commercial sector in an amount that would properly fund CPB, PBS, and NPR.

I continue to wonder why those 80% of the public who have just 38.6% of the income in our country vote for the Republicans, who want even more of their money.

But back to marble memories: Do you remember any the following “special” marbles? Immies, kabolas, puries, cat’s eyes, and many more that I’ve forgotten…