The Corner

Re: Pay-To-Spray Firefighters

Dan, Kevin: I am entirely with the South Fulton fire department here. In the terms of Nico Colchester’s great 1996 essay, they are being crunchy rather than soggy:

Crunchy systems are those in which small changes have big effects leaving those affected by them in no doubt whether they are up or down, rich or broke, winning or losing, dead or alive. . . . Sogginess is comfortable uncertainty. . . . The richer a society becomes, the soggier its systems get. Light-switches no longer turn on or off: they dim.

One of the duties of conservatives in this soggy fallen world is to stand up for crunchiness. For the fire department to have extinguished the Cranicks’ fire would have been soggy, even aside from the considerable degree of sogginess it would have left on the property.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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