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Saturday, April 24, 2010

SUVS are detrimental to my view

I don't care about carbon footprints and oil shortages and all the assorted reasons other people dislike SUVs—well, not very much anyway. What I do care about is the view. My number one rule for a person sitting behind the wheel is LOOK AHEAD! There's little difference between a guy staring at the back of a vehicle, and a guy with his head up his own ass. If you're sitting there all relaxed and head-bopping to some tune on the HI-FI, and not looking ahead, then you don't belong on the road with me. Just because your eyes are open and drool isn't running tracks down your chin, doesn't necessarily mean you're awake. You should be able to see through the front window of the car ahead of you. You should notice when the car in front of the car in front of you breaks—by the shine of red tail-lights in the windshield of the car ahead of you.

In many highway pile-ups, a line of cars smash into the car ahead of them, one after the other, because they didn't have enough time to stop—they all had their heads up their asses, or they were tailgating, or more likely both. If you can see through the car ahead of you, then you should be able to stop in time. This brings me to SUVs.

I've noticed that SUV drivers all have several things in common:

1. They all have tinted windows.
2. They love to tailgate.
3. They’re all using a cellphone.

I'm not sure if tinted windows are standard equipment in these behemoths, but I figure this must be the case since I've never seen an SUV without tinted windows. They're tall bulky vehicles and I can't see over them; I can't see around them, and because their drivers all insist on tinted windows, I can't see through them. This means that my number one driving rule has just been negated when one of these monsters is in front of me.

I’m not sure why SUV drivers all tailgate. It’s possible that it’s a point of view problem. They’re sitting there high up in the air, and from this perspective perhaps other cars look like tiny ants and therefore seem far away even when they’re only three feet from the front bumper. It’s also possible that SUV drivers are all just assholes. This possibility seems more likely than the point of view problem, especially when coupled with the aforementioned tinted windows.

Now cellphone use is certainly not confined to SUV drivers, however it should be noted that when a person is driving a five ton vehicle three feet from the guy in front of him while doing 80 mph, and peering murkily through heavily tinted windows—all while yapping non-stop about whatever an egomaniac likes to yap about—cellphone use takes on a darkly sinister association.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

From Hatred to Glory

A shakespearean style sonnet I wrote.
The subject is from Revelations.


As I shiver in this dusty cold,
my heart and fingers have no feeling.
The end has come that was foretold.
How sad we lonely men left stealing
another hour, perhaps a day.
Cursed we be, who are left alive,
to wander this earth, not long we pray.
The broken cities, the human hive,
all is ashes rubble and disaster.
We beg salvation of The Master.

I hear whispered rumors of a man,
feeding folks with manna from Heaven,
who heals the sick and 'tis said he can
curse the wicked, bring forth their blood.
They flock to him and chant his name,
while infants cough their lives away.
He walks this land in rising fame.
This Abomination tells them pray,
and kneel down at his golden throne.
between rotting heaps of flesh and bone.

A clarion of trumpets on high
rising in the dusty morn I hear.
Hallelujah shouted into the sky.
A host of angels take my fear,
and suddenly I'm swept up.
Ineffable vainglorious pain,
nostalgic dreams overflow my cup,
with bittersweet tears of loss and gain.
You can't imagine, no words exist,
the beauty waiting beyond life's mist.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Corruption

Power corrupts. This axiom is indisputable. I just read a story about another police beating and then watched the video. It was a terrible and vicious beating, but what troubles me the most, is that Officer James Manderino apparently forgot his vehicle had a recording device. What was never mentioned in the story—and what will never be mentioned—is how many other so-called perpetrators this officer has brought in, beaten black and blue and bloody, and charged with resisting arrest. It’s my guess that not all the police cars are equipped with cameras in Chicago, and he just didn’t realize he was in a camera car that day.

Give a man—or woman—a badge, a gun, a vehicle, and limitless power to do as they please, then watch the carnage ensue. This is too much power. This video, and so many more like it, are evidence. They are more than just evidence of crimes; they are evidence of a pattern. The pattern is police corruption, and it doesn’t end with beatings, because the police have a bigger weapon than a baton, they also have a gun, which they pull from their holster often.

There are no perfect solutions; however the video I watched offers at least a partial remedy—more cameras. Citizens need to have cameras in all vehicles, not just police vehicles, every vehicle, and audio recorders as well.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Theory of Universal Opposition

Everyone acts in opposition to everyone else, pointlessly.

I've often wondered, why people are the way they are. I often thought, I must be paranoid, it seems as though everyone is out to get me; then I realized that this was way too self-centered a judgment. It's not just me everyone is out to get. Everyone is out to screw-over everybody. This over-riding and fundamental paradigm seems to explain why people are the way they are, but is it valid? Can the scientific method prove or disprove this theory?

You may ask why I would come to believe such a sweeping and depressing condemnation of all humanity. Two words: RUSH HOUR.

What I'm after here is motivation. To get to the true motivation of a person's actions, it's necessary to strip away all the concealing concerns and distractions―and especially―fears. In my vehicle, I'm as close to anonymous as it's possible to get in a real-life situation. I'm armored in a couple of tons of safety-glass, steel, and space-age plastics. I've got many of the comforts of home, with a few notable exceptions such as a television. I'm usually anxious to get where I'm going because I'm not earning any money until I get to work, and I'm not being entertained, fed, loved, or taken care of until I get home.

I'm a two-ton Jedi Knight in big damn hurry. The only problem I see―and it's a really big problem―is all the Darth Vaders in my way. I want to change lanes. I either signal my intent with a turn signal, or I just go for it. Either way, it's my experience that any nearby driver in the desired lane will move to block. Then there are the tailgater vadors. No matter how fast I go, even if it's 90 in a 55 mph zone, it's my experience that a driver sooner or later will station himself three feet off my six-o'clock. What does he want? He wants me to change lanes. Only one problem: the vader at my four-o'clock moves to block while flipping me the bird with a smirk on his face. Checkmate.

This is no random osmosis, no Brownian motion, this is deliberate and pointless interference, simply because every driver is out to screw-over every other driver. You wouldn't see this kind of behavior on a pedestrian walkway, or even a bike path, because people would get their asses kicked.

Thus the Beatdown Corollary to the Theory of Universal Opposition. People will oppose and/or interfere with others pointlessly, only when they feel they are anonymous.