Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I Don't Brake for Jaywalkers

Berkeley residents, if you feel the need to dart into and through traffic, you better know--you're doing it at your own damn risk. I am sick to the teeth of my groceries spilling everywhere because I have to slam on my brakes for some asshole who has decided to run out in front of me against my green light. SORRY, but this is the only country in which that is endorsed by traffic enforcement. Everywhere else in the universe knows that traffic laws pertain to EVERYONE--motorists, pedestrians, bikers--hell, even trains and light aircraft. ("no, this is a Freeway, not a Runway. see the difference?") Why is it that foot-traffic gets to break the rules and we have to friggin' tiptoe around them like they're special? And don't fucking flip me the bird when you hear my brakes a-squealin'--you should get down on the fucking asphalt and THANK ME FOR NOT MAKING YOU PEDESTRIAN PUR√ČE.

Cyclists, this applies to you too. No, Members of Critical Mass, You Do Not Have The Right To Direct Traffic. Don't hold up your fucking hand to "stop" me while all eight hundred of you BLATANTLY VIOLATE traffic LAW and turn left in the middle of a red light. There's a REASON traffic laws exist. For your and my safety. I don't want to see you get killed, but you have to recognize that you're pissing off Everyone whom you're inconveniencing. You're not proving a point--you're being arrogant.

I really want one of you to tell me that this is for the sake of the "revolution"--that Berkeley still has what it takes to come together and fight for the common good. That doesn't exist anymore. Berkeley has become a fancy-pants exclusivist genius resort that bizarrely plays host to an inordinate population of delirious beggars and drug-addicted transients. the once-proactive hippies are now a sad lot of confused elderly folks who wander the streets during their lucid hours and spend the rest of their time watching the ants in People's Park. Berkeley is little more now than a rusting hull of a revolution, a modern Roman ruin, attracting tourists curious about how it used to be. We live in a world in which people need their cars. Motor vehicles in America are not a luxury--they are vital to business and family. We live in a very big country which is incapable of providing reliable public transportation outside of major urban areas, and nobody has figured out how to transport anything larger than a backpack using any method of transit outside of a car. The fact that you have time to get stoned and ride around the streets with your little friends is not an indicator that other people aren't on the clock, hauling stacks of lumber in the back of a pickup truck. Some people have to work for a living and aren't going to appreciate your roadblocks which stink of privelege and frivolity. You're not sticking it to the Man, man. You're sticking it to me--a young, poor, liberal, pro-choice, pro-gay, atheistic, Berkeley Bowl-shopping, recycling, artistic, theatre employee.

Listen to your mothers. Stop playing in the road. You'll get hit by a car.

3 comments:

Ben said...

"nobody has figured out how to transport anything larger than a backpack using any method of transit outside of a car"

all I can say is:

Bikes of Burden

although that method is not for everyone I suppose.

Ben said...

yes. next time you get anticar sass ask them if this is how they last moved house.

not that I'm procrastinating.

oh no.

I'm working hard.

yeah

Lisa and Robb said...

hee hee hee...

Just as there are defined stages of mourning, there are defined staged of moving to Berkeley.

Glee
Joy of Produce
Delight at The Pacific
Dismay at the faux teenaged homeless and their poor pooches
Annoyance with the Traffic

(I know I'm leaving a few stage out...)