No one wants a traffic ticket. Paying a huge fine is the easiest way to ruin your week and put a damper on other useless stuff you were going to buy. Beverly Hills needs to pay for their homeless removal programs somehow, and the easiest way to do that is with red light cameras and charging people who roll through stop signs with $500 fees.
Even jaywalking in Los Angeles can result in a triple-digit ticket. Because what will make Los Angeles a more walkable city than jaywalking tickets. Those rich Beverly Hills folks need to fund vital civic services like waxing Lamborghinis for rich Persians. The expense of wheeling old people in wheelchairs from retirement homes to delis doesn’t pay for itself. They can’t turn to their tax base for food just as embalmed as the patrons. They need to make up the shortfall with traffic tickets.
While this does make us extremely cautious when we see a police officer, can we please stop slowing down when we see the parking enforcement car? It’s not a real car and we need to stop acting like they’re important. Let’s not dignify the meter maid by coming to a complete stop. We need to collectively agree on eschewing laws when we see the parking enforcement vehicle. If has a cascade of negative effects when we slow down for fake cops.
For starters, you’re annoying everyone behind you by being a slow, cautious citizen when it’s unnecessary. If I came to a full, complete stop at every intersection and drove under the speed limit for a completely unnecessary stretch of time, it’d piss off the procession behind me. Everyone would be honking, flipping me off, and getting out of their cars to walk faster than I drove to yell through my windshield. There’s no difference between doing that when no one is around and doing that when the parking enforcement car is checking district permits. They have no real authority. You don’t need to slow down.
Just because it has sirens doesn’t make it a real cop car. If I picked up a couple strobe lights and super glued them to my roof, I would have the same amount of power as the parking enforcement officer. I could walk around pretending to be a real cop, with my plastic sheriff badge that I got by redeeming skee-ball tickets at the arcade. It doesn’t mean you have to magically become a slow driver when you cut me off 30 seconds earlier just because you saw sirens. You can buy sirens.
On top of inconveniencing everyone, you also grant parking attendants with a sense of power they shouldn’t have. We already have real police officers abusing power every chance they get. They’re shooting unarmed citizens. They’re tazing kids. They’re pepper spraying for sport. They’re starting race riots every day. Do we really need that from people who issue parking fines?
In addition to insane cops shooting people, now those little ticket scanners will double as tasers. Their stupid meter maid hat brims will be sharp as razor blades. They’ll be looking for trouble…along with expired tags. But mostly trouble. All because you decided to obey the law for a bunch of traffic cops, now we’ll get permit parking race riots on top of all the regular police race riots we already have.
The best solution is to put the parking enforcement cops in their place. Not only should we break the law around them, you should rub their meager existence in their faces. When you pass by the parking enforcement car, just leave a giant scratch mark along the entire side of their car. Flip off the meter maid. Drive with two forty’s duct taped to your hands. Then if they say anything just point to the fake siren you stuck to your roof and let them know you can be a pretend-cop too.
Whether it’s a parking permit enforcer, one of those private security fake cop cars, an ordinary schlub who owns a Ford Crown Vic, or one of those senior center fake ambulance shuttles, stop obeying the law around them. We need to take our recklessness back so that we can get where we’re going faster. The only way to do this is by showing them less respect and breaking more laws. It will put them in their place, speed up traffic and prevent race riots, all in the name of moving us forward as a traffic jam and a nation.
I fully support gay marriage being a constitutional right that’s enacted as soon as possible. Gay marriage is a noble cause and I applaud everyone who fought, protested and lobbied to give couples in same-sex relationships equal rights as heterosexual couples. My only fear is that after we enact same-sex marriage, the list of things left to protest is going to get pretty lame.
I’m not trying to take anything away from gay marriage. I just mean that compared to ending slavery, women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement, we’re running really low on good problems we need to fix. The previous generation fought for equal pay in the workplace, women’s rights and the end of the Jim Crow era. The generation before that fought across Europe to prevent the spread of Imperialism. The generation before them gave the vote to women. What are we going to have after gay marriage? Exactly.
As it stands right now, we’re left protesting wealth inequality and sex slaves overseas. The protests are already starting to blow. Occupy Wall Street turned into an adult version of a college drum circle. It had nothing on the sit-ins from the civil rights movement. Back in the Jim Crow south, nonviolent protesters were sprayed with water cannons. Now we have a trust-funder with dreadlocks who wants to legally smoke pot in the financial district. Protests are only going to go downhill from there.
If we keep clearing civil rights at a steady clip then future generations are going to have a sorry lot of available protests. There will be movements to let people marry the robot they made in their garage. Violent clashes to give flying cars the right of way. Marches in the street to ensure transgender people can have their own bathrooms. Are they good causes? Yes. Are they good protests? Lame, lame, lame.
Watching the screeners for the 2012 Oscars and keeping up with the GOP debates makes me feel an identical apathy for this year’s crop of movies and Republicans. Whether they lulled in the race until one hot week or they entered the race with tremendous buzz and landed with a thud, movies and Republicans share a similar dullness in 2011-2012.
Of the hundred-plus movies that came out last year, there are a handful that have any shot at being named the winner: The Artist, The Descendants, Hugo, The Help (because Hollywood likes this sort of schmaltz, see: Crash) and Tree of Life. If you’re considering nominations then you can also loop in Moneyball, Bridesmaids, Melancholia, Midnight in Paris and War Horse if the Academy decides to open themselves up for bribes. Out of all the Republicans who explored the idea of running for president, we are now down to Romney, Paul, Gingrich and Santorum.
Both groups are the same in that no one really loves any of them, but someone has to come in first. Therefore, one movie and one Republican will have to win not because they were most-liked, but simply because they were hated the least. Obama’s opponent and the winner of this year’s best picture will share the title of not being great, but that they had fewer things wrong with them than the competition.
Let’s start with the current odds-on favorites: Mitt Romney and The Artist. Neither rode a tidal wave of support to get to the front of the pack. No one has ever left a Mitt Romney speech feeling inspired. You watch Mitt Romney speak and you’re left thinking, He said everything he’s supposed to say. The Artist is the favorite for best picture because you leave the theater thinking, That’s the kind of movie that wins best picture. The Artist is not The King’s Speech, it’s not The Hurt Locker. No one is going around raving about how they were bowled over and had the wind knocked out of them and were cheering at the screen by a black-and-white silent film from a French character actor. Read more
Week in review summary for October 17, 2011 – October 23, 2011. Muammar Gaddafi killed, exotic animals set lose, Republican debates, Real World casting and more.