Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Commuter's Manifesto

As a frequent rider of the local Cleveland mass transit system, GCRTA, after another year has gone by it's time again to issue congratulations on a job...done. Whilst they contemplate cutting routes and schedule frequency to save money, might I suggest a few ways they can save money.

1. Answer complaints. I don't know what other peoples experiences are, but I've never gotten a reply to any complaint I sent via the website to GCRTA. Even if the people complaining are as crazy as Democrats thinking it's time to be more concilliatory to Republicans who have their best interests at heart, answer them. I jhave to note that none of my complaints have been insane so far. This may change depending on #2, below.

2. Kill the Muzak. There is no reason to install a bunch of speakers to blast crappy music 24x7 at people waiting for trains, who cannot escape. You're not trying to trick us to shopping longer in your store with slow balladeering. We can't leave. Whatever you pay for that Muzak service, picket it and spend on keeping routes open instead. That way we only have to suffer from people playing bad music on their cell phones on the trains themselves, which leads to #3.

3. Enforce your rules. There are rules against eating on busses and trains, against playing music loudly. Yet people are so sure the rules are not being enforced, they bring dipping sauce onto the train. This is a sign no one is paying attention, and I think eating fast food on mass transit trains is how the Roman Empire fell, just sayin'.

4. Get rid of the empty train going from Tower City through the remnants of the East Bank of the Flats. Run when there's a Browns game, it's the only time anybody rides it. If you want to cut low profiut routes, you cannot get much worse than an empty train.

5. Open your books. If you want more public funding - the only way you will survive - the public needs to know what everything costs. If the thought of seeing how much cash has gone down the drain for the Euclid Corridor, that's the cost of wanting taxpayer funds. The method of cutting lines and hoping the state bales out the same management team is just not getting any support for you.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Enough with 2010 already

As Lynn observed, winter has awoken like a hungover Gen-Zer late for work and hit us all at once. So I'm taking trains more now and seeing what you might call technique. One fellow's method for hitting on unwitting passers by was to shout across the train whilst wearing a ski-mask. I can only imagine it to be disconcerting to have a masked man yelling to you "what stop you getting off at".

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Propaganda is not so much good

Propaganda has never been a source of tasty treats. We even see it in person at times, as we drive near a nearby mall to see anti-abortion protesters holding up photos of purported dead fetuses. One fellow also held up a sign "PRO LIFE ATHEIST". We thought briefly about supplying him with an addendum to his sign, "VIRGIN" but perhaps it was unneeded. I did notice the religious protesters stood a couple of feet away from him. Would this lone on-believer be so quick to join these folks if he knew what a traditional treatment of atheists used to be (do not click if you are planning on a tasty meal with a pressure cooker today) back in more "traditional" times.

We're pretty cynical in the West, but in other parts of the world the bloodthirsty rhetoric we are used to seeing outside our strip malls can have more impact than bargained for:
Human rights advocates in Uganda say the visit by the three Americans helped set in motion what could be a very dangerous cycle. Gay Ugandans already describe a world of beatings, blackmail, death threats like "Die Sodomite!" scrawled on their homes, constant harassment and even so-called correctional rape.

"Now we really have to go undercover," said Stosh Mugisha, a gay rights activist who said she was pinned down in a guava orchard and raped by a farmhand who wanted to cure her of her attraction to girls. She said that she was impregnated and infected with H.I.V., but that her grandmotherís reaction was simply, "'You are too stubborn.'"
(from a NYTimes story by Jeffery Gettleman)

I like seeing more coverage of what calling people evil actually does out in the real world.