Tuesday, October 2, 2012

fear and loathing of 9/11

it was early 2002.  the country was scared shitless from 9/11 and doing it's best not to let on.  but it was useless.  any wild animal could tell our bouts of anger and bravado were nothing more than anxiety and insecurity.  in a frenzy of erecting even higher walls in the police state, senseless fear was battered into every corner of the country.  it was obvious the terrorists had won.  while the president was telling us they hated us for our freedoms, he was summarily taking them away.  a flight was now a bigger hassle than visiting an inmate and being of middle eastern descent was criminalized.  they finally figured out a bunch of saudis did it.  then they figured out oil money was instrumental in funding the whole affair.  that's when i decided to stop buying gasoline.

(easter egg when embiggened)

i couldn't follow through on this decision overnight, of course.  living in the county where richard nixon was revered and an airport was named after a cowboy actor meant public transportation was just barely sufficient for the help to get to and from santa ana in service of wealthy living.  to bike, i would have had to take highways and endure stares of condescension from the suv's.  the scorn car culture heaps on bicyclists is shrugged off easily enough, but the constant threat of road rage that i knew the locals were capable of made biking impossible.  it would have been like trying to survive thunderdome with nothing more than your bare hands.

fate dealt me a lucky hand in my aspiring boycott.  my employer was getting hit hard by the exodus of money from the tech industry.  part of its parachute was jettisoning me into unemployment.  i didn't provide enough lift apparently, as the place crashed a few months later, not that i cared anymore.  i decided to try my fate in the big city of angels. my apartment was close to a train station and so was my new job.  well, there was a bus ride involved, but there's nothing tamer than the populace of the san fernando valley.  even the scum here was predictable and easy to fight off with kind words.  usually, "have you taken your meds?" was enough to stop a hostile approach in its tracks.

and so my metro patronage began.

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