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Monday, July 15, 2019

The Joy of Dawdling, The Art of Dillydallying, and Take Time to Loiter

“Slow down, you move too fast,
You’ve got to make the morning last,
Just kicking down the cobblestones,
Looking for fun and feeling groovy.”
-The 59th Street Bridge Song

It’s illuminating to watch other commuters as you move around the city. So many people appear to be in a hurry, with the exception of those on foot. You can walk with purpose or dawdle, but being in a hurry while walking seems completely inappropriate. I think you call that running. Those with other transportation choices mostly seem stressed to get wherever they are going as quickly as possible.

People push to get on the bus, people on bikes pass on narrow bike paths even when they should know that ahead of them is a traffic light that will stop them dead. The new electric scooters seem custom built for people in such a hurry that they’re willing to take incredible risks to get to their destination with as little regard for their safety—or anyone else’s—as humanly possible.

Of course, so many drivers take it for granted that once behind the wheel of their car, or on a motorcycle, the normal rules of decency no longer apply.

My question for people in a hurry is to ask them why they didn’t just leave sooner? What was so important that you had to wait until the last minute thus condemning yourself to a stressed-out commute to wherever you are going? And why is it so important to break all laws of traffic and physics to get there a couple of minutes sooner?

The other day, I was riding across town for an appointment. I had left with more than enough time to get there while riding casually. I even calculated that I would arrive too early, so I slowed down even more. This allowed me to take in the scenery around me, which in Valencia is considerable and inexhaustible. I am constantly seeing new details everywhere I go.

There is a lot of joy to be had in taking your time, taking the scenic route, traveling the road less traveled, venturing down an unfamiliar street instead of always going between Points A and B.

Monday, July 08, 2019

Do You Want Clean Air, or Cars? You Can't Have Both

Two articles on the same day in the same rightist newspaper. No one could ever accuse them of consistency. One article moans about how pollution is basically killing us, the other whines about traffic jams (mostly caused by cyclists, according to this newspaper). This same paper has fought, tooth and nail, the new mayor's plan to expand bike paths throughout the city, complaining that it will slow down traffic. They never, not once, asked how this might benefit the citizens of the city. 

As it is turning out, the new bikes paths are not causing major traffic delays. I think that most people are in full agreement with the mayor which led to his re-election in May. We are already seeing new bike paths in the city, including a new section that will link the end of Turia Park with the path that goes to the port and the beach. It is almost finished.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

How To Fix The United States of America

Step #1

We need to make gun violence at least as much of a taboo as sex is in movies and television. Take a look at this movie poster. Instead of a huge gun, what if he had an enormous penis or a woman’s beast in his hand. Would we allow that? Of course, we wouldn’t. The difference is that most of us have either a penis or breasts. Sex is a normal, healthy part of adult life, yet if you make a film about sex it will receive an X rating which condemns it to failure.

Violence, if you are lucky, isn’t a normal aspect of modern life. You can make horrendously violence movies with people’s brains being blown out and painting walls and the worst rating the movie will get is an R rating. How can this be?

Movies should not be allowed to advertise to the public with images of guns (like the poster for this completely shitty movie). In trailers they should not be able to show scenes of violence.

If we stigmatized violence they way we do sex in movies, perhaps the studios would make fewer of these morally bankrupt horrors.