Success everywhere. It’s not because Donald Trump is some kind of all-knowing wizard or anything like that, it’s because a transfer of power is taking place and we’ve been needing it to happen for a long time.
I’ve not been one to write overly much about the escalation in arguing nationwide, that is now apparently subsiding. My posts-per-month on this blog are testament to that, and my diminished site traffic is testament to that. Most of it, I think, is stupid. It’s people-programming. “Trump’s just awful, terrible, just awful!” say the people who didn’t have an opinion about Trump one way or the other, a mere two years ago. They’re reacting to the fact that he ran a campaign for President as a Republican, and in so doing got between a democrat politician and what she wanted. Or, they’re reacting to the buzz that was kicked up by democrats as they circled the wagons, protecting their own, making noise, which is what they do. And that’s what these other people do. Buzz starts up about something, they fall in line. I’ve often been tempted to ask, Have you EVER gone against the vocal majority on anything? If the answer is no, and it seems to be that from my point of view, that should get a person started thinking about things…but, that’s not likely to illuminate the discussion much, and if that kind of thinking were ever to be put in motion by something, it probably would’ve happened long before I showed up to pose my provocative question.
I am lately beset upon by, and lately more fixated on, local things…maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe I’m turning into the cranky old guy yelling at kids to stay the hell off his lawn.
We have a computer bulletin board on which we can collaborate on things like: Watch out for that nasty pothole, or WTF is wrong with that stupid street light, or What was that funny noise last night?…and the like. Thought it was kinda stupid when I first signed on to it, but it’s turned out to be a really cool thing. A debate has suddenly kicked up about speed bumps. A libertarian-minded gentleman, unfortunately, expressed a quite sensible opinion about our eroding freedoms in a needlessly dramatic way — which is what libertarians do. He posted something about how he considers speed bumps to be a “violation of my right to” move, or something…
The ensuing discussion has unfolded about pro- or con-speed-bumps. Interestingly, the people who love love love speed bumps occasionally claim outvoting-victory at the town council meetings, even though they’re very overwhelmingly outvoted in the forum in which we’re actually discussing it, the one where you have to figure out how to turn on a computer and work a browser. And, I don’t care about any of that. It’s just interesting.
I do note that the “anti-speed-bump” coalition is not, contrary to the perception of their opposition, arguing against the presence of speed bumps. Granted, “I hate speed bumps” sounds like that, and “speed bumps are a violation of my rights” sounds like that…but if anyone takes the time to actually read, which strangely seems to be beneath a lot of people who’ve managed to turn on their computers and work browsers, the objection is against speed bumps installed to enforce a limit of 30 mph…and, by their presence, discourage the vehicles from going anywhere faster than 15 mph. Or less than that.
This is, I think, why the pro-speed-bump crowd is outvoted. But they respond simply by becoming more emphatic. More “have you ever lost a kid to a drag racer,” more exclamation points, more “love” in the “I love love love speed bumps.”
Sacramento, I see, is once again tragically laboring to become more like its bigger stupider brother San Francisco. It’s the same thing going on, traffic is deadly because the motorists drive like idiots. Motorists drive like idiots because they’re aggravated, and they’re aggravated because the roads are designed, and modified, according to the wishes of people who hate motorists. And think emotionally & not logically.
Here is what happens in our neck of the woods. A casual glance at an aerial map will lay out the entire problem beautifully. We have a main arterial running due North, and then one long block away from it to the East we have a backwoods road. It is not twisty or windy, it is a straight shot and it goes on for a couple of miles. You might think, as the main drag becomes more congested and hazardous that a few jackasses will be inclined to split off during the commute hour and abuse the narrower corridor…you’d be right. I’m one of those jackasses. The 30 mph an hour is actually faster than the main drag. I remember thinking when I first moved to the area, I can see how this might be a move tempting to a lot of others besides just me, and I hope that does not happen, or if it does happen I hope people are going to be well behaved about it. I’m sure the homeowners along here are annoyed by this side-traffic already. Well, looks like I was right about that. Wasn’t a tough call. There were speed bumps already. Six of them. Slowing the traffic down from the posted 30 mph, to 15 mph.
This emotional problem-solving, conceals from the people indulging it what they’re really trying to do. Emotionally, they hate cars. What they want to do is install speed bumps that are not quite so much safe, as they are onerous. They want to drive the traffic back out to the main drag. Well…thinking about it logically, we see this can work. It does. On very, very rare occasions — when this side street becomes something like a parking lot. One or two of us jackasses will wait five minutes or more to go one block, get fed up, and split off to go back to where we belong. Traveling that one block West.
At thirty miles an hour? Best Lana Kane from Archer voice I can muster in writing…Nooooooope. And so now I have to wonder about people who live on the East-West streets. What was I saying about motorists driving like idiots because they’re aggravated, from driving on roads built by people who hate them? Those folks have seen their share of it. Ah, come to think of it, I’m one of them. We’re considering a speed bump ourselves, due to one obnoxious fellow on a dirt bike who likes to go 60 or more in the 30 mph zone. If & when it goes in, as I said, I hope it’s a speed bump that has no effect on drivers already going the posted limit. Which means I’m actually on the side OF the people who are pro-speed-bump…there’s no actual disagreement in the thread, if one takes the time to actually read. Sadly, a lot of people don’t. The rest of us become needlessly contentious, because of them. And then they get to say it’s someone else doing it.
Just like national politics. We get to see people becoming the builders of their own misfortunes; and, they don’t see themselves doing it. They’ve managed to find a scapegoat.
In the humor department, at work we have a lady who is very proud of herself for having pulled herself up after she “grew up inna hood.” She should be. The hood to which she’s referring is in West Sacramento which, as one Facebook friend has pointed out, is not all hood…but, the hood parts of it are very, very hood. And have been for a long time. I know West Sac as four miles of not-too-affluent space I have to cross on my bike, to get to the slough, beyond which lies Davis…ultra-liberal, ultra-weird Davis, home of, among other things, the toad tunnel. No, really. There are rumors the TT is, well, a rumor. I used to believe those; they are false, the tunnel is real.
Because of the building of the overpass, animal lovers including Julie Partansky worried about toads being smooshed by cars, because before the overpass, a colony of toads hopped from one side of a dirt lot (which the overpass replaced) to the reservoir at the other end. There was a lot of controversy, and the town decided, as part of the $7 million financing for the project, to allocate funds to build a toad tunnel beneath the Pole Line Road overpass. Wikipedia reports that the tunnel cost $14,000, while the book Northern California Curiosities reports $12,000. The book Weird California claims it was $30,000.
There are also several tunnels rather than just one. The shortest run is in the street opposite Sudwerk‘s parking lot. It does, however, lack any sort of decoration, so it helps if you visit Toad Hollow to get an idea of what you’re looking for. All the tunnels terminate at a fenced, protected wetland area with foreboding signs implying that if you climb over the fence, you will cause hundreds of species to die and make Gaia weep.
It’s a whole different way of thinking out in Davis. Squirrels might fall out of the trees, so we have to put little trampolines under the — you get the idea. The space between Davis and the nearest other populated area, which would be Dixon to the Southwest, and West Sacramento across the sough, creates an isolation factor. And this allows their local culture to flourish. Or germinate. Or putrefy, depending on your point of view…
Well it seems the cloister that is Davis is starting to spill out, across the slough, into the rougher areas of West Sacramento and this is making for a fascinating strain of hybrid teenager. Part yuppie, part hoodlum. And they say weird things, she was noticing…like “You better recycle that, or I’ll cut you!” I think I was having turkey on wheat that day…
It hurts when it gets lodged up your nose.