Gas Prices

10 06 2008

A couple months ago, I made the conscious decision to stop driving to the greatest extent possible. This decision was motivated by the following:

  1. Spite
  2. The imminent threat of global warming
  3. Preparing for the not-so-imminent threat of gasoline rationing

I was supposed to have lunch today with an old business associate and coworker of mine all the way across town, so today was one of the few days I actually had to drive to work. It’s been about a solid month since I’ve a.) driven in rush hour traffic, and b.) filled up my gas tank…and my reintroduction to weekday traffic brought me to a particular conclusion:

Gas isn’t nearly expensive enough.

Figure 1: Now THIS might get us somewhere.

Here in DC, gas prices are hovering around $4.35/gallon for premium unleaded, and it’s definitely over $4.00 for regular pretty much everywhere. In spite of the constant uptick in fuel costs, I didn’t notice any real decrease in the volume or stupidity of traffic I encountered during either the morning or evening commutes. In fact, I’d be willing to say that traffic was even slightly worse.

Keeping yourself out of your car for an extended period of time has an interesting effect on your driving – that is, you become INSANELY aggressive when you get back behind the wheel. If you haven’t driven for a month, then you’ve been used to walking around in the fresh air and sitting on the train or bus reading and/or working while some other shmuck deals with the roads scholars, soccer moms, old people, young people, asian people, and stalematers that would otherwise be driving you insane.

Figure 2: Incubator for aggressive driving

But when that day comes that you suddenly find yourself forced away from your city-paid chauffeurs, you are plunged right back into the fray and you are not ready to deal with it like a well-adjusted human being. You drive ridiculously fast, you cut people off (either before or after giving them the finger), you run red lights, and you aim your car at child pedestrians when school buses stop. You do this because you are enraged. Half of you is pissed at the seemingly infinite stupidity of the drivers around you, and your other half is pissed at the fact that you know you don’t ordinarily have to deal with this shit. You feel like you’ve been plucked from First-Class on a British Airways flight and tossed into the No-Class section of Soul Plane, with a blond-haired blue-eyed male stewardess* calling you ‘nigger’ just for good measure.

To solve this problem, the price of gas needs to go to at LEAST $50.00/gallon. The reason it needs to go so high is because people – especially white people – are making remarkable sacrifices to continue driving as long as the price of gas increases incrementally. A cataclysmic spike is what’s needed to get people off the roads, into public transit, and out of my fucking way when I need to drive every other fortnight.

I can imagine what you’re thinking. If everyone suddenly floods public transportation, isn’t the system going to become overloaded? It will at first, but it won’t be that way for long. Why? Because the government always responds when white people are inconvenienced.

Hop on any bus or the endpoints of a subway in virtually any major city in America, and you will notice that damn near everybody around you is black or hispanic. You’ll see plenty of white folks on the train once you’re in the city center where the train is more convenient that driving – but minorities are the only people you’ll see taking public transportation when it’s LESS convenient than driving. As a result, minorities make up the vast majority of public transportation users, and the government doesn’t give a flying fuck about them. That’s why public transportation is so miserably underfunded even though so many people rely on it.

But if you spike gas up to $50.00 a gallon and even whitey is forced to give up his car, then all of a sudden Average Joe White Man is going to find himself inconvenienced by crowded, filthy, and poorly maintained trains and buses…and there’s no way that the federal and local governments are going to let blue-eyed soccer moms suffer in crowded niggeriffic subway cars.

Figure 3: Interior and exterior of a public transport vehicle once white people are forced into the system

*No, this is not a typo





Jury Duty

15 05 2008

There’s nothing worse than getting a Jury summons in your mailbox, because it lets you know that in about four weeks you’re going to have an experience worse than bathing in a pool of severed cocks.

The first thing you have to do is fill out the stupid form that comes with the jury summons. On this questionnaire, they ask you stupid shit that they never really intend to verify – like “have you ever been convicted of a felony?” or “do you think Barack Obama looks like a cartoon monkey?”. After Michael Vick and Mike Norman lie on their applications so they’ll have a chance to fuck someone over, and you fill yours out truthfully, you get to the part of the questionnaire that asks if your employer pays you during jury service.

Figure 1: Has probably served on a jury with a black defendant

If you’re a salaried employee, you’re fine, because you’re pretty much guaranteed pay during your time off that your employer is required by law to give you for jury duty. If you’re not a salaried employee as are untold millions of Americans, you won’t get fired – but you are completely screwed. I don’t know how it is in the rest of the country, but DC pays $4 if you’re not selected for a trial, and $30 per day if you are.

Thirty motherfucking dollars per day in lieu of your regular hourly rate. I know $100+/hour contractors who have wound up on trials that literally cost them thousands of dollars.


Figure 2: Will earn more money today than any juror anywhere ever

Anyhow, you send in your form and wait a few weeks for your service date. When that day comes, you walk your ass over to the courthouse and are greeted by a line a mile long coming out the door. After you stop swearing, you look around at the people in line and notice something interesting:

  1. Lots and lots of white people holding jury summons
  2. Lots and lots of black people waiting in line to support family/friends on trial

This is upsetting now, but it will absolutely enrage you in just a few minutes. Stay tuned.

You get to the metal detector inside the courthouse, which is staffed by U.S. Marshalls. Now for anyone that’s seen the movie of the same name (starring Tommy Lee Jones and Wesley fucking Snipes), you’d be inclined to think that being a Marshall would require intelligence and attention to detail. Not so. The ‘Marshall’ manning the metal detector looks like Special Ed from Crank Yankers’ wearing a police uniform, and is at least as incompetent.

Figure 3: “I’m an officer of the court, YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!”

People are walking through the metal detector with the thing beeping and blaring like it’s fucking Mardi Gras, but the Marshall is letting them right on through without checking them with the handheld metal detector. Instead, he just uses it to direct machine gun toting patrons into the middle of the courthouse, because apparently he thinks the handheld implement is supposed to be used like an orchestra conductor’s wand. I walk into the courthouse wondering if this fucktard even realizes he’s holding a metal detector.

Next on the jury duty menu is another enormous line, this one leading into the jury office which is filled with people making bad excuses to try to get out of jury duty like “I hate niggers” or “I’m a hemophiliac suffering from Uncontrollable Falling Down Syndrome”. When it’s your turn in the office, the clerk gives you a creepy smile, gives you a badge, and tells you to wait in the ‘jurors lounge’ for your name/number to be called.

The juror’s lounge is filled with rows and rows of seats. People are stupid, so instead of walking to the far end of the row so other people can easily file in behind them, they sit at the near end of the row and force everyone to walk over top of them. This asshole also has the nerve to act bothered by the fact that people have to do this even though it’s his/her (usually her) own fault. You finally take a seat, and an orientation video starts.

The orientation video features some old Civil War veteran of a judge telling you how fortunate you are to live in a country where you’re tried in front of a jury of your peers. Remember what I said about the demographics of the line outside the courthouse? This is where you become very very very very angry. If you’re smart, you’ll toss in your headphones and listen to Drowning Pool for awhile so you can’t hear the rest of the video. If you’re not smart (like me), you’ll listen in utter disbelief as the rest of the video explains the trial process that you’d have assumed any normal functioning adult would understand already by sheer virtue of not living under a fucking rock.

The video ends, and not a moment later some overly excited Carlton Banks lookalike jumps to the podium up front:

Carlton: “Wwwwwelll GOOD MORNING FOLKS! WELCOME TO JURY DUTY, HOW’S EVERYBODY DOING?”
Jury Pool: [grunts in unison]
Carlton: “OK SUPER DUPER! We’re gonna be calling our first jury for Judge Whogivesaflyingfuck, so if I call your name annnnnnnnnnd badge number please announce your presence with a hearty ‘HERE’!”

Figure 4: Goddammit…

This khakied fuck stick then starts reading off the names of the extremely unfortunate. You feel like you’re in that scene from Glory where all the soldiers are charging across the beach toward Fort Wagner – people all around you are being blown up by cannon fire…and all you can do is hope you aren’t next.

Carlton comes out two or three more times before dismissing the survivors for lunch, which is the only enjoyable part of jury duty. You grab your sammich from a local foodatorium and sit outside the courtroom looking at people. This is when you realize something very interesting about black female attorneys:

  1. They are hot
  2. They are everywhere

All these chicks are wearing high heeled shoeses and those vertically striped booty-accentuating dress pants. There is so much high class booty everywhere that you briefly forget that you’re at jury duty. You get to partake in this visual feast for a whole entire hour…but at 1:30, your monkey ass goes right back into the juror’s lounge.

Carlton returns several more times to choose victims, but somehow he doesn’t call your name. You pass the time by reading and watching the awful Sandra Bullock movie they insist on playing over and over again on the TV screens. When you get really bored, you start having stupid contests with yourself like seeing how many times you can blink in a minute. As the end of the day approaches, you look around and wonder how many non-salaried employees are about to get paid $4 today, which won’t even pay their Metro fare to and from the courthouse. You resist the urge to start the revolution.

Figure 5: Me, in the last hour of jury duty

Finally, Carlton shows up for the last time and dismisses everyone. You can’t help but think that there must be a more efficient way to set up jury pools. This is eight hours of your life that you will never EVER get back. You are fuming as you walk out of the courthouse…until you see hot attorney booty all over the place again. Suddenly, you think it was all worth it.

God bless women.





Taxes

15 04 2008

I’m getting rammed in the ass yet again this tax season, this time owing the federal and DC governments over $1,000 in fucking goddamn taxes in addition to the withholding I already have to put up with.

Figure 1: All of us

The second most rage-inducing day of the year for most salaried Americans is the day they look at their W-2s and see exactly how much the government is taking out of their incomes. The number one rage-inducing day comes the day right after that, when you realize what the federal and local governments are doing with your stolen money:

  • Unleashing entire congressional committees on baseball players for steroid use, as if anyone gives a shit
  • Spending $255 million PER DAY on a bogus and unwinnable war in Iraq, much of which the Pentagon freely admits to wasting
  • Spending $67 million PER DAY on a bogus and unwinnable war in Afghanistan that, for some odd reason, nobody is fucking talking about anymore
  • Pretending to chase Osama Bin Laden through the mountains of Pakistan/Afghanistan when, in all likelihood, he’s getting a hummer from Jenna Bush in the White House as I type
  • Giving the Department of Homeland Security a $46.4 billion budget for 2008, nearly all of which will be wasted. I once worked a DHS contract with Lockheed Martin that billed 11,000 man-hours in 13 months at an average of $120 per hour. Not a single deliverable had been produced by the time I got fed up and left Lockheed to work with private and non-profit clients. No one was ever fired as a result of any of this.

I could go on forever.

Figure 2: This cat, like the IRS, should not exist

What amazes me about American political leadership is this:

  • Bill Clinton lies under oath in civil deposition regarding a sex scandal, and is impeached
  • George W. Bush starts ‘pre-emptive’ wars on multiple fronts after orchestrating attacks on the WTC and Pentagon*, runs the federal deficit into the TRILLIONS of dollars, allows thousands of American soldiers and HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF IRAQIS to die under false pretenses, withdraws from the Kyoto protocol and claims global warming “ain’t happenin'” while proposing manned missions to Mars for some fucking reason, and single handedly drives the American economy face-first into the ground while sitting over TWO recessions during his term…AND THIS DUDE IS BARELY BEING QUESTIONED ABOUT IT WHEN HE SHOULD BE TRIED FOR WAR CRIMES, NOT TO EVEN MENTION IMPEACHMENT!

What’s more, MY FUCKING TAX DOLLARS ARE PAYING FOR THIS SHIT

Personally, I believe in reparations, but not in the traditional sense. I don’t want a giant lump sum of inflation adjusted dollars for the forced labor of my ancestors distributed evenly among hard working black people who’d put the money to good use and stupid ass black people who should be lit on fire.

Figure 3: Somebody gimme a match…

I simply believe that reparations should consist of the following:

1. If you a.) are black, b.) can prove your direct descent from a black American slave, and c.) can prove the victimization of a direct ancestor by Jim Crow in the south or de facto segregation in the north within two generations – you never ever have to pay income taxes again

2. If you a.) are Native Amercian and b.) can INDIVIDUALLY prove a Native blood quantum of 1/4 or higher – you never ever have to pay income taxes again

This, of course, will never happen.

Instead, I have to sit here fuming at the big red font on Turbo Tax that says “Federal Tax Due: $1,014.98” while suppressing the urge to smash my head through the monitor.

*In general I am not a conspiracy nut, but I believe wholeheartedly in the 911 conspiracy. People tell me I’m nuts to think that Bush would kill thousands of American citizens just to get his hands on more oil/money and to tighten his authoritarian grip on the country. I tell people that they’re nuts for not believing he’d kill a whole lot more American citizens for a whole lot less. This is because I believe George W. Bush and those in his inner circle to be genuinely evil people in the classic, polarized, and unequivocal sense of the term ‘genuine evil’ that you see in the villains of cartoons like He-Man. History has shown that there is no limit to what evil white people will do to get what they want.