Monday, June 29, 2009

On New York Transport and the Forgotten Faction...

Perhaps the natural hierarchy dominating the means of transport around New York City has degraded slowly since the Industrial Revolution. A fierce battle has erupted between the two powerful factions of those using automobiles and those using bicycles. I here include profiles of your average automobilist and your archetypal bicyclist.
THE AUTOMOBILIST - or car-driver - is typically overweight to the point where his nose upturned and veins the color of heart attacks pop out on his face. He is wont to wear monocles, top hats or driving-caps, long flowing scarves of many colors or simply white, and generally takes any opportunity to smoke a cigar. His gargantuan girth is almost always held in by houndstoothed waistcoats of tanned panda skin with fasteners of blue whale ivory. Favorite foods include truffles, foie gras, fresh ortolan, and any provisions stolen from orphans.
THE BICYCLIST is generally from the mountains of [INSERT MOUNTAINOUS STATE HERE, though most likely in New England or the Pacific Northwest]. He subsists entirely on granola, sun-baked hemp, and manna bestowed by his various tree-gods. He wears only organic flannel or ironically sloganed, earth-friendly t-shirts that smell of aged, musty cabbage boiled in pig-sweat. He most likely hates the country he was born in, but cannot leave for fear of losing the trust-fund of a beloved great aunt.
The sheer number of cars and the way they have changed the general understanding of transportation may dictate that automobiles may be the more powerful faction. Indeed, the facts that cars are a great deal heavier (i.e., have a great deal more inertia) and are capable of approaching speeds that a bicycle could not even dream to achieve, that is provided bicycles do in fact dream, seem to suggest that cars have come to OWN THE ROAD.
Bicyclists seem to agree with this assessment. In a stunning development, they have taken to using a slogan designed to remind the pig-headed aristocratic fat-cat automobile drivers to share the road: "SHARE THE ROAD." One may even see this slogan on municipally funded street signs for which taxpayers - including TAX-PAYING CAR-DRIVERS - must pay.
Bicyclists accuse drivers of hogging the road. Drivers accuse bicyclists of not obeying traffic laws and being in the way. The fight has escalated to the point where a commercial was released on television about bicycle safety and automobilist awareness!
Indeed, in all the hot air blowing between the two aforementioned factions, the lonely pedestrian seems to be forgotten. Cars take up entire city intersections and honk incessantly as if imploring physics to rethink its laws so that the cars in front of the source of the honking will vanish in thin air. Bicyclists ignore signal lights and crosswalks with little regard for the pedestrians who are attempting to take advantage of the little blue walking person on the yellow square attached to the pole ahead of them. In the battle between bikers' rights and automobilists' superiority complex, the pedestrian is left to fend for itself - a neutral just trying to go about its business, but inevitably caught up in the tide of war.
I mention this because of my intent to FOUND A NEW POLITICAL SOCIETY! No, it is not New York Pedestrians Againts Motorists (NYPAM). Nor is it The Society for the Re-Education of Hippie Dippy Bicyclists Who Think That Two Wheels is Better Than Both Four Wheels and Two Legs (SR-EHDBWTH2WBTB4WTL). Nay! It is the Friends of the Concept of Invincible Pedestrians (FCIP). FCIP will troll through various magical understandings of ancient societies and glean from the best of these metaphysical schools the choicest spells for the preservation of persons trying to walk across the street. I have already encountered a Spell Which Causes Automobiles to Innocently Pass Through Human Flesh Without Harm engraved in hieroglyphics upon the walls of the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Combined with a Mesopotamian Spell of Obliviousness in Pedestrians, and a Maori Charm of Invisibility, I am quite sure that New York pedestrians will be able to pass as ghosts through even the most war-torn intersections in New York City while nonchallantly chatting about the weather with their neighbor as if nothing were happening. Classes begin whenever the hell I feel like it at the cost of several hundred thousand dollars. I am, after all, brilliant to have come up with this.
Before I leave, I would like to point out that it seems that my (currently) 6 readers haven't spread the word about Line Etiquette, as a man told me to hold on while attending to his phone conversation and a woman mumbled through a mouthful of food that she wanted a coffee while searching her pocket-book for change that she didn't actually have. I'm terribly upset with you all... if you're still reading at this point.
Until my society prevails...
I am ever faithfully...
Your Humble Barista

No comments:

Post a Comment