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Showing posts from April, 2008

People You Meet on Transit #5

Thanks to Jay Morrison for the photo. Transit Drivers Bus drivers are an archetype in North American culture. In the imagination they are generous in girth, have staunch opinions about unions and eat 300% the recommended intake of red meat. The odd one adheres to a strict conspiracy theory, which they manage to work into the most innocuous conversations. At least, that's what's been ingrained in our collective subconscious along with "Han shot first" and "Dukakis, 1988". But transit drivers, like everyone else, are individuals. Unique, utterly one of a kind from the 5 billion others who roam this spinning mass of molten iron with the cool, carbon life-form infested shell. Sure, you see the reticent ones, who have a 100 yard stare and coolly watch passengers get mild hypothermia while they take their union-sanctioned 15 minute break inside their cozy bus. But there are other, more colourful characters as well. In my city, there is one that calls out every st


Thanks to pixietart for the photo. Far be it from me to begrudge someone the opportunity to don $3 dollar Vuarnet rip-offs, a camoflaged bandana, and go toe-to-toe with some riot police. The taste for tear-gas is an acquired one, but I assume the feeling of shining superiority is something we all enjoy. Oh, I get a little hard on protesters. I actually find I agree with them: WTO, bombing far-off nations with equal measure ordinance and k-rations, overthrowing formerly CIA-supported governments who just happen to be in possession of vast quantities of fossil fuels, the Olympics; both the winter and summer. I really do find many of their points salient, totally true, and honourable. But, on the other hand, I'm a pragmatist. How could they possibly think that any amount of candle-light vigils or fiery speeches that break Godwin's Law more times than a sitting legislature meets with lobbyists; will in ANY way deter those who have determined that they will bomb, sign economic agre


Thanks to N/M/A for the photo. While watching a PBS special on the mating rituals of a South American tree frog, one might be hit by the silliness of animals. Their odd behaviours, constant preening and advertising of themselves as Good Mates; or The Sole Proprietor Of This Selection of Females; or even The Real King Boss of This Arbitrary 3.5 square Meters of Forest. "That's silly", one is tempted to scoff, "dumb animals certainly are." And yet, here we are, monkeys with a particular talent in tool-making and written language, gawking at "Cribs", or enviously tracing the outlines of our neighbours new German engineered status-mobile. As various philosophers have stated in various epochs, one can't measures oneself in relation to others. Or to put it another way, "[the average dutch citizen] considers the perfect wage to be 10% more than their neighbour". Most people, most of the time (even if subconsciously) compare ourselves to others