critical mass, crosses, misogyny and other gripes

First up, let’s deal with this whole Critical Mass issue. On the one hand, cars may very well be the single worst invention in the history of humanity given how much damage they do to the environment, the number of traffic fatalities every year, and the many many side effects like suburban sprawl that cars allow. On the other hand, bicyclists have every legal right to be on the road. In point of fact, the right of way on the road goes pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycles, cars, trucks, and so on. As long as they’re all behaving traffic laws. Let me repeat that last bit. As long as they’re all behaving traffic laws. And sure, thanks to the first amendment, we have the right to peaceably assemble. But when you get ten thousand angry bicyclists together with ten thousand angry motorists, you don’t have a nice hippy-love-in petitioning the government for a redress of grievances — you’ve got an angry mob. C’mon people. There’s a better way. Find it.

Second up, the crosses on the hill are a memorial no different from the Wall in Washington D.C. You can read it as a protest if you want, but the people who put the crosses up just want us to remember, to honor, those who have lost their lives for Mr. Bush. Let it go. And focus your energy on ending the war. Or, if it suits you, fighting the good fight against terrorism. Which is the real issue, isn’t it?

Last but by no means least, when did we as a culture decide it was okay to casually call women prostitutes? Don Imus is an idiot. I don’t think it matters much one way or the other if he loses his job. (He can always go on satellite radio or start a podcast or something.) What strikes me as both interesting and sad is that for all the media attention, we keep talking about race. Yeah, race is important here. But so is calling a woman a ho. When did this become so socially acceptable? When did we stop fighting misogyny with the same gusto that we fight racism? Because that’s precisely what it is, or at least what motivates it. And it’s not okay.

Wow. I am going to be one crotchety old man.