Regular viewers of the show will know that the one issue I never shy away from injecting into the flow of pop-culture and high-art bliss is the torture that comprises taking the NYC subway system on a daily basis. As a lifelong subway rider who knows all too well how wildly, incredibly corrupt the MTA is (and it will never ever change), I was delighted to see our billionaire mayor’s “congestion pricing plan” for Manhattan go down in flames yesterday. The focus on “quality of life” problems has been one that insipid-voiced businessman/rich fuck “Mayor Mike” took over from his evil predecessor, the petty, vendetta-minded wraith of evil that is Guliani. Some have praised Bloomie and his concern for NYCers’ health. Let’s be honest and just note that man is a billionaire, he doesn’t care about you, me, any of us (and is one of the single most-boring speakers on today’s political scene). His latest scam, this congestion-pricing business, was simply a way to generate more cash, make life easier (again) for his wealthier compadres, and play the “quality of life” card once more.
Thus I salute the dogmatic Sheldon Silver, head of the NY State Assembly, just as I saluted those who opposed Guiliani’s acts of petty tyranny. A few years ago Silver helped to shoot down Bloomberg’s nightmarish idea to erect a stadium on the Upper West Side which was, simply put, a billionaire’s wet dream, but a notion that would have utterly destroyed Manhattan’s traffic patterns (so much for Mike’s concern for traffic — doesn’t anyone remember these things?) and imposed upon every Manhattanite’s daily life. Congestion pricing was another rich man’s fantasy: charge folks more money to enter the city, so as to reduce traffic, so that life can become deliriously happy and everyone will just ride the subways and buses instead. They all run so well … and, hey, they’ll be getting some of that big government money we’ll grab!
Bloomberg pouted today when he found out that he wouldn’t be getting that million-dollar grab. He had noted that part of that money would be given to the MTA to better the service (which would now be filled with people who had to ditch their cars). NOTHING additional should ever be given to that corrupt organization, as they have a history of juggling the books (read HERE: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/press/releases/apr03/042303.htm) and just recently imposed a fare-hike on NYCers that was supposed to result in better service (that’s all we want, just have the trains RUN!), and oh-so-shortly thereafter claimed that the mortgage crisis in America means they can’t use the extra revenue to attend to service problems. Tough luck, New Yorkers, fuck the public, sez our beloved MTA yet again.
Of course Bloomberg makes a public show most days of taking the subway to “work” — the secret (revealed in the NYT) that has not been spoken about enough is how he is driven to the next subway stop up from his (86th instead of 77th) so he can get an express downtown and put on his little daily show of being a “commoner.” God forbid the billionaire actually experience a real subway ride, replete with the lovely endless walk that comprises a journey from the “sides” of town over to trains-that-run-when-they-feel-like-it.
Last, related note: I think back for a second on how “Mayor Mike” ascended to power, and of course, I remember a confused and feuding Democratic party in NYC (most likely a harbinger of the upcoming Presidential election — we live in a Conservative, petty-minded country, while the left bickers and compromises). Bloomie’s entry into politics had the feel of Citizen Kane’s immortal line “I think it would be fun to run a newspaper,” and the office was handed to him on a silver platter by one Mark Green — who most recently bought and then sold a majority interest in Air America, though making sure his own newly-scheduled boring radio show would remain on the air (“I think it would be fun to run a radio network,” indeed). This is a supposedly “liberal” city that has been run by conservatives now for way too long, and thus I welcome any and all attempts to stopgap the “quality of life” moves that would actually cost average folk dough, and put money into the pockets of the evil bastids that have too much already.
[climbs off soapbox] Let’s go to the movies….