When the “Angry Inch” Takes a Mile

I don’t hate your SUV, I just don’t understand your obsession with these big plastic boxes. I understand why Crusaders, farmers, park rangers, professional flea marketeers, and even soccer moms need such a vehicle. The “U” is for utility, and it’s not hard to wrap your brain around that. It’s the “S” that loses me. What “sport” are you using that thing for? Not that I don’t doubt that the IOC would make gas burning or freestyle parallel parking into Olympic events. Personally, I’d rather see them used for polo or buzkashi.

Or does “sport” refer to the officially sanctioned outlet for homoeroticism, where there is nothing “abnormal” about spending hours watching and adulating sweaty musclebound millionaires grapple for cash and prizes? I guess we’ll never know.

Something else we may never know, is whether these big plastic boxes are a way for males who are insecure about the dimensions of their generative organs to be able to look at themselves in the rear-view mirror. Sure, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but the SUV as strap-on which uses seatbelts, is an easy explanation for fanaticism which surrounds these vehicles. Some guys seem ready to kill or die for their canary yellow “Hummer”. Others will jeopardize their public reputations and careers for these five-figure vibrators.

Two such obsessives are Pittsburgh Mayor, Luke Ravenstahl, and Miami Police Chief, John Timoney both who have recently come under scrutiny for their irrational behaviors about playing with trucks.

Ravenstahl, used a vehicle that was bought with Homeland Security funds, to tailgate with friends, at what appears to be a mandatory field trip for City employees. I don’t know if Lukey actually lives at his North Side address, but since he grew up in the suburbs(unless Reserve Twp. is in the City), his Toby Keith fandom is a little more plausible. A City cop was almost disciplined for blowing the whistle on him. It’s serious when the spectre of police accountability is raised. Local religious judge Mullah Marybeth Buchanan has even promised to put her best agents on the case. Luke’s even invoking GW-style executive privilege in the name of “Homeland Security” (fatherland was already taken) on this one. Is this a variant of the RV from Stripes?

Size (and likely age) seem to matter to repression celebrity, police chief, and father of bumbling drug addicts and dealers, John Timoney, whose latest victims are in Miami. Timoney accepted the use of a free Lexus SUV with dealer tags, for more than a year, before buying it for $54,000. Maybe it’s just healthy hatred for the boss, but even his own officers held a symbolic (but aren’t they all?) vote of no confidence in T-$, as they apparently refer to him in Miami.

I don’t know why these two are willing to jeopardize their reputations and careers to play trucks. Only their wives and mistresses know for sure

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The Fix Was Always In?

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Pittsburgh has many bridges. Depending on which statistics you cite, we have more bridges than Venice. This makes the plan to build a pair of $435 million, 1.5 mile tunnels under the Allegheny River, for our model railroad-sized subway (The “T”) seem even stupider than your average underwater tunnel. There’s obviously some kind of kickbacks or rebates or baksheesh involved, the North Shore (the developer euphimism for the North Side, my ancestral homeland) Connector project, but what?

The purpose of this white elephant has been a mystery to me, since it was first announced in 2002. It would appear to be just another corporate welfare handout, to the owners of sports teams who play in publicly funded stadiums or the riverfront condominium developers, but it still seems like a lot of trouble, even for such valuable “corporate persons” as the Pirates or Del Monte. Not the nearby hospitals.

Then the answer was made very clear, December 20, 2006, when it was announced that PITG Gaming would be granted Pittsburgh’s lone casino license, to be built on the North Side and likely serviced by the North Shore Connector. Direct public transit access will make poor and/or elderly people’s money much more accessible to the casino owners, and the money that would have otherwise been spent on parking or jitneys (whose powerful lobby is behind the public transit service cuts/fare hikes, methinks) can be more responsibly deposited into a slot machine.

The 2002 plan to build the underwater tunnel certainly creates the impression that all the politicking and other unspeakable acts that inevitably transpire during a battle for a city’s sole slots license, were performance art. It turns out that it’s just another publicly funded, automated slaughter house conveyor belt, as if the digital lights and sounds and credit cards couldn’t do the job fast enough.

These may be Mussolini’s “on time” trains, or maybe Trotsky’s? This isn’t meant to be a moral tirade against gambling, just contempt for State gambling. It doesn’t matter where you live, odds are you can find some Texas hold-em or a craps game or a block pool. If you have to gamble, do it with friends.

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