Tuesday, February 6, 2007

some pet peeves

a few things that got on my last nerve this week:

1) on friday, i saw this guy riding his bike down the street while smoking a cigarette. needless to say, he was not wearing a helmet. i know that this really shouldn't have bugged me. this totally should have been one of those live-and-let-live-things. but all i could think was ...

dude, why don't you buy a big, gas guzzling car? any help you might have been doing the environment or yourself by riding a bike is getting cancelled out by the cancer machine in your mouth and the fact that when you fall off your bike because some car comes too close to you and you can't react because you've only got one hand on your bike you're going to get a concussion because you're doing a very stupid thing and riding your bike without a helmet.

(ok, i totally realize that he was probably riding his bike because he enjoys riding his bike, or it gets him where he needs to go. and he was probably smoking the cigarette because he enjoys smoking cigarettes, or he's addicted. and yet, his simple act of enjoying himself really got on my nerves. does this make me a bad person? why do i think i can be the bike police, when i only started riding a bike a month ago?)

2) joseph biden. joseph biden's recent comments about barack obama were historically inaccurate and racist. in case you missed it, senator biden (who is running for president) said this about fellow presidential candidate barack obama, "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." i'm shocked, and rather disgusted, by how forgiving people have been about this comment. this is the same guy who last year said, “you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.” He explained this comment by saying that he has great respect for, and supports, the growing Indian-American population in Delaware. i'm not sure how this comment shows respect, but maybe i'm missing something here...

3) i ride the train to work every day. i've noticed this new phenomenon (sorry for those of you who are tired of hearing me harp on this) of parents, who are riding the train with small children, listening to music with earphones. often their children are trying to talk to them. i say "trying" because the parents can't (or won't) hear them. i find it very sad. your child is trying to communicate with you -- stop ignoring them! i get that it's early, you're tired, and maybe your child is getting on your last nerve, but ... you are still their parent.

4) did y'all hear about this story? a florida college student who was raped went to the police to report the crime, and instead of being helped, was arrested for a 2003 misdemeanor warrant. to add insult to injury, she was denied emergency contraception in jail becuase of a jail worker's religious beliefs. one more example of how the criminal "justice" system is often an instrument of oppression.

i promise my next post will be more uplifting than this one! thanks for letting me vent!
p.s. i love comments...thanks for everyone who is reading regularly and encouraging me via email. feel free to leave me your thoughts/comments on this page too.


ms. pea said...

i can't believe joe biden is running for president. the man has a permanent foot stuck in his mouth.

Stefan said...

Smoking helmetless cyclists running up our cancer risks and health care dollars, racist politicians, bad parenting...yeah yeah...but wait, YOU'RE RIDING A BIKE NOW?!?!

Max S. said...

Here's my new perspective on biking/smoking/helmetless peoples, that may or may not apply to you. I found myself getting really angry and self-righteous a lot about those idiots who choose to smoke while helmetless and discussing their pointless lives on cell phones while biking down 16th and Mission. But then I took a step back to think about why it was bugging me so much, and I realized that actually biking feels so dangerous to me, that it was a way of making myself feel safer. Like "look at that fuckhead, he will definitely die (instead of me)." Of course helmets will not protect me from a drunken out of control SUV, and there is no way to make biking entirely safe. Having realized that, and rededicating myself to harm reduction, I can now at least appreciate the small contribution helmetless fuckhead smoking bikers are making to the world by choosing to limit their emissions while trying to kill themselves. And, I feel less rageful.

g love and her special sauce said...

yes it's true -- i'm riding a bike now!! i know, hard to believe. so far, i've only gone on short trips b/c 1) i'm scared to death of 'drunken out of control SUVs'-- so yes max i think what you're saying TOTALLY applies to me and 2) the windchill is below freezing and it hurts to bike.

Steve F. said...

Not only do I agree with your numbers 2, 3, and 4... I see them all as more than pet peeves - they are crimes against humanity.

But come on... leave the smoking bike dude alone. Maybe he's just trying to be efficient with his time and is killing two birds with at the same time.

Part of me wants to give the guy credit for balancing on the bike with one hand.