Saturday, August 20, 2011

Need to Stop Listening to the Radio

When Donna and I take the SUV out, she frequently has the station on WTOP. For her, it's just background noise and easily ignored. With my inability to filter, I get stuck listening to each and every story they drone out. Because the programming effects us differently (Donna not at all and me listening), Donna frequently talks over things - with a special nack for being most radio-obliterating right at the critical part of a given news report. Simply put, I hate listening to news radio when Donna's in the car. This is not to say that I'm fond of having the news on, in the first place: generally, all I'm hearing on news programming is "news of the annoyingly stupid".

Today was another exercise in the "news of the annoyingly stupid". The 9/11 commemorartion riders came through DC on their 1800-strong motorcycle convoy. Ok... First, this weekend isn't 9/11 - it's not even September. So, why this weekend (and, no, I don't care enough to Google for it). Secondly: why try to stream an 1800 motorcycle convoy through one of the worst traffic regions in the nation during rushhour???

Yeah, I know I'm a cranky bastard on my best days, but nothing about this debacle made sense. On top of it, it made little sense to me that the ride-supporters were chapped by the locals who had complaints about the timing of the ride (not the ride itself, mind you, just the timing). I get that people like to commemorate major events. I get that DC was tied to 9/11 by the fact that the Pentagon was one of the sites directly impacted by the events of that day. However, I think it's at least as selfish of the riders to time their event as they did as the ride-supporters seem to think people like me are for not liking the inconvenience it caused.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think that just because something is "for a good cause" that makes everything about how it's conducted is justafiable. It's the same effect that powers all the legal abuses and shortcuts because of "think of the children". To the people in the 1800-motorcycle convoy, it's just a ride to commemorate a tragedy. To the people that live here, along the pathway of that convoy it's more than just inconvenience, it's lost time and lost money. The extra time in traffic means wasted gas - and gas, particularly lately, is decidedly not free. The extra time in traffic means time spent in traffic hell that could be better spent with family, friends, etc. Time has value and for the sake of 1800 riders, tends of thousands of locals were compelled to spend their time in a way that they might have otherwise more-constructively spent it. Some people, anticipating the hell that the convoy was going to cause, opted to take off work. That's vacation days that they won't have to spend elsewhere. That's work-productivity lost at what might have been a critical time in their job-cycle.

But, hey, at least 1800 riders got to commemorate 9/11. Fuck everyone else.

Tell me, again, what that commemoration did for the people who died on 9/11? At least the Rolling Thunder folks do their stuff on a holiday.

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