I live in L.A. County, where non-existent “rivers” are decorated with frog fences and perfectly fine crosswalks are redone with colorful brickwork, while the pothole a few yards away is ignored. I work for a county office where a step stool costs over $300. I live in a city with the worst traffic in the history of man and the freeways have never been altered in some two decades or more, with the only changes made acting to worsen the gridlock. A defiant stance on this front is constituted in the existence of the carpool lane and the county’s ad campaign to encourage “ride share.” In essence, the local government is insisting (despite the economic status of the majority of its citizens, which requires them to commute 30 minutes or more to work, thus making “ride share” something close to impossible) that a lane be eliminated from usage (with stiff penalties attached…a ticket of nearly $400), furthering traffic difficulties and, thus, making their commute longer, more arduous, and their need for gas (priced at the highest rate in the country) that much higher, making the strains on their wallets that much greater. For those who chafe at the mere mention of eliminating the carpool lane, the above also illustrates the farce that is the defense of this lane as some sort of environmentalist cause. If a lane goes unused and creates further congestion, thus increasing the amount of gas used and purchased, the smog isn’t exactly being kicked. And why? Because “ride share” sounds nice and sensible, despite the fact that it’s neither, and because a few old crones come to city council meetings and scream and yell every time freeway reform or expansion is proposed. They already have to live with the indignity of the occassional helicopter fly over and moving to Utah is just not an option for those who dream of bygone days.
Now, this is all off topic really, because what set me off was Jeff Jarvis’ lament
regarding the new stadium deal between the state of New Jersey and the New York Giants. He questions why taxpayers should be made to pay for sports staidums, when not that many people really like sports. Let’s delve into Jarvis’ reading comprehension. In the story he links to
and this story that I now link to
, it’s abundantly clear that the Giants ownership will pay for the stadium. Sure, there may eventually be some kind of hike in taxes that could then be related to the stadium, but if future tax hikes from government entities is a reason to stop building something that will employ a good many people, then we must halt all construction for the rest of time. But, frankly, when ownership is putting up the $750 million and all you have to fret over is a future, unknown possibility, you don’t have much to fret over. There are other deals where the taxpayer is forced to pay a chunk and I think there are fair arguments against making taxpayers support construction when billionaire owners don’t want to. But to then make the argument that this reasoning is based on the fact that a lot of people don’t like sports or that a lot of people won’t be able to go because of the season ticket structure in the NFL is just retarded. Commenter Mike agrees:
What a ridiculous diatribe. Do you honestly think there is a person out there who utilizes every single thing their taxes pay for? You can substitute almost anything for sports in this post: mass transit, public schools for those who send their kids to private schools, private business owner incentives and the list goes on. Although I completely agree on tax-funded professional stadiums, they are the biggest crock around. Just to note, this new stadium is being privately financed by the Giants, it's the debt on the remaining stadium and other utility costs that will be subsidized by Jersey taxpayers.
Jarvis bitches about the “one size fits all” society (“When did it become assumed that sweat was entitled to support from the rest of us? Well, I think it's a view of a one-size-fits-all society that is becoming obsolete. Media used to be one-size-fits-all: If enough people read sports, we'll include it in the paper; if enough play it, we'll build the fields; if enough watch it, we'll build the stadiums. But in media, one-size-fits-all is dying. Isn't it time for that view to die in the rest of society?”) where in he is forced to pay for sports channels on his cable service. (“On cable TV, I have to pay for lots of sports channels I never watch. Why should I? Maybe everybody else should help pay for my broadband internet bill, huh?”) Jesus F-ing Christ. ESPN and its derivatives (that’s the Deuce, ESPNU, and ESPN News), FOX Sports and its derivatives (Euro sports), and...what? This is such an indignity? Eventually, the future of cable may be a make it yourself entity, but that time is far off and having to flip past a channel or two to get to what you want is not all that much to worry about. And, yes, I know I’m biased. I love sports. And if I could swap out the religious channels and three channels in languages I don’t speak (Telemundo, the Russian channel and FOX News...oh RAHA...he said FOX News) for more sports, I would. So, maybe Jeff and I agree.