Posts from July 2003

What a way to go

carnations.jpgWhat a way to go
: This is the saddest New York scene I’ve seen in a long time: On a light pole at 23rd and 6th, some good soul has taped up bouquets of carnations with this sign:

In Loving Memory of

Betty Kapetanakas

Who Was Struck Down

On This Corner By A Garbage Truck

On July 29, 2002

Ms. Kapetanakas was a community leader.

I always said the most ignominious was I could imagine to die would be to be struck down by a speeding New York Post truck. This is worse.

Signs of stupidity

hand.jpgdont.jpgSigns of stupidity

: I’m walking through Manhattan the other day and suddenly realize that the WALK/DON’T WALK signs have all changed, practically overnight.

Who the hell made this numb-nutty decision?

We’re struggling to come out of a recession. We’re struggling to defend ourselves against terrorism. We’re struggling to pay for a few wars. We’re struggling to get people employed. We’re struggling with ever-increasing taxes. We’re struggling with ever-decreasing services.

And some nitwit decided we had to change WALK/DON’T WALK to HAND/WALKMAN.

Why? Because we’re all illiterate (well, the way the schools are going…)? Because we want to be nice to foreigners (as if they couldn’t figure out what the red letters DON’T WALK coinciding with a red traffic light meant?).

It’s idiotic but worse, it reflects an utterly irresponsible stewardship of our money.

People will make fun of me saying this one more time but it’s relevant in this discussion: I’m a liberal. Thus I don’t object to spending tax money for good ends of a civilized society, such as education and protection and, yes, safety nets for the poorest among us.

But I do object to spending money on stupidity.

And this is far from a Republican/Democratic thing. This is a power thing. People in power spend the money because it’s there and because they can. They don’t act as if the money is their own. They don’t say, do we really need to spend that? And they don’t say, do we really need to spend that right now while suffering budget hell.

littleman.jpgwalk.jpgNo, they put up stupid signs for the stupid.

Now this is not entirely New York’s fault — nor will it be limited to crosswalks here. The AAA reports:

The days of the old-fashioned WALK message are numbered. In the world of traffic signals, symbols are in, words are out. Symbolic pedestrian signals have long been the staple in Europe, and can be found in many parts of this country. New York City has announced that it is joining the crowd for the same reason that new federal guidelines will soon call for symbolic signals: They’re just plain easier to see and comprehend. Plus, people don’t like to spell anymore. So look for a brightly lit pedestrian figure to tell you when to walk, and a red hand to tell you when to stay put.

And one other thing that bugs me about this: Schoolmarmish government. I hate the government treating us like a bunch of idiots.

moving.jpg: But even more idiotic is this sign that has spread across New Jersey faster than the West Nile Virus:

Keep New Jersey Moving. (signed) Our Governor.

What the F does that mean? Go faster? Rear-end the guy in front of you? Get out of town? Eat fiber?

The pinhead who decided to spend tax dollars to buy and install those signs should be strung up from any of the signs he installed. Actually, I’m sure it’s a committee of pinheads. I can’t imagine the meeting at which this was decided. Wasn’t there just one sane soul in the room who (a) asked what the F that sign was supposed to mean (b) asked why the F the state should spend money on it, and (c) reminded everyone else in the room that the economy is still in the crapper (see rant above)?

: I’m on a rant-roll here. I’ve started shouting about similar issues on my hometown blog.

My city fathers and mothers (Republican, every one) just put up a new and expensive sign at the pool for no reason; we all know where the pool is.

They built a road to and from nowhere.

They want to raise parking fees.

They plan to spend a lot of money to create a town TV channel.

STOP! Spend money on my kids’ education, great. Spend it on plowing the snow, fine. But don’t waste it on this stupidity.

More Iranian weblogs

More Iranian weblogs
: Hooman links to more Iranian blogs auf Englisch.

Good-night, Bob

hope0703.jpgGood-night, Bob
: Howard Stern told his Bob Hope story this morning: He had just arrived at NBC radio when he was told to interview Mr. Hope because Mr. Hope did not want to get up early enough for Imus to interview him. Mr. Hope had a great deal of clout at NBC. Don’t mess this up, Howard was told.

Howard was doing a character that day: Out of the Closet Stern. He did the entire interview with a high-pitched lisp.

After the show, the engineer came to Howard and said that Hope’s manager was on the phone and he was irate about “that lady” who had interviewed Mr. Hope. Put him through to me, Howard said. No, said the engineer, we’ll get in trouble. Do it, Howard insisted.

The manager asked for the station’s general manager. Howard said he was the general manager.

Hope’s manager started to complain and Howard-as-GM interrupted and said he knew exactly what the problem was and that “that lady” had already been fired. Well, good, said Hope’s manager.

Years later, Howard interviewed Mr. Hope again. They loved each other. And Hope loved the story of the lady he got fired.

The sun never sets…

The sun never sets…
: So England won the first international karaoke contest. England? Not Japan? No, the competition displeased Japanese karoake purists. And all of this is just an excuse to send you to one of my proudest creations, KaraokeCam.