The Rip Post                                Riposte Archive


riposte2.jpg (10253 bytes)

(Jan. 22, 2007)

          Sputter. . .sputter. . .what can you say? What can you do? Inarticulate grumbling. . .profane outburst. . .sputter sputter. . .deranged shouting. . .
          This city is, as they say in Liverpool, shite. It is freakolooney tooney-toot-tooney. It is decking without a deal.
          Sputter. . .profane outburst. . .head rolling around on shoulders.
          The head of the L.A. Department of Transportation drives a sputtersputter Hummer. A Hummer. Inarticulate grumbling. Stomach rumbling.
          The L.A. Times’s Steve Lopez, a real city newspaper columnist---what in the profane outburst is he doing here?---exposed it. Some martinet named Jaime de la Vega is the city’s “transportation chief”---hell, I didn’t even know there were any Indians---and this profane outburst sputtersputter drives a Hummer.
          Humm it with me, now:

          Ain’t we crazy?
          Ain’t we crazy?
          This is the way we pass the time away. . .
          Ain’t we crazy?
          Ain’t we crazy?

          We’re going to sing this song all night today.

          Um. . .do I have to explain how insanely, brazenly, profane outburstly sputterly stupid this is? I mean, let them eat Hummer cake! Well, just in case:
          Any time after 2 p.m., most days, driving from West L.A. to East L.A. takes up to two-and-a-half hours. Normal driving time: twenty minutes.
          Any time after 4 p.m., most days, driving two miles from West L.A. to Westwood takes 45 minutes to an hour (or more.) Normal driving time: five minutes.
          Get this: De la Vega sat and glared silently---glared!---at columnist Lopez when Lopez dared to ask him why he drove a Hummer. And de la Vega’s toadie, Matt Szabo, actually offered that it was not the biggest Hummer you can buy!
          I’ll tell you who de la Vega is.
          First, he has a master’s degree in planning from UCLA.
          Quick---fire the dean!
          Second, he was former Mayor Dick “Smiley” Riordan’s best traffic boy and a member of the Metropolitan Transit Authority board. Well, sputter profane outburst fist slam on table, point two alone should have disqualified this career bureaucrat from his current job. But Mayor “Little Anthony” Villaraigosa rewarded Homeboy de la Vega, anyhow. The Homeboy who shows how big his cojones are by touting his sillyass degree and driving a bigass car. Perfecto accoutrements for a jackass.
          Third, Homeboy de la Vega thinks that the solution to L.A.’s plunging headfirst into “Blade Runner” Futurehell with robberbaron-fueled development of any/all empty space and “traffic” that is better described as “Iraq” is. . .
          You. . .are. . .not. . .going. . .to. . .believe. . .this.
          Let me whisper it so as to save you from heart attack and stroke:
          Charging people to drive in congested areas.
          Master’s Degree in “Planning” from UCLA? Quick, kill the major. (That’s major, FBI, not mayor.) Master's Degree in Flim-Flamming.
          I mean, what, make Wilshire Boulevard a toll road? Charge the kid who lives near USC and commutes to UCLA every day while working two full-time jobs (I know one) for driving the Santa Monica Freeway?
          Somebody get these guys some drugs. Big, heavy drugs that will make their tongues move like fish through molasses, and set their brains permanently on “Teletubbies.” Give them nice pacifiers, and put some sputter profanity bus-drivers and Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison in their places. That's it---vote science-fiction writers into office. They have vision! I'll take Bradbury for mayor at 87, deafness and all. At least he won't listen to any developers.
          And that’s not sputter all: de la Vega also thinks that urp acid reflux synchronizing traffic lights, turning lots of streets into one-ways, and a “first-class bus system” is the answer! How many fist slam on the table Xanax-gobbling indiscriminate shouting spit flying from mouth times in the last 40 years have you heard this profane outburst crrrrrrrrap? From eyeballs rolling around gasp elected officials with dumbass degrees and slickass suits and bigass salaries?
          Well, knock me down with a 15-minute parking sign! We don’t have a “first class bus system?” Every time I go out I see so many “Rapid Buses” (usually traveling about 25 miles per hour) that I think I’m hallucinating. You don’t hear bird chirps anymore in this town---you hear the chirps of those articulated "Rapid Bus" hydraulic brakes. Turn streets into one-ways? Yeah, baby! Spoken like a UCLA Planning major! Why, the sheer mayhem that will result is a small price to pay for the long-term value!
          That’s the sputter crux of the problem with these degree-toting glamorboys. De la Vega, you see, looks at traffic problems exactly the way Bush and Condi look at Iraq. They imagine that only they understand the “big picture,” because they have the right expertise, and if you, children, just hang with them through the “tough times,” everything will iron out.
          And they also have these bizarre, extremely Repugnican notions that what they do in their private lives has no bearing whatsoever on their behavior as public servants. (Charge those Ferragamo shoes, Condi! They'll look great in Somalia.)
          Profane sputter outburst kick the dog.
          Oh, yeah, okay, and Homeboy de la Vega also told Lopez he supports the various subway and light-rail lines under construction and under proposal---which should be completed around the time density and overpopulation leave L.A. citizens entirely deprived of lateral movement. I'll bet he also supports drinking water for all.
          The truth is that we live in a joke of a place where the joke of a mayor makes speeches about cutting greenhouse gases (he could start by drawing the curtains on that mouthful of porcelain) while he drives around in a GMC Yukon. A vehicular atrocity named preemptively in memory of Alaska. As for De La Vega, his “car” weighs 5900 pounds and rates a “two” on the EPA ten-point scale of worst vehicular polluters.
          Oh, how dare Lopez ask him about it.
          Yes, we live in a joke of a place where the government greases the way for any and all destruction of any and all buildings in the name of “development.” No attention whatsoever is sputter drool paid to the ensuing congestion. Beautiful neighborhoods, fairy-tale castle apartment buildings, landmark restaurants, gorgeous entertainment complexes---all have been raped and murdered across L.A. for the past twenty-five years to make way for the ugliest, cheapest, blandest, gargantuan habitation hives this side of Hong Kong. And Villaraigosa, Hahn, Riordan---the lot---do nothing but bend over to pick up the soap for the thieves and robberbarons.
          Speaking of doing nothing, why, uh, er, it seems that L.A. has um. . .a little. . .thang going on. What would you call it? I know, a WAR---among the 150,000 gang members in this failed place. With the latest news being that the Mexican Mafia is directing its Homeboys to launch a reign of terror against black gangs---and really, any old blacks at all. Whittier Boulevard? We LOVE it! I looooooove L.A.!
           Oh, of course, there is talk from Little Anthony and LAPD Chief Best-Seller of various “law enforcement crackdowns” and new anti-gang techniques, etc., but I’ll go along with the watch commander of one of the LAPD stations who said a few months ago that there is absolutely nothing that they can do about the gang horror anymore.
          Who are these martinets and forehead slamming into wall sputtersputter little boys and girls in nice suits who are elected to office? Who rest their haunches in fat leather chairs decade after decade, holding forth multi-syllabically, growing their guts, banking millions? While drive-bys put bullets into the heads of little girls playing with Good Will dolls in termite-infested living rooms?
           But not to worry! While we are about to erupt in a um, full-blown race war here, Little Anthony and Homeboy de la Vega are busy in their silk suits planning drool eyeball roll “Transit Villages.” Um, what is a “Transit Village,” you ask? Why, it is a super-high-density series of brand new ugly (mock-Italian villa, probably) ghettos to be erected as closely as possible to bus stops and rail stations. Why, you wonder? Keep nitro pills at the ready:
          Because if lots and lots and lots of people (who all own cars) live real, real, real close to a bus stop or subway stop, they will then. . .take the buses and subways!
          Get me the heroin and Haagen-Dazs. I’m ready to rest.
          "The goal is to produce urban villages with high-quality developments that would encourage pedestrian and transit-oriented design," said Homeboy De La Vega. 
          Gee, don’t he talk purty? All these profane outburst obscenely paid degree boys nattering on with these big, puffy, beige, ahem terms---they should all be stripped naked, dosed with massive amounts of LSD, and dropped in leper colonies in India in the dead of night. That’s my kind of “rendition.”
          “There is no magic wand,” Homeboy told Lopez, summing things up.
          Oh, how they love to make this kind of patronizing---make that haughty---“big picture” CondiBush-style pronouncement. No, Homeboy, there is no magic wand to erase 50 years of transit mistakes, or to remove the likes of you and Little Anthony and Riordan and Hahn and the rest of the Haunch-o-crats from power---and replace them with people who have pragmatic ideas and who will do pragmatic things.
          These "officials" do not even deserve the likes of Lopez to call them on their screaming hypocrisy and insensitivity. They do not even deserve to hear complaints from the public, or any sort of truth and logic from the likes of The Rip Post. And they certainly do not deserve their jobs.
          But. . .just for the tired old inconsequential record. . .filed under “Beating the Obvious to a Bloody, Pleading Pulp," here is the heart of the matter. Or, perhaps, the hindquarters:
          When comprehensive light rail was removed from Los Angeles decades ago to make way for oil-company/Chandler family fueled housing and freeway development, it was all over. With the unchecked influx of New Yorkers and Asian and latino immigrants since the ‘70s’, and the unchecked increase in mercenary, conscience-less development, the “transit” problems here are now well beyond solution. And they sure as hell won’t be fixed by earthquake-and-methane-dodging subways that cost exponentially more than light-rail.
          There will, in short, never be an easy, convenient, comfortable, and efficient way to get around here again.
          And that is some teency consolation, given that the likes of Homeboy and Little Anthony are stuck in this profane outburst drool fist slam on table eyeball rolling bang head on wall sputter sputter “city,” too.
          Shove that up your urban village, Planning Major.

                                             BACK TO PAGE ONE

© 2007 Rip Rense. All rights reserved.