by RIP RENSE
HUMM ALONG WITH HOMEBOY
(Jan. 22, 2007)
.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!
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?
I’ll tell you who de la
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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