OCTranspo and the Lone Ranger

Posted: October 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

I am not normally an ‘angry’ person. Sure there are things that rub me the wrong way or piss me off, but today I find myself sitting here in a red rage state.

Are there worse things in the world? Sure, but here is what has gotten me so mad this morning.

OCTRANSPO

Anyone who has seen me tweet knows that I am not the biggest fan of OCTranspo. In fact, I think they run a pretty shoddy service. I have lived in a city with a good transit system (Calgary) and it annoys me when the basic levels of service you would expect at say, a retail store, can’t be carried by a service like a transit system.

Most days things are fine. But probably about once per week something comes up that annoys me. This past Saturday the 94 came 10 minutes late. It wasn’t rush hour. No excuse.

Today was way worse.

Let’s start with getting on the 126. I THINK it was a little early. I am not positive though, so I would judge based on that. I do know that the other regular who got on had to run for it. Maybe she was late… but it felt early.

We got to Blair, about half way to our destination (Hurdman). The driver did not go onto the transit way like he is supposed to (and that bus has done every day for the YEARS that I have been taking it) and instead pulled into the bottom section. One of the other passengers called out, ‘wrong way. you need to go on the transit way’. The driver said, “this is the last stop.” When someone said that he was wrong and that this bus is supposed to go to Hurdman, he said, the he was a fill-in driver.

What? You are a fill-in driver so you can’t even be bothered to check your little computer to confirm that this bus was supposed to go to Hurdman like it does EVERY BLOODY DAY?

Okay. He was being stupid, but mistakes happen. Move on.

I (along with the busload full of people along with me) climbed the stairs up to the transitway. Along came a 27 which happens to be one of the buses I can take AT Hurdman to get me to work. That is the case for about four of the people in my crowd that started hustling down to where the 27 was. The first two people made it. I was third. The bus closed the doors and started pulling away when I was about 15 feet from the bud, in the front where the driver could clearly see me jogging towards him.

All right, this isn’t new. He drives me crazy but the idea that a driver could just ignore the ENTIRE PURPOSE THE BUS RUNS and that is to pick up passengers and take them places isn’t new.

I turn around and see another regular shaking her head as she was jogging along behind me. As we both turn around we see a 95 pull up. The 95 can take us to Hurdman. We both start jogging to the 95. Since we have turned around, she is now in front. We have to go to the front door as the other doors are closed. She gets on the bus and the driver closes the doors, RIGHT IN MY FACE. You can’t claim he didn’t see me because I could clearly see the woman who just got on the bus telling him to wait as I was right behind her.

All together today, on a commute that is normally 2 buses, I dealt with 5 drivers, with a 40% success rate (and one of those 2 wasn’t awesome… jerky bus drivers on a bus full of standing people is not fun).

Then some idiot on Twitter told me that I shouldn’t ‘tweet trash’ about OCTranspo and if I don’t like the service I should stop using it.

This rings a lot like the ugly American ‘if you don’t like this country go back to Russia’ jingoistic crap.

OCTranspo is a service paid for with our tax dollars. I should just treat it like a private company and vote with my wallet? Well then, when do I get my tax money back? When do they allow competitive, government subsidized, alternatives to operate?

No way. They are responsible for giving a base level of service. They aren’t giving it.

I was late for work today. If you can’t count on public transit getting you where you are supposed to be within the posted times, why should they even exist? Basic competence isn’t a ‘nice-to-have’.

““““““““““““““““

THE LONE RANGER

I just saw a trailer for Disney’s The Lone Ranger, complete with Johnny Depp.

Is Depp playing the Lone Ranger? Nothing wrong with that.

Nope. He is playing Tonto.

Complete with war paint and ‘kemo sabe’ and all that. Well, who thought THAT was a goo didea? I expect to see racist crap like that back with the Lone Ranger was originally broadcast, but now? Really?

I mentioned on twitter that it was racist and someone I know said it was racist to ask that the character be played by a native. Say what? That is the stupidest thing I have heard this week… and I think saw some Romney quotes so that is saying something.

No, it is NOT racist to ask that the already suspect racist stereotyped character be played by an actual native American.

Let me use a different analogy.
What do you get when a black man plays black characters in a comical exaggeration of stereotypes?
Dave Chapelle
What do you get when a white man does the same thing?
Ted Danson in blackface making light of the SUPER racist minstrel shows!
Do you not see the difference? If not, then you are ignorant at best and actively racist at worst. (I believe that the person who made that comment is the former. I have nothing else to make me think that he is the latter.)

Let me make this as clear as I can: a white person mocking another race by acting out the racial (and racist) stereotypes of that race is not cool. It is not funny and it is not acceptable.

There is a good documentary about Asian actors in the 60s etc on the Breakfast at Tiffany’s DVD (as they try to deal with the racist content of that otherwise awesome movie) that talks about the problem of just living in the stereotypes.

Anyway… someone tell me something good about the world today so I can stop being grumpy.

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