21 November 2011

Monday Musings...
Welcome to the beginning of Thanksgiving Day week, and the OFFICIAL kickoff to the entire holiday season (which starts this FRIDAY, and not before, kapeesh?). We're looking at a bit of rain to start our Monday here...no big deal, unless you're an impaired driver waiting to collide with some innocent person going to work or taking their child to school.
I've been noticing that for the last several weeks, the radio's been abuzz with a LOT of vehicular accidents.
Now, we've not had any severe weather, or poor road conditions to warrant such a apparent rise in these.
So, we MUST have an increasing rash of STUPID behind a lot of wheels out there.
What these folks don't realize is that THEIR behavior mucks up a lot of other lives.
Fortunately, major injuries or fatalities have not followed in the wake of this...just a lot of "fender-benders".
And while this makes the body shops all smiley-faced, it doesn't "help to make the season bright" for a lot of other people.
Is our situation THAT bad where we need to be sh*t-faced before 0700 hours?
It's like common sense for a lot of these people has taken a semi-permanent holiday.
Our society has allowed this to occur, believe it or not.
We have fled to the suburbs of America, in order to "escape" the problems of urban life in many cases, and that meant having to build shopping areas IN those suburbs, without foresight when it comes to total population growth, area available, and traffic patterns 5-10 years down the road (no pun intended).
All too often, we see cases where areas once farmland are now sprawling bastions of shopping pleasure, replete with horrendous traffic, poor parking, badly-timed traffic lights, and the resulting flaring tempers.
Now, for us still in the city (and even in the ghettohood), we've no alternative BUT to travel to such shopping venues, because most all the shopping has LEFT our area. And that was due to a changing demographic, plus growing crime rates.
So the only place left for people like myself and the missus to shop...is EVERYWHERE ELSE but our area.
I would have thought it unheard of to watch an entire MALL close down, but I've seen it happen on the (...all together, gang...) SOUTHEAST SIDE of Ft. Wayne. And I come from the East coast, where we have malls in greater abundance than most anywhere in the USA.
I've said here many times that our part of town has been the second largest area of this city when it comes to spendable (read disposable) income, and yet, we ALSO have the highest number of people on some sort of government assistance, AND the largest number of people NOT working.
Talk about a curious duplicity...or would that be our old friend...the DOUBLE-STANDARD?
But businesses know where best to open up, and it's sure not down here...unless they WANT higher thefts, employees robbed or shot, and vehicles vandalized or stolen. To conduct business under such conditions would be financial suicide.
And yet, there are still some who go against the grain here, and DO manage to have a thriving business, in spite of such conditions.
But they are a VERY few, and they have taken steps to prevent becoming victims of crime.
What has always bothered me, is that we always seem to have a few that spoil it for everyone else.
Doesn't matter what the situation is...the result is the same.
- You get one bad group in one house on your street...ruins the neighborhood for everyone else (and usually opens the door for more people of a similar and problematic nature).
- You get one bad apple in a law-enforcement agency, and the ripples are felt for some time, thanks to media exposure, and citizen outcry.
- One bad student in a classroom make learning difficult for the other 30 or so kids until the one is suspended or removed from the class.
- You have one bad employee on a production line and it screws things up for the whole shift, until the person is fired, or transferred to another area (where hopefully they won't screw that up).
Trouble is these days...we're seeing too many of the bad apples, and in many cases, they're being tolerated a lot more than they used to be...in the realm of "fairness", mind you.
But, let's take that impaired driver, for example. They get in an accident, get a slap on the wrist and they're BACK on the road in no time, regardless of the situation they just caused.
Remember when they pushed that NO-FAULT insurance at us way back in the 1970s?
Here's the WIKI in case you're curious:
I still think that mindset sucks, because something is always the fault (or result) of someone, unless it's an act of God, and I cannot recall having seen any accidents that were directly attributed to the ALMIGHTY, so that's a wash in my book.
The no-fault gig was thrust at us because "we" didn't want to BLAME any particular person, no matter HOW impaired they might be.
And it often caused HIGHER RATES, without proper compensation in many serious injury situations.
Like I say, something like this can ruin an otherwise nice holiday shopping spree...REAL fast.
Many times, these drivers are handed a LIFETIME suspension, and yet they are STILL pulled over by police, still behind the wheel of a vehicle they're NOT supposed to be driving. How screwed up is that?
Sometimes, these drivers might get a MOPED, and then THAT creates a whole new series of driving variables when it comes to OUR safety on the streets and roads, for in Indiana, they are NOT required to get such vehicle licensed (has to be OVER 50ccs for a tag).
Now, I don't know about YOU, but a drunk is a drunk, and when you stick them on a moped, or even a damn bicycle, that can be worse than an automobile, for the control factor is diminished by a factor of at least 5.
Ever try to pass a weaving bicycle or moped? it's not that easy on a narrow street or especially on a busy street.
Makes you wonder why we have public transportation (other than rolling urinals for the homeless and lazy).
Now, I said all that...to say THIS:
Be very careful out there, throughout the entire holiday season.
Other people will NOT be looking out for you, and they most often will NOT be on "their best behavior" for whatever reason.
They will be testy, arrogant, ignorant, impaired, anxious, or otherwise bothered with something OTHER than driving.
What YOU need to remember is that you might not be able to control what happens around you, but you SURE as hell can control what happens INSIDE your own vehicle, and that means being always on guard for the unexpected.
Plan your trips, expect delays, and go with your gut if you think something looks hinky or feels wrong.
And do make sure your vehicle doesn't strand you where you don't want to be stranded, so if that means a trip to the mechanic for a checkup...consider it an "early Christmas gift" for yourself.
Better to expect the worst, and be prepared for it, than for it to catch you with your britches down around your ankles, hmm?.
Take your time out there...there's plenty of holiday for everyone.
The life you save might just be YOUR OWN (and your loved ones)...and that never gets old.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.


Slamdunk said...

I like your message today Bob. If you let a bad seed grow, it will bring all of the organization or society down. Often, it is the first line supervisor or one person's job to curtail that bad behavior--when they fail, we all suffer.

Bob G. said...

I do believe in giving EVERYONE a second chance...(once) because we ALL screw up.

Thankfully, MANY of us DO learn from the experience, and that can run the gamut from parenting (plenty of "oops" moments can be made there...lol), to driving, to on-the-job issues, to education...and so on.
You name it, and we can either LEARN from it, or keep messing it all up.

But when we allow some folks to KEEP that "messing the hell up" to become a chronic institution, then yes, it DOES diminish ALL of us.

I'm getting into that "inspirational" time of year...blame the holidays and times of giving...and blame my parents!

Guess that's the kinda (good) "blame" that goes a lot farther than we think, hmm?

Thanks a lot for stopping on by today and commenting.

Stay safe out there.

John D said...

I've long been of the belief that "stupid" should be categorized as a traffic condition.

"Traffic is moving slowly by the interchange due to construction, light fog and an overabundance of stupid, so allow extra time for your commute this morning."

Bob G. said...

John D.:
You could NOT be MORE CORRECT...and if you used to remember all the ticket books LEOs would go through on such busy weeks, you'd "think" someone would have figured that out by now (as we have).

I'm waiting for SOME person to recommend street SIGNAGE that says as much:
YIELD (for STUPID people)

Just don't make STUPID a "handicap"...that's the LAST thing people with REAL disabilities need (or want).

Hey, thanks for rolling on up today and commenting.
Got me smiling here now.

Stay safe out there.