Chris "Criswell" Predicts: The Year in Transit Jan 1, 2008 0:53:47 GMT -8
Post by Transit Coalition on Jan 1, 2008 0:53:47 GMT -8
Every year our friend and pal Chris "Criswell" Predicts The Year in Transit
Here are his 2008 predictions and most excellent rant!
The Year in Transit is not the most important thing to look forward to this year, but it is the brightest spot in a year filled with the tedium that is the unfortunate byproduct of leap years. The first comes in the form of the Summer Olympic Games, this year in Beijing.
American athletes usually dominate the games so much that they made winning go out of style. The must-see event is the opening ceremonies, where the United States formally passes the torch of world’s only superpower to the host country, China. How often is there a chance to make the symbolic literal?
Then comes another pointless quadrennial ritual that occurs every November but fortunately is only participated in by half of all adults and by all indications, like oil production and newspaper readership, trends downward to the point of losing all relevancy and simply be forgotten.
There is, after all, segments of the population that view these trends with a smidgen of hope. It’s not large, and not welcome in most communities and places of business. But The Year in Transit salutes you.
The last thought ran on too long, and the transition to this thought about politics is therefore not that fluid. A young almanac is precocious enough to discuss politics, and has a surprisingly vivid memory of events dating back to the terrible toddler years. The year 2008 offers unique reflection not of the more timely prior year, but an eight-year epoch of monumental importance. The Year in Transit uses this opportunity to write history’s first draft.
Don’t worry. The predictions are here, as usual. The introduction is longer than in year’s past, because 2008 offers a time of unmitigated spleen-venting that comes along, well every four years. That’s just too long to wait.
The citizens of the United States of America, some by choice, the rest by fiat of the Supreme Court, took an eight-year voyage on the scenic road to hell that began on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in the eleventh month in November, 2000 anno domini.
We did not witness the smooth transition of the executive branch for another month, but we eyewitness the pointlessness of the electorate in the process of continuing the chain of succession.
The person who emerged from this dung pile was one George W. Bush, a fortunate son of an aristocratic clan whose pedigree distracted the population from what merit he has performed to warrant elevation to the presidency.
And eight years has shown past performance is indicative of future results. With the life he was endowed, George Bush the Lesser became the political, heck the social, equivalent of what is known in sports as a choke artist. The Americans were expecting mediocrity but received a failure spectacular in quantifiable space and time.
Catastrophic is too charitable to describe the administration under Bush the Lesser. The man whose intellectual means came nowhere close to his financial means allowed the most sociopathic, malignant elements of his political party unparalleled power to put ideology into political action, typically with disastrous consequences.
His corporate kindred spirits plundered the treasury. Worst of all, he desired a war purely for reasons of vanity and is unaffected by the financial, tactical and human toll his wars have affected. These eight years have been marked by the worst leadership not just in American history, but the history of civilization.
How can we, as Americans, reconcile this past administration with a remedy and an improvement to our collective lot?
This introduction has already run too long, so the answer, my friends, is blowing at the bottom of the Year in Transit. Without further ado, other than the pimpage for previous editions of, here is 2008: The Year in Transit.
The Year in Transit archives are maintained on the web site of The Transit Coalition. All editions are available here. They are also simulcast on the Usenet group la.transportation. Now, the entree is served. Bon appetit.
* The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority board passes a moratorium preventing planners from holding any more scoping meetings in 2008. Riders are too fatigued from having to go to all the meetings in the last quarter of last year.
* The Inland Empire, reeling from massive foreclosures, comes up with a novel way to maintain fare revenue in light of declining tax revenues. Both Omnitrans and Riverside Transit Agency will allow riders to transport crystal meth made in the region to travel for an extra quarter, as long as the drugs are sealed and not within the riders’ systems.
* The Sprinter opening on January 13 features a christening of the first train of the day and an exorcism for the board members who surely must have been under demonic influence when they approved building this joke of a line.
* Metro stands by its decision to install fare gates after the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department only offers the alternative of “enhanced fare collection techniques.”
* RobDawg’s tenure as a signed MetroRiderLA contributor lasts for exactly one post. He repeats the phrase “transit math” 2,164 times, and he resigns in frustration when all the comments ask “What?”
* Damien Goodmon declines a job offer and a $250,000 compensation package to become the executive director of an upstart Cheviot Hills transit advocacy organization, Concern Trolls for a Safer, Better Expo Line.
* The American Public Transportation Association does not want to see transit oriented development go by the wayside as the housing market continues its downward spiral. It teams up with developers to offer a free home with the purchase of a lifetime bus pass.
* Metro and Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus come to an agreement to run a single service along Pico Boulevard in time for the December shake-up. Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Burke worries that the change would subsequently close the Crackton Turnaround, which would result in closed businesses and lost jobs at the nearby Midtown Shopping Center. Her last-minute meddling preserves the routes as they are today.
* Gold Coast Transit must make massive service cuts after the Ventura County Transit Commission fines the agency for false advertisement, since there has not been any significant quantity of gold found on Ventura County shores in recorded history. Also, other Ventura County transit agencies frown upon systems whose acronyms cannot be played in Scrabble.
* For his activism against a subway with no funding or formal plan for construction, County Supervisor Mike Antonovich thankfully resigns his post to take a position with a certain presidential candidate’s campaign to stop a similar unfunded and unplanned NAFTA Highway.
* Per the request of Fred Camino, the name of that presidential candidate shall not be mentioned on MetroRiderLA for fear that the candidate’s followers will get too excited about seeing his name in blogs and make the comments section look like Exposition Park when the Raiders played home games.
* The Orange County Transportation Authority earns $1 million for naming its bus rapid transit lines Bravo from the cable station of the same name. The channel will pony up another $500,000 if OCTA can make the BRT lines as gay as the TV programming.
* Monorail fans have their faith strengthened in the gadgetbahn’s viability after Disneyland puts the latest generation of vehicle into active service. When Disney said the vehicles are powered by fairy dust and youthful imagination, the monorailists take the comment literally and proclaim them to be superior fuels to electricity.
* L.A. Sniper Alan Mittelstaedt introduces a new video blog on the Los Angeles City Beat web site. The segment, entitled “Strop’d”, is based on the hit television show “Punk’d” and has the Sniper videotaping himself smacking politicians and journalists upside the head with a leather strop anytime they say or write anything asinine about public transit.
* Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa allots two of his three appointments to the Metro board to the Southern California Transit Advocates’ Kymberleigh Richards and The Transit Coalition’s Bart Reed. The triumph for transit users is short lived, as a minor argument makes the boardroom look like a session of the Taiwanese parliament.
There you have it, 2008: The Year in Transit, in all its glory.
In closing, the rant from the introduction resumes now that the rich, meaty goodness of this satire hoagie has sated the hunger of knowledge. The question posed was something akin to, “Where do we go from here?” Behold, the Year in Transit voter guide.
The best, most informed vote for the 2008 election is not for the candidate that is the most capable, charismatic, moral or even courageous. Rather, the ballot should be cast for the candidate you hate the most and want to see fail. The George W. Bush era produced disasters that started under his tenure but will have repercussions for years, even generations, to come.
By and large, our fates are going to be determined by forces stronger, smarter and more determined than our society can bear. And, as of this writing, the 2008 campaign has a good chance of producing either a woman or an African American as the Democratic candidate in November. Should one of these candidates win, their trailblazing will be less remembered than the wave of policy disasters that will chew up and digest their candidacies.
Americans are nothing if not judgmental, and if the first woman or African American leaves the office in disgrace, the failure will haunt all future female and black candidates because of the experiences of the first.
The next four years and beyond have our nation cruising along the pothole-scarred road to hell in our Hummers, talking on our cell phones, when the road narrows to a frayed tightrope hanging above an abyss.
All human knowledge, and most Vegas odds-makers, say that falling or the frayed wire breaking is a lock. The point is now not to stand behind the odds-beater, but to elect a person you would watch enjoying fail. The Germans call this “schadenfreude.”
This has the most downbeat, callous Year in Transit ever compiled. It’s overabundant in pessimism and dark humor. Something we can use, especially since 2007 saw the passing of two grand masters of this genre, writer Kurt Vonnegut and director Ingmar Bergman. The Year in Transit closes in dedication to these greats.