The Cult of Inaction
There are many reasons to hate my commute on DC’s Metro system. Not only is the Metro shockingly fucked up and unreliable, but the overheated cars are packed with near-homicidal pencilneck assholes who have been pushed to the very edge of their hyper-medicated patience. Pushing, screaming, outright brawls… I’ve seen it all, at least once a week.
I used to think these button down khaki geeks were the problem. The Yankee transplants who simply don’t belong in our little sorta-southern town. Once, DC was a pokey little town that people tried to get out of each summer. Now we’re an overpopulated, overgentrified, strollerfied urban nightmare. So, surely, Metro’s problems and my commute were complicated by the sea of slack-jawed transplants.
But then I grew up a little bit and I realized that they weren’t the problem. In fact, they were the embodiment of progress and without progress we’d get raped and knifed at Gallery Place every Friday night and, frankly, that was getting a bit wearing by the late 90s.
Is the problem the developers? With all these new people coming to DC, and the condos shooting into the sky, it’s not lost on any of us that no effort is being made to bring the infrastructure up to speed to cope with the influx. The Metro is certainly a victim of that. Conceived in the 60s as part of LBJ’s sick society, it hails from a time when DC was ringed with sleepy little suburban communities. No one planned on those suburban communities becoming gradually more and more urbanized and filling up with tons of people. Well, they could have planned for it, since it was inevitable due to various zoning and building limitations in the city, but why look ahead when you’re building a billion dollar Great Society Subway? From even those initial stages, I’ve always been suspicious that the Metro wasn’t built with the intention of actually serving the public or providing transportation. I think it was always meant to be a show-piece and the whole concept that you would have to ferry tens of thousands of workers back and forth was alien to the designers.
It’s this lack of foresight that makes the Metro largely pointless if you want to get from one urbanized suburb to another. To take the train from Bethesda, MD to Silver Spring. MD — a distance of just over 3 miles — you have to take a 40 minute, 25 mile ride. An outer ring line wasn’t even in the cards way back when all this was cooked up. Why would it? Back then Bethesda went to bed at 7pm and Silver Spring was a sad warehouse district.
Frustrating, though, since there was a rail line connecting the two towns in the 70s. That eventually got turned into a trail and, now, the strollierfied transplant fucks who represent progress are standing in the way of progress in order to protect their poodle path.
Anyway… I realized today that the problem is our own inaction. I don’t care about the Metro’s problems, or people running out of Zoloft mid-commute. What really rattles my cage is when someone says to me: “Someday, people are going to take action and rise up against Metro.”
I hear that. A lot. My answer is always the same: Are you fucking kidding me, asshole? They are literally killing us through their incompetence, and you’re all “someday we’re gonna rise up.” Fuck me, what more do you need? Does every Metro employee need to slap on a Swastika and begin mass executions on the platform? Do we need a train to just explode and then have Metro’s high command post a Youtube video of them laughing and toasting champagne and putting on burned flesh facemasks?
These trains are death traps. The FTA and NTSB say so, the government says so, and we’ve sat twiddling our thumbs watching it happen right in front of us while we prattle on about how, someday, we’ll take action, tra-la-la.
Man…the time for action has come and gone. You’re all just suckers now, apparently happy to get buttfucked twice a day. Don’t talk to me about taking action when you’re just sitting there, checking your email, and rolling your stupid piggy eyes at every delay. Metro might as well have murdered that woman who died last January, and here you are pouring money down their throats and preaching to me about taking action.
We should be jumping the turnstiles. We should be dragging the transit cops and the station managers out onto the platforms and braining them, covering our faces with gore and screaming incoherently at the security cameras. We should form human chains at the entrance of each station. We should drop trees on the tracks every day, and cut the heads off the parking meters at every station. We should sit-in, stand-in, lie-in, obstruct, and delay.
The next time you’re choking on acrid smoke and Metro la-de-das their way through the crisis, we should kick the doors down and take the driver hostage and scream through the walkie talkie: “Hello central command! There are hundreds of us down here and we’re going to kill your driver…and then we’re coming for you! *blam*”
But, of course, that won’t work, because Metro is full of radio dead zones. Chances are, if your train is full of smoke and you’re choking to death, nobody will know until it’s too late. Then you’ll fucking die and some khaki wearing motherfucker will roll his fucking dead, soulless eyes at me and fucking say, “We should really do something.” and then go back to reading motherfucking Life of Pi or whatever the fucking retards are reading these days. Ho-hum.