Wednesday, January 28, 2009

... bitter and cynical?


wow! how amazing. scorching temperatures and the public transport system collapses. quelle tragédie!

why is this a surprise? just as i'm not surprised we have tennis players passing out or retiring hurt at the australian open, i'm not surprised we had the "transport chaos" we experienced today. i'm expecting bushfires and do you know why? because people do stupid things all the time (i know i do) and it doesn't matter how many fire warnings you put up or how many bushfires you fight, there will always be people who want to set fires. so many people operate under the assumption that whatever the statistics or conventional wisdom (neither of which are always right, either), "it won't happen to them".

the australian open operates during summer under insanely variable conditions, usually varying for the worse regarding the players' health. wimbledon always seems to be stopping and starting for rain - certainly the cricket seems to stop and start with the rain. one of the risks you run playing in the australian open is that you may collapse from heat exhaustion.

if you rely on public transport during a heatwave, expect problems. take some water bottles and a book. charge your ipod. do dinner and a movie after work. carpool. do not expect to catch your usual train/tram/bus and have everything working perfectly. think.

i saw a story on a current affair (i think it was) tonight, reporting on drivers who will not wait for rail crossing signals and instead drive around boom gates to cross ahead of trains. how insane is that? this is the world we are living in, where people have such an infinitely high sense of entitlement that even in the face of six train cars full of passengers and travelling at up to a barely brakable hundred kilometres per hour they persist in believing that whatever might happen to someone else stupid enough to try this, it won't happen to them.

perhaps it's too much to expect that people who will try to beat rail crossing signals that have already dropped boom gates might seek to elect governments that will provide infrastructure for the future of people other than themselves...

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