Tuesday, June 1, 2004

They Shall Over-Rev

We live in troubled times. Corruption is rampant. Abuse of power runs unchecked. The vaunted "will of the people" is sapped, thwarted, ignored, and manipulated on a regular basis. But finally, the people are saying they have had enough. They are going to send a message to those in power. They are going to take to the streets and raise their voices. Their rallying cry: two bucks a gallon is an UNSPEAKABLE CRIME AGAINST AMERICAN HUMANITY.
Yes, Americans last week were out in front of gas stations, protesting high gas prices. Take a second to read that sentence again. It's slippery. It glides off the mind, as we are well-conditioned to treat something like that the way we'd treat a pink elephant hallucination. Pretend we never saw it and move along. But it's true.
In York, PA, Dan Wagner waved a sign outside a gas station encouraging people driving their cars to honk their horns if they thought gas prices were too high. The resulting vibrations in the pillars of civilization were picked up by ultrasensitive seismographs in Ohio for nearly three minutes until a bunny started hopping outside the Akron Seismology Institute, completely obscuring the readings.
The average price of a gallon of gas in York County that day was $1.99 a gallon. Dan Wagner's message? "I'm here to say, 'Hey, let's get 'em down there'." Dan Wagner is an idiot.
Right here in Minneapolis, there were signs and chants outside gas stations on Friday. Signs like "TANKS A LOT". And "Bushgivesmegaspains.com (Yes They Are Setting Up A National Web Site)", which is right up there with We Shall Overcome as protest slogans go. I'd love to make fun of them even more, but nobody bothered quoting any of them. And when local TV news decides you don't have anything interesting to say, that's a much harsher indictment than I could ever come up with.
Average price of a gallon of gas in the Twin Cities when these protests took place? $2.04.
In Huntington, West Virginia, Marcella Adkins, also requesting the honking of drivers sympathetic to her cause, explained that "As working people, we need lower prices. As things are today, you work and you put it in your gas tank." Upon reading the phrase "working people need lower prices", four dozen economists had aneurysms and died. Fortunately, the total was two short of the 50 dead economists required to qualify Adkins for the Congressional Medal of Honor, because she didn't do it on purpose. She's just dumb.
Gas prices in Huntington as of May 10, which is all I could find because some hick probably got chaw in the Huntington newspaper's websearch function, causing it to be completely unable to sort results by date? $2.05 a gallon.
These protests are apparently being organized by America Comes Together, a group devoted to two goals. First, they want to convince Ameriica that George W. Bush is to blame for the current prices at the pump. This is a noble goal, as it reduces complex global political and economic trends into a wave of anger at someone I can't stand. Unfortunately, their second goal appears to be spreading their message through the somewhat nonstandard medium of "annoying fuckheads with astonishingly poor handwriting and signmaking skills". If these people expect to be taken seriously as a movement, they need to manage better spelling and more legible signs than, say, a Monday Night RAW audience. If you cannot leap this astonishingly low bar, STAY HOME.
Better yet, stay home anyway, you whiners. People on the coasts have been paying $2.20 a gallon for over a year now, and they suck it up and they pay because they need to get to where they're going. People in other countries pay $4-$6/gallon for gas, and have for years, and they suck it up and they pay because they need to get to where they're going. You need to get a fucking grip.
And here's your happy, gift-wrapped grip, courtesy of You Are Dumb. You know where else they're protesting gas prices this week? Beirut, Lebanon. A place where the average salary is considerably lower than Minneapolis, MN. Know how much a gallon of gas costs in Lebanon? $3.28. You know what happens to people in Lebanon who protest gas prices? They get SHOT TO DEATH.
So suck it up. Count your blessings. Count your mileage. Take your signs, especially your Pavlov Specials that make other drivers think they're doing more than adding to noise pollution when they lay on their horns, and shove 'em up your ass. Die fast, die soon, and get your corpse squished by lots of rocks so that a hundred thousand years from now, you'll be useful to some future society that needs to make plastic out of you.