The law, the news and the American way

As someone who grew up in South East London and used to travel exclusively by bus and minicab let me tell you: I’ve seen some shit driving in my time. Sunday morning in Plumstead is a really good place to try and commit suicide – just leave the house and wait by a road.

Despite this experience, I have to say that I have never seen driving quite as shit as that perpetrated by the people of North Ea(s)t America. In fairness the quality of the road surfaces, the diabolical signage and the organisation is pretty shit to start off with, but nothing compares to the shitty shitness of the drivers.

Every simple journey we undertake is a collage of scary moments involving impatient, unthinking, morons who seem to assume that the reason you’re not moving fast enough is because you “like the slow.” They cut in and out of the lanes like they’re the only ones who see a way through. They flash and hoot (honk) as they drive two inches away from your tail to alert you to their urgent need to be where they are going – seemingly oblivious to the physics that are currently preventing them. Maybe they’re all Christian nutjobs who deny physics as witchcraft; quite possibly, thinking about it. Would explain a lot.

But watching the news gives us a deeper insight into this mindset than we really want to have. For example, this evening we were watching ACTION NEWS – the local ABC news programme, and the only one I have any time for in fact. Jim Gardener, or whatever the coiffured, avuncular, anchor was called, told a story about a terrible accident on the PA turnpike (a motorway) that had involved at least one fatality. He described it as

“A nightmare for commuters.”

Yeah that blood on the road really can attenuate the traction of your tires…

On a later 6abc broadcast the top billing was given to a bunch of hardened criminal BASTARDS who were turning over Coca-cola machines in the area using a key taken from an impression (probably obtained during some “flexible working contract” in the recent past). Can you imagine ? All of the money that rightly belongs to the philanthropists at Coca-cola getting taken by a couple of men using keys! Shoot to kill!
About three stories later was the story of a homeless person who had been set on fire by a couple of kids. But don’t worry; no money from coca-cola was endangered at any time during the burning process.

We watched Network tonight, and if you haven’t already then you really, really should.


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