Ferguson Police Department: Probably a Bunch of Awesome Guys

If you search “Ferguson” in Google news, you’ll see journalists taking back the negative things they said about the FPD, numerous comparisons of Ferguson to Benghazi, and now an officer who says the stress of Ferguson protests caused him to drive drunk. What you won’t see much of is discussion of the DOJ report on the Ferguson Police Department.  To be fair, I found that the CIA torture report was an easier to get through (though much longer) read. The 105 page PDF took me an unusually long time to get through, but now that I have read it…well, I wish I could say it was shocking. It’s definitely some fucked up shit.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 4.30.45 PM

The FPD created  an environment in which the sole purpose of the police force was to make money for the city. If that sounds reasonable to you, please recall the purpose of the police is to protect and serve the citizens, not to rob your of your rights via your wallet. How does a $571 fine for tall grass or a $302 fine for manner of walking sound? To me, it sounds fucking absurd. To the FPD? Reasonable! Of course, I guess absurd crimes deserve absurd fines — after all, what is manner of walking? Since 95% of the people arrested for it were black, one can assume it’s for being black while walking.

In a city with a per capita income of $21,000, it doesn’t take a Mensa scholar to realize that forcing citizens to pay $571 for having weeds in the yard might be an impossible task. Fortunately, the city found a way to fix that: you can be arrested for not paying your fine in full and on time — many times people are given court dates within a week, so hopefully everyone in Ferguson just stockpiles all their extra pennies in case the police decide to fuck with them. Of course, police often incorrectly write the court dates or times on the citations, so even if you do have the money to pay…you might still get a warrant! Pretty messed up, huh?

But wait! There’s more! Let’s imagine you’ve been given a ridiculously high fine and you want to pay it, but you can’t afford to pay it all at once. So you send the court $20 or $50, with a letter explaining why.  Joke’s on you! Ferguson wants its money, and it wants its money NOW! The court has repeatedly rejected partial payments from citizens, claiming it can’t process them. Nothing says “we care about protecting the people we serve” like locking away old ladies for not mowing their lawns!

Oh, hold on! I’m wrong. I know what makes it clear you care about the citizens you serve: fuckin tasing them for no reason!

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 6.05.44 PMThe report repeatedly drives home the fact that the FPD uses their ECWs (Electronic Control Weapons) as the only option. While other police are trained to diffuse situations, the FPD fires their ECWs first and worries about consequences later — oh, wait. Just kidding. They don’t worry about the consequences, because there is no accountability. Almost no one bothers to fill out the reports when an ECW is used, and if they do it’s so poorly done they might as well not. Keep in mind there’s an easy way to track whether or not you fired your ECW: you have to replace the cartridge.

But it’s okay. I’m sure if the DOJ investigated other police departments, they’d be golden. I’m sure this is a one off situation that isn’t deserving of national attention. Those crazy race and class baiters should be ashamed of themselves!

Ah, yes. Totally reasonable.

I’ll Have Belle for my Wife, Make No Mistake About That!

With the sucess of 50 Shades, I’ve been questioning the messages behind other popular movies. Unfortunately, it has led me to one of the Disney films I remember really liking as a child. This may or may not be well discussed by others, but I don’t know; in general I’m not one of those people that enjoys Disney movies as an adult. It wasn’t until very recently that I started wondering if Beauty and the Beast was just a story about a bunch of abusive assholes and terrible people.

Beauty was my favorite Disney movie because I always related to Belle. As a child I was so shy I’d cry if people (not strangers. Just anyone) talked to me. I would rather read a book than talk to people or look where I was going. As an adult, I’m super excited for every movie Emma Watson makes. What I’m saying is, re-watching this movie made the past 90 minutes of my life suck.

I’m going to assume you have some idea of the plot of Beauty and the Beast. Belle is pretty but a bookworm, and everyone thinks she’s weird — including Gaston, the asshole handsome guy who declares he will marry her, despite her disinterest. Meanwhile, there’s the Beast, a formerly handsome prince turned into a beast for being an asshole. When Belle’s dad gets locked away by the Beast, Belle offers up herself as the Beast’s prisoner (or guest) instead. The Beast obliges, Belle’s dad is too weird for the townspeople to believe his story, hijinks ensue. In order to break the Beast’s curse, he needs someone to love him while being a beast.

From the first moment the Beast’s house supplies talk to him about Belle, he says of course it has crossed his mind she will be the one to break the spell. That means he’s thinking about her falling in love with him when he does things like lock her away and refuse to feed her.

Of course, the Beast grows in the movie, and both the Beast and Belle are outcasts of society. But she is a prisoner during the Beast’s transition. If that could have been expressed in any other way, then this could have been a charming story of watching the Beast struggle to understand politness and how to get over his anger at being shunned by the world around him.

Pro tip: if you’re close with your dad and he calls your boyfriend that “horrible fella,” you should run away. Fast. Same thing if your boyfriend prohibits you from seeing your father.

What do you guys think? Is my mind just 50 Shades-ed out, or does this rub anyone else the wrong way as an adult?

50 Shades Shittier

I promised a round two of why I hate 50 Shades, so here we go. After I wrote about the books last month, I had a bunch of people explain to me how it isn’t abuse and Christian becomes an amazing guy in the end. Thankfully, I actually read the last book instead of listening to the Champions of Grey; no, no he does not stop being a terrible piece of shit. One passage stands out to me more than any other, and I’ll get to it in a moment. 

First, has anyone else ever listen to a friend bitch about a guy and not know what to tactfully say in response? You know, a nice way to say things like he doesn’t call you because he isn’t interested? Or it probably isn’t that he hates relationships, he just hates the idea of one with you, and nagging won’t change that? Or his decision to fight with you whenever you go out without him is a controlling and damaging tactic, and not something you should just get over? Because I find so many women (and I’ve been guilty of this, too!) brush off these actions by making excuses — he’s mysterious, he’s a bad boy, he needs changing, he’s just like Christian Grey, whatever. For people who felt the need to school me on my stance, that right there is the problem. 50 Shades encourage the idea that asshole men can be changed, that manipulative behavior is endearing, and that it’s fine to emotionally manipulate women into being in relationships they repeatedly say they aren’t comfortable with. If someone is doing these things to you, reading it depicted as great and romantic can make you feel like you’re overreacting.

My worst nightmare is being forced to have a child. In order to help avoid that, I do things like not date men who want children. Apparently it’s Christian’s nightmare, too — except he doesn’t run for the hills when Ana expresses her desire to have children. In one of the scenes I personally found most uncomfortable, Christian forces hormonal birth control on her — motherfucker, how about you get snipped if you never want kids? When Ana, who is depicted as being the dumbest person alive (despite her college degree), inevitably forgets her demanded Depo appointments, she gets knocked up. Over and over she worries about how angry Christian will be. When she tells him…well, there’s nothing I can do but show you. Keep in mind they are married and her father just almost died.

“Christ, Ana!” He bangs his fist on the table, making me jump, and stands so abruptly he almost knocks the dining chair over. “You have one thing, one thing to remember. Shit! I don’t fucking believe it. How could you be so stupid?”
Stupid! I gasp. Shit. I want to tell him that the shot was ineffective, but words fail me. I gaze down at my fingers. “I’m sorry,” I whisper. “Sorry? Fuck!” he says again.
“I know the timing’s not very good.”
“Not very good!” he shouts. “We’ve known each other five fucking minutes. I wanted to show you the fucking world and now … Fuck. Diapers and vomit and shit!” He closes his eyes. I think he’s trying to contain his temper and losing the battle. “Did you forget? Tell me. Or did you do this on purpose ?” His eyes blaze and anger emanates off him like a force field.
“No,” I whisper. I can’t tell him about Hannah— he’d fire her.
“I thought we’d agreed on this!” he shouts.
“I know. We had. I’m sorry.”
He ignores me. “This is why. This is why I like control. So shit like this doesn’t come along and fuck everything up.”
No … Little Blip. “Christian, please don’t shout at me.” Tears start to slip down my face. “Don’t start with waterworks now,” he snaps. “Fuck.”

God, I’m so glad that Christian is reformed. Maybe people get that impression because we learn that Christian is into BDSM because his mother was a crackhead. I can’t even.

Out of some sick curiosity, I tried to watch the movie…but it wasn’t available on Time for Popcorn, so never mind.

50 Shades of Shit, Part One: Ana Wrecks Your Life

I know I’m late to the party, but I’ve decided I can’t not write about 50 Shades of Grey. I feel like everything that needs to be said has been discussed, yet this book is now a record setting film. So I guess I’m wrong, which is unfortunate since this is one of the few books I’ve read that causes me to hate every single character and the author. If you haven’t read the books, here’s a very brief rundown: Shy, virginal Ana meets hunky BDSM-loving billionaire Christian Grey. He takes her V-card, shows her his torture chamber of love, beats her, gets dumped, gets back together, wacky hi jinx ensue. They get married and go on a miserable sounding honeymoon where he leaves bruises over her body because she was topless tanning in the south of France.  Meanwhile, he used to be raped by his mom’s friend and now owns a hair salon with her, his old Sub tries to kill Ana, and Christian’s brother dates Ana’s best friend, Kate. Sound stupid? Yes, because it is. There is no real plot.

Actual book quote: "Oh my. My whole body tightens at the thought. Piano. Wow."
Actual book quote: “Oh my. My whole body tightens at the thought. Piano. Wow.”

There are many problems with the 50 Shades series: shitty writing, an abusive hero (Christian Grey), a heroine (Ana Steele Grey) that seems like a huge bitch, characters named after eating disorders, closeted racism and homophobia, and not so closeted classism. I’m going to focus on the abuse. Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way: my argument is not that consensual BDSM is abusive. My argument is that Christian Grey is a temperamental, emotional, and manipulative asshole with a violent past. You can draw your own conclusions as to whether or not the virginal Ana is able to make a free of mind choice to participate in something she repeatedly says she doesn’t like.


Ana wrecks your life!

I feel like most people know a guy that’s like Christian Grey. You can sometimes identify a Christian by the crying girl that is often with him — the girl you probably call crazy, the one who seems to not have any friends (since she isn’t allowed).  Guys like Christian do their damnedest to be the best and worst thing to ever happen to a girl, creating an emotional roller coaster (if roller coasters are portals to hell). Throughout all 3 books, Christian repeatedly pushes Ana to her limits, then gives her a peek of the “nice guy” within, or his tortured soul, making her feel like she’s responsible for his outbursts. Over and over she expresses sentiments like, “I didn’t ask him to come get me. Somehow I’ve been made to feel the villain in this piece,” and “Why am I feeling guilty? Why is he so mad?” If you often find yourself wondering these things in your relationship, please seek help. You might feel crazy, but you aren’t — he is.

Ah, not creepy at all
Ah, not creepy at all

Not only does Christian fuck with Ana’s mind and make her feel responsible for anything in the world  that could irritate Christian, he also makes sure to drive giant wedges between her and her friends and family. She’s not allowed to be around boys, because obviously she cannot be trusted. Her best friend, Kate,  is a bad influence because she has the audacity to question Christian’s intentions (even though in the first book, almost every time Kate sees Ana after Ana has been around Christian, she is crying). When Ana doesn’t want Christian to come to her graduation, he shows up and meets her stepdad. And, most disturbingly (to me), when Ana tells Christian she needs some space and flies to Georgia to visit her mother…Christian flies out and stays at the same hotel and gives her exactly zero space or time to spend alone with her mother. In the second book, Christian flies back from halfway around the world because Ana and her best female friend go out for a drink together and he forbid her from leaving the house. By book three (the book the champions of the series claim show Ana as “taking the power back”), Christian is selecting Ana’s friends (spoiler alert: no boys) by surprising her with group vacations and picking the guest list himself. Hey, guess what! If you have a friend you used to be close with, but now she dates this guy and she cries a lot and never hangs out with you because of him, she’s probably in an abusive relationship.

This is going on longer than I thought, so I’m going to break it up into parts. Maybe for Part 2 I can include a mix of quotes from serial killers  and Christian Grey, and we can play a game where you guess who said what!

Let me know if you saw the movie and if you think I should see it too! Also, please check out my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can subscribe to my blog here

The Case for Banning Yoga Pants

Hi friends! I think I’ve been doing something terribly wrong, and I wanted to reach out and see if you could help me. Here is how my days usually go: when I decide I’m done with pajamas, I either lazily put on leggings (because it’s a day of working out or not giving a fuck how I look) or I shave my legs, blow dry my hair, do my make up, and put on something cute (like a body con dress or a short flare skirt, because I like to look as trampy as possible and I hate all “real” pants).

But apparently, my lazy as fuck, figure skating, crossfitting, errand running outfit is about the sluttiest outfit I could wear (except my birthday suit. Ew. Women’s bodies are icky).  I actually have everything backwards — I need to rock a nice Herve Leger to the gym and grocery store, and save the leggings for when I’m trying to seduce men at the bar or on a date.

Casual outfit for grabbing some groceries
Casual outfit for grabbing some groceries

I mean, what else would be the reason for Montana wanting to make leggings illegal?!  Not because the Representative Moore is a crazy asshole who wants to boss everyone around like tyrannical dictator!

In Soviet Russia, legging wear you. Also, look at the Olympic medal winning legging-slut.
Look at the Olympic medal winning legging wearing slut. Doesn’t she know children are watching?!

Walt Hill, who helped draft the bill, says “I want Montana to be known as a decent state where people can live within the security of laws and protect their children and associates from degrading and indecent practices.” Me, too!! Degrading and indecent practices of the government not making me get dolled up to go to the fucking grocery store.

Standard club attire in Montana
Standard club attire in Montana

So is everyone else using leggings as a way to seduce men and ruin children? Why am I always the last to know what’s going on? Can I run a black market legging shop if this goes through? And more importantly, can someone make a Butte, Montana pun out of this?

Drive a Camel, Evade a Rapist. Drive a Car, Rape Free For All.

Hello, ladies. Do you drive? Well, you better trade that Buick in for a camel!! According to Saudi historian Saleh al-Saadoon, while women used to ride camels, women can’t drive cars because the cars break down and then the women are raped. If you live outside of Saudi Arabia, you don’t care about being raped — the only thing that getting raped does to you is bring down your morale a bit. You know, like when you expect it to be sunny and it rains? Or when you want that special edition Red Bull in the yellow can, but 7-11 only has the regular kind? And your day just kind of sucks for a little bit.

Are you confused? Don’t worry, he goes on to tell us to listen to him “and get used to what society thinks, if [you] are really so out of touch with it.”

“But Manda,” you say, “what if the women are raped by the men who drive them around?!” Maybe you haven’t been paying attention, but obviously there is a solution for this: importing women drivers. “But wouldn’t this be a rapist’s dream?! Two women stuck in a broken down car, AKA a rape machine on useless wheels?!” Look, shut up — their rapists probably don’t do that. Also, sign me up. Sounds like a dream job.

This sums it up
This sums it up

Meet Adrian MacNair, Asshole of the Month

I read the worst article I have ever read the other day: Sympathy for the dog killer Paulsen by one dickwad Adrian MacNair. If you love animals, I’m sorry for what is about to happen to you. I can’t even write an introduction because I’m so consumed by my hatred of the fucking asshat that wrote the original article.

About 22 years ago, my wife and I adopted a dog from the Toronto Humane Society on a whim.

Ah, yes. This is how all tales of responsible dog ownership begin. “Being responsible for another life? YOLO! Why not!”

It was a yappy little three-year-old Shih Tzu who was territorially aggressive, impossible to walk and poorly house trained. We couldn’t leave her alone or she would bark incessantly for hours or destroy something in the apartment.

Hmmm. Who is responsible for training the dog? Oh, that’s right…you! Good thing you aren’t responsible for human life, since you seem like a total fucking failure of a dog owner and we’re only like 3 sentences in.

In 2001, with a myriad of health problems and an inability to hold her bladder or bowel movements any longer, we put her to sleep. It was sad at first, but we also had a newborn baby to care for at the time.

It was sad at first, but not really because whatever. Like, it was sad at first when grandma got dementia and stuff, but then I got a baby so who cares! Are you fucking incapable of feeling/doing more than one thing? All of the other responsible dog owner/ newborn producers think you suck, I took an official poll.

Although I enjoyed having a dog and I can understand how people get emotionally attached to their pets, I have to say that fatherhood changed my perspective on the human-animal hierarchy.

Oh, good. I knew it was coming — I’m a parent now, so I know everything.

For the most part, I think we tolerate the anthropomorphic projections that people place on their animal companions when they call them “babies” and say they “love” them. Well, I suppose a person can love anything, but there’s no love like that which we have for other people.

You know what’s funny? There’s no hatred like the one much of the world feels for you! Tell me more how I don’t know about love because I never pushed a human out of my vagina.

Which brings me to the point of this story. I felt sympathy for dog walker Emma Paulsen last week when I learned she was about to spend six months in prison for killing six dogs and then attempting to cover it up.

Go on….

I felt sympathy because Paulsen is going to lose her right to freedom over the death of six animals who, at the end of the day, are essentially inconsequential to this world.

HOLD UP. So if someone kills a human that is inconsequential to this world (i.e., most people), is it ok? Do they skip jail and go straight to collecting $200? Because, I hate to break it to you, if we aren’t counting others emotions (people are sad when pets die), then your kid will likely grow up to be nothing worthwhile, too. You’re more likely to grow up to be a serial killer than to cure cancer!

Oh yes, I’m sure the dogs were important to the dog owners. That much is clear. But they’re only dogs. And this is a woman’s life we’re talking about.

Ah, yes. Because she shouldn’t punished for her actions. It’s her life!!! It’s now or never!!! Do whatever!!!

Dogs are easily replaced. If you don’t think that’s true, head down to your local animal shelter. You can grab one for about $350.

Oh? Are babies easily replaced? Hey, kids just a name and is inconsequential — if you off it, just pop another out! Or adopt one!

The other thing about dogs? They only live for about eight to 10 years. Most people who live with dogs their entire lives can be expected to go through a dozen before they, too, meet the grim reaper.

I would love to see a statistic to back up how many dogs people plow through, but okay. If your kid dies at 10, whatever, just get another! If this is how you feel about dogs, the Toronto Humane Society needs a better screening process.

One of my favourite movies of all time, Old Yeller, is about a faithful golden lab who befriends a boy before getting bitten and becoming rabid. The owners do what any sensible owner would do. They shoot the dog and get a replacement.

Too soon to make a kid/measles joke?

I’m not condoning anything Paulsen did to those dogs. It’s certainly disturbing that she had such a big mental lapse and then tried to cover up evidence of her mistake. But at the end of the day that’s what happened. She made a mistake.

con·done
kənˈdōn/
verb
  1. accept and allow (behavior that is considered morally wrong or offensive) to continue.
    “the college cannot condone any behavior that involves illicit drugs”

So, actually, you kind of are condoning it.

The reason why we’re being punitive is pretty obvious. We’re crucifying her for killing North America’s version of the sacred cow.

This is so fucking stupid I cannot even make a response to it without insulting my own intelligence thinking about his sentence.

In other parts of the world, killing dogs isn’t so taboo. Some countries openly feast on dogs the same way we eat chickens. Other countries find dogs to be a nuisance, shooting strays in the streets. Still other countries find them unclean and refuse to come into any contact with them whatsoever.

And in some countries, babies are killed. Free for all, bitchesl!!!

The dog owners lost their animal companion and for that they deserved monetary compensation. A few thousand dollars could buy a pure-bred replacement from a top-notch breeder.

Ah, yes. Advocate for breeders now.

But much like this former dog owner came to realize, the dogs don’t make a difference in this world one way or another. We should be worrying about and caring for our fellow human beings.

Sure. Did you know that killing animals and not feeling empathy for them often comes before someone does crimes directed toward humans? No offense, but I hope you and your family get robbed at gunpoint by someone who used to kill dogs. Fuck this guy.

I'm not saying it's okay to harass her, but I am saying I'd peace out on my marriage if he was my SO.
I’m not saying it’s okay to harass her, but I am saying I’d peace out on my marriage if he was my SO.

Why I Chose to Now Wear Chaps and Bikini Tops

In response to Veronica Partridge, who is never wearing leggings again to help keep men from thinking she’s hot…but has no problem putting make up on her pretty face and styling her hair so nicely.

DISCLAIMER: Let me start off by saying, we all already know I am trying to steal your man with my boobies. It is not enough (I am accepting boob job donations). Today, I’m not telling you what to wear, I’m just sharing my personal story on why I’m ditching leggings for assless chaps and bikini tops.

For the past several months, I have been having a conviction weighing heavy on me. I tried to put it aside for as long as I could, but the other day a conversation came up and I had to face it. We were talking about leggings and how when women wear them, men look at them and think, “I wish I could see more.”

I went home later that day and shared the convictions I was having with a close female friend. Was it possible our wearing leggings could cause men, other than our spiritual partners, to think lustfully about our bodies? Her male roommate barged into our conversation and told us that when he sees women in leggings, he tries hard to not look but he can’t help it. “I wonder what it looks like without the taut fabric holding it together,” he told us. “That’s why leggings season is better than shorts season. Sometimes fat bitches or really skinny bitches look better than usual.” I suppose I could have been offended by his shitty way of talking about women, but instead I’ve decided to focus on how bad it must feel to think you’ve found some hot piece of ass that actually is just a saggy, gross ass held up by lululemon, or a flat ass that’s made to look bigger with patterned yoga pants. Surely, if one man says something, he speaks for all men! I cannot chastise them all. 

I instantly felt convictions come over me stronger. After talking to my friends, it really hit me hard. It’s difficult to imagine if someone has an attractive ass without the flattering workout gear over it, so imagine how disappointed these poor men must feel when they when they find out they’ve guessed wrong. Women, it is our duty to relieve men of all responsibility and to hold ourselves accountable for their transgressions.

I made a personal vow to myself. I will no longer wear thin, form fitting leggings. The only time it’s acceptable to wear them now (for myself) is in front of my boyfriend, because I’ve already trapped him into being mine. From now on, I will walk around wearing only chaps and bikini tops. Sure, if a man wants to look, he is going to look, but why entice him if it isn’t what he’s into? I don’t want any false advertising going on! Plus, if less men are attracted to me because my non-legging ass isn’t what they like, then that’s more men that I’m saving from ruining their marriages by lustfully staring at my full-on luon clad rear end.

I know you’re probably thinking that it makes more sense for me to wear baggy pants instead of yoga pants. I thought about that, but I’m not a hypocrite. I’m not willing to forgo going to the beach in a swimsuit or wearing shorts in the 120 degree Texas summer. I thought about wearing a full gown all year, even in the ocean, but the tan lines would be disappointing to my partner and myself (and I can’t afford the heat stroke bill).

I’m not trying to push my ridiculous, hypocritical agenda on anyone else — though I will gladly accept media appearances.

My last hurrah :(
My last hurrah :(

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DC Metro: Nah, I’d Rather Walk. Or Stay Home.

Despite the fact that Metro is the worst, people are constantly telling me that I’m too harsh. Of course, these people are usually tourists or non-commuters, who then tell me that the train worked just fine when they went to that one Nats game that one time, or how when they visited DC it was so easy to get the museums. These people are wrong. Metro is a poorly maintained, poorly run, and overpriced debacle. The small annoyances are so typical I barely think to complain about them: unheated or unbearably overheated cars, constant delays, trains that don’t show up, 19 minute waits for the train you need. The larger annoyances sometimes grab attention, but it takes a death to make a big splash. On Monday of this week, a yellow line train on the DC Metro stopped 800 feet from the station it had just departed and filled with smoke. Passengers sat in the increasingly hot train for about an hour, breathing in the smoke and being told to not open the doors. When paramedics finally showed up, one woman was dead and over 80 needed hospitalization. Monday was not an isolated incident; it was just an example of how inefficient and incompetent Metro is.

It is ridiculously expensive to take Metro for the quality of the service you get. Speaking as someone who frequently pays the extra money to take Amtrak to Alexandria instead of Metro, I’m fine paying more for efficiency.  Metro runs on a system that requires you swipe your card when boarding and then again when exiting, running prices on a sliding scale based on distance. To get from the heart of the city to Franconia-Springfield is $5.75; if it was my daily commute, that would total $16.35 for round trip and $4.85 parking (interestingly, the stations in Prince George’s County are $5.10 — despite being far less crowded). Doesn’t WMATA have a responsibility to make using Metro worth $16.35, or at least make Metro convenient enough that you’re fine leaving the comfort of your car? You’d think.

Dupont South, from http://unsuckdcmetro.blogspot.com/
Dupont South, from http://unsuckdcmetro.blogspot.com/

Paying $16.35 a day, would you expect to have to hike up 188 foot long escalator? If you’re a Washingtonian, the answer is “yes.” The DuPont South escalator is the worst. The escalators at all stations are constantly out, and sometimes the elevators are too. Are you disabled? Metro doesn’t appear to give a shit about you.

Maybe if you were one of the passengers stranded just steps from L’Enfant Plaza, you’d think that you were entitled to just get the hell out of the station once you were being evacuated.  Nope! I know it isn’t typically the most reliable source, but people reported on Twitter that they were still forced to scan their card and wait for the exit to open for each evacuee (the same person said she told the news and they didn’t report on it).

On Monday, the smoke in the train was caused by arcing.  While it produced a massive amount of smoke, it didn’t cause a fire. Of course, people on the train don’t know this. As usual, Metro didn’t tell the passengers the information they needed (and deserved) to know. The one thing they did communicate was to stay in the train — despite being only 800 feet from the station/freedom. Even though all of the emergency signs say to exit on the side of the tunnel where the lights are (away from the electric third rail), passengers weren’t allowed to exit, and the firefighters couldn’t figure out if the third rail was on or off to get to the victims. But this makes a lot more sense when you look at Metro’s Standard Operating Procedures and realize that….they don’t actually have a plan.

6.5.3.4.  If the Train Operator was not able to reverse from the heavy smoke, the ROCC Supervisor shall:  6.5.2.4.1. FUCKING PANIC
6.5.3.4. If the Train Operator was not able to reverse from the heavy smoke, the ROCC Supervisor shall:
6.5.3.4.1. ???????????????????????????

You’d think that Metro would put into their rules what they would do when there is a lot of smoke, since this isn’t a new problem.  According to WMATA, arcing insulators occur about twice a month, though IMO that number seems like it’s low. The day after the L’Enfant Plaza incident, sparks and smoke were reported at the Gallery Place stop. All locals remember in 2013, when a  Green Line train had a problem with arcing — and everyone was told to spend hours stuck in the trains, without power. Riders started to “rebel” by self evacuating. Not only did Metro not approve, they wondered if they could arrest people for freeing themselves. What. The. Fuck.

To be fair, “sit still and do as we say” is the only way Metro has to handle any situation. In July 2012 a train lost power and passengers were told to hang tight…on a 90 degree, muggy DC summer day. Not in a tunnel. While the passengers say they exited after being told to do so by the conductor, Metro claimed that passengers were responsible for being forced to sit so long. Even though the “rescue” train also lost power before the pax self evacuating, apparently the passengers were to blame.

Elevator repair: blocking off the elevator for 6 months and taking breaks.
Escalator repair: blocking off the escalator for 6 months and taking breaks.

Now the union representing the transit people is on Twitter, holding a Q&A…and getting an earful. They linked to a useful PDF about why we shouldn’t privatize the system because people will lose jobs.  In reality,  illiteracy, drug use, and prior convictions run rampant in the staff currently employed by the system…as does extreme overpayment. Anytime you’re interested in a good laugh (or cry), just search Twitter for #wmata so you can see the day’s misery. And remember: it’s DC, so if you’re an American…this is your tax dollars at work!

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SHOCKING NEWS: Jarrett Maupin, Untrained Civilian, Acts Like Untrained Civilian

This story of Jarrett Maupin going from activist to the other side has so many flaws I don’t even know where to start. I’m going to try, and if anyone has any answers…please, send them my way. I plan to write on this more in depth, but having just seen the footage back to back with the extended Tamir Rice video I’m way too angry to be articulate.

  • Can someone explain to me what the fuck an untrained person’s reaction to a police officer’s job has to do with anything? We don’t know if Maupin has ever even touched a gun before. If we’re taking cops and dumping them on the street with zero training, we have a problem.
  • If this half brained exercise makes anything resembling a point, it is only in an identical situation. Cops need to be held accountable for their actions and MANY of the fuck ups are not shooting someone running straight at you. Was the 2 year old who got hit by a flashbang grenade scary?
  • Maybe a better study would be putting a protestor next to the lifeless body of a 12 year old, giving him some handcuffs, and seeing if he handcuffs the child’s 14 year old sister for running over to her brother. Spoiler alert: most people probably fucking choose to not arrest sister.
  • Why is asking for accountability so scary? What do so many people have to hide? Keep on keepin on, NYPD.

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