Flutterby™! : and the silicon chip inside her head...

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

and the silicon chip inside her head...

2010-04-19 17:03:51.776733+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

Went down to Fresno this weekend to visit Charlene's family. The original plan was that I'd take the train home yesterday evening, but on Friday afternoon I took out my wallet to buy my ticket, printed out the receipt with the magic codes on it, but left my wallet sitting in front of my monitor. So, come Sunday, Amtrak wouldn't let me on the train without ID.

I could fly (granted I'd have to spend some extra time in interview and search, but I could), but they wouldn't let me on a train. Apparently they were concerned that I'd hijack it and drive it into a building or something.

Amtrak sucks. But what sucks more is that the terrorists really have won. I grew up with stories of the Soviets and needing papers to travel and having regular identity checks and... well... we've got that. People can complain all they want about taxes and government services turning us socialist, but the real thing we've gotten in common with the Soviet system is a huge bureaucratic infrastructure dedicated to bullshit paperwork.

So Charlene's arranged to borrow cars while she's down there, I drove back last night, and will drive down next Friday to pick her up, then we'll race back early Saturday morning to catch the Butter & Eggs day festivities (Freudian slip: Originally typed "Bugger & Eggs", and, no, really, I don't want to know).

Expecting that I'd have some time to do some code hacking on the train, I didn't bring my MP3 player, so on the drive back I was listening to To The Best of Our Knowledge (and various Christian stations, this is the Central Valley after all, but after I heard Senator Orrin Hatch pressure Attorney General Eric Holder to ignore that pesky First Amendment, my blood pressure was too high to continue there). Among other segments, they had an interview with New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis. Writing up a full critique would require reading more of her stuff, which I'm unwilling to do, but: wow. Reinforces my notion that the NYT publishes writers who use long words without knowing what they mean in order to impress readers who don't know what they mean either.

[ related topics: Politics moron Sociology Writing Law Civil Liberties Pop Culture Trains Public Transportation Government ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2010-04-20 10:45:35.739414+00 by: DaveP

I traveled behind the iron curtain, and we're not quite there yet. But we're closing in fast.

I don't think it's (just) the terrorists, though. The first "Papieren, bitte" moment I recall is when looking for employment, when the I-9 came in in 1986 to protect us from immigrants "stealing our jobs." We were already on this path even before the iron curtain fell.