Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pointless Open Thread - "All The World's A Stage..."

Maybe the rest of you do not have the pleasure of using public transportation on a daily basis. You don't know what you are missing. If you do, you will understand what I mean. Now, I have spent the better part of my adult life negotiating around "the huddled masses yearning" to just get from Point A to Point B with the least amount of interaction with my fellow man. It has only been in the last few years that I have had to suffer the indignity of using "the subway" to get there. But to be perfectly honest, I found it can be very entertaining. You would be amazed at what you can overhear, if you just put the smartphone or IPad aside and listen in on conversations.

Yes, I admit, I love to listen in on conversations. It is like that line from Shakespeare "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players..." I credit my years in the theatre for my love of listening. And sometimes you can hear the most amazing and absurd things. Things that can cause you to ponder questions that you never thought you would ever want to ponder.

Just the other day I was staring into space lost in my own thoughts about why I will have to pay 247% more for my employer-supplied health insurance that I was promised I wouldn't have to pay when I heard a woman exclaim "...and that's how they save gefilte fish!" My ears perked up! My first reaction was "Why? Why would someone need to do that? We could have been saved, but someone had to save it!" For those of you who have been to a traditional Passover Seder, you may understand. For those of you who have not, let's just say that the gefilte fish course of a traditional Passover seder is truly something to be missed. [Sorry, God, but haven't Jews suffered enough?] After my initial thought, I couldn't stop laughing. Frankly, I have been laughing for days now. I haven't been able to get it out of my head and I really wish that I could have heard the rest of that conversation.

Yeah, my health insurance is going up 247%, but that is beside the point. The point is that sometimes life can be wonderfully absurd if we just listen. But now all I can think about is why? No, not why my insurance is going up 247%, but why gefilte fish had to be saved? I think I will use it as a tagline for every conversation. So, if you have something to talk about today, the floor is open. If not, well, "that's how they save gefilte fish" should get you started!

29 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I have to admit that I used to enjoy riding the Metro in DC for the same reason. You got to see some crazy stuff and hear some of the strangest conversations. Good times. :)

Anonymous said...

When I lived up north, I enjoyed riding the subway. What can I say? I'm a geek for that stuff. Sometimes I look at this blog. It's written by a guy my age and it's all about transportation issues in the NY/NJ area.

Some of these people in the comments frighten me - hell, they know the model numbers of individual subway cars! But everyone needs a hobby. :-)

Living in Jersey City, I did NOT enjoy having to use the NJ lightrail to get to the PATH to then get to the subway. Three different modes of transportation, controlled by three different inept bureaucracies.

tryanmax said...

Chicago transit wasn't all that bad. I like the L and the buses are very reliable. I liked the extra 1/2 hour to read in the morning, rather than going to battle against my fellow road warriors. Maybe it's a different culture in Chicago, but being left alone wasn't generally a problem.

But why don't we just call public transit what it is: a way for evil white people to keep minorities working but not living in their lily-white neighborhoods and office towers. It's racism disguised as liberal beneficence!

Critch said...

What's the best bait to catch those gefilte fish?

AndrewPrice said...

gefilte worms

BevfromNYC said...

Critch - I don't think you actually need bait. It will come to you if you just put a bowl of red horseradish somewhere in the vicinity.

Andrew - So that's why it has that slimy worm taste! Okay, I have never actually eaten a worm, but gefilte fish is what I would think they would taste like without the mountain of horseradish.

BevfromNYC said...

Tryanmax - I love public transportation - there are distinct types - bus people and subway people. Bus people are a bit more relaxed. Subway people are always running and pushing and cranky. I do both, so I am cranky only most of the time. And it is very entertaining if you stay in the right frame of mind. People do and say the craziest things in public. Interestingly, I see very few altercations and I am amazed how NY'ers negotiate in crowds without constantly crashing into each other. You can always spot the native in a sea of tourists. They (we) are the ones who can get through the crowd without ever coming into to physical contact.

And you are right, the subway is a way to move poor people around underground so the rich people will not have to see them or interact too much. Unless you are a billionaire politician in need of a photo op. Buses are a bit more egalitarian. Even the wealthiest will take the cross-town bus and not consider it slumming.

BevfromNYC said...

ScottDS - There is blog for everything! The whole "trains, planes, and automobiles" aspect of getting around is why I live in Manhattan and fortunately I can. That is the plus side of rent stabilization. There are plusses to public transportation though - I have not had to own a car in 25 years - no car payments, no insurance, no fuel expenses, no maintenance. Of course there is no real savings either.

BevfromNYC said...

QUESTION - Would you consider this informational or "campaigning"?

LINK

Critch said...

I never use mass transit except when I fly occasionally. I've seen some strange and wonderful things out there. Have any sociologists ever studied the dynamics of mass transit? It would be interesting. When I was a kid in the early 60s my dad would put me on the Trailways bus in Poplar Bluff and I would ride to Memphis and my sister would pick me up.. It was interesting to say the least. I always marveled at the people who thought nothing of hopping on a bus and going cross country. Buslines are almost non-existent around here now..

Kit said...

I live in a small town where the only transit we have are 2 or 3 cabs. And unless you want to count the school buses that transport the students to school and back, that is it.

I used a subway when I visited to Boston for a family vacation.

But, really, I think the transit system I've used the most is the Walt Disney World monorail. Where you hear things like "Did you go on the Buzz lightyear ride?", "My daughter wants to go on the Little Mermaid", and "SI√ČNTATE!"

Tennessee Jed said...

Bev - there were many years I did my turn at strap hanging on the Philly subway/elevated. Eventually, I got to use the commuter train which was a little more uscale, and smelled a hell of a lot better. It is a sad state of affairs when 247% is beside the point, but I do get your thought train. Anyway, relative to saving gelfite fish, you can be glad you haven't had to experience ludefiske. (Unless, of course, you have experienced it, in which case there is no joy at all.)

OMMAG said...

Public transit ... been there ... but I'm retired now so I drive my F150 everywhere.

Fish .... put it in a jar outside and let it rot .... makes good fertilizer but smelly.

BevfromNYC said...

TennJ - I have heard about ludefiske. And none of it was positive except from Scandinavians...

Tennessee Jed said...

and the Scandinavians were lying, Bev .... on this you may rely.

BevfromNYC said...

OMMAG - Is a F150 a jet? Because if it was a jet, that would be really, really cool...fish rotting in a jar for fertilizer...not cool, man...not cool.

tryanmax said...

I've missed out on lutefisk, so far, but I do love me some lefse.

tryanmax said...

Bev, Good point about the subway moving the poor below ground. I mean, it's literally an underground railroad. Could the politicians in those big liberal cities possibly make the hate more obvious!?

BevfromNYC said...

I have never heard of "lefse", so I had to look it up. It's a potato version of a flatbread that one can find in any part of the world! It is just amazing to me how that works.

But I am guessing that putting your lutefisk on your lefse is probably a bad idea. Am I right?

AndrewPrice said...

You know what else I liked? I used to like the trains in Europe before they went all modern and ergonomic (translation: highly uncomfortable plastic).

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, the Michael Sam thing is going very wrong. He agreed to do a reality TV show for Oprah and that is creating a real backlash. Check out these quotes from former advocates:

Deadspin (a news/rumor/snark site that played him up):

He is another packaged product being sold to us at heavy markup - commodified smarm at best, and at worst something downright cynical, something that leverages real emotions in service of a marketing strategy. No one wants to find out that Lou Gehrig's farewell speech was copywritten by a dude at Pfizer.

Black racist ESPN columnist Jason Whitlock (and support of Sam):

It all feels orchestrated now: the draft-day kiss; the cake-covered face; the tears; the celebration that conveniently captured just Sam, his boyfriend and his two agents; and even the "Stand with Sam" T-shirts selling onmichaelsam.com.

Who knew a reality TV show was being filmed? Who knew Sam's agents (Cameron Weiss and Joe Barkett) and publicist (Howard Bragman) had cut deals to be producers on the reality TV show?

This is all scripted and amateur. And devious, too.


Whoops.

Anthony said...

Predictably, Stacey Dash's conversion to conservatism has resulted in a steady job. I'm surprised it took so long.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/15/stacey-dash-fox-news_n_5330954.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices&ir=Black%20Voices

The "Clueless" star made headlines for her political stance after endorsing Mitt Romney on Twitter during the 2012 presidential election. She received a heap of backlash following the declaration.
----------
Just to be clear, I don't doubt her sincerity, I just think the whole thing is kind of funny.

Anthony said...

God help me, I actually found myself in agreement with Ann Coulter on something. Not so much the abortion stuff (I am anti-abortion, but I think that is a problem that can be solved only by turning woman against it, not by making it impossible with onerous regulation or outright bans) but her stance on the death penalty opponents who are trying to use the botched executions.

http://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2014/05/14/death-penalty-opponents-have-i-got-a-deal-for-you-n1838257

Manifestly, these death penalty hysterics do not care about the victims of crime. But they don't really care about the killers, either. Their only objective is to increase their self-esteem.

This is why liberal arguments against the death penalty are always circular. It's not about logic; it's about their conception of themselves.

tryanmax said...

Anthony, even a broken clock... Coulter nails it on the self-conception bit.

I will add that, besides turning women against abortion, there has been a fair bit of success in regulating/limiting abortion on the basis of making the procedure safer. Whether true or not, it's anti-abortion types using pro-abortion rhetoric against itself. No one is against safety or making things safer. And thanks to Kermit Gosnell, the standalone abortion clinic is the new back-alley. Irony is my favorite flavor.

Critch said...

I'm with Ann, firing squads or hanging..both are effective. Make the executions PPV and use the proceeds for the various victims' funds that states have. You would be surprised how many people would tune in. The funny thing is that I'm not vehemently pro-death penalty, however, this waste of air is why I don't protest it either. He was a bad boy from the get go and only due to a bunch of do-gooder lawyers was he allowed to steal oxygen from the rest of the world.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I'm going to talk a bit about the death penalty stuff next week because it's another perfect example of an area where the left keeps pushing, but they've lost the public and their pushing is futile.

Kit said...

Ann Coulter made a good point, many of those moaning about the botched execution exclude certain details about the crime that resulted in Oklahoma handing down the death sentence.

Critch said...

Since this is an open thread......the wife and I went to see Godzilla this afternoon.....not a bad movie all in all..but the big guy was always more fun when he was stomping Tokyo....the San Franciscans just stand there...I guess when Jerry Brown is your governor nothing surprises you...

LL said...

Godzilla attacked San Francisco? That's very out of character.

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