Nerve Shattering Hell-Ride: My Commute

I take Wednesdays as a Work From Home (WFH) day because I work in the Denver Tech Center (way down south); but live in Broomfield (way up north). I must do so, because to go to work all 5 work days is driving me bonkers.

I spend about 3 hours every day on the road. That is no shit– 3 hours. On a good day I can put in 9 hours at work (I am a consultant, paid hourly), which means that I am effectively paid 25% less than the hours I actually work each day (that’s still WAY more than I was paid at the last startup I worked for– startups are a scam, and the last one I toiled under was run by greedy, hypocritical, cowardly, narcissistic imbeciles; but that’s another story).

Driving with what I can only assume are my fellow human beings in Denver traffic largely appeals to the homicidal side of my nature. Driving on the freeways here is a game of inches played by idiots. I don’t necessarily excuse myself from that categorization; but there are idiots who are just there and then there are idiots who think that weaving in and out of traffic will let them arrive vastly ahead of their fellow commuters.

There’s something that I observe every day. I call it the ‘ambient speed’ of the road. If you look beyond the car immediately in front of you and the cars in the adjacent lanes, you’ll notice that they are going a certain speed. That velocity may be 70 MPH or 20 MPH; but it is pretty much the speed that the cars on the road are moving– and, in actuality, the maximum speed anyone on that road can go.

Sure, you could try to dodge back and forth to gain a car-length here and there (and so many people certainly do); but you won’t get very far.

I constantly see people who jocky for better position getting maybe 100 yards ahead over a 20 mile stretch of road, often winding up only 2 or 3 places ahead of me when we both pull off at the same exit. They don’t appear to notice that all that effort got them nothing. In fact, they have caused traffic to be much worse with their maneuverings– they squeeze in front of other drivers causing them to hit their brakes often causing freeway traffic to come to a complete stop. They are completely oblivious to their part in causing a perfectly good freeway to come to a standstill.

Stupidity is not a sin. You can’t help it if you are incapable of learning anything (essentially, that is what stupidity is). Ignorance (lack of knowledge without the luxury of being stupid and therefore incapable of learning) is also not a sin– you can’t help it if you never get the opportunity to learn something. Ignorance is a sin, however, if it is willful– it may be the worst one.

If you choose to be benighted, like climate-change deniers, fracking advocates, gun nuts, Republicans, Democrats, Kansans, Supreme Court Justices, truthers, birthers, Beyonce fans, Dick Cheney, etc.– that is a sin. If you can become enlightened by learning something, seeking out the truth; but choose not to out of prejudice, stubbornness, contrariness, or just plain sheer cussedness then that is a sin.

By sin, I mean it is wrong– you won’t spend eternity in hell, only the remainder of your life.

I can forgive many people on the road because, by and large, they don’t appear to look around themselves at the state of their commute and their recurring part in it and learn how to improve their driving habits– they must therefore be stupid. They are utterly incapable of becoming better drivers because they lack the perceptual and cognitive leverage to learn.

Forgive them, Father, for they know not their asses from their elbows.

The worst drivers on the road:

  1. People who drive nice cars. I postulate that there is a direct correlation between the perceived value of the automobile driven and the prickishness of the man or woman driving it. I do not infer the cause or effect– it may be that owning a Mercedes, BMW, Land Rover, etc. triggers the absolute assholiness of which I speak or absolute dipshits crave such vehicles; but the nicer the car the bigger the asshole driving it. I can only say that if you allow yourself to be defined by the car you drive, you are truly a pitiful person– it’s a chunk of metal that gets you from one place to another, for Christ’s sake. There is hardly a difference between a Ferrari and a SMART car, unless you have the value system of 14 year old.
  2. Men with small penises. These men drive “compensators”– big trucks and SUVs that reflect their teensy male members.
  3. Old broads. Maybe it’s sexual frustration, bitterness at being left by their partner of many years for a more spritely and nubile alternative (male or female), or maybe they are all former nuns who never got any from Jesus; but older women are bitter, bitter, bitter drivers filled with frustration and vile rancor of an extremely poisonous level and nature.
  4. People who paid too much for the cars they drive. Each of the following “marquee” car makes is actually paying about 20 thousand dollars too much for their car, when they could be driving the less expensive and equivalent automobile made by the same manufacturer:
    • Lexus, I’ve determined is Japanese for “a Toyota you paid too much for.”
    • Likewise, Infinity is Japanese for “a Nissan you paid too much for.”
    • Acura is, of course, Japanese for “a Honda you paid too much for.”
    • and Audi is German for “a Volkswagon you paid too much for”; but then even Volkswagons cost too much all by themselves.
  5. Volkswagon drivers. I have no idea why people who drive Volkswagons are such bad drivers, but for such an inexpensive run-of-the-mill automobile, its drivers are disproportionately terrible in their driving habits. I think it has something to do with the fact that the ideal marketing targets for VWs are the same ignorami that purchase CrApple products– in fact, I often cannot tell whether the product being pushed in a VW commercial is a car or a CrApple product or vice versa. Smugness always leads to bad driving, and there is nothing more smug than a CrApple aficionado. Fahrfergnugen is German for “driving dastardliness.”

Calm The Fuck Down! Re-fucking-lax! You’ll get there.

So many people also believe they are snowflakes– unique, irreplaceable centers of wonderfullishness whose absence will leave the world a bereft, bankrupt and lonely desolation. They are special, and exceptions to rules must be made to accommodate them. Everybody else should just get the fuck out of their way and let them get to work, because, goddammit, they are important.

Fuck you and me.

This attitude, if anything is what will certainly doom humanity– not that there are such people at all, for they have always been and always will be around; but that there are so many of them. With so many people thinking that it’s going to be ok for them to squeeze just one more little erg out of the world like some slice of lemon, something has got to give. Unfortunately, what is giving is the environment, our economy, our sanity– us.

I read an editorial this morning bemoaning the fact that so many people spoke out to save the dog of the nurse who died of Ebola in Spain; but very few people were taking action to address the plight of humans suffering from that disease.

But, when was the last time you saw a dog acting like a complete shit?

When was the last time you saw a person acting like a complete shit?

Did you hope for them to experience a downfall, a comeuppance or misfortune? Of course you did– you’re only lying to yourself if you say otherwise.

We are all sick of our fellow human beings. There’s just too many of us acting like assholes for our sense of humanity towards our fellow human beings to will out. Sure, we love individuals– people whom we know and care for. Everyone else? No so much.

Stalin once said that the death of a single person was a tragedy; but the death of a million people was a statistic.

I think that there are an awful lot of people who, although they won’t admit it, are willing and maybe even happy to see multiple megadeaths of their fellow human beings– as long as it is not they or their loved ones who die.

The strain, the pressure of so many of us constantly pushing the limits of our world beyond all its capacities makes us numb to mass death of “others”.

We can’t all be important. You want to know how I know this? Because I know I’m not important, and as Descartes says: Cogito ergo sum– I think therefore I am. I believe that other people exist, I really do; but I have no proof of it.

So, I take it easy on the freeway. I put some space in between my car and the person in front of me. Instead of flipping off people who are assholes to me, I usually applaud them– honestly, it takes a lot of talent to pull off some of the stunts they do and not everybody can put together a video to post on YouTube demonstrating their utter stupidity.

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