Friday, December 23, 2005

NOT "One of Us"

"This is not a topic I can seriously discuss with people who have little to no knowledge on the subject."

That was the topper to a discussion I had recently about the New York public transportation strike that just ended. The "serious" portion started with, 'I like how west is saying, "I'm not sure if this is such a great idea," when EVERY SINGLE New Yorker that's posted here disagrees.'

I admitted that I don't know New York well, but that keeping people from entering the city, more or less (crossing a bridge/entering a tunnel), unless they're four-to-a-car sounds like an idea that needs work, in my opinion. Apparently, since a couple of New Yorkers in the discussion disagree and feel that it's very likely NOT going to be unreasonably difficult for a significant number of people to function (getting to and from work, etc.) under those rules, I have to bow to their wisdom 100% and immediately shut my yap, except to make statements about how right they are.

Obviously, I disagree.

I'm not gay, but I have opinions about gay rights issues. I'm not a woman, but I've got opinions about situations that affect them. Similarly, I'm not going to let the fact that I'm not a New Yorker stop me from forming an opinion on matters that affect New Yorkers. My opinions are about as concrete as my information no the matter. In this case, my opinions are as limited as my information, HOWEVER...

There are certain things which are not exclusive to a particular group. When those types of factors are relevant to a situation, then not being a part of that group doesn't make one's opinion invalid or unworthy of serious discussion.

When we really get down to it, this is just another case of getting pissed and personal when someone dares to disagree. Too bad, really, because there are plenty of other people in this world, including other New Yorkers, who don't necessarily agree with whomever I may be talking to at a given time. Excuse me if I listen to ALL OF YOU instead of just whomever you WANT me to listen to.

I'd say it's a "rude New Yorker thing," but that's too simple, too easy, and likely, too inaccurate. It's just what a bunch of people do all day, every day.

To briefly wrap up my comments on the four-to-a-car thing: If someone's a longer-distance commuter, has a compact car, has few co-workers in the vicinity, or drives a doggone motorcycle, he or she still ought to have the right to get to and from work, pick up the kids, or whatever other important things they need to do. If the city can't support that many cars, then do what you have to do, at first, but tweak it as much as you can when you don't know how long the strike will last. In this case, it was three days, I think, but it could've been much worse.

Maybe if there hadn't been such conflicting reports about the remaining buses that were running, I might've agreed the opinions of others. As it stands, one minute I was being told the buses were down and the next I was told they weren't. In the end, it looked like they WERE down, but maybe buses from organizations based outside of the city or whatever were still running. That doesn't sound like a situation in which it'd be so easy for everyone to get where they need to be...

...and I don't need an NY accent to feel that way.


Jinx said...

I've actually never clicked your blog link before today, but I like what I see. If I remember, I'll definitely add you to my blogroll.


West said...

Thanks, jinx/pho.