I know I’m supposed to be fasting from the internet, and yeah, I’ll get back to that in a second, but right now, a girl’s got to rant.
You know, I don’t drive much. I don’t even leave the house much. But sometimes I have to go out, and sometimes I even need to gas up the car, but since I do it infrequently, I’m not always aware of the gas prices.
So, imagine my surprise when I went to my favorite gas station and found “regular” gas running at 4.19 per gallon. Yeah, even higher than that picture!
Yes, I was shocked, and while I pumped my $40 worth, I chatted with the fellow on the other side of the aisle who was watching the digit-counters while shaking his head.
“I hadn’t realized gas had gotten so expensive,” I said.
“You live on Mars?” he asked.
“Well, you know, I’m not even seeing it being reported on in the headlines,” I answered. “I just lost track.”
“That’s true,” he said, as though it was a new awareness. “Usually there are news reports…”
Yeah, there are. Pulling away with my not-full tank of gas, I considered the media silence on these high gas prices, and I began to get mad. Once upon a time — and not that long ago — high gas prices were leading stories on nightly news programs. Grim-faced anchors introduced stories of family budgets becoming strained; earnest reporters shoved microphones into the faces of working people and asked whether they were having to make hard choices. It was all very solemn and serious. People were choosing between food and fuel, and winter was coming, and home-heating oil would likely be sky-high, too, and we all knew whose fault it was, didn’t we?
But now, with gas at $4.19 — higher, near the expressway — here in New York? Not a whisper. Not a headline.
Gosh, if only Mitt Romney had “big oil” pals. We’d hear about this story every night, and I wouldn’t have been so surprised, today.
Driving home, I noticed a transit bus just crammed with people.
Now, this is the place where for decades “mass transit” has meant packed cars on the Long Island Rail Road and near-empty buses burping black smoke into the suburban sky. But I suppose a $2.00 fare is more affordable for many than a $60-70 fill-up for the car. It must be so for “many” because the bus I saw was stuffed.
Perhaps some see this as a net-positive: high gas prices means more people taking mass transit, ergo, a cleaner world for you and me. Obama did say he wanted a gradual price increase for the sake of Gaia, or something, right? So, yip-yip; we’re all poorer, but at least the planet is saved!
Or, is it? Over the weekend I heard about one Earth-loving member of the beau monde who — faced with the possibility of falling short on the vital-and-necessary rosé before Labor Day — arranged for a same-day transport of vino, from somewhere-in-Manhattan to somewhere-in-Southampton at an unusually high cost, both in dollars and fuel. Thus was a crisis averted during the Great Hamptons Rosé Shortage of 2012; our hero(ine) was able to offer a serviceable wine at the end-of-summer bash, with no loss of face.
Thank heavens for all those little people suffocating on the buses; their unselfish sacrifices probably rendered the rosé travel excesses a net-zero on the carbon-meter.
As Glenn Reynolds would say, I don’t want to hear another damn word about my carbon footprint. Not when people are so unwilling to suffer a day’s red or white wine that they’ll injure our planet with outsized fuel emissions!
So, high gas prices are only newsworthy when they are also politically expedient? High carbon footprints only matter when it’s the ordinary folks making them? Why should I be listening to the mainstream media, again?
And by the way, you Chicago teachers? Job-protected and pretty well compensated as you are, while the kids can’t read? You seriously want sympathy because you’ve only been offered a 16% increase over four years? And great benefits? Yeah, cry me a river, sweethearts. We’re talking four-years-no-raises over here and those I know who have gotten raises — besides my teacher friends — have considered a 2% increase to be a blessing. Go home. Do your damn jobs and stop complaining; if I were in charge, I’d fire your asses, and I bet my union-member parents would be cheering me on from their graves as I did it.
One of my best pals is now a teacher, and I love her dearly, but it is truly odd how we evolve: back when we were young, and Reagan fired the air-traffic controllers, I was the horrified Democrat and she was the triumphant Republican. Now we’re both independents, but we avoid the subject of politics, altogether. This is called “progress.”
Just for the heck of it, I looked for news about gas prices and found these two: Gas Prices Rise Less Than a Penny. Prices are going to go down all on their own. Goooood neeews! I do so appreciate it when the press puts a positive face on things!
Back to my internet-fasting. Do stop in each day, as I have posts scheduled!
UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds linked. Thanks, Glenn!