I used to get really annoyed with the environmentalists at Stanford. I love the environment, especially because my people are disproportionately affected by failures to regulate (see ENTIRE CITY OF OAKLAND), and we benefit from better public transportation and efficiency. I started to hate them because they kept telling me how proud of themselves they were for driving a fuel efficient car and turning off the lights. That sounds like just being poor to me. Because we can’t really afford to waste anything. So I was less than impressed.
Every time I have to travel to the Peninsula someone has to listen to my Caltrain rant. This usually happens on a rotating basis and some people have to listen to more involved speeches than others because I code-switch based on my audience. But it does happen every single time. There is as far as I can tell, and I have talked to several people, no logical reason in the world why Caltrain exists and why BART doesn’t just go down to San Jose. Its not cheaper, more efficient, or more eco-friendly. It doesn’t hold more people. It doesn’t to places BART can’t go. It runs at times that seem to be appallingly inconvenient for me.
It is however, a very pleasant train ride, and it does by-pass every area of poverty. I knew something fishy was up when I started taking it. I am a pretty big fan of BART. It’s efficient and cheap, and convenient and I love how you see all walks of life and everyone feels like they are all in it together. This weekend I saw a really cute junior high couple and I gave them my seat so they could sit together. Playing match maker with perfect strangers and winging very polite little boys is my idea of a perfect Saturday afternoon.
So, being that I am a history major I started asking around and looking through the archives. Apparently BART doesn’t go down to San Jose because certain neighborhoods (and you can guess which ones) keep blocking it because they are concerned about bringing the “East Bay” element in. So basically there is no real public transportation for the people that all of us Stanford kiddos build our wealth on the backs of because the people of Atherton are bigots. Everytime I get on Caltrain I think about how evil that is and then I feel like I am supporting evil.
Did that sound harsh? Yes. Well, I meant it. It’s also true. So I am instituting a new policy. If you really are conscious and consider yourself an environmentalist or someone who actually wants to make the world a better place you have to stop defending Caltrain and start advocating for BART. Every time I have that discussion with someone who self-identifies in either of those two categories they don’t like it when I say that, and then I call them a hypocrite to their face and then I can’t return to Kairos or the Dead houses until I get invited back by someone who finds my antics highly entertaining.
I have a personal, and very strictly enforced policy about lying. I don’t do it. I would rather not hang out with the majority of people than to have to pretend like these policies and practices that are clearly built to screw the poor who built the Bay are somehow justifiable. I hate hypocrites. I don’t intend on becoming one. I implore you to choose likewise.
Thanks to everyone who continues to have to hear this rant every time.