Posted On: Wednesday - March 6th 2019 9:38AM MST
In Topics:   Humor  US Police State  Traffic Stupidity
Discussion of traffic rules, modern vs. older vehicles, and deaths of pedestrians by Artificial Stupidity in a recent Steve Sailer article - it's one of his many side interests - brought up a few thoughts for this post. Also, we have a new topic key, Traffic Stupidity. It's so hard to keep organized among the myriad flavors, if I may, of stupidity these days.
I was spending some time out in Seattle, Washington years ago. Things may be different today, with an influx in the Pacific Northwest of not only large amounts of immigrants, like everywhere, but also with the huge big-money influence of Amazon.com and other computer-tech giants, making for a different population.
At that time, however, I did notice that, as completely opposite from in the east-coast big cities, both drivers and pedestrians were very polite. I'd hardly ever hear a car honk the horn. You act like that in Boston, and the Massholes will figure there's something wrong with you, or you'll get a ticket for a non-working horn. The pedestrians were rule-following to a fault, a fault that I'll point out in a bit here.
As a pedestrian, I figure I'd walk across the street in downtown Seattle, it being one of the west-east (going up, well, then down later, and up again!) streets downtown, as it was a small one, and nobody was coming. I did indeed see that electrical red palm at the other side, but well, you can't spend your life letting electronics tell you what to do. Ahaaa! That's what I should have told the cop. Anyway, a very nice and polite cop came up to me as I reached the other side 50 ft away or so. "You know that was a red signal for pedestrians, right, sir?" (uh-oh, "sir" - I don't like the sound of that!) "Yes sir, but there was no one coming and ..." "It's jaywalking - how about you and I going back across, and you wait for the signal?" "Uh, yeah, but I'm going this way", I pointed to the north. "I can give you a ticket, or we can just walk back across." "Yeah, OK, lets head back."
I did have to keep an eye back for him until my destination, but it wasn't a big price to pay for avoiding the $50 or so. He was such a nice and polite guy, that was the thing, really, or I'd have given him a lecture about safety. "What could I tell him?", the reader may well ask.
When walking just a day or two later, I did wait for traffic, as this was the big 3-lane, one-way street going through downtown Seattle the long way (really NW to SE, parallel to Elliot Bay). It was busy, and I'm not stupid, just not particularly law-abiding. About 20 people built up there. As the light turned green, and that electrical box showed us the white outline of the dude crossing in some hurry, people just started moving. Well, I had to see behind one guy, and then look the other way (yeah, it was one-way, but still, it could have been ME coming - did that mistake once!) before I would step foot off the curb. However, an old lady at the front, with NO ABILITY WHATSOEVER to move quickly, took no look, either way, saw that white signal, and just stepped on into it ...
... no, were you waiting for description of a dead body ending up 20 ft in front of the bus? There was no bus, but yes, that could have happened, which is indeed my point today. The old lady has so much trust that this electronic signal to her was the be-all-to-end-all. Peak Stupidity usually rags on the younger people about this, but there's a different reason here. It's not like the old lady was really into electrical gadgets. It's just that her mindset had TOO MUCH RESPECT FOR AUTHORITAH, in ANY form.
On the one hand, the city of Seattle set up this sign to be obeyed. On the other hand, people run red lights and do all sorts of stupid stuff. Blindly following and trusting an electrical sign over your common sense and the stupidity of the population is no way to go through life,
Alright, I know you want to see some bus/pedestrian collisions, so this montage from the movies is pretty good. If nothing else, or you are short on time, at least go to 01:15 and see the scene from Ghost Town with Ricky Gervais (the British The Office boss). It's a good movie.