Umbrage From Huge Geek
In his review of Watchmen, Duncan Shepherd wrote that calling the book from which it was adapted “the most celebrated graphic novel of all time” earned about as much weight as being designated ‘ “the most celebrated reality-TV show’ or ‘most celebrated MMA fighter.’ ” In so many words.
As a huge geek, I take umbrage at that. He’s clearly trying to disparage an art form of which — and I’m guessing here — he has a very limited understanding. I’m not exactly sure what Mr. Fancypants Movie Reviewer has against comics, but I will say this: calling Watchmen “the most celebrated graphic novel of all time” is kind of like calling Duncan Shepherd the most celebrated pretentious windbag of all time. Suck it.
I Actually Read It
I was surfing through the Reader the other day and came across an article on marbles (“Marbles,” Feature Story, March 12). A little strange, so I figured I’d give it a chance, maybe read a paragraph or two. I read the whole thing — great stuff! I really enjoyed the narrative, and I liked how the author mentioned Zang’s parents’ ordeal but didn’t hit the reader over the head with it. This was a great article about the types of personalities and stories that make San Diego so eclectic and such a great place to live. Thanks for an article that I can’t believe I read but enjoyed thoroughly. I thought it was really well crafted.
Master-Planned Bad Transit
In regards to Mr. Ollie’s article on public transportation (“Waste time. Save money. Ride the bus!” Cover Story, March 5), I have a few points for both your readers as well as for Mr. Ollie to ponder about our public transport system. I have been using transportation in both the Metropolitan Transit System and the North County Transit District since 1987 (first out of necessity and later out of better economics), and I can assure you of this, any place south of the Grapevine is not meant to be public-transit friendly, let alone by bike or shank’s mare.
Southern California was and is automobile dependent for one reason — planning! That is why SoCal has such an abundance of freeways, sigalerts, and unbreathable air quality. The master planning for Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties did not take into consideration the fact that public transportation would become needed after a few decades.
Second: the “snobbism” factor. Many folks out there regard public transport (bus, light rail, trolley, passenger trains in the Metrolink and Coaster modes) as somehow lowbrow and low class. However, the gas crisis of 2008 proved that some of those who were not too happy about using public transportation just sucked it up, paid their fare, and got from here to there!
Third: the quality-of-fellow-passengers ruse. Certainly you won’t run into a T. Boone Pickens, Jeff Skilling, or Bill Gates on MTS or NCTD. However, try to remember that your fellow riders share one big trait with you — we’re all human beings! If you do not wish to talk to anybody, just ask them to let you be, but do it politely.
Fourth: at the end of the screed, you implied that riding public transport wastes time and saves money. And that you would follow the example of the brain-dead twit who would rather drive uninsured and unlicensed (and probably unregistered as well). Sounds to me, Mr. Ollie, that you are unwilling to make use of public transport because waiting to board the needed bus or rail transport is a waste of time.
In case you have not figured it out yet, Bubba, public transportation is not an on-demand service. The routes (and waiting times) are set to provide maximum income for the transit authority–in–charge (be it MTS or NCTD). So you have to wait a bit of time for your ride. Big deal! Think of it as a learning experience — on time-budgeting skills.
A savvy rider knows the routes well enough to plan ahead accordingly. That is why there are updates about routing, fares, and the like published as needed. A savvy rider grabs the latest flier (or schedule book), takes it home, and plans accordingly! You can also use 511 to plan out your trip (a very good deal, since the call is free).
It sure beats the living cheese, costwise and esteemwise, out of fines, restitution, and jail time for continuing to drive without documentation. Your little lady friend, Mr. Ollie, might be looking at a few months at Las Colinas if she doesn’t get with the program. She is not to be emulated but avoided!
I’ve ridden NCTD and MTS since 1987, and believe me, the money I still save even today pays for my regional SDM (seniors, disabled, and Medicare) pass sevenfold and more by year’s end. Certainly I’d love to have my own wheels, but that will come in time.
Your little screed, Mr. Ollie, did nobody any favors, except those who would love nothing better than to rid San Diego County of public transportation altogether! Come see me after you’ve ridden MTS, NCTD, and taxicabs (with no cheating by driving wondertruck Lucille) for one year straight, Mr. Ollie; then we can talk.
Until then, don’t tell me that by riding public transport I’ve joined the chump crowd. At least I can get to my destinations far better than you can, and for much less cash as well!
Robert K. Johnston
On the cold winter morning of Monday, March 9, while I was watching ESPN’S SportsCenter, a TV ad for San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) aired (“Waste time. Save money. Ride the bus!” March 5). Later, while sitting on a milk crate at my bus stop, I was thinking that MTS’s TV ad money hasn’t increased transit usage (fuel prices do) but has been used to silence San Diego’s TV and print media about the abuses in funding that people who ride the transit suffer under. The main abuse being that San Diego’s MTS and Sandag and North County’s NCTD should merge.