Archive for Public Transport

Winter – A Time To Share Sickness.

Posted in Random Shit That Gives Me The Cunt with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2008 by Buck Frain

So this is winter. Winter started two days ago and already it feels like there has never been anything else. Miserable bastard cold that soaks into your bones but that you feel guilty whinging about unless you’ve never been to a country where they have a real winter. Melbourne winter sucks, but if you were English and looked at the technical specifications you’d think of it as a rather mild summer. Of course, if you were Canadian you’d just laugh in my face or beat me with an ice hockey stick for even suggesting that we have a winter.

Aside from the bed-inertia that comes over me in winter, I don’t mind it. Except for sickness. Naturally, I don’t like getting sick myself, but other people’s sickness is what is truly detestable, and the beginning of the season it seems everyone gets something. Public transport becomes a disease swap-meet – sniffles, sneezes and coughs all on offer, the freshest and latest bacterial and viral concoctions, some oldies and some newies so resistant to modern treatments you’ll get comments back from the pathology lab doing your blood tests, or maybe even a personal letter from Kofi Annan suggesting you let weapons inspectors into your lungs.

Seriously, what the biologically-terrorising fuck is wrong with people? On the train this morning most of the diseased commuters were politely mopping their sniffles with tissues or covering their mouths to cough, except the middle-aged gentleman opposite me. Sitting there reading a book, not attempting to cover the occasional coughs that burst from him. The first cough surprised me and I realised I was in some danger of infection, but it was just one cough and, hell, maybe it crept up on him, maybe he was just too embarrassed to apologise for it. No. A few minutes later a little double cough, again no reaction. The fucker was doing it deliberately. He just didn’t give a fuck about anyone else. He could turn the pages of his book OK, so his fucking arms worked fine, maybe he was just so pissed of about being ill that he thought he’d take it out on the rest of the train. Maybe his head was so far up his own arse that the idea of other people hadn’t occurred to him at all. It was at this point I realised my circulation was fine, all of a sudden I was warm, even starting to sweat a little.

The third cough came. Again, this selfish fucker did nothing to cover his filthy diseased mouth. Excuse me, I said, would you cover your mouth when you cough please? He stared blankly at me. Did he not understand? You were coughing. Could you cover your mouth when you cough?, I restated. I was pretty happy with my composure, I was Mr Calmly-Assertive and I felt the few commuters aware of our interaction were probably understanding where I was coming from. Still, he met me with a blank stare and then went back to reading.

OK, don’t lose your mind. Maybe he’s got the message. Maybe he feels humiliated to be coached on cold etiquette on public transport and at his age. Let it go.

Again! He fucking coughed again! Didn’t cover it – cunt! HEY!!!, Now I had his attention, and pretty much everyone in the carriage had turned to see what was going on, but there was no way of bringing my tone down to a more intimate level. If you’ve got to cough, cover your fuckin’ mouth! Do you understand me? I’ve asked you nicely, now stop coughing in my fucking face. He was just staring at me. He went to return to his book again. HEY! I’m fucking talking to you! You’re sick. I don’t want your cold, so cover your mouth. Do you fucking understand? DON’T COUGH IN MY FACE! He was well aware that he was in trouble, he knew the game was up, but a nervous cough escaped him and he didn’t raise a hand. That was when I lost my mind. I leapt forward and placing one hand behind him onto the back of his head, I clamped my other hand over his mouth and screamed into his eyes: COVER YOUR FUCKING MOUTH, YOU DISEASED CUNT! PEOPLE HAVE TO LIVE AND WORK, THEY DON’T WANT YOUR FUCKING SICKNESS. COVER YOUR SHITTY MOUTH WHEN YOU COUGH OR STAY THE FUCK HOME! I SEE YOU NOT COVER YOUR MOUTH AGAIN, I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU!!!

I had been shaking his head on every syllable. In his eyes was sheer mortal terror. I let him go. Everyone was looking at the madman. That was me. Ooh. I had just threatened a man’s life. On a packed train. Step away from the scared man. Nothing to see here. The train pulled into a station, not mine, I got off anyway. I waited for the next train.

I feel extremely stupid and ashamed, and I’m jumping at every little sound because I’m expecting it to be the police come to cart me away. I’m not a violent person, I’m not a crazed, militant, vigilante type, and I didn’t hurt the man. Despite what you may think from what you read here, I don’t put my hands on people, I’m all talk. I just hate bad manners and I really hope if I ever see the coughing man again that he just doesn’t cough in my face. I don’t think I’d go well in prison.

Self-absorbedness & The Illusion Of Public Solitude.

Posted in Random Shit That Gives Me The Cunt with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2008 by Buck Frain

Congratulations, you have a mobile phone! Ooh, it’s exciting, it takes photos and plays .mp3s, you must be really proud.

I understand that new technology is exciting. I too have a great love of toys and gadgets. But, I do not try out all of my 57 new ringtones in public. I don’t play music out of my phone on its piss-weak speaker at its tinny top volume in the middle of a crowded tram. I don’t do this because I recognise that I live in a society with a bunch of other people, some of whom may not share my taste in complete banality. I don’t do it because I’m not a complete fuck-waste. I mean really, you fucking bogan, put the fucking phone away. I don’t want to hear your shit music. I especially don’t want to hear it on public transport through a pissy phone that was never designed to be used as a public address system. Who the fuck are these people? This genetic underclass, they are who I picture when Marx (no, not Richard, cunt!) describes the lumpenproletariat, they are social scum. Fuck me, it’s Deliverance in a tracksuit and with an ice habit! Did you actually originate from a sexual act or did your obese, inbred mum pick you up from a deranged alcoholic’s wank-splatter on a public toilet seat? I just want to grab their fucking phones and hurl them out the tram window. Fuck it, why stop with the phone? GORMLESS CUNTS!

Slightly above these fuckers on the genetic inferiority scale are the shitbirds who have really loud phone conversations on public transport. These people can look quite normal, even respectable but because they can’t hear the person they’re talking to very well, they assume that they also can’t be heard, so on a quiet train carriage, they yell their conversation so everyone onboard hears it whether they want to or not. It could be business or the most personal shit in the world but they’ll just crap on like they’re alone. I fucking hate it. It really fucks with me, I don’t want that kind of intimate knowledge of a stranger’s life. It’s like some an unsolicited spiritual fingering, it’s fucking disgusting, mind-raping bastards! The only retaliation I have found is to offer the offender my opinion on their conversation after it’s over. Now that really fucks with them, they get really shitty. You know, it could be Hep C, was Sharon in jail? Or: He’s fucking you, man, if you pay more than $1500 you’re totally getting done! It’s amazing how they suddenly think I’m the bad guy. The whole carriage may be trying not to laugh because they all got the same shit as me, but no, to the freak, I’m the evil eaves-dropper. IT’S A TRAIN, YOU FUCKHEAD – YOU’RE NOT ALONE!!!

Of course, you don’t have to use a mobile phone to be an obnoxious PT passenger. There are plenty of fuckstains who can’t help projecting their conversation to the entire carriage when the other person’s sitting next to them. Are they drunk? Are they deaf? Are they actors? Are they just teenagers who haven’t been sufficiently beaten-down so they realise they’re not alone on the planet? Could be any or all, one thing’s for sure: They’re annoying bastards and fuck me dead if I don’t want to hack off their heads with a ripped-open Coke can.

In conclusion, if like me you use public transport, please: read a book, listen to your iPod, even have a quiet chat, but for fuck’s sake remember there are people around you. People who tolerate your presence only because you respect theirs and because they don’t want to go to prison for silencing you with a pen Joe-Pesci-style. Just because you have your head up your arse doesn’t mean the rest of the world ceases to exist, you’re not invisible! There is no “privacy” in public and just because you don’t care about other people doesn’t mean you can’t piss us off. If you push us too hard, if you play your shit music, if you shout to your mum about your herpes, one day… we’ll crack and we’ll choose prison. Why? Because it’s QUIETER!!! Ask yourself whether that Gwen Stefani track is really worth bleeding to death in a tram for!

Connex – Making Money From Alienation And Violence

Posted in Rage Against The Machine with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2008 by Buck Frain

What the cunting Jesus do Connex think they’re playing at? According to this article in The Age last weekend, a group of their Authorised Officers (AO’s) have hospitalised a man who had a valid ticket and concession card because he refused to give them more personal information than he was legally required to. They dragged him out of the train on to a deserted platform and proceeded to beat the shit out of him. When challenged by a concerned resident who heard the victim’s cries, they claimed to be the police and told her to go away.

Stories like this are far too familiar although few of them reach the media. I have a friend who was on a train late at night when four or five burly AO’s confronted a lone teenager and stood over him prodding and threatening when he couldn’t find his concession card. When my friend, the only other person in the carriage, concerned that the young man was being unduly intimidated asked him if he was OK, the officers turned on the defender. They told my friend he was interfering with their work and that they were going to fine him for impeding official business. He tried to explain that he was concerned for a young man who appeared scared. They dragged my friend off the train (yes, he did have a valid ticket and, no, he had not done or said anything inappropriate) at the next station, once again a deserted platform, where one officer punched him in the face and another kneed him in the chest, knocking him to the ground before threatening to do further harm if he got up. My friend stayed down, went home and made no official mention of the incident.

Many incidents don’t get reported because with AO’s working in gangs of 4 or more, they have the strength of numbers. 6 people with uniforms telling the same story against one person with no witnesses. What’s the point in contesting it? The propaganda is pasted all over the trains about what they’re allowed to do and when they choose to extend the boundaries of their powers, what can an ordinary member of the public do?

It would seem these Gestapo-like goons are just part of the great new public transport plan. There’s Metlink’s ongoing publicity against the Fare Evader. What the fuck? Every customer on trains is exposed to this insulting campaign that assumes a level of criminality in everyone. I used to buy tickets all the time but I don’t now because I’m sick to death of being patronised and insulted. Fuck that! Treat me like a criminal and I’ll fucking act like one.

A former Connex employee tells me that even if everyone paid for tickets all the time Connex would still lose money. They pump up the figures of loss due to fare evasion to illicit public sympathy and to justify a policy of mob-like standover tactics. Their real revenue, what gets them over the line is fines! Yes, they rely on people NOT buying tickets because the fines are worth more than ticket sales! Think about it: one fine equals over forty passengers on two-hour full-fare tickets – pretty good way to beef up the day’s takings. They deliberately put a publicity campaign in place that disenfranchises their customers and then further fuck us off by openly treating us like prison-fodder with their thugs threatening, harassing and assaulting anyone who even vaguely steps out of line or questions their actions. Connex don’t provide the service that we’re paying for, trains routinely being either late or early and their frequently cancelling services without notice. They’re unaccountable, untouchable and openly hostile. The natural human reaction is to protest in the easiest way available – not buying a ticket. I mean why not? Fuck them, the multi-national bastards. Connex doesn’t give a fuck about the people of Victoria.

It’s nothing short of robbery. Isn’t Public Transport social infrastructure? Until the government sold it, we paid for it not only with tickets but with taxes, we owned it. It never had to be profitable because it was something we deemed a benefit to society and we wore the cost. The whole PT culture has changed, every tram used to have a conductor. He’d sell you a ticket, tell you where you needed to change or get off, he’d ask undesirables to leave. Everyone bought tickets and without contest because he provided a service as well as being a point of sale. It was civilised and human. It was socially inclusive.

These AO’s are the outward expression of a PT system that is cynical, punitive and criminally violent. They’re complete arseholes. Not smart enough to be cops, not tough enough to be bouncers, they’re like parking inspectors with a license-to-detain. They flock onto already-over-crowded carriages and fuck with people who are already shat that they’re an hour late, and then have to put up with some stink-mouthed fuckhole barking at them to see a ticket they should never have paid for. I can’t wait for the inevitable day when AO’s unwittingly pick on someone with some self-defence knowledge and get the absolute cunt kicked out of them.

One person confronted by six can get away with using quite a lot of force in self-defence, and since we know AO’s routinely abuse their power it is quite reasonable to think that you may be in serious physical danger if surrounded by AO’s, especially if you’re in a deserted environment. So, theoretically, it may be possible to get away with killing one of the bastards even if you got caught. This little piece from the College Of Law at ANU’s website offers a small ray of hope:

Burden of Proof in Action: a case of self defence.

Lets examine how the evidential burden operates through the example of a killing which the defendant claims was done in self-defence. The legal burden rest with the prosecution to prove all the elements of the offence of murder: the killing was intentional, defendant’s act caused the death etc. To allow the jury to consider self-defence, the defendant must adduce some evidence to support that argument: some evidence that the killing was a reasonable response to the act of the victim. The defendant does not have to prove that it was self defence. If there is sufficient evidence for the issue to be considered, the prosecution bears the legal burden to prove that the killing was not in self-defence.

Well, it’s food for thought. I’m not suggesting that anyone should go around hurting other people, please remember that violence is not a solution unless you’re getting paid for it. However, if you know anyone who has bashed a Connex officer, let me know, I need a good laugh. I’m don’t think I’m gonna bash anyone. I wish I could sometimes, but sadly I never learnt the skills – the kicks-to-the-knee, the pressure points. Damn…all that wasted youth. I’m just gonna fire up the PS3, shoot some virtual cunts and dream of freedom. Die you grey-coated fucks!

 

Human Vs. Train – A Fair Contest?

Posted in Human Stupidity with tags , , , , , , , on April 6, 2008 by Buck Frain

While the vast majority of people nowadays instantly recognise cars, trucks and buses as potentially lethal and do their best to avoid being hit by them, it seems an increasing (or perhaps decreasing) number of people in the Australian state of Victoria seem NOT to perceive the same level of danger in trains.

During my commute home on Thursday night, the train I was on braked sharply as it approached Springvale Station and ground to a halt. After a suitable period of confusion the passengers were all asked to disembark. Evidently, a group of youths keen to catch the last train home had run across the tracks in front of it. The slowest of their number was struck and killed. Nice work, fuckwit! I thought as I began the walk home.

Now, I have no idea of the identity of the person killed, I haven’t managed to find the incident reported anywhere. I realise that no-one reports on the numerous suicides on train lines as they don’t want to promote a free service that would further disrupt an already atrociously unreliable PT system. I was, however, curious that this incident escaped public notice, not that it really matters given there seems a whole tribe of ballbags ready to step up to the spotlight and die from pure unadulterated fuckheadedness.

 To illustrate, in the past few weeks in Victoria alone, check this out:

  • 10th March – a lone nob-end drives his car in front of a passenger train between Nunawading and Mitcham Stations killing himself.
  • 24th March – A family of five drive their 4WD in front of a train near Geelong and come off pretty well with three out of the five surviving – strength in numbers.
  • 26th March – 59 year old fuckstick Laurie Heffernan laughs off his brush with death after walking away from the wreckage of his car after running it into a train he hadn’t seen.
  • 3rd April – Some little tool gets gooshed at Springvale but who the fuck knows whether that’s true, maybe the family was paid off by Connex, maybe the journos were all asleep, maybe Buck’s full of shit.

Hell, I don’t care if people want to take themselves out of the gene pool Darwin Awards style – even if they don’t possess the imagination to do it in an interesting way, it’s less fuckwits that I have to deal with. I does give me the shits a bit when I have to walk half an hour home, but the real problem I have is the endless pissing and moaning that goes on after these events. Ooooh, level crossings are dangerous. Or: Oh no, the trains are hurting the people, what can we do? Simple answer: Get out of the fucking way!

Transport Minister Lynn Kosky came under fire for daring to suggest drivers should watch where they were going following the family smash while The Opposition and various other useless fuckbags suggested a huge outlay of public money to build infrastructure to prevent licensed drivers who should never have passed their Hazard Perception Tests from writing themselves off.

Why should we spend millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars on boom-gates and ever more elaborate warning systems to save idiots from the laws of physics? Fuck it, what next? What about people getting hit by cars? Protect pedestrians by making everyone wear helmets and body armour to cross the road? Only build cars out of nerf? What ever happened to: TOUGH SHIT?

For fuck’s sake, it’s pretty basic: Trains are big, heavy and made of metal – you, at least relatively, are small, soft and fleshy with just a few white sticks in you so you make a decent crunch when mashed. There’s no contest, the train will always win. Even with the protection of a motor vehicle, which makes many people feel invincible, you’re just a chicken hotpack against…I don’t know…a BMX bike?

There’s no fucking reason why the government should pander to the stupidest common denominator. Fuck them. Let them fucking die. I know it’s sad when a family member’s life is cut short, even if they’re a complete imbecile, but get fuckin’ real. Just because yet another wanker has FAILed doesn’t mean we should penalise everyone who does have a brain. The stupid fuckers walking and driving in front of trains should be the thinking, but they’re not, and they won’t. They’re not because they’re fucking idiots and they won’t because they’re all fucking dead…well, except lucky pricks like Laurie.

In the interest of community service and a fair go for all I offer this message to the people of Victoria: If you are going to cross train tracks, whether on foot or in/on some form of vehicle. Be it skateboard, bicycle, car, bus, truck, 4WD or even Hummer please: LOOK BOTH WAYS. If you see a big shiny thing, or the lights of a possibly big shiny thing, STOP. Let it pass. You’ll feel much better if you don’t spread yourself too thin, and spreading yourself along 800m of steel is too thin.