I'm not feeling very funny this week, and I imagine you aren't either. Right now, my thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the many who lost their lives in last week's unimaginable tragedy, and with all the heroic individuals who have tirelessly devoted themselves to the unbelievably daunting relief, rescue and support efforts.
No one could have foreseen these events, but even still I am deeply troubled about the Red Meat strip that ran in the Tucson Weekly last week. I wrote the strip in late August, in an attempt to be topical by referencing the recent movie Pearl Harbor. However, in light of the events of last week, the strip's intended meaning may have been transformed by tragic circumstance to one of a possibly offensive or emotionally painful nature. This was certainly not my intent when I wrote the strip.
I try very hard every week to bring laughter by lampooning some of the darker, harsher realities of our lives. Like every artist, I occasionally fail to achieve my intended result, either through my own limited abilities or by coincidental, yet unfortunate similarities to painful real-life occurrences in the local, national or global community.
To anyone I may have offended, please accept my deepest apologies.
To the Editor,
The events of last week in New York City have really been trying. My mind keeps playing John Prine's "Your Flag Decal," but my heart says I need to fly it. The editor wrote a quick note and said this isn't the time to pull out the flag (Newsreel, September 13). Well, if not now, when?
We take for granted many things in this country, and I will be first to say we have done many things wrong. This isn't one of them. To say our foreign policy is at fault is almost silly. What do people working in an office in NYC have to do with religious fanatiscm? I can't help but think how great the world would be if there was no religion. Foreign policy has nothing to do with religious crazies, and I don't just mean the extremist Muslims; extremist Christians fall into this camp also. They will always find a reason to kill somebody, in the name of God or Allah or whoever.
The time in my life when I was fighting age we were in a mess we had no business being in, and everyone knew it. This is very different. Since I have no religious baggage, simple revenge and total and complete destruction seem to work just fine for me. This will allow the folks to know that if they act on this nonsense, there will be sure and complete reprisal.
After reading the articles so far in the Weekly's Crossroads series, I gather Tucson finds itself in a predicament; the city is growing, we need freeways, Sun Tran needs money, more people need to use the bus. To solve this, the City Council wants to raise the sales tax (again) and gas tax (as if gas isn't expensive enough).
I'm tired of the Council using these little solutions to solve big problems. Take a look at other big cities in the country; their leaders long ago accepted the growth of their cities and they found ways to work with the growth. Why can't Tucson do the same? Increasing taxes is only going to infuriate Tucsonans such as myself. I think I pay enough taxes.
Aside from freeways and a decent transit system, Tucson is missing one more thing from its roads: parking meters. Since many cities comparable to Tucson in size have these amenities, one would think that the logical thing to do would be to follow in their footsteps. It seems like a reasonable solution to me; parking meters at shopping centers and the like throughout Tucson would be more agreeable than raising sales tax or the gas tax.
Parking meters would also encourage those with cars to use the bus system rather than drive. If bus fare costs less than parking, what are people apt to do?
Here's a plan: Parking meters are installed throughout the city; money from parking meters is used to build freeways; also, more people use Sun Tran because it's cheaper to take the bus than to pay for parking. Once we get the freeways, the city charges a toll to use them; money from tollbooths goes to Sun Tran.
If simple solutions such as this one fail, then taxes should be increased. I think it's time that Tucson gets itself a new Council or becomes resigned to congestion, pollution and higher taxes.