Posted by: Opey | June 28, 2007

Enough is Enough Thursday – Week 3

It’s time for that segment that is all the rage from here to, well, here.  Again, the world seems to be more at peace with itself than it usually is.  There is a silent calm that has blanketed my life.  It’s probably the glow of the Brewers’ winning ways washing over me and leaving me in a nirvana-like state.  That is one of the interesting parts of my life, though.  My baseline for what I consider a nirvana-like state to be still contains some turmoil and annoyance.  I guess that’s just a result of seeking out argument and discussion.  Anyways, on with the prime annoyances of the week.

First up on the list is another sports-related pet peeve.  I am an ardent watcher of ESPN and most of their actual sports related programing, which amounts to maybe 50% of their daily programing, but that’s a story for another time, perhaps later this week.  Anyways, I have been watching Sportscenter over the past few days/weeks and my blood has begun to boil over their fascination with records, milestones and “significant achievements/moments.”  There is always reason to enjoy and reward success, but it’s gotten out of hand.  Now, we break into programming to see every at bat that Frank Thomas has on his way to 500 HR.  We are assaulted with constant reminders about Biggio’s 3000 hit quest, Roger Clemens mounting statistics, and of course, Mr. Roid’s journey to surpass Hank Aaron.  These milestones, as I’ve said, are great and should be recognized and awarded, but not at the expense of other players and teams.  There are some great storylines in sports these days, including the Brewers, that are being overlooked because of the sports media’s focus on records.  The hyper-attention to these records/milestones also have the negative effect of making them seem common place and also the effect of cheapening them by putting them in a frame of steroids and cheating.  Mention the mark when it happens, then move on.  I’m all for a streamlined sports media.

The other big gripe I have this week is the transportation issues in Madison, particularly the new plan announced yesterday by Mayor Dave and Dane County Executive Falk.  Their plan would create a regional transportation system of trains, buses, street cars, and more.  It would create an agency to oversee the operation of the system and would hike sales tax .5 cents.  Let me clarify my stance first.  I am for the improvement of Madison public transportation and, in general terms, I have no problem with the tax hike.  Where I have a problem is in the creation of the regional transportation agency and in the building of street cars and rail lines.  The city has spent way too much time, effort and money trying to reinvent the wheel in this case.  I fail to see how the subtraction of cars, but addition of rail lines, more buses, and introduction of street cars will equal a decrease in congestion.  And do we really need another level of bureaucracy in the transportation system?  Madison Metro is sluggish and inefficient enough as it is.  What should be done is to cut large parts of subsidies to Madison Metro, reorganize it to allow for an added regional focus, and then improve/add bus service.  There is no need for streetcars or commuter trains if an efficient bus system is in place.   We are not New York City or Chicago.  Let the tax hike go to improving roads and funding the smart expansion of Madison Metro and leave the rail and trolleys in the dust.

Don’t agree with me?  As always, I’m open to discussion about these and most other topics.  Just drop a comment and let the debates begin.  Also, if you have something that has made you say, “enough is enough!!” in the past few days, feel free to post it and it may be covered in a future post.

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