If you're not angry, then you're not caring hard enough.
We used to have big hairy balls. First, we’d tell you we had big hairy balls, then we would show them to you. Wordlessly. While eating an entire ham.
Opportunity to raise our fingers and display our follicle-y blessed testicles arrives once more, this time in the form of high-speed super trains. I only know two words about high-speed super trains: “Fuck. Yeah.”
Why aren’t we doing this? Ask Governor Rick Scott of Florida. He thinks it’s too expensive. “The truth is that this project would be far too costly to taxpayers and I believe the risk far outweighs the benefits,” Scott said. (It should be noted that the federal government was proposing to foot $2.4 billion for the project. Scott didn’t think Florida needed the jobs.)
You know what else was expensive, Governor Scott? Conquering outer space. Paving a national highway system. Stringing old-fashioned railroad track across the country. Buying Alaska. Defeating Nazis. Splitting the atom.
Governor Scott rules over a state of elderly people who refuse to pay more than $5 for a special at Denny’s and have already achieved their generational milestones. Where was all this penny pinching when the moon needed landing? Where was this miserly attitude when the sound barrier needed cracking?
Where are our balls now?
Americans do things not because it’s easy. Or fiscally responsible. Or useful. We do it because we want everyone else in the world to know that we can do it. And if some got-lucky country like Russia or China does it first, we’re going to do it better. Do we really want our Nation’s latest achievement to be the Miller Lite Vortex Bottle? Just so we can save a couple dollars?
Cash was just one concern when we united both coasts with a railroad line in the 19th century. The mavericks who built the Transcontinental Railroad also repelled Indian attacks, braved the elements, and blasted through mountains of granite to connect the coasts. To build a super rail, all we need is money (of which we have plenty) and balls (which appear to be in short supply.)
For Christ’s sake, the Chinese have a super train. The Japanese and the French have super trains. The French! France is enjoying what should be ours, America!
Listen, I don’t pretend to believe that a super train will solve the transportation and environmental problems that the project’s proponents so breathlessly claim. But it’s not like we haven’t tossed money at pragmatically-challenged endeavors before. (Since when has “not needing it” stopped us before?) And it’s not just the space program or the California Condor. What about the Gateway Arch? What good is that thing? How about Mount Rushmore? How the hell did Teddy Roosevelt get on that?
We’re America, dammit. We’re not some ancient octogenarian clipping coupons and living on a tight budget. If we want something, we grab it. Today, we live beneath this drab bubble of practicality, constantly worrying about the deficit and pining over earmarks. For God’s sake, Conservatives claim we can’t even afford a few bucks for All Things Considered.
Join me in re-growing a pair, America, and swing them like wrecking balls into the misers who seem to be calling all the shots these days. If Kentucky can drop hundreds of millions of dollars into a Creationist themepark, surely we can spare some funds for something cool like a super train.
Even if its only good for raising our middle fingers.