The gas mask 


There are a lot of good reasons to be upset this week; it seems that just when you thought Midwestern politicians couldn’t legislate with any more contempt for the working class, they find another way to try to polarize American wealth and happiness.

In a matter of days, the local legislators have attempted to undo hundreds of years worth of civil and labor rights progress, by legalizing racial profiling, illegalizing workers’ rights and illegalizing gay marriage (which in Indiana was already illegal….so don’t those just, like, cancel out?). That’s about all the “izing” I can handle for two weeks.

So with so many infuriating offenses against humanity, I’m disappointingly not surprised that this weeks’ top news story to many gas-guzzling Hoosiers isn’t the war on civil rights or the attempted destruction of the working class. As critical as that legislation is to the livelihood of millions, it seems that to most Hoosiers it is worth less than 30 cents of attention. Give or Take.

The big scuttlebutt has become the gas prices. Perhaps it’s slightly insensitive to impoverished families to not be affected by an extra thirty cents a gallon—- but even if you have a 20 gallon gas tank and fill up twice a week—- the extra thirty cents will cost you 12 bucks. If your budget brings you with $12 of your total income, you should probably be considering the bus or a bicycle anyway.

And that’s just for the people driving morbidly obese vehicles with either really shitty gas mileage or an equally shitty commute. For the rest of us driving economical cars — even if gas went up an extra full dollar to the gallon, and we drive 250 miles a week, the increase would cost about $8.33 per week.

Of course high gas prices contribute to other expenses such as heating bills, airline tickets and various costs associated with shipping and transportation for truckers, and so on and so forth. But last time gas prices went through the roof, a lot of apathetic Americans suddenly started giving a damn about alternative energy and fuel-efficient vehicles. So if our planet’s resources can be saved at the price of $8.33 a week, I think I’ll refocus my attention to the legislative sessions and gladly watch the digits on the billboards roll over.

We’ll be okay, in the end, unless suckers start hitting the panic button. Thirty or forty cents a gallon is not the worst thing to happen to America—or, for example, Libya.

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Andrew Roberts

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