Sunday, April 20, 2014

CARFREEMEMPHIS.COM? Develop Your Own Brand Name; Don't Steal It From Me!

Policy Analyst and Researcher and Blogger,
Car Free Memphis, since 2011

I was listening to an AM radio talk show host when the phrase “CAR FREE MEMPHIS.COM rolled from their lips.

And, there is to be a 30-day car-free challenge throughout the month of April.

I am happy about this event in the scheme of it all.

I thought they were talking about my own blog.

I even waited for my own name to be mentioned.

But, I was somewhat disillusioned that there was no such connection to my blog or me.

Perhaps they did this unconsciously and without the intent of causing any confusion between whom I am and whom they want to be like.

They obviously want to be like me, but they are not!

Perhaps, they are using the same words that I have used to make them look better, as it should be, because I have worked hard building up the brand name of Car Free Memphis.

I use this blog of mine to reach out to people and raise awareness from a real car-free citizen's point of view.

There are already thousands of car-free citizens in Memphis; it is just that the majority of them are now living in poverty and the powers-that-be does not truly care about them nearly as much as they say they do.

If the shoe fits, wear it!

The powers-that-be is more like poverty pimps, top-level professionals, always making promises they never intend to keep.

And, they prove that I am right consistently by cutting every budget possible, making peoples lives meaninglessly miserable.

The first thing they did was to cut jobs and sent those jobs overseas; then, they only offer our own citizens part time, low wage, temporary work with little or no health care coverage.

The powers-that-be has driven our citizens into deep poverty and onto the dole long-term and then they blame the victims!

Nonetheless, I still decided, after years of in-depth research and actually living car free, to start my own blog.

Here, I tell people snippets about my own story, but I also pick up on the insights of others based on their stories about being car-free citizens.

I go on and on about about this issue to everyone I meet, so much so, that other people told me to blog about it; then that’s what I decided to do.

I decided to call my own blog Car-Free Memphis and launched it in 2011.

Since then, Car-Free Memphis has provided the best information possible to its readers.

Therefore, I presume this makes me an expert.

In fact, I have been car-free for the past 13 years and I have earned a dual BA degree and an MPA despite all my ongoing struggles to do so.
With that being said, let’s move forward with my ongoing complaints about how being CAR-FREE in Memphis, Tennessee, is HELL ON EARTH!

Now the powers-that-be prefers to be self–righteous and infiltrate every aspect of our lives; often saying that if we only love God more, then we will all be blessed with wealth beyond our wildest dreams, so long as we give every dime right back to the powers-that-be in one way or another – that is why church, the government, and corporations truly stick together folks - they all want a one-third cut of our pie and if there is one single micron of a crumb left over for us, we better not dare let them find out about it because they will find a way to get it even if it destroys us all.  

We should be questioning if we have a democracy anymore and if not, then perhaps an oligarchy.

Together, they share our wealth among themselves; they are the top 1%; the owners of production.

Talk about the franchising out the holy name of our GOD, not to save souls, but to make them richer.

Speaking of franchising, it seems like nearly every establishment one spends their money at these days goes right back into the hands of a few people who owns nearly 99.9% of every establishment.

These few business owners believe that their massive corporations are people and they can vote for every one of us; and in fact, we are their slaves these days.
And how do they remind us of this fact and what is reminiscing of the slave trade? Slave Ships.

And what do many of the urban poor use as transportation these days? Public Transit.

The majority of my own blog readers ride a MATA bus for at least three and half hours both ways to get to a part-time, low wage job; and it is not just a simple short two-way trip up and down one street like Poplar Avenue with no transfers that takes a mere 30 to 60 minutes one way.

The stress of the long bus trips can break one’s spirit, just like slaves ships do.

Moreover, the majority of poor people, here, live in communities located in food deserts.

And going out to get groceries on a MATA bus can become a gruesome 7-hour round trip day.

So, the purpose of being car-free is not some nostalgic agenda whereby people have all decided to be car-free for the sake of recreation alone; it is a lifestyle that is actually forced on them with no adequate infrastructure whatsoever.

And, these car-free citizens have been doing it this way for decades.

Little or nothing is being done by the powers-that-be to make life any better.

For instance, every time car-free citizens step off of a curb here in Memphis to cross the street at a crosswalk, the walk signs, turn to don’t walk and citizens are nearly run over by impatient car drivers.

It forces people to jaywalk, and why not, if there is an equal or better chance of surviving if they do!

Have you ever tried to cross the street of Summer Avenue?

I have crossed that road and some people honk at me, curse me out, and have nearly run me over several times - that is just this week alone!

Read this article: The Invention of Jaywalking 
by Sarah Goodyear.

We need to rid ourselves of these jaywalking laws and/or put the burden of such laws onto motor vehicle drivers to watch out for car-free citizens at all times instead of limiting the movements of pedestrians to a slow crawl.

Until the lives of the most impoverished car-free citizens are better off, especially those who are disabled, it is not going to be any better for those people who are middle class or wealthy class whenever they want to become car-free.

To illustrate, try finding a restroom when your car-free in Memphis without soiling yourself first!

Imagine having the urge to go to the restroom while riding on a MATA bus; when it is bouncing up and down; when people are swaying back and forth onto you.

This only happens because many MATA buses are like raggedy old slave ships that can make most people seasick.

If one gets off the MATA bus just to use the restroom, the next bus may not be coming for another hour or more.

Hope to God you do not have friends and family members with you when this happens.

We are living in a city whereby the buses do not run every ten minutes like in other cities.

Here in Memphis, there is no real time GPS tracking system whereby the bus riders can know exactly where the bus is and when it is going to be at a preferred bus stop.

Instead, the bus riders have to wait out in the elements near the street where exhaust smoke is blown into their faces and road debris smothers them from head to toe for up to 20 minutes.

The powers-that-be will use the word GREEN to implicate a wholesome policy agenda and they are painting the whole town the color green it seems, but as for the saving our environment, there is nothing green about this situation at all because the fumes of Memphis spout up 7.8 metric tons of CO2 into the air every year.

So, if Memphis were actually living green, then people who come to visit us would be green with envy.

Our city is not on the green list folks, but it has made just about every shit list there is!

In fact, it has been deemed the asthma capital of the Mid-South; it is the bankruptcy capital; it’s the poverty capital; it is the crime capital; and I am talking about our people in leadership, not just the so called thugs on these streets; and moreover, it is the capital for poverty pimps.

The powers-that-be refuses neither to make adequate improvements, nor to completely replace whole systems with better ones, but they have continued to grow rich anyway, while the rest of us live pay check to pay check or on food stamps and welfare.
Instead, they are paying the best writers to spin fairy tales about how green we are living. 

It is the biggest lie ever told, especially when the powers-that-be are cutting away at the very backbone of doing so, such as cutting public transit funding by at least four million dollars; and then, cutting back the services so much so that the whole system might as well be shut down at this point.

And why not shut it down if it is not going to work any better than it has for the past 30 years! 

At one point, the public transit system was boycotted because of who had the right to ride where on the bus based on racial issues; and now, the public transit system is boycotting all of its riders because they do not want to treat any of the bus riders with dignity regardless of their race.

Let’s just replace MATA and start over with brand new name and a brand new system based onhydrogen fuel cell technology, the bus drivers and passengers would be thrilled at how smoothly these buses ride.

Let’s have buses running east, west, north, and south on every major street 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if it is necessary.

Let’s have bike lanes running the full length of all major streets, like the Union, Poplar, and Summer Avenues.

We can be a world-class city, but not without redesigning our entire city to be Car-Free friendly.

In a city like this, there would be adequate bus shelters, restrooms, bike shops and pit stops for resting weary bones whereby people are not treated like a vagabond.

There would be no vagabonds on our streets if the homeless were provided with homes, instead of treating them like common criminals or turning them into criminals.

Memphis is truly full of poverty pimps; and if these two words have the stinging power that I desire they will have; then please, please, please, feel free to steal them away from this blog – go post these words everywhere that you can.

In fact, use the words - poverty pimps - on every billboard across our city and tell them - clearly - to get the hell out of our city!

However, leave the words - CAR-FREE MEMPHIS - to me; it seems that I am the only policy expert that knows how to use them effectively; and, I am not about to apologize for it either.


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