my personal blog

July 29, 2005


Filed under: politics,rants — Tags: , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 2:02 pm

The Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism. That’s right, the war on terror ain’t just for terrorists anymore! And it’s no longer a war either, it’s a struggle! Against violent extremists! So, when are we due to send troops to kill off every abortion clinic bomber in the United States? They’re violent extremists.

I guess the term “war on terror” sounded great after 9/11, when the time for being angry and sounding as tough as possible was right. But it appears the latest armed-cum-ideological war since the ill-fated “war on drugs” isn’t fairing much better these days, with more terrorists than before 9/11, an increasingly frustrated Iraqi people, and a U.S. military death toll that’s bound to exceed the death toll of the 9/11 terror attacks before we finally find our way out of there.

That’s okay, though. After all, it’s not a war, folks, it’s a struggle, like the new slogan says. Neverind the 1800 dead U.S. troops and tens of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians, it’s a struggle! When you talk about an armed invasion as a “war”, you know, it just doesn’t workshop very well in public relations circles, especially after the public finds out the case for war was built on a farce!

The media’s alreay tried its best by neglecting to mention those little details the public doesn’t really want or need to hear, such as the largest U.S. military death toll since Vietnam and the fact that there are now more terrorists out there than there were before the whole thing started,and that they’ve set up shop in Iraq.

By the way, am I the only one who thinks about fascist and communist slogans? The Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism? Proletarians of the World Unite!

July 25, 2005

Parking Garage Labyrinth

Filed under: humor,rants — Tags: , — Alfonso Surroca @ 5:04 pm

Parking lots are amongst the least aesthetic and most strictly functional of buildings, and they are by design not unlike the modern Colosseum of suburbia, where soccer moms in SUVs and eco-kids in Priuses are forced into a gladiatorial bloodbath. With one, sometimes two entrances and exits, narrow driveways, tight turning spaces, and enough room for hundreds of vehicles, parking lots seem to have been designed expressly to pit motorist against motorist, to be the place where near-road raging motorists finally crack and go on murderous rampages.

They are also veritable labyrinths, and that leads me to conclude that the engineers and architects behind the design of most large parking lots are sociopaths. The single entrance and exit, and cramped spaces can be explained away by the fact that land is at a premium, but bizarre numbering systems wherein parking space #499 directly precedes #800? Floor levels marked 4/5 and 5/6 instead of 4, 5, and 6? Obviously the work of a murderous sociopath.

Such was the picture the other day. My librarian friend Louise and I took the metro rail to Downtown Miami, and I parked at the Dadeland station parking lot. This was not nearly as difficult as I’d previously expected. I even managed an easy to remember space: #711. Like in 7-Eleven. What I didn’t realize until we returned to the parking lot was that in this parking lot, numbers didn’t necessarily run in order. Lulu and I were on floor 4/5, which was the floor we remembered parking on, started counting upward from the 400s, and immediately ended up in the 800s.

We took the elevator one level down, hoping that the 700s would be directly below the 800s. This, however, was not the method to this madness, for after some walking we found ourselves again in the 800s, and then the 900s. In addition to this, there was a series of about ten parking spaces on each floor numbered with each year in a particular decade. Cute, really cute. I’m sure there was much back-patting for that idea. At any rate, after climbing up as high as floor 5/6 and still finding ourselves nowhere near parking space #711, we were still at a loss.

From there, the details are hazy, but I do remember entering the elevator a second time, walking down about a half level, and then back up a bit, passing the 1980s series of parking spaces, and finally reaching space #711. I don’t really know how we got back to our space, and if I ever have to park in this parking lot again, I still won’t be able to navigate it any better. I can imagine someone leering at the monitor, watching us trudge through this maze through the security cameras with a sick pleasure. When you’re lost in a parking garage, it is definitely not you. I’m a college student and Lulu is a graduate student, but we weren’t able to navigate the maze. After navigating through this parking garage, I know it was specifically designed for people to get lost in.

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