Choke On It, Plastic Bags.
Dear Plastic Grocery Bags,
Normally, there'd be a salutation of some kind here before we got write into telling you all the problems we've had with your behavior this week, but, to be honest, you've been such a dick for so long now that we're just going to get right to it.
I mean, who do you think you are anyway? Some sort of urban tumbleweed flitting into all of our lives just to open a Pandora's box of obnoxiousness?
We've had enough. Enough of your ripping every time the distracted 16-year-old sacker at Tom Thumb forgets to put our milk in two of you. Enough of you and your six-pack-holding buddies choking poor birds to death every time you get the opportunity. Most of all, we've had enough of you turning our actually-pretty-decently-behaving-of-late city council members against one other and back into the raving lunatics some of them are when they're at their worst.
Usually it takes something serious — like denying rights to their fellow Dallasites — to make these elected official show their ass. Not this last Wednesday, though. No, at this last city council meeting, you managed to get a couple of them to act like idiots over a proposed five-cent environmental fee that retailers will be required to charge for every one of you guys who gets used from here on out.
Personally, we think the fee is a pretty good thing. We're always meaning to bring some of our innumerable freebie tote bags to the store to keep you guys off the streets, and saving 50 cents might be just the incentive to get us to do so. Even when we do forget, there are worse things than paying a little environmental offset for using you and your friends. Feeling guilty about it hasn't spurred us to action just yet, so maybe a very little amount of financial pain will.
Some of our city council members, specifically Rick Callahan and Lee Kleinman, apparently do not agree.
Callahan, in a move that was a little gross and more than a little bizarre, brought a bag of trash he had gathered in his district to the council chambers at this week's meeting. Because he didn't find any of you guys in the clearly representative sample he collected, he reasoned that you guys must not be that big of a problem. It was inane, and definitely not a reason not to vote for the ordinance, but at least it was kind of funny — something that can't be said for the offensive speech Kleinman made.
Kleinman decided to vote against the ordinance because he “personally stays more focused” on his North Dallas district: “Why should I care if someone is shopping like at Southwest Center Mall and they want a plastic bag?” he asked. “If people in that community are satisfied with the conditions around that mall, why should I utilize my position in North Dallas to improve those conditions?”
In other words, let all those poors eat cake — or plastic bags or whatever.
The point of having a city council is to have a representative body that at least tries to do what's best for the whole city, not to have each member represent his or her district like it is an individual fiefdom.
That seemed to get lost this week.
Thanks a lot for that, plastic grocery bags.
You remain, as ever, the worst.
Stephen Young and the rest of the Central Track staff