I'm having one of those Andy Rooney moments maybe, but have you ever noticed that there's something about bureaucracy that turns otherwise responsible, thinking citizens into mind-numbed robots? It's not always a big deal, I suppose. A lot of these mechanized behaviors are relatively petty – harmless, almost. Government directed automation is just something we all do to perpetuate the collective myth that we live in a civil society, I guess.
Like this morning when I (along with around six other drivers…and I can't decide if this makes the situation worse or better than if I had been sitting there by myself) sat for two minutes at a red light allowing imaginary vehicles their right of way…you know, it's kind of stupid. It's a waste of time. It's a waste of money. It's a waste of the precious fuel that everyone is so hot to conserve. But what are you going to do? When you've finally had it and you give into the urge, when you've at last emotionally committed to the idea of driving through the red, the light changes while you're rolling forward and your political statement becomes moot anyway. Of course, that won't stop the traffic cameras from reporting your nonconformity so the powers that be can issue you a ticket. Which isn't all that civil when you think about it.