Stupid Money

The anti-consumerist in me has heard enough about the Super PAC’s fronting millions to Republican candidates. That line in the song, or poem or novel, “separate a fool from their money is equivalent to those backers who are “stupid with money.” Clearly, the rich are plying candidates with an overabundance of greenbacks, but in this race for the presidency there isn’t a thoroughbred among the nags, so to what end does this money buy?  Why are big spenders bothering to back losers who haven’t a chance in hell of winning this election? Is it proving they have a bigger penis than a counterpart contributor? Is it some sort of dance big shots do like the drunk at the bar who picks a fight with the bouncer just to get the shit beat out of them?

Stupid money is all around us and we don’t register it because in some varying degree of vanity we want to be the spender who throws the party and is oh so popular. Then the reality of our lives kisses us like a sucker punch to the kidney.  A pack of cigarettes in New York city is closing in on $10. Craft beer is stupid money when a pint goes for $7 at some hole in the wall pub. Stupid money is eating at Applebees restaurant and regretting having set foot in there in the first place.

It’s political not personal agenda’s where the stupid money gets the most attention. In recent days we have had a sort of bad news good news situation in transportation routing in Minneapolis. As I write this post the situation with the Martin Sabo bike bridge  cable failure will close automobile and light transit for an indefinite period. This is the bad news. The good news is that while cars and mass transit are rerouted the bicycle crossing at Hiawatha has just got downright beautiful! As a bicyclist crossing here now it is about as tame as a residential street. It is like the 9/11 of bike unintended consequences!

So, let’s see how stupid money played out up to our present situation. First, the road known as Hiawatha was opposed to go through some areas that were sacred to native Americans and this was bulldozed by interested parties so Minneapolis got itself a wide road to link to Mall of America, consumerist capital non grata. As time went on Sabo had the opportunity to leave a legacy before he finished his last with Congress and funneled federal funding for the bike bridge bearing his name. The Sabo bridge was designed by the same consultant that paid out over 50 million dollars to victims families of the 35 W collapse. And at 5 million dollars for the Sabo bridge it would seem that the people of Minneapolis could have got something that was built to carry the weight of the design. But, wait a minute. This is a bridge that only needed to carry pedestrians and bike riders. What gives that it had to be suspended? Something fishy will turn up when real investigative reporters get their hands on blueprints and memos. Until then, Life on a bike going cross town has just got a reprieve from the race way of Hiawatha. I would add the spirit of a place comes back to you. Bike more and drive your car less. Stupid is as stupid does.


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