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Welcome to 2013 at State of Vancouver: a year of peace, love, the end of the bike-car war, the end of the mindless anti-developer rhetoric, the end of treating all city residents like trolls

January 3rd, 2013 · 23 Comments

Okay, I’m back. Every piece of shortbread in our house got eaten, the pine needles have mostly been vacuumed up, the presents all exchanged. It’s time to get back to work. (Burp. Yawn.)

I’ve still got too much Christmas brain to come up with some brilliant list of Trends I Foresee for 2013, but here’s my beginning thought for the year.

Can everyone stop being so shriekingly pissed off all the time?

How about, as we’re biking, driving, walking on the public streets and open spaces, if we do NOT assume that the person we encounter — who has advanced into the crosswalk mistakenly or jostled us as they go past or who has moved ahead of us in the line-up — is some kind of malevolent moron who won’t get the point unless we yell at him/her.

It’s a busy city. We’re all a little bit distracted at certain moments. I don’t know anyone who is totally on at all moments.

So maybe that driver who let the car start advancing really just didn’t see you because s/he was looking in the other seven directions, trying to watch out for everyone there. Maybe the pedestrian who stepped into the crosswalk even though you had the right-turn signal was just careless or distracted or emotionally distraught. Maybe the cyclist isn’t actually aiming to destroy city life as you know it, but is just trying get from Point A to Point B without a car or bus, which isn’t the worst thing to do on the planet.

Same goes for movie line-ups, customer-service calls (tho of course I do always reserve everyone’s right to yell at a cellphone provider who has not given a satisfactory explanation for why YOU are responsible for your cell signal accidentally bouncing off an American tower near the border, even though you were on the Canadian side), blog posts, radio phone-in comments, public-hearing tirades about evil developers, muttered behind-the-scenes tirades about residents who are just against everything, and all the rest of it.

This goes doubly true for all political people (politicians and attendant media, spinmeisters, party stalwarts, etc.). How about if you stop slagging the other side, just because they are the other side. I’m so tired of listening to partisan commentators trash Politician A for doing something (because s/he is from the other party), when if their own Politician B were doing it, they’d be defending that brilliant decision all the way.

We actually live in one of the more privileged places on earth. Could we maybe appreciate a little bit how lucky we are? Could we possibly discuss our stupid little first-world problems like adults, instead of angry five-year-olds?

I realize, of course, that I have broken my own rule and am sounding shriekingly pissed off here. So, deep breath, how about it everyone? Just a little bit less nasty, a little bit less inclined to start yelling at the driver/pedestrian/cyclist, a little bit more willing to understand the other?

I’ll go first.

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