Saturday, January 17, 2009

I've Been a Good American All Along (choo-choo)

So Barack Obama is taking a train to the Inauguration, retracing the route that Abraham Lincoln took when he went on his way to the presidency and the history books. Some may call this a publicity stunt, but inaugurations should always capture headlines and draw attention, so this train ride is far more than appropriate.

As a Chicagoan from the Land of Lincoln and Obama, may I just say this: I've ridden the trains for nine years now, and if anyone back then told me that I was doing the patriotic thing, I would have looked at you with a cocked eyebrow and a narrow eye. If you asked for change, I might have given you some (okay, maybe not). As crummy and as slow as the CTA's trains are, and as convoluted and inconvenient as the construction process has been (to say the least), it's good to know that someone high up is probably going to repopularize the value of a good ol-fashioned train ride. On top of that, now it's the American thing to do; riding the train (thereby keeping not only operators but also maintenance crews and other staffers employed) and being green are suddenly patriotic.

To think, roughly eight years ago, patriotism meant shopping by orders of the President. My, how times have changed! Now if only patriotism cost less than $2.25 per ride...

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