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14 July 2009 @ 06:40 pm
Beacause there's not enough crazy in my day ...  
The trains were thrown awry by a fatality on my line, and, warned by Mr Brammers, I jumped in the first cab I found in North Sydney. I should have waited for the second.

I was willing to grant him that Australia's coal reliance and export is akin to environmental terrorism, though I did point out that the former Prime Minister, who he avowedly missed, had gutted the tax relief given to alternative energy research, engineering and production in this country, without which the sector could not compete with the coal industry.

I was even willing to grant that English people had invaded half the world and were guilty of genocide and certainly overlooking indigenous populations in many places. Though I made it clear the he was wrong to equate Australia and New Zealand, as the latter had the Treaty of Waitangi from the mid-19th century and long periods of war with the Maori, which, while not great, were certainly not the ignoring he was talking about.

But then he confidently told me that the war in Afghanistan was in response to Dick Cheney's company not receiving a contract from the Afghani government, and because of the Jews.

'No, that's just madness. It was in response to the attacks on the Twin Towers, Pentagon and so on.'

'Ah!' he exclaimed, pleased to have caught me in a common error. 'But those attacks were caused by Dick Cheney!'

'I'm not a fan of Cheney in the least, but I am quite certain that he had nothing to do with it and Mohamed Atta had a lot.'

'But no one can say that.'

'Yes, they can. There is ample documentary evidence, including Atta's own voice in radio transmissions from one of the planes.'

'Ah yes, but people can be bought.'

'I'm sure he was, by Al Qaeda, through ideology if not through money.'

'No, no, that is simply not correct. He was bought by Dick Cheney's company, with Jewish money. That is why the Jews stayed home in New York that day.'

'But that's simply not true, either. There were significant Jewish casualties among the dead and the rates of people staying home from work in both towers were normal for an average workday. This is extensively documented with actual documents, not websites, you know.'

'You do not understand how these things work. If we accept that it was Mohamed Atta, then we must consider what drove him to that point. He would have been standing in a pub, drinking quietly, and he would have been approached by someone who offered him more money than he could ever earn to go to his family. That's how the Americans work. What do you think of that?'

'I think that if he was having a drink in a pub, he wasn't a very good Muslim, and that doesn't fit with the picture of Atta that was established after his death.'

'Ah, but you cannot trust the Muslims, they say one thing and do another.'

'The radical ones generally don't drink, though.'

He pulled the cab to a halt in Blessed Erskineville. 'You seem very sceptical of what I have to say, but I assure you, I have twenty people a day in this cab and I hear many things.'

'Yes,' I said as I paid him. 'But isn't it possible that some of those people are quite mad?'

'I have an extensive education, but in this country I am forced to drive a cab.'

'Well, now here I finally agree with you, it is shameful how few qualifications from international universities are recognised in Australia. I am very sorry and hope that things improve for you.'

'Let me prove to you that I am an authority.' He dug through his wallet and handed over an identification card, with his degrees listed after his name.

As I looked at his identification, I nodded in understanding. All became clear. He was an engineer.



 
 
 
Bondeannawol on July 14th, 2009 09:27 am (UTC)
*splurts water at the screen*

Oh wow... That last line... Priceless!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 09:29 am (UTC)
I tell you, the first time I saw research that engineers were massively over-represented in the statistics for terrorists around the world, I rang my best Engineer friend and said: 'I knew it! I knew it!'

'Oh, I could have told you that,' he replied.
(no subject) - deannawol on July 14th, 2009 09:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 09:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - treacle_tartlet on July 14th, 2009 10:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 11:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - treacle_tartlet on July 14th, 2009 11:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
Drooling Fan Girldroolfangrrl on July 14th, 2009 09:29 am (UTC)
"'I think that if he was having a drink in a pub, he wasn't a very good Muslim, "

bhahahah
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 09:31 am (UTC)
I know it's too much to ask for culturally aware bigotry. I didn't even have time to point out that Cheney is a Methodist ...

Edited at 2009-07-14 09:31 am (UTC)
It's that Bucket woman!curia_regis on July 14th, 2009 09:30 am (UTC)
I would have told him to please stop talking by the second line. I dislike chatty cab drivers.

Least it would have been an amusing cab ride! :p
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 09:33 am (UTC)
For a given value of amusing ;-)

I tried to stop the conversation, but it just led to a monologue instead, so I decided to introduce some facts. The section on why capitalism is against human nature and the destroyer of the world was so confused that even I lost track of his argument. And I speak fluent crazy after years on public transport.
(no subject) - droolfangrrl on July 14th, 2009 09:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 09:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - treacle_tartlet on July 14th, 2009 10:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 11:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
pingridpingrid on July 14th, 2009 09:37 am (UTC)
:D Oh, to have your presence of mind when confronted with the crazy! Absolutely hilarious. :D

Edited at 2009-07-14 09:38 am (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 09:44 am (UTC)
Years of experience ... I am thinking of printing pamphlets: 'Why your beliefs on 9/11 are bollocks', 'How to tell there is no international conspiracy of pretty much anything (I'll grant you the gold standard, but it doesn't help your argument)', 'Why I won't be trying your alternative therapy for my hypothetical serious illness' and so on ...
(no subject) - curia_regis on July 14th, 2009 09:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 09:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pingrid on July 14th, 2009 10:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 10:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pingrid on July 14th, 2009 10:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pingrid on July 14th, 2009 10:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 10:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vaysh on July 14th, 2009 11:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 12:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vaysh on July 14th, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 01:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladyjaneva on July 14th, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Jamfranalan on July 14th, 2009 09:57 am (UTC)
Us engineers aren't all bad! Just slightly insane for the most part...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 09:59 am (UTC)
Most of you are splendid! But when you go bad you go very very bad!
(no subject) - franalan on July 14th, 2009 10:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 10:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - franalan on July 14th, 2009 10:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
silent hallucination: be happyalex_s9 on July 14th, 2009 10:07 am (UTC)
OMG, you've been pulled out of our world into some bizarre contemporary Australian remake of "The Conspiracy Theory". And you've got to play Julia Roberts' part. Owww!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 10:09 am (UTC)
I have nowhere NEAR enough teeth!
(no subject) - alex_s9 on July 14th, 2009 10:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
not_an_elf on July 14th, 2009 11:20 am (UTC)
All became clear. He was an engineer.....

Totally understandable really.
We have the power to mess with your water, sewage, food, power, communications, transport etc. etc. etc....
And then you try to tell us that life is not black and white!

Seriously!
What did you expect?

blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 11:21 am (UTC)
$5 off my fare for having to treat him reasonably!
Bryoneybryoneybrynn on July 14th, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC)
What a debate! lol

Alas, the only time I'm ever in a cab is when I'm taking Ben to the doctor. I only get parenting advice from my cabbies. *eye roll so large you can probably see it in Australia*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC)
HAHAHAHA! As a young lass, I was once in the back of a cab with an Italian friend of mine, who was telling me at length about his problems with his parents. At a long red light, the driver turned around and said (in an Italian accent, imagine my shock! (we were in London at the time)) 'Your parents love you and you should be grateful!'

He proceeded to explain the faithfulness and diligence of Italian parents and to tell my friend that he was foolish and young. Finally, he concluded with: 'Where are you from?'

'Sicily,' said Marco.

The driver threw his hands in the air. 'Sicilians? They're ALL crazy people!'
ladyjanevaladyjaneva on July 14th, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC)
That was certainly a very interesting article.

Thinking a society can be made to function like a clockwork, huh? Dream on, dream on...

How did you manage to talk with the cab driver? I never have the patience.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC)
It was talk with him or listen to the monologue, I chose the lesser evil.
Sarah: Nice Hair, Clever, Has Her Own Gun: The Truth ~ by: et13thenotoriousso4 on July 14th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)
My grandfather is/was an engineer here in Oklahoma, and I tell you it makes perfect sense. I've always thought he was a little off his rocker, and definitely a sucker for extreme thinking and conspiracy theories.

And he ends every argument with, "I know the truth! I'm an engineer!"
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
I HATE THAT! I have loads of friends who are scientists and engineers and so on, and a handful of them try that. I reply with phrases along the lines of 'That just means you know the Periodic Table/calculus/physics!' as appropriate.

My grandfather was a barrister. He was sneakier. 'Why do you hold that to be true?' was his technique ;-)
Leelaleela_cat on July 14th, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)
Oh the humanity. *sporfles*

I had to read this aloud to the partner chick, and she was laughing as well.

Thank you for making my morning just that bit better.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
I am glad that my travails provide giggles for people who are not Mr Brammers ;-)
Hollyhollyxu on July 14th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
From the land of orange-juice-on-the-keyboard, Brammers, you are awesome. :D

I suppose being young and glued to my iPod does have some advantages to avoiding the crazy. But how do I get rid of creepy leering old men?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
Sorry about the keyboard!

I know that one! You smile sweetly at them and say 'You remind me so much of my grandfather!'
E McGeemelusinahp on July 14th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
*fizzles with rage*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
Eh, I'm sure he's very reliable with a set square.
Ann: eyetsosh on July 14th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
Hahaha! The last line is priceless. I wonder if he knows about that research...

Do you watch Southpark? Season 10 was actually quite good. They had a funny episode about conspiracy theories - Mystery of the Urinal Deuce.

I heard the old "The Jews stayed home that day" silliness so many times... Of course those people can check and see the Jewish names on the casualties list, but why confusing themselves with facts.

First 9/11, then Harry Potter, and now aphrodisiac chewing gums. What will those evil!Jews do next?
*sits at work and plots world domination by paperclips*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
Anyone who believes in a World Jewish Conspiracy has never listened to people talking outside a synagogue, nor paid attention to Israeli politics.

Still, at least he was an equal-opportunity hater! Everybody copped a serve!
rickey_arickey_a on July 14th, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC)
I think your conversation wasn't that out of the ordinary at all. I really think that most of the western world is in absolute denial that your cab driver represents the prevailing opinion of westerners, 9/11, Jews, and America.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 15th, 2009 03:45 am (UTC)
Not sure it's prevailing. I think it's about the same percentage of people around the world as for the conspiracy nuts in our countries.

In much of Asia there is still a strong affection for the US, and in sub-Saharan Africa, it remains an aspirational country for the most part. Even though it might be the rhetoric taught in revolutionary countries like Iran, it's not something that you would find across the Muslim world, either. Islam had more than a thousand years of close friendship with the Jewish people and educational and legal rights for women before the last 65 years, it's not all disappeared in the dissent over Palestine.
(no subject) - rickey_a on July 15th, 2009 04:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 15th, 2009 04:46 am (UTC) (Expand)