As a NYC citizen who doesn't own a car & rarely takes a cab, I consider my 30-day MTA pass a potent exemplar of higher civilization. Thus, I have faithfully followed instructions to email my NY elected officials for several months now as a member of the Campaign for New York's Future (the Campaign aims -- among other good ideas -- to force NY pols to fund mass transit without screwing the millions who use it).
A few days ago I got a Campaign email that began:
"Show legislators why fair funding matters!
For months, our thousands of letters, phone calls, and emails haven't been enough to make Albany understand the hardships New Yorkers will face if doomsday strikes.
That's why we've created the Commuter Photo Journal – so we can show legislators what it's really like to get to work."
Cut to the crowd scene.
The pictures of packed & problematic subways & buses in the Photo Journal (a Flickr group) aren't terribly impressive, but maybe that's on purpose. The grubby phone cam look says, "See! See! Here's how ordinary commuters like us -- your constituents, by the way -- get to work. You fat cats in your chauffeured cars don't see this, do you? Well, take a good look!"
Could there be in our great city a purer fount of populist rage than a jampacked Number 4 train stalled in a sweltering tunnel at rush hour? I don't think so.