All your roadway is belong to us!
So this week, Prague was “honored” by a visit from various and sundry heads of state who gathered in this fair hlavni mesto to sign some bullshit about nuclear weapons. What’s worse than a Honza on Red Bull in an Audi A8? World Fucking Leaders, that’s who. Are these people born with a mandate to complicate the lives of regular people who work for a living?
The treaty under discussion is named “START”, or START AGAIN, or some such sillyness. The plan is for America to give at least 15 nuclear warheads to Israel, who will deny they have them, thus negating the things from the realm of truth by disappearing them into the black hole of denial. In return, Russia will deposit at least 15 of their warheads on Chechnya (at varying velocities) and at the bottom of the North Sea. The world will sort of be safer, they assure us… Here’s the news, Chicago boy: there’s only one START in the Czech Republic, and its unfiltered goodness does not share power! As a smoker, I figured he would be aware of this longstanding precedent.
Anyway, rather than facing the typical hordes of harried Honzas racing home from their offices at the crack of 6 to drink beer in the garden, I was treated to a near apocalyptic scene yesterday evening. A line of parked and idling cars, spidering out along every road in Holesovice, inhabited by bizarrely sedated driver-things. As I plowed between the manager mobiles, wondering when one of the commuters would throw his door open to spite my progress, I pondered the possibilities. A derailed tram? An enraged pack of pensioners dragging their shopping trolleys down the middle of the road in protest at the ricing price of leek? A scene from Resistance 2 played out in all its 720p horror atop Hradcany??
I reached the front of the queue and was immediately ordered off my bike by one of Prague’s gorilla-like policemen. What a let down. The world wasn’t burning – shit, Greece hasn’t even collapsed yet. The cretins had closed EVERY STREET within a kilometer of wherever Obama’s motorcade was passing. My bike obviously posed a security threat too severe to contemplate. “Obama do prdele!” an enraged Honza howled at the cop. Right on – you tell him.
Sorry, but this is not security. If someone needs security that causes a “free” city of “Europe” to close down half of its public transportation and block all traffic for an hour so that they can get from point A to point B, it means too many people want that person to “lead” in another plane of existence. The mania for VIP security that started in the Bush era and on the charmed streets of Putin’s Moscow has been taken to the ridiculous extreme here. Imagine, your entire city brought to a standstill AT RUSH HOUR and at great expense to you, the taxpayer, all so that a couple of tossers can scribble their names on a meaningless piece of paper named after a substandard Czech cancer stick?
The cost of this 2-day disruption is rumored to be about 55 million crowns. (Plus 500 Czech Crowns for the kolek)
Would it not be cheaper to make these “leaders” get in a bloody stealth helicopter and just fly to wherever they need so badly to go at 6pm? Even better – what about the governments of the world chipping in to buy a Greek island where nobody but “leaders” can go? They can have all their dumb meetings there and ride unescorted Segways naked to meet their Very Important Counterparts, for all I care. Solve the Greek debt crisis, solve the problem of leader-jams. Bam. Done. If Iran ever gets a bomb, maybe we can be rid of the whole lot of them at one go and return to the days of being lorded over by lesser men with lesser motorcades.
As for me, I obeyed the grunts of the Czech police-thing and continued my ride up to Letna on the sidewalk. I managed to make it up there just in time for the sunset – helicopters dotting the sky like a prison break. What a nice warm bath I’m in, said the frog.