Monday, February 14, 2005



The popular adjective "Kafkaesque" is overused, and its meaning is usually somewhat vague. To me, it signifies Gregor Samsa waking up to discover that he's a cockroach on his back unable to right himself. Absurd, bizarre, trapped, frustrated, doomed.

Kafkaesque in this sense, then, is an "initiative" reported by CBS News tonight. It seems several states (led by Oregon, ironically enough) are proposing to affix monitoring devices to energy-efficient hybrid gas-electric cars so it can tax them by the mile.

It seems the State is concerned about losing out on gasoline tax. Since fuel-efficient cars aren't paying their "fair share" of gasoline tax (because, of course, they don't use much gasoline), people who buy them will be taxed by the ground they cover--if this initiative goes anywhere.

What can I possibly say about this irredeemable idea that could possibly convey greater absurdity that is inherent to it already? This is not just poor leadership, this is anti-leadership--a example of idiocy approaching a theoretical apex of irresponsibility.

In a civilization that's driving itself to perdition, the last thing we need is to give people a disincentive to do the right thing.

© 2005 The Quotidian Meander

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