I’m taking a leaf out of Phin’s blog today – the topic of public transport. And I gripe.
I’m a little miffed about Metlink’s latest campaign against fare evasion. With the entire concept based on karma, I just can’t help but find it, well, offensive. Now, I don’t have any connections (spiritual or otherwise) with Indian religions, where karma and samsara (the cause and effect cycle) originate, but I have studied (albeit briefly) Hindu, Buddhist and Jain philosophies and believe that I have some understanding of the terms. Maybe I’m just frustrated over nothing but the entire things seem like an incredibly stupid marketing ploy. I freely acknowledge that the term karma has been misused for decades and those savvy bastards in the marketing industry have been (mis)appropriating such terms for far too long, but I just don’t see the humour in this. Am I missing something?
When you go to the website for this advertising madness, you’re greeted by the ‘karma llama’ (oh, it rhymes – well done, Metlink), an obnoxious and horridly animated attempt at humour. After this anthropomorphic idiot finishes his introduction you’ll see a train platform inhabited by a variety of commuters – five out the seven are labelled as ‘fare evaders’. Okay, I know that they’re trying to highlight the issue of fare evasion, the PTUA estimates that only 10% of public transport users are fare evaders – so the picture that Metlink (or their advertising gurus) paint is not entirely accurate. Of the five, there is a student, a musician, a nondescript woman, a rather sleazy looking middle-aged man in sports coat and sunglasses, and a tough looking bald guy with a leather jacket. Now, is it just me or do these characters seem to fit Metlink’s stereotypes for such characters – like the type of person you often see the ‘Metcops’ targeting/hassling/assaulting?
I’m not going to go into the slogans that you’ll see adorning the sides of trams, buses and train station near you – they’re just stupid.
On a more political note, I refuse to believe that I have any obligations to private public transport companies. I pay to use public transport like the majority of people, but I hold no grudge against those who don’t. I do, however, object to being harassed by ‘Authorised Officers’ protecting the interests of private companies profiting off a public service. It’s utterly ridiculous!
Like the PTUA, I also object to the punitive measures used against the public when we are forced to rely on a “notoriously unreliable ticketing system”. And it looks like such a system will be in place even longer with the delays on myki – there’s even talk of scrapping the entire project.
RANTRANTRANT. Cranky much?