January 30, 2021

"'From a friend (who is very shy, so I can't attribute): "Pretty sure Brett about to enter the lexicon as the male equivalent of Karen,"' [Brett] Alder tweeted."

"He then started to try to get the term trending by saying a coffee shop Jo's Coffee was being a Brett after an image surfaced of the store with writing on its wall reading: 'I love you so much *except for Brett Alder.' 'Don't know why @JosCoffee is being such a Brett about all this...' he wrote." 


My main problem with Austin is not even on the list: The traffic and the drivers. I wrote about it back in 2014:
My most harrowing driving experience was yesterday, just trying to get downtown in Austin. The highways there are evil, and there are local fuckers doubling down on the evil, making it a nightmare. I will never drive in Austin again. Whatever good there is in Austin is severely diluted by the hell of its roads.
Ha ha. How often have I called people "fuckers" in print? 

I think there's only one other example, NBCUniversal killed Television Without Pity: "You bought it, it was what it was, so perfectly what it was that you couldn't change it, so you killed it, you fuckers." 

I did also imagine Bill Clinton's thoughts, when he appeared at the 2008 Democratic Convention: "Bill Clinton is doing a fabulous job tonight. His superiority to everyone else who has spoken is painfully obvious. 'America will always be a place called hope.' Brilliant. He's the greatest! And, now what is going through his mind? And that's how it's done you losers. Screw you for rejecting Hillary. Enjoy your doom, fuckers."

Anyway, I felt awfully aggressed upon in Austin in 2014. And, by the way, I am still outraged by the killing of Television Without Pity. 

120 comments:

Shane said...

You have lived the American dream to have attained the age of 70 and have these be your Life Complaints.

Achilles said...

No only is it a rude way to drive, it gains you about 30 seconds in shorter overall trip time to drive like that.

I don't like driving in my new home either. But I have had people tell me Dallas is worse. It sounds like Austin has a similar first person experience.

Lurker21 said...

At this point, who would want to be "the California" of anything?

And isn't this the classic case of moving somewhere and then complaining that it isn't just like the place you left? Doesn't say much for "diversity" when places can't be different. Maybe "keeping Austin weird" means not making it like San Diego or Los Angeles.

Lurker21 said...

Twitter users quickly pounced on Alder and said he was a 'hypocrite' for his 'condescending' and 'insulting' article moaning about cedar allergies, 'terrible service', the lack of places to hike and having to drive 40 minutes to a restaurant serving Southern Indian food.

YHGTBKM

jaydub said...

I think the male version of "Karen" has already been co-opted by "Ken B," and deservedly so.

tim maguire said...

Complaints about traffic would be out of place in an essay called “Austin is not the California of Texas.”

Crimso said...

I've driven in both Austin and Boston. I found Boston to be the worst place I've ever tried to drive by far. Solely because of the other drivers.

Sebastian said...

"Austin is not the "California of Texas"'"

Quite a compliment. Good for Austin. And good for Texas that even it's worst lefty area is still better than CA.

Bob Boyd said...

The guy is entitled to his opinions and he likes what he likes. Both Texas and Brett will be happier with Brett in California.

Now that doesn't mean he's not a douche. I strongly suspect he is a douche.
If you look at the picture of Brett with his family, you'll note the classic facial and body language of the American douche. You can't miss it. It's as plain as the nose on his face.

The Crack Emcee said...

"I did also imagine Bill Clinton's thoughts, when he appeared at the 2008 Democratic Convention: "Bill Clinton is doing a fabulous job tonight. Getting away with FOUR RAPES FOR THIS LONG? HOT DAMN."

FIFY

I, too, blogged on Brett and Austin. My last visit, to see an old friend there, was a nightmare. My last stay in France was a nightmare.

I've had a lot of nightmares.

alan markus said...

@ Jaydub: I think the male version of "Karen" has already been co-opted by "Ken B,

When I read the last line of the headline, my mind played a visual trick on me.
"Karen,(Brett).

Take out the ar, the,( and everything after the B and you get "Ken B".

mesquito said...

I’m always amazed by people who move to Austin and think they now live in Texas.

Howard said...

I learned to drive in LA. Boston/New England drivers are actually pretty good except for stopping or slowing down while merging.

SF Bay drivers are horrible, except for the regular commuters on the 17.

The problem is you need to be on your game and a lot of intellectuals, hayseeds and big city transit riders are timid targets who just get in the way.

rehajm said...

I wanted to like Austin but it's like Portland OR to me. Everyone my whole life tells me how wonderful it is. I go there and it's kind of shit...

Whiskeybum said...

Only slightly OT: what is it with news articles today trying to tell the entire story within the excruciatingly long title?

rehajm said...

Austin is the fresh fly paper what attracts assholes.

rehajm said...

Having lived in Boston most of my adult life I will claim they aren't the worst drivers. By far.

Wince said...

Brett Alder, a director of semiconductor business development at Japanese firm Hamamatsu, has been branded 'entitled' and a 'douche'

He reminds me of a married "Ellis" from Die Hard.

Achilles said...

Howard said...

The problem is you need to be on your game and a lot of intellectuals, hayseeds and big city transit riders are timid targets who just get in the way.

I agree for the most part to this.

But if I signal to merge, and you speed up to get beside me and block my merge, that should consign you to the second ring of whichever bad place you think evil souls go.

Dagwood said...

Of course many people in Austin are rude. They're the ones who moved there from California before you did.

Fernandinande said...

Complaints about traffic would be out of place in an essay called “Austin is not the California of Texas.”

Would Los Angeles be not the Texas of California?

Michael K said...

Dagwood said...
Of course many people in Austin are rude. They're the ones who moved there from California before you did.


Exactly. Chicago drivers are the worst but Austin is a dump. My son and his daughter were visiting colleges and quickly eliminated that one.

unknown said...

If Austin sucks it’s because so many Bretts have moved there and changed it. I say this as someone who lived in Austin for several years and loved it but now hates it. It has become such an overcrowded and obnoxious place.

JPS said...

Achilles,

"But if I signal to merge, and you speed up to get beside me and block my merge, that should consign you to the second ring of whichever bad place you think evil souls go."

Preach it!

Also not a fan of people who suddenly stop in the left lane, waiting to turn, unaware that the latest automotive technology allows them to signal their intentions beforehand. In the voice of John Cleese from the cheese shop sketch, I say "No, no, don't tell me, I'm keen to guess."

Some Seppo said...

TWOP became a bunch of ban happy fuckers after they were sold. And the idjits had the recap authors moderate their recap threads so they took everything personally. Fuckers.

The Vault Dweller said...

Wow, complaining about a place you move to without even living there long enough to get the vibe is so Brett.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

"it's getting pretty tired.... living on hope"

-someone

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Howard said...

Sacramento is the Texas of California, Bakersfield is the Oklahoma of California.

M Jordan said...

Women shouldn’t say “f*ckers.” Tbh, men shouldn’t either. Very low rent.

Achilles said...

I am just going to point out that we wont be bitching about bad drivers soon.

It will be interesting how they manage to force us to support insurance companies.

M Jordan said...

Best places to live will always be in the northern latitudes. Cold weather makes for civility, decency.

Lyle said...

You're not wrong about the highways in Austin. They are evil. Strange enough, I think it is because they haven't built enough of them. I cringed while writing that, but it is true. Every other city in Texas is pretty easy to get through, but not Austin.

Austin is worse than DFW, in my experience. DFW I find convoluted and tricky to navigate without GPS or a map. You have to know which lanes you need to be in. DFW is more than an hour, if not longer, of driving to pass through, whichever direction you're headed.

Jamie said...

I live in the Houston burbs and I do believe that I've encountered more rude merge-blocking drivers here than anywhere else. They can be dealt with but one shouldn't have to. I don't understand the impulse, but I hypothesize it's some kind of "mustangs on the range" thing where where they feel an abiding need to be first at any cost.

That, however, is my worst complaint about living here. In all other ways (even including the summer humid heat, to which it's taken me four years to acclimate - but my skin is much nicer here than in the dry heat of Sacramento), I've thoroughly enjoyed this sojourn.

Lurker21 said...


Among his complaints, Alder said the heat was one of them, calling it 'oppressive'

Wasn't it really the humditity, Brett?

Brett's wife looks like she is being held prisoner.

Freeman Hunt said...

The drivers in Denver were so bad that I thought the blinker on my rental car might be broken.

San Diego is tough to beat for pleasantness. Not sure what the guy expected.

Ironclad said...

I live in Austin - well in the NW tip area where is more “normal” than downtown - I mean I have to drive 5 miles to get to a Whole Foods, ( Central Market - the HEB version of Whole Paycheck is way better too, btw) I read the story and thought it was funny - guy lives in the whitest and richest area of the Austin area and bitches about lack of places to eat? I notice places like Franklin BBQ ( where God eats), Ramen Tatsyu Ya ( where the flavor depth of the broth makes you gasp) or Otoko ( Jiro Dreams of Sushi time) are not mentioned by Mr Douche. Sad. He probably turned his nose up at Whataburger too ( but I bet his kids didn’t).

Traffic downtown in Austin is a mess and has gotten worse - but it’s not bad at all compared to Dallas or LA. The biggest problem with Austin now is the wake city council doing its best to drag the city into a woke black hole. Their “ homeless initiative ” has been a spectacular failure and has doubled the homeless population in a year. Pushback is starting now - one of the most woke got tossed in a run off election, but it’s not good - they want Portland here.

I feel sorry for the guys kids more than anything - they missed a chance to actually return to normal by moving back to LaLa Land.

tommyesq said...

I learned to drive in LA. Boston/New England drivers are actually pretty good except for stopping or slowing down while merging.

The rule in Boston is never to make eye contact - if the other driver knows you see him/her, they have already won.

robother said...

I lived in Austin for three years, 1970-73. It was great, early Armadillo music scene, easy to get around, just a college town, with a State Capitol.

By the early 90s when I went back to visit, that Austin was almost buried, now when I fly there on the way to birding Hill Country and the Valley, its unrecognizable. Ann's right, the traffic is unbearable, though I recognize the Denver area driving with rage style. My theory is, too many recent arrivals from places where Interstate driving is a breeze, reacting to bumper-to-bumper slow-downs as abnormal.

Can't blame Cali immigrants, since my experience of LA drivers is most are pretty mellow, mostly used to crowded highways and people needing to cut in and get over to exits.

tommyesq said...

I have driven around the greater Boston area for much of my life, with a three year stint in the nice, friendly midwest. Drivers there always did the speed limit regardless of the lane they were in, almost always slowed down to let drivers merge,, etc. They had waaayyyy more highway deaths than Boston, usually someone getting rear-ended by a semi that couldn't slow down as quickly as they did.

tommyesq said...

I've driven in both Austin and Boston. I found Boston to be the worst place I've ever tried to drive by far. Solely because of the other drivers.

Boston drivers have the one characteristic that I cherish above all others - predictability. They may be aggressive, reckless jerks, but you know that they will be aggressive, reckless jerks and can plan accordingly.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Traffic sucks everywhere. The only reason you think it sucks worse in other cities than yours is because in your city you know where you're going.

Oso Negro said...

Austin was an awesome place to go when I left Missouri at the age of 19 in 1976. The drinking age was 18, the Texas Lady on the Drag sold pitchers for $1.00, there were titty bars if you didn't feel like driving to Hippie Hollow, you could see the old black bluesmen before they died at Antone's on 6th Street, and everyone else at Armadillo World Headquarters. I enjoyed all my years as an undergraduate at U.T., but by the time I left it had changed for the worse. People who were there in the '70s were bitching about it already. Now there are people who are nostalgic for the '90s! I guess it never stops. I live in Galveston (check us out, DBQ!) and we have that Island thing going on in addition to being Texas. I avoid the big Texas cities whenever I can, but Austin is at the top of the DO NOT GO list.

Roughcoat said...

Michael K. said "Chicago drivers are the worst"

Chicago drivers aren't so bad, except when they're shooting at you.

David53 said...

The rule in Boston is never to make eye contact - if the other driver knows you see him/her, they have already won.

The rules in Texas allow for eye contact, wild gesticulating, and finger pointing. Just never wave your pistol at them because they may have an AR.

tommyesq said...

Michael K. said "Chicago drivers are the worst"

Chicago drivers aren't so bad, except when they're shooting at you.


Or voting.

Ice Nine said...

>>Lurker21 said...
"Brett's wife looks like she is being held prisoner."<<

Brett's wife looks like she is tapped out.

Roughcoat said...

Oso Negro:

What you said Austin applies to Boulder, Colorado. When I got there in the late 60s it was pleasant and affordable -- a mix of college students and local ranchers and suchlike. Then there came the huge influx of Californians (mostly from the Bay Area) and the place went to hell. After graduating from CU I moved to Denver, a nice little city at the time. Then that went to hell and I moved back to the Chicago area where I grew up. Had lots of fun there for a goodly span, especially on the South Side.

This year I moved to Northwest Indiana, after Satan formally annexed Cook County to the precincts of hell.

Original Mike said...

""You bought it, it was what it was, so perfectly what it was that you couldn't change it, so you killed it, you fuckers." "

GM buying Saab. The bastards.

Big Mike said...

I've driven in both Austin and Boston. I found Boston to be the worst place I've ever tried to drive by far. Solely because of the other drivers.

I did a lot of business travel to the Boston area in the 1980s, which was the era of the "Boston Beltway" as companies in Waltham, Chelmsford, Cambridge, and other Boston area locations were supposed to challenge Silicon Valley for tech supremacy. I haven't been back since circa 1987 and don't miss it. One thing that struck me then was how Massachusetts drivers positively bragged about how bad the Boston drivers were. Trying to get to Logan after coming south on I-93 was a treat. I remember a bridge which sort of formed an X-shaped intersection -- people had to merge from the left and exit in a relatively short distance to the right (from their perspective we were the evil ones merging from the left and exiting to the right), and then I recall a tunnel where in one block we had to go from 5 or 6 lanes down to (IIRC) 2. Years later I think I still have some PTSD. Glad I was in a rental car.

Michael K said...

I moved back to the Chicago area where I grew up. Had lots of fun there for a goodly span, especially on the South Side.

I would love to get my sister out of there. But grandkids, etc. South Shore in the 40s and 50s was as nice a place to live as you could find in the midwest.

The black guy who owns the house I grew up in asked me if I would send him photos of it when we lived there. I feel so sorry for him trying to live a middle class life in hell. He saw me taking a photo one day and came out and insisted on giving me a tour.

Francisco D said...

My most harrowing driving experience was yesterday, just trying to get downtown in Austin

Mine was driving from Nashville to Murfreesboro three times a week about 15 years ago. I called Interstate 26 "The Highway of Death" after the road from Kuwait City to Baghdad. There was a serious crash almost every week. Guys were passing me at 100 mph and swerving across three lanes to exit.

To this day I am convinced that the craziest and most reckless drivers live In Tennessee. That is different from the rude drivers I dealt with in Chicago for most of my life.

AZ Bob said...

People like to talk about moving to some small town as if it will improve their life. I would like to move as well but my wife said we're staying put because all our family and friends are here in Southern California. I told her I hate my family and can make new friends.

Big Mike said...

By the 1990s I had stopped going to the Boston area and business travel took me instead to cities in Texas and to Silicon Valley. I loved San Antonio, and really had no problems driving around Austin. Not sure what you are complaining about, Althouse, though perhaps driving in the Boston area had inured me to bad drivers. El Paso was also easy driving (a quarter century ago!) but so damned many restaurants were Tex-Mex and I got desperate for a decent barbeque joint. I hated my one visit to Dallas.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Boston is not such a bad place to drive so long as you understand the two principles of Boston driving, waiver of right of way and right of way by necessity. The first gets visitors in trouble because they hesitate if they are unsure, and that is a waiver of right away. The second can admittedly get a little crazy, but is highly predictable.I once saw someone turn left at a traffic light on a three lane road from the right lane across five lanes of traffic. They were beating the green, of course, because how else are they going to get across five lanes? But the usual application is someone coming across several freeway lanes to make their exit. When you are coming up on an exit, you have to expect that.

Original Mike said...

"But the usual application is someone coming across several freeway lanes to make their exit. When you are coming up on an exit, you have to expect that."

But it's not a bad place to drive…

Lurker21 said...


I wonder if Doug Emhoff feels the same way about DC.

*

And was young Brett's favorite song, "California Über Alles" by the Dead Kennedys?

rcocean said...

The fewer Californians who move to Texas, the better for Texas. These shit-birds foul every nest they roost in. As for Traffic, I can't believe Austin is worse then DC or Long Island both of which I had the misfortune to "Motor" around.

Lurker21 said...

Time was, Boston was a competitor of the Bay Area in computers and tech -- maybe even the country's leader.

Route 128, "America's Technology Highway," was going to give Silicon Valley real competition.

But it didn't work out that way.

On balance, probably a good thing.

Roughcoat said...

Michael K:

South Shore when I was a teenager had a disproportionate number of smoking hot Polish girls. I had a thing with one of them for awhile. Wowza!

You're right, South Shore was a great neighborhood back in the day. But, then, so were most of Chicago's white ethnic neighborhoods. Even Englewood, which was mainly Irish. Postwar Chicago inro the 1970s was a golden age. I loved the place. Absolutely loved it.

The Northwest Side is still good, in the white-ethnic sense. And there are good pockets elsewhere, e.g., Mt. Greenwood on the South Side, still vastly Irish. But for the most part the city has gone to hell. Angry, violent, dangerous, unliveably expensive.

"The old days are gone forever, *sniff*." <- Squire Will Danaher, in the "Quiet Man."

rcocean said...

I driven though LA several times and found everyone more or less competent but it still scared the shit out of me. The freeway jammed to the gills, with everyone going 70 MPH. Sorry, I need some decent space between me and the next car, when going 70 MPH. Had one person slammed on their brakes, it would've been a 50 car pile up.

I also experienced a case in Calf, where despite the Ground Fog, everyone persisted in going 65 MPH. Sorry, I'm not into that. I got off the freeway and took 99.

Original Mike said...

Worst place I ever had to drive was Sydney. Big city traffic, don't know the place, and I'm on the wrong side of the road sitting on the wrong side of the car. White-knuckler.

rcocean said...

No, it would've been better if Boston had been the center of High Tech. All the liberal/leftists tech creeps moved Calf even further left.

Lurker21 said...

AUSTIN, TEXAS: An aerial view of his home in Bee Cave. Alder also detailed other issues he has with Austin, including what he said were militaristic schools and sports, a monoculture and there being nowhere to go, but was quickly slammed for his opinions

I really would have thought twice before moving to a place called "Bee Cave."

Lurker21 said...

Bee Cave:

Historical population
Census Pop. %±
1990 241 —
2000 656 172.2%
2010 3,925 498.3%
2019 (est.) 6,841 [3] 74.3%


Yikes! 498.3%

Tina Trent said...

In 2020, Metro Atlanta managed to increase the number of fatal car accidents on our highways while COVID restrictions and telecommuting reduced highway miles driven by 30%

Some of this is due to the newly invented problem of mass drag racing. The rest is people doing 163 miles an hour on GA 400.

Plus we threw the Senate.

DavidUW said...

Austin is a shithole. And yeah, traffic is a fucking nightmare for such a pissant town.

Choose either Dallas or San Antonio or one of the myriad nice hill towns in between.

Sebastian said...

"I am still outraged by the killing of Television Without Pity."

Talk about First World problems.

rcocean said...

Alder is just another shit head Liberal/leftist upset that everyone doesn't live like they do in SocCal or the bay area. And that people don't agree with him on everything. Fuck him. Texas was well rid of him, and people like him.

rcocean said...

Television Without Pity like all media that publishes objective reviews of TV or Movies costs the "Industry" money. They don't like people who hurt their ratings or their ticket sales. That's why they bought it up, and killed it.

They also didn't like IMDB. which is why Amazon bought it, and got rid of the discussion boards, and why they started up "Rotten Tomatoes" which is much more friendly toward "The product". They want to go back to the old days when you could only read Movie/TV critics who loved 85% of what they saw or watch TV hacks like Gene Shalit.

Chris N said...

You really don’t want any sort of aggressive masculinity/militarism/hs football around.

Just like in San Diego and So. Cal, you want to overwhelm the naval base folks and the Orange Co. Republicans with a global raft of non-binary, perfectly democratic humans.

Also, why denigrate many characteristics you yourself possess? in order for self-promotion or to appear cool?

You seem to have a great job, a good wife, and a nice family Brett. Ain’t that enough? Maybe pick up a guitar?

Jeez.

Whiskeybum said...

I lived in Paris, France in the early 90's. When I arrived there, I was terrified of driving around - not only because of the strange signage and lane markings, but the aggressive driving style compared to the US Midwest. In order to live there over a year, I was required (by law and by my company) to obtain a French drivers license, so I was enrolled in a French drivers ed class. In that class, I learned to think like a French (aggressive) driver. For example, the French don't drive 'defensively' like we do in the States. They hardly ever use their rear view mirrors. They watch the road directly in front of them, and also roughly 45 degrees on either side. They are responsible for avoiding accidents with someone in that zone of view. And likewise, the persons behind them are responsible for avoiding accidents in their equivalent vision zones. You never worry about who's behind you - avoiding YOU is THEIR responsibility.

Once I acclimated to the French driving attitude, I became a much more aggressive driver. When friends would visit from the States, I'd drive them into central Paris to give them a 'thrill'. At Etoile (the roundabout around the Arc de Triomphe), the rule is that cars merging into the circle actually have the right-of-way. I'd swing right into the crazy swirling traffic, with others merging on and off - it would look like total chaos to my passengers with card criss-crossing at high speeds, but made sense to me. Another fun area was Place de la Concorde: it was similar to Etoile, except usually slower due to both traffic volume and stop lights. We would be in a traffic jam moving very slowly with cars on all sides - literally a couple of inches from each other, heading different directions - lots of jockeying for position and honking. My passengers would always cringe as we worked our way through the traffic - fun times!

Chris N said...

Also, my uncle was a mathematician who taught at Boston College. On all the exit/entrance ramps, he would turn the wheel in increments, as though he were a program not able to handle a long, slow curve.

I’m glad he was able to contribute to Boston’s signless, aggressive driving situation in his own way.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“I think the male version of "Karen" has already been co-opted by "Ken B," and deservedly so.”

Not collegial but certainly funny!

“San Diego is tough to beat for pleasantness.”

San Diego was a surprise to me. I expected just another uptight statist Cali shithole, decay glazed with affluence, and instead found an easygoing friendly vibe with the people largely ignoring whatever decrees were spewing from Sacramento. The lowest incidence of mask-wearing that I saw all summer.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“We would be in a traffic jam moving very slowly with cars on all sides - literally a couple of inches from each other, heading different directions - lots of jockeying for position and honking”

Which is exactly my experience with Boston traffic.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more flexible. More willing to mix self-driving with the joys and inconvenience of public transport. The smartphone has made this much easier.

Scott said...

Having been a pedestrian in downtown Austin, I'm convinced that they put crosswalks at intersections to make it easier for drivers to hit people.

Skeptical Voter said...

Dang if 'doom" means that Hillary Clinton is nacho Presidente today---give me a double shot of doom! Thanks for the tip Bill!

Joe Smith said...

Bill Clinton knew a lot about fuckers, and fuckees.

Willing or not.

KellyM said...

tommyesq said...
"I learned to drive in LA. Boston/New England drivers are actually pretty good except for stopping or slowing down while merging.

The rule in Boston is never to make eye contact - if the other driver knows you see him/her, they have already won"

Driving around Boston was much more harrowing (to me) than driving into town. I used to get on Rte. 1 North by a double rotary that would leave you in pucker mode and hyperventilating.

By contrast, driving in and around San Francisco is a piece of cake. Just watch out for the car where the sun visor is permanently in the down position and the driver is wearing a hat. It's inevitably an elderly Chinese driver doing 10 under the speed limit.

@BigMike: you left Boston just as the madness known as The Big Dig was ramping up. You cannot imagine the lunacy that was the dismantling of the Central Artery and temporary surface streets literally reconfigured overnight with no warning. Every day was an adventure.

Joe Smith said...

"Having lived in Boston most of my adult life I will claim they aren't the worst drivers. By far."

I've driven in Los Angeles, Boston, Manhattan, San Francisco, Florence, and Rome, among other congested cities.

Bad traffic aside (the Bay Area is the worst), I don't think Boston is bad at all.

Rome is very challenging. When you get behind the wheel there you had better be the reincarnation of Charlton Heston driving a chariot. Be aggressive or die : )

Joe Smith said...

"By contrast, driving in and around San Francisco is a piece of cake."

I learned to drive stick there : )

Yancey Ward said...

Sorry, but the male version of "Karen" is still "Karen".

Blair said...

Bee Cave and Austin are vastly different places, and they're actually over the other side of the river from each other, with no bridges except miles to the north or to the southeast. Moving to Bee Cave is not moving to Austin in any way shape or form. I can imagine Californians liking Austin itself, but Bee Cave is wealthy white Texan suburbia, and probably like visiting an alien planet to a lot of Californians. There's also not much out there in terms of restaurants or bars, which are all in actual Austin.

Brett might have liked it better on the other side of the river.

Humperdink said...

Having been labelled by him as a douche for calling him out as a Canadian, I have penciled him in as Ken B. Insecure.

Iman said...

Love... love can be found in Austin.

Narayanan said...

7 kids by body-birth (as they say in Vorkosiverse) : normal?, unusual?, Mormon / Catholic patriarchal?

effinayright said...

Crimso said...
I've driven in both Austin and Boston. I found Boston to be the worst place I've ever tried to drive by far. Solely because of the other drivers.
***********

I've lived around Boston for a long time, and have taken a number of commuter routes in and around the city, on the Turnpike and along Rte 128.

My take is, the driving on the turnpike and main roads to the West is just fine (but going north/south on the Expressway is a nightmare).

Where it gets really rough for out-of-towners is dealing with the often-confusing layout of streets downtown, and the dreaded alternating one-ways. Sometimes it seems like "you can't get there from here", much like dealing with the NE NW SE SW quadrants of DC. But if you're confused and slow down, the locals will be all over you---just as they will in NYC.

The changes in traffic patterns from "The Big Dig" and the much-better signage along the roads has helped a lot over the years---or at least its helped me. Wayz, and Mapquest before it, have been a godsend.

donald said...

“Traffic sucks everywhere. The only reason you think it sucks worse in other cities than yours is because in your city you know where you're going”.

I travel all over this great land. This is the truth.

Iman said...

“By contrast, driving in and around San Francisco is a piece of cake."

Yes, the streets are paved with chocolate.

Michael K said...

You're right, South Shore was a great neighborhood back in the day. But, then, so were most of Chicago's white ethnic neighborhoods. Even Englewood, which was mainly Irish. Postwar Chicago inro the 1970s was a golden age. I loved the place. Absolutely loved it.

The Irish neighborhoods around Halsted and 55th were a bit sketchy. I remember going to the Auto Show on a streetcar when I was in high school (the 50s) and, when the streetcar got to 55th (I think) the conductor pulled up the boarding steps and the car made a run for it for about 25 blocks. Nobody allowed on or off. Other than that...

Narr said...

I enjoy reading what others consider insults; the locale-diss is one of the more interesting subgenres.

Everybody should find the shithole of their dreams. I have only visited Austin a few times, a few times carless at UT (I echo the praise for the Ransom Center's Michener collection) and only once for any social purpose. In that case, a big RC wedding weekend (I was a groomsman), we drove around a lot, and I have to say I didn't find all that much to like about the place.

My friend, on the other hand, loves the place above all others, or at least he did--he's now in Santa Fe with a new life and second wife.

I've druv in many notorious conurbations east of the Mississippi (and one week in SoCal) but the harriest for me was in Paris (the one in France) and the Marne-Aube-Seine region east of there. I was in a fucking great Skoda van (I dubbed the Forty & Eight) in unfamiliar territory outside the city, but getting back in, even to Bagnolet, was awful no matter which approach one took of an evening . . .

I made no attempt to penetrate into the historic center in the van--that's what Metros are for, and feet.

Drivers here are not terrible overall. The most common problem is that too many seem immune to the notion that rain and dark might require lower speeds; lately, there was a rash of yoyos stopping interstate traffic to race and do donuts, and there's a wide straight stretch of street just east of here in our nice residential neighborhood where other yoyos race quite often--but that's life in modern America.

It can get worse.

Narr
It will get worse

Michael K said...

donald said...
“Traffic sucks everywhere. The only reason you think it sucks worse in other cities than yours is because in your city you know where you're going”.

I travel all over this great land. This is the truth.


No, there was a time when California drivers were better than most. That sort of coincided with the Chief Parker LAPD. I was crossing the street in Chicago one time and was in na crosswalk. Chicago drivers would try to pick you off if you were too close to the street on the sidewalk.

Anyway, I was halfway across, sort of waiting for this car to pass, when he slammed on his brakes to let me finish crossing. I asked him if he was from California and he agreed he was. The big difference then, probably the 70s, was California drivers obeyed traffic laws. A big one was stopping for people in crosswalks.

Robt C said...

Mr Douche opinions on Austin traffic can't be that it's congested. San Diego is no picnic to get around. My guess is, as others have mentioned, that he isn't familiar with the idiosyncrasies and mannerism of the locals. I'm sure and Austinite who moved to San Diego would feel the same way about SD traffic. Austin's traffic congestion is only a problem for a few miles around downtown (unless there's an accident, of course, and that's true anywhere) for a few hours of the day. I moved here (well, 30 miles south) 20 years ago and have seen the traffic get worse. Part of the problem is a lack of new road construction, and that's deliberate. The city fathers have become very auto-unfriendly, taking entire lanes away from cars and making them bus and bike only. It's very aggravating to be stuck in traffic next to a totally empty lane. The bigger problem is there is no regional bus service, so a guy like me has to drive to downtown, and once here it is a PITA.
That being said, every time I go back to LA and fight the traffic there I chuckle at the Austin locals who complain about traffic. They have no freakin idea what traffic is.

Michael K said...

I've druv in many notorious conurbations east of the Mississippi (and one week in SoCal) but the harriest for me was in Paris (the one in France) and the Marne-Aube-Seine region east of there.

I've driven all over France, including Paris, and it is fine. Once I stopped for gas in Normandy. My French is awful, what there is of it, and a kid came running out of the little office to return my change. I would not have known any better.

The worst is Rome where I would never try to drive. They drive on sidewalks. Australia is tricky as they don't have all the warnings about which side to drive on and they have these multi-trailer rigs that go like hell. The British have continental drivers and post all sorts of signs. Not in OZ.

At least there are no drunk drivers in OZ. Pubs have breathalyzers as you go out. The penalties are almost as severe as Norway's.

Michael K said...

That being said, every time I go back to LA and fight the traffic there I chuckle at the Austin locals who complain about traffic. They have no freakin idea what traffic is.



MY wife is a 5th generation native of CA. Now that we have been in AZ for four years, she gets the twitch in LA traffic and can't wait to get home to Tucson where a traffic jam is five cars at a light.

Francisco D said...

Yancey Ward said...Sorry, but the male version of "Karen" is still "Karen".

I prefer "Karen B".

MikeD said...

Obviously our hostess had never driven in Boston or DC. Full disclosure, I haven't since the 70's.

Humperdink said...

Back in the early '70's while at Penn State, if you had a car and were travelling for the weekend to Philly, Pittsburgh or any major city, you would post your name and phone number in the student union. Round trip to Pittsburgh (my destination) typically cost $5.00. There might be 8-10 drivers on the board for each city.

Dan, last name unknown, was without question the most famous. He drove a four-door full-size Rambler. It was him and 5 of us paying passengers. He drove between 80-90 miles per hour the entire trip. I recall him driving through someone's front yard to get around a car making a left turn. The return trip to Penn State afforded us more room in the car as 2 or 3 passengers opted to find another way back to school.

independent said...

I hear you about Austin's highways. One would expect big wide roads in Texas but not there. The traffic on the frontage roads moves as fast as on the highway. We set our Google Maps for biking to try to avoid the busy roads.

Just remember - if you miss your exit, no big deal. There's always another one.

FullMoon said...

tommyesq said...

I learned to drive in LA. Boston/New England drivers are actually pretty good except for stopping or slowing down while merging.

The rule in Boston is never to make eye contact - if the other driver knows you see him/her, they have already won.
1/30/21, 9:42 AM


Yep, peripheral vision only. Driving with dented fenders and faded paint generally guarantees respect in any traffic contest.

FullMoon said...

KellyM said...

By contrast, driving in and around San Francisco is a piece of cake. Just watch out for the car where the sun visor is permanently in the down position and the driver is wearing a hat. It's inevitably an elderly Chinese driver doing 10 under the speed limit.


Wearing a hat, while smoking a pipe, might as well pull over and take a nap.

FullMoon said...

Just remember - if you miss your exit, no big deal. There's always another one.

Nah, just stop on freeway until you can pull across two or three lanes to make your exit.

Not unusual in SF bay area.

LordSomber said...

I always thought a fitting name for a male "Karen" would be... "Karen."

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Michael K said...

No, there was a time when California drivers were better than most. That sort of coincided with the Chief Parker LAPD.

I can't speak for California, but I can remember when most drivers were reasonably good drivers (at least in the part of North Carolina where I grew up). I also always thought that it had a lot to do with the presence of WWII vets in society. My dad was a vet. Among he and his peers an accusation of being a bad driver was fighting words! They were the first large group in America to have the opportunity and ability to own cars, prior to that it was only something rich people did a lot. Maybe that had something to do with it.

Whiskeybum said...

Michael K said...
The big difference then, probably the 70s, was California drivers obeyed traffic laws. A big one was stopping for people in crosswalks.


Michael - I can't argue whether California drivers were or were not good drivers in the 70's, but I'm sure one big reason why they stopped for pedestrians in the crosswalks is because around that time, California enacted strong laws that put 100% responsibility on car drivers for any car/pedestrian accidents during street crossings. If you wanted to avoid bodily damage/manslaughter charges and cancellation of your auto insurance, you'd better be on the lookout for pedestrians. I remember being in CA after these laws were enacted - you just had to put one foot towards the street pavement, and the traffic in all four directions would immediately screech to a halt (even those cars who would not be crossing your path).

Michael K said...

California enacted strong laws that put 100% responsibility on car drivers for any car/pedestrian accidents during street crossings.

Oh yes, but nobody obeys laws in California now. When I first arrived, a college freshman, I got stopped by a cop for something, I forget what. In Chicago, I always had a $20 bill behind my driver's license. I handed my license with the bill to the LAPD cop and got a lecture. Never did it again.

Ann said...

I miss TWOP too.

wildswan said...

Karens have no males. Or females. I thought everybody knew that.

Roughcoat said...

The Irish neighborhoods around Halsted and 55th were a bit sketchy.

The would be Englewood. Now it's worse than sketchy, it's a shooting gallery. And black, not Irish.

Curiously, that the neighborhood where H.H. Holmes -- the Devil in White City -- built and operated his "murder castle."

The Vault Dweller said...

While I don't have any direct experience myself, I have heard that compared to anywhere in the US drivers in Italy, specifically Rome, are an order of magnitude worse.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Don't drive myself, but I remember getting to SF from Berkeley (or, worse yet, Emeryville) via the Bay Bridge -- there was a very short space on 80 where you had to cross five lanes. My husband could always do it, but sometimes it was a bit harrowing.

The scariest driving experiences I've had, though, weren't about other drivers, but frightening roads. The worst is Hwy 1 north of SF -- I can't remember whether it's coming into Jenner or out of it in a southward direction, but whichever it was it scared the pants off me for about 20 solid minutes -- no rails, hundreds of feet down to the sea, many twists and turns and no idea what comes at you until you have a split second to react. My husband was fine -- but then it wasn't his butt hanging off the cliff.

Tim said...

Too F-ing late. Male Karens are Kyles. Have been for weeks if not months. Some people have a hard time keeping up.

Leland said...

As a Texan, I enjoy the complaints about Austin.

richlb said...

The guy moved into a house twice the size he used to own and then complained about utilities.

roadgeek said...

Lived in Austin for 25 years and have watched the traffic degrade over all that time. The road system was poorly designed in the first place, and was never developed proactively but always as a reaction to additional traffic. TXDOT tries to keep up with the traffic, but any new project is already obsolete at the moment of completion. TXDOT just cannot keep up, and funds are limited. Too many people are moving here too quickly for infrastructure requirements to be met timely. In the Before Times I read that Austin was gaining 100 new residents each day, and I doubt that has changed, pandemic or not. I'm looking forward to leaving. Austin has become a real shithole for a variety of reasons, and the traffic is just one of many. Just a few more years.

Lonestar Stacy said...

Agree about Austin traffic; that’s why I’ve chosen another direction vis a vis Highway Six at Texas A&M. Wouldn’t you know it... my daughter chose UT for law school.:One more semester...

virgil xenophon said...

Michelle Dulak Thompson@ 6:18M/

Agree about the Bay Bridge & Ditto for the PCH(aka HWY 1). Have you read/heard about the giant mud-slide near Big Sur/Monterrey which wiped out a mag. chunk of the PCH?

jim said...

Hey, catch up with the times.

Your FEELINGS that you were aggressed upon in 2014 and threatened with large out of control objects are trivial next to your trampling on the rights of those who were cutting you off and otherwise exercising their sacred right to drive like morons.

DRP said...

All the "rude locals" in Austin came from California.

JohnW said...

I first moved to Austin in 1969 to attend UT. I lived there for about 40 years. I lived near Bee Cave before there was anything there besides live oak trees and BBQ joints. Oh, and scorpions. I finally left because the traffic became impossible and there were too many people from California moving in. I can remember when Austin drivers waved to each other. Now they just shoot the finger.

Brett's comments about Bee Cave being boring are fairly accurate, but some people actually like boring places to live. It means you're pretty safe. I moved out there because my daughter had graduated from St Andrew's School and I didn't want her in AISD, which is a crappy school district.

Probably the only other criticism I'd agree with is TX property taxes are outrageous. They are burdened by the Robinhood tax system that forces "rich" school districts to support poor ones. AISD is considered "rich" for some reason.

If you must live there make sure that where you live and where you work are on the same side of Town Lake. That's part of the traffic problem.

I used to love living in Austin but it's become awful in the last 20 years. If you want lots of diversity you can find it and the Austin City Council has become beyond stupid, so they have that going for them. They even have a Soros DA! I'm sure most people still living there would love for all the smug and snotty California people to just get the hell out. Ya'll are much of the problem.