Originally posted at The Blacksphere
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg first proclaimed ‘Simon says quit smoking.’
Then Mayor Simon demanded that everyone ‘drop your trans-fat, salt and Big Gulps.’
Now Mr. “Simon Says” Bloomberg is telling city workers to avoid elevators and take to the stairwells. And remember that when all you stair-climbers reach the 11th floor, 32-ounce refreshment is no longer available as a reward.
Nevertheless, under the careful tutelage of Michael Bloomberg, New York City officials are embarking on a new initiative that will “encourage” office workers to huff and puff their way up the stairs instead of riding the elevators. With tower racers who participate in the annual “Empire State Building Run-Up” as his inspiration, Simon Says Bloomberg knows it’s a do-able feat and, despite acting like it’s a suggestion, will not take kindly to resistance.
Therefore, if city office workers don’t start hoofing it skyward, the next innovative proposal he may come up with will be called the “Save Electricity: Disconnect the Elevators Initiative.”
Not for nothing, but does this guy stay up nights trying to come up with ways to piss off everyday people just trying to go about their business and live their lives the way they want to?
Under the proposed legislation, all new buildings and any building undergoing renovation will be required to make at least one non-emergency stairwell accessible, as well as signs near elevators pointing to the stairwells.
It’s unclear whether plans include elevator buttons wired to produce non-lethal electrical shocks, or whether the insides of the cars will be wallpapered with pictures of obese people in morgues who died from too many Big Gulps and too much elevator-riding.
What is known is that, as part of the effort, the city announced the creation of CAD, the “Center for Active Design,” a non-profit organization that has been assigned the job of designing healthier buildings (whatever that means), encouraging public transit, and crafting more aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces to encourage physical activity.
An accompanying bill would make stairwells more visible by using “hold-open devices” on the doors, for those strong enough to climb 40 flights but whose arms are too weak to open the stairwell door.
At a Manhattan press conference at The New School, NYC Department of Design and Construction Commissioner David Burney said the goal is to help discourage what Rachel Jeantel, the prosecution’s star witness in the George Zimmerman trial, calls “Old School People” from riding elevators.
Mr. Burney said, “Whether you’re tall or short, fat or thin, you’ll be healthier and you’ll live longer if you’re more active. But the problem is we’ve been lulled into a sedentary lifestyle.” So apparently, one way or another, Simon Says Bloomberg is going to cattle-prod some flabby asses and, whether they like it or not, herd city office workers toward the stairwells and force them to ascend heavenward.
Health Commissioner Thomas Farley chimed in and, referring to the lost, confused, and fearful, said “In too many buildings, the stairs are hard to find, kept locked, armed with alarms, or dark and windowless–making people afraid to use them.”
This means that in the future, if nefarious-looking, hoodie-wearing individuals are seen skulking around in dark stairwells that smell a lot like subway toilets, disregard feelings of apprehension, put heart health first, and venture onward and upward anyway. Chances are you’ll survive the climb, and even if you don’t, in New York City putting healthy living first should always trump any threat of impending physical assault.
After all, Simon Says Bloomberg doesn’t just talk the talk, he climbs the stairs. And like every liberal dictator wannabe out there, Simon Says Bloomberg always thinks his way is the best way. Think Michelle ‘Creamless Creamed Spinach’ Obama.
And although Bloomie has chosen to take the stairs, he evidently feels it’s his patriotic duty to make that choice for New Yorkers by forcing eight million escalator-riding slackers to lug their full body weight uphill.
By the way, not only does Bloomberg hoof the stairs, he also runs up moving escalators. Thus, being hip himself, he is determined to make vigorous exercise “hipper for young people [with wide hips] across the city.” As Mr. Simon Says explained:
“What we’ve got to do is just make it cool–if you will–or socially more the norm to exercise, and that’s what you see here.”
Someone should inform El Bloombito, either in Spanish or English, that midway up the stairs to the 50th floor of the General Motors Building the atmosphere is probably anything but cool.
Nonetheless, according to Simon Says Bloomberg, “The whole idea is not to change what you have to do, but to give you the idea and the impetus to do something that is in your best interest.” That right there is a clear indication that Michael Simon Says Bloomberg is a star pupil in the Cass Sunstein School of Nudging.
And so, if you live or work in New York City, drop your Big Gulp, cut out the salt and sugar, forget the French Fries, and if you’re an office worker, kick off your business pumps and wing-tips and don your mountain-climbing footwear, because Simon Says “Climb the stairs!”