Thursday, March 11, 2010


Don’t get me wrong about cars. Cars have been great
friends to us human beings. I co-own one; I drive one.
I once owned an Armstrong-Siddeley, God save me. I
respond deeply to lines in songs like ‘I’m driving a big
lazy car, I’m rushing up the highway in the dark, I’ve got
one hand steady on the wheel, the other hand trembling
over my heart’ (Bruce Springsteen, of course). It’s just
that, well, cars have become too much—you know? We
have passed the tipping point with them. We used to
contain them; more and more, they contain us. I look at
them now, whizzing around city streets, crowding out
those of us on foot, bullying us with their speed and
power, and I see them with new eyes; I see how much we
are sacrificing to them. And I say it must stop. It will have
to stop anyway, because with the decline of easily-got oil
they will become too expensive to run; but in any case the
tide has turned: cars are so, like, 2oth-century? They have
had their day. They will always be with us, in one form or
another, but from now on they have to take a lesser place
in the scheme of things. Take a fresh look at cars, fellow
citizens, and see them with new eyes. The same way you
look at black-and-white silent movies.

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