Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Americans and their Cars

Out of all of man's inventions in the last 125 years, nothing has changed the landscape of the world (and, especially America) like the car.  Some of you may be saying "whoa there, what about TV? Radio? The Salk Polio Vaccine? American Idol?"  Specifically, the propagation of the car.

The car is repsonsible for a lot of our pollution.

The car has irreparably changed housing patterns, facilitating the birth and growth of suburban America. Twice. (after both world wars)

The car has even changed how we watch TV.  Have you ever wondered why TV shows premier episodes in September? Think about this: when do new car models come out? Exactly, the fall. Car and car-related companies (e.g, Texaco) financed early TV programming.  

The car (along with the Cold War) is responsible for America's rollback of public transit (included in this is passenger train and intercity bus transit).  Eisenhower felt that America should have a national network of highways to facilitate easy travel between and among metropolitan areas in the event of an attack.  The attack never came but the freeways are still here...and so are the orange cones and resurfacing projects that only get more and more costly and time-consuming...remember what aspalt is made of.  Oil byproducts.

Did I mention oil? We won't even get into that.

Cars have been usurping control of our lives for years.   When are we going to take it back?

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