Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wikipedia Search: Isadora Duncan

“[Isadora] Duncan’s fondness for flowing scarves was the cause of her death in a freak automobile accident in Nice, France. Duncan’s large silk scarf while still draped around her neck, became entangled around one of the vehicle’s open-spoked wheels and rear axle, breaking her neck.


In 1902 Ransom Olds started to produce an affordable automobile at his Oldsmobile factory and the vicious vehicles have run rampant on a killing spree across the country ever since. Sure, there are now “safety” “tests” “done” by “people” “at” “companies” but traffic related deaths remain the number one cause of injury based deaths in the world today. I blame this largely on the fact that if you stare at most cars head on, you can kind of make faces out of their parts, especially if you picture the mirrors as being ears.

These faces always look evil.

However, I will not pretend I am above cars. Frequently I am seduced by the sexiness of being able to get somewhere in the rain without getting wet, or the sheer speed of not having to watch a cheap university student argue the fare of the bus at the front while the rest of us wait to get to our desired location. Oh, it used to be two dollars? And now it’s two dollars and twenty five cents? Disgusting, yes, please continue to decry our ‘fascist capitalist’ public transportation system like a young Trotsky. Fight for the middle class, you revolutionary, before you go off to buy your five dollar coffee accompanied by an Italian breakfast pastry whose name I cannot pronounce! You are truly a champion of the suffering. Please, pursue your undoubtedly well intentioned but useless degree with nobility as you call me a sell out for going with something that it relevant to today’s economic market. You will save the world by yelling at bus drivers! I will contribute to the semi socialist country we live in by paying taxes because I will have something called a job. But I digress.
Anyways, yes, every now and then I am indeed ‘seduced’ by the desire to get a drive from someone, or hop in a cab. Please keep in mind, I use the word seduced as a metaphor. I do not intend to further the ridiculous stereotype perpetuated by advertisers that if you buy their brand of car I will be magnetized over and wash it in a bikini while eating a hamburger. That is so stupid; I would never risk getting soap suds in my hamburger. Anyways, this is a different kind of seduction. The difference between being seduced by a car and being seduced by my boyfriend is that my boyfriend’s emissions are much nicer. And smell better. And don’t pollute the planet… as much. (Sorry for the TMI? But jokes like these are so easy to make!)

Cars are bad for that. They hate the planet. Cars make genocide a verb and do it to air all the time. I know genocide is a strong word, but I’ve always wanted to be able to compare a Hummer to a Nazi.

To continue the metaphor, Hummers are no longer being made. Let’s hope that in the future that will work both ways.

Anyways, I do not need to tell you cars are bad for the environment. Al Gore does that, and I am not as eloquent nor as capable to deliver a speech on the environment without saying “**** guys, we ****ing ****ed this ****  up” as he. But my point is, you know it, and you know it well. Cars make bad stuff and then the good stuff dies and we’re full of bad and well… cars kill people. Cars kill a lot of people, for a lot of different reasons. However, people also kill people, and I guess I have not completely given up on those yet.

But this brings us to the other side of the argument:

They keep you warm and look good. They drape themselves happily over your body. Sometimes they are itchy, but we understand that scarves are like people: some of them are made of wool. Oh. Wait. I mean scarves are like people: all of them are different. Some of them are made of wool, and they only scratch us to keep us at our warmest. In fact, scarves can cover our hair in the rain or protect our neck in the cold while we are walking to be bus stop because we are mad at cars. Scarves also sometimes make me feel pretty, which no car has ever done. Scarves are a hug around your neck every morning, even when everything else is going wrong. Scarves are like lovers: easy to lose and but hard to break. I only wish that old lovers were turned into the Lost & Found.

So go ahead society. Use your engines and go fast with all your whirring parts, clicking noises, wheels turning, specific but varied oils, funny smells and complicated genius. I have learned how to be made happy by a piece of cloth around my neck, and I find that much smarter.

In a world with so many issues, do you ever find you forget about the environment?/ Does the environment have a "face" for you? (Example: My passion for helping Darfur started largely after seeing images of people suffering)/ Realistically, do you think you will own a car when you are "grown up"?/ Which is worse, people in the country owning cars to get from place to place or cities turning into big urban sprawls and pushing out all the wildlife?


Claire said...

I liked this post a lot. Despite my commitment to recycling and love of reusable bags and water bottles, I do feel like I forget about the environment from time to time, and I think it's definitely because it lacks a face for me. I think of the frightening graphs in An Inconvenient Truth, but frankly when global warming is laid out like that, it makes all the small green things I do seem insignificant.

That being said, I'm positive I don't want a car when I'm older. I don't have my license yet (I could have it, I just haven't gotten around to it), but when I do get it I suppose I'll drive my parents' cars around on occasion, but the bus and subway system that's been transporting me around the city since I was 13 continues to serve me just fine. I suppose once I'm done with high school and college I could end up in a city where it's simply not feasible to live life without a car, but I'm going to try my hardest not to let that happen.

Athena. said...

Oh, I am such a huge fan of yours.
Always Something, Never Nothing.
You are incredible, and whenever you write, I am enlightened: you ask such poignant, relevant questions, always. Don't lose this passion. xxx

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

See, much as I dislike pretentious latte-sipping students, the one arguing the bus fare had the right idea. Transit needs to be invested in, and the costs kept down, in order to encourage people to use it as a viable alternative to cars. It's always going to be easier and more comfortable to drive, but it's a vicious circle. People drive, there are less funds coming to the transport system, they raise prices and cut bus lines, more people drive, etc.

I had to rent a car last year to familiarize myself with driving again before moving to Johannesburg, the capital of urban sprawl. Having a little car to nip around Vancouver in was awesome, I'm not going to lie. Having a car to sit in traffic in in Joburg sucked big time, but never mind.

I'm back to public transport. It can be a pain, but you don't have to park it. And you can drink. ; )

Scarves I agree about by the way.

And yeah, I think I'm environmental, but I fly at least four times a year (and usually more). Planes contribute less to emissions than cars, but they're more potent emissions on account of being released directly into the atmosphere. I'm a bad person I guess. But at least I don't drive too!

my, oh my! said...

I remember when I was young I first gained interest in social issues through learning about environmental issues (specifically after reading in my grade six geography textbook a fact about the world's fresh water that was absolutely mind blowing) and then through learning about human rights. I was quite a passionate eleven year old - taking out books from the library on the environment, dragging my recyclables to my school to be recycled since they did not have a recycling system in my apartment, etc. However, I have many actions today and then that negatively affect the environment in many ways - that being, I take LONG showers, I listen to music when I go to bed and let it play throughout the night, etc.
As far as public transportation goes, I LOVE IT. Most of my friends think I'm totally strange for loving public transportation but I just find it so useful! You can get to any part of the city through it and don't have to get bogged down by the heavy traffic downtown. Then again, I might be biased as I've taken public transportation practically my whole life.
Out of the insistence of my parents I finally got my licence but I haven't been driving at all. Not because I'm environmental conscious, but because driving TERRIFIES me. But that's besides the point. As far as owning a car in the future, I haven't given much thought to it. I personally probably won't have a car just because driving scares me, but perhaps I'll get over that fear or my future spouse will drive around. I suppose having a car would be useful if I have kids to taking them around and stuff. But to be honest, I'm unsure about the whole thing. I always secretly fantasize about being "that" hippie high school teacher that bikes to school and back everyday.

Always Something said...

You guys always make me think about things and smile at the sweet dreams you have.

@ Emily: I forgot to mention that Young Trotsky only argues the bus fare when he lacks a quarter ;) He's maybe based on a collective of people. But I totally agree with what you said about accessibility! Halifax could really use some huge transit improvements... Like buses that actually showed up.