11 Jun 2006

Pavement Rage

I hate you all in your ugly metal coffins, rushing from here to nowhere with such noisy self-importance. Why must the pavement always end at a junction, and never the road? Why is there never a quiet time or a still place any more? Once there was freedom of the road, joy of speed, new places to go - all the ads recall those days, long gone. The roads are all full and they all go to the same cramped noisy traffic hell with not enough (and yet far too many) parking spaces.
Even the shops are now warehouses marooned in a sea of cars. And that expensive sound-system of yours only plays one song; boom, boom, boom, boom, as if the engine-noise is not loud or ugly enough on its own.
This is not freedom or democracy, it is a tyranny of manufactured desire become a nightmare. Even the sea and the sky are no-longer immune from your need for speed; the infernal racket of your desperate chasing after - what? Another place, another feeling, a futile and temporary escape from the emptiness of yourself.
I hate the complacent naturalness of it all; of course we must travel, of course we must have this freedom - What freedom? In any town it is hard to walk 100 metres without having to defer to the holy car's priority. And where, even in the country, can one escape the wretched noise; and how does one get there?


Anonymous said...

go to the north of scotland- but you'll probably have to take your car. I agree. car ads on Tv sum it up: driving through unspoilt countryside ha ha. Unfortunately many people in our culture feel inferior if they don't own a car and the car has to be as big/fast/ expensive as the man next door's.

unenlightened said...

Well I did live in Sutherland once for six months or so, and I ran a vespa as I was too lazy to cycle the 15 miles to the nearest shop. It is incredible though, how loud the infernal combustion engine is from five miles away when you have had a few days of real quiet. The worst experience though was courtesy of the RAF. I'm standing on a nice remote hillside, planting trees as it happens, and suddenly there below me, having crept up behind me supersonicly is this fighter plane. And I am looking up its exhaust pipes from about 100 feet away; and the noise...