My Driving Karma

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This morning, after 14 uneventful years of being above the age of 16, the inexplicable happened. I got my driver’s permit.

matthue: the anti-speed racerGranted, it was in many ways time for it to happen. My wife has a car. We both have a kid. My parents live 2 hours away, in Philadelphia: far enough so it’s not a crosstown train, but close enough so that I really should be able to pop down once in a while. And it’s good in an emergency, so that one of us can drive to a hospital. Except that we live 5 blocks from a hospital, and with all the one-way streets in Brooklyn, running there would probably be faster.

But I’ve been saying for years (YEARS) that driving is evil, and I stand by it. Cars are dangerous, dirty, unwieldy, and they’ve killed millions of people. Not to mention that car production in the USA was pioneered by a vicious anti-Semite.

I used to shoot guns, and for that you have to have unwavering concentration, a steady hand, and perfect vision. And still, there’s a reason that people clean their guns constantly and firing ranges are miles and miles away from where anybody lives. Cars are huge, rusty, and almost everybody who drives them has an attention span equal to the shortest commercial time slot on MTV (15 seconds). Unless they’re old people, who have lousy sight, lousy tendons, the shakes, and can’t even see over the steering wheel. When you look out the window during rush hour, you recognize the power and beauty of God — not that this many cars exist in the first place, but that the combined weight and destructiveness of them hasn’t murdered all of us in the first place.

If you think this is bad, just wait 6 months till I get my license.

Posted on May 5, 2009

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