Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Car Culture

From Los Angeles neon:
"Mention Los Angeles: the word car isn't far behind. With more vehicles than people, the auto has become one of our defining symbols. LA: The drive-in, the drive-up, the drive-through, the drive-by shooting. Endless car dealerships and acres of wrecking yards. A million 4x4s that will never see action off-road other than accidentally backing over the curb. Five hundred square miles of roads. Ten million collective hours a year of Angelenos idling in traffic. Innumerable car clubs: low riders, hot rods, and hearses. Customizers cranking out Munster Koaches and Monkeemobiles. Anything to catch the eye."
"The car alarm, an annoyance that's tolerated but never responded to. The symphony of a million car alarms after every earthquake. A city that once had the largest electric system in the world, until it was illegally dismantled by General Motors, Firestone Tire and Standard Oil. A city that is building subways again, although with parking lots at each station, because one must naturally drive to the subway. Whole neighborhoods torn down or cut up by freeways. A new language that sounds like mathematical gibberish to the uninitiated: 'Since it's 6:30 on a Thursday, don't do the 10 to the 710 to the 5 to the 110, take the 105 to the 101 to the 60 to the 210."

LA: "A vast decentralized horizontal city with its autos crawling across pavement like scurrying ants. The car means freedom. The car means subservience. The two great tenets of our great city. "
photo LA Frog