One of the problems with writing a blog that is read by anyone you know is the danger that they will take some of what is said personally and get offended. Even something as seemingly innocuous as the previous sentence.

On the whole it's safe to say that I am never referring to anyone in particular when I write (unless I specifically mention someone) and do try to stick to the rule of "hating it when people do such and such" rather than "hating people who do such and such" - big difference. I can't pretend I always stick to it, but then I'm only human. Bearing that in mind, everything I write should be taken with a pinch of "present company excepted".

The reason I bring this up is that I'm going to talk about what can happen to people when they become car owners and start driving. Some of my friends, family and acquaintances do have cars. I'm not having a go at people who own cars or even at the institution of car ownership. I'm commenting on the bizarre behavioural changes that seem to come over some human beings as soon as they find themselves behind the wheel of a large automobile.

Actually, I'm not even doing that yet. I seem to be commenting on how easily people take offense these days especially on the internet. But I digress.

As soon as some people - climate change denying Top Gear watchers on the whole - obtain ownership of a vehicle they start acting as if they've reclaimed a fundamental human right, enshrined in the (non-existent) UK Constitution, "The Right To Drive Cars Anywhere Without Let Or Hindrance". Everything else immediately becomes secondary to this.

I already mentioned in a previous entry how the mere existence of cyclists (never mind what they're actually doing) seems to drive car owners into a state of apoplexy, but it's not just cyclists that can do this. Drivers seem to be capable of flying into a towering rage by encountering absolutely anything that isn't one hundred percent in their favour.

They're very much like internet forum members in that respect.

They also exhibit signs of extreme paranoia. Everything bad that happens to them on the road is specifically aimed at them, wicked plots masterminded by the loony left pinko enviromentalists who are determined to withhold their fundamental right to drive. The kind of losers who use public transport.

Two favourite ranting topics are Nowhere To Fucking Park and I Can't Believe This Fucking Traffic. Ironically these are directly caused by everyone else also wanting to exercise their fundamental right to drive rather than any plot by their imagined oppressors. They do it to themselves.

A man in a car (and let's face it, most of the worst offenders are usually male - must be something to do with the blend of testosterone and petrol fumes, plus the fact that the car is often a penis-substitute) quite often becomes something other than a simple human being. Man and machine acting as one, a cyborg. The sense of self expands beyond the normal confines of the fleshbody to encompass the metal shell. An insult or injury to the shell is taken personally.

They're very much like Daleks in that respect. And like Daleks they hate everything that is not them. They obey no-one. They are the superior beings. Instead of a gun they're equipped with a claxon which they direct willy nilly at their perceived inferiors. They even have a battle cry, shrieked hysterically out of wound-down windows:

"Get-Out-Of-It! Get-Out-Of-It!"

They don't even possess the Daleks' only redeeming feature - loyalty to their own. They don't stick together, no way, it's every man-machine for himself out there. The one thing a Man-Car Cyborg hates above all else is another Man-Car Cyborg.

Owning a car is the single biggest contribution anyone can make to their own carbon footprint. Underneath they know this; one of the sources of their rage is suppressed guilt. They hate themselves and they hate each other.

No wonder they scream.

2 comments

  1. Matthew Perret  

    Loved it!

    Remember this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZAZ_xu0DCg

  2. Chris  

    I don't remember ever seeing that before - but its brilliant - even more relevant 60 years after it was made.

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