I was watching a bit of playoff football on the weekend. My team won their game and are going on to the Super Bowl … Huzzah!! While I was watching the game a commercial came on for the Lexus and the tag line was drive a Lexus ‘while you still can’.
I thought to myself … ‘while I still can’ … what the fuck are they talking about?
Oh right! Self driving cars are coming. I have been thinking a lot lately about this relentless pursuit of the self driving car.
What is an automobile manufacturer selling, if not the exhilarating, I’m in control feeling of freedom when driving a car? The I can do whatever I want, go wherever I want, whenever I want, essentially the ‘fuck you’ of driving a car.
Freedom of the individual, in the land of plenty, the land of milk and honey, what the boys and girls go to fight and die for. Where do you find it?
The reality is that you have to negotiate or submit at every turn. You bow to your parents, teenage rebellion notwithstanding. In school you have teachers and a principal. In the military, sir yes sir, sir permission to speak sir. In sports, at work, where does it end.
Finally you leave home, you graduate, you get discharged or what have you and you find yourself sitting on the couch in front of the TV. Honey what do you want to watch tonight? I don’t know what do you want to watch? The dance goes on.
Freedom it’s a wonderful idea. Does it truly exist?
There are images of freedom. Time was you had your cowboys. They travelled the land and worked where and when the felt like it. They were cool! Before that you had your pilgrims. ‘Fuck you’ we’re out of here and we’ll pray how we want.
I am speaking about the United States or course. The country that takes the ‘fuck you’ to new levels everyday.
In the Americas we have Columbus to thank for getting the ball rolling. Don’t be fooled by Columbus Day and all the celebration. Columbus and his boys were bitches. Look it up.
The Spanish got the report back from old CC and were like, that sounds like some fun and sent over Pizarro. Turns out it didn’t take too much, a couple of cannons and a healthy disrespect for the gunpowder budget and the Aztecs, Mayans and Inca’s folded quietly, they didn’t want to leak any fluids. That’s how the bad boys get you, by threatening to make your body leak. The Spanish weren’t playing patty cake. Count the number of countries where Spanish is the official language.
The French got busy in Africa for a while. Twenty nine African countries speak french as the official language.
How about the British. At its zenith, the sun never set on the British Empire. The Commonwealth league of Nations is an international community made up of the former British Colonies. Fifty Three Countries. You have have some serious ‘fuck you’ to invade and conquer fifty three different countries and hold them hostage at the same time.
The Commonwealth. Some overseer dude looking at the gold and diamonds comin’ out of the ground all dirty and be like, “that’s some common wealth don’t be worrying about that, keep digging until you find the shiny stuff, we can share that”.
Scientists got a lot of ‘fuck you’ on the go mostly because the majority of folks don’t know what they are talking about most of the time. The lab coat girls and boys are like, in your face, Nanoseconds (very small units of time) and most people have a blank look.
Freedom is really a kind of dance isn’t it? A dance between the desires of the individual and the needs of the society and culture within which we live.
So what kind of game does the little guy have, the everyday joe, Larry lunch box. Defeating nations in your dreams.
All you have at the end of the day, really, is your car. You get in after a shitty day at work, after a fight with your mister or missus. You can fire up a cigarette, put the tunes on and crank the volume up to eleven. You put your hands on the wheel and if nowhere else, for a brief moment in time you are the master of your own destiny.
In your self driving car, you really are just another brick in the wall.