Life in the city

Jan 09

Today I spent two hours in commuter traffic trying to get from work to home. Now, I realize that this is the price we pay for living in the suburbs and working in the city; but it strikes me that there must be a better way. You see, Atlanta, like many other American cities is woefully lacking in any sort of public transportation system that can realistically ferry its citizens from their houses to their jobs. We like our cars, they are a symbol of independence. But more, cars are, for Americans, something that is symbolic of the nation itself.

A car is a symbol of wealth, power, success. This isn’t just expressed individually, but on a national scale. To drive a car not only says that you yourself are successful, but that the country as a whole is successful-that it is able to afford such largesse as individually owned and driven transportation, and that a majority of the population is able to do this. Somehow, not owning a vehicle (unless you happen to live in New York) means that you do not buy into the notion that America is the most powerful nation on the planet and the envy of the world. To not own a car means that you are rebelling against our very society, that you do not buy into the platitudes of its unquestioned and self-understood capitalism. Not owning a car means that you do not buy into the American dream and what it represents. So-as long as this delusion exists, I’m afraid we’re all destined to waste a significant amount of our lives sitting in traffic.

One comment

  1. Sebastian /

    I myself never wanted to buy a car, because I really enjoy the me time in the public transportation, listening to music, reading, finding friends on the bus or the train.
    But like you said, you need some kind of plublic transportation that can withstand the amount of people commuting to their jobs. I just never realized I was rebelling against the system because of it. 😛

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