The Birth of an Idea

On the way to Disneyland last night I looked out the window and saw one of the things I love most about LA. The freeways of Los Angeles and their overpasses, underpasses, highways, and byways (I have no clue what the fuck a byway is). There is a section of the 710 freeway that goes under several other connecting ramps like separate directions of the 105 and some others that I don’t know because I’ve never been on them.

I love the way the freeways are lit up at night when everything around is dark you can’t see the graffiti, the debris along the shoulder and in the landscaping, the broken windows of abandoned factories along the freeway. You only see the dance of the red and white lights and how they glide along in formation. It’s like a dance, a ballet, a circuit board alive with the sparks of a million connections per second. Like a group of wild mustangs galloping through the last unclaimed lands of the Midwest… altogether with speed and grace, one fluid movement.

The inventors of the automobile…
It must have been so exciting for them to be on the brink of inventing a machine that would change the face of transportation forever. How did it take for a car to be parked in the driveway of almost every house in America? And more in others to compensate for those without? What would they say if they would see what cars and exhaust have done to the environment? If they could see the list of names of people killed by drunk drivers? or even those killed in car accidents not related to alcohol? If they could see what happens to drunk college girls in the back of a van full of drunk college guys? If they could see the trash thrown out of car windows as they speed through cities on their way to work? The cigarette butts, the empty bottles and cans, the used napkins?

What would they say? Would they even care? These devices of modern society could not have been their intentions…and could not have been foreseen…but what would they have to say about it now, if they could see this?

Working at a car dealership I see people buy cars all the time. They walk out with smiles on their faces…well, if they got a good deal. Most of the patrons of this dealership are pretty well off, these are Mercedes-Benzes after all. Everyone always says “Congratulations on your new purchase”. They leave in their new cars and drive away. It seems so weird to me to congratulate someone on buying a car…nobody ever does it for buying clothes…or toilet paper.