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The end of the American Love Affair with cars?

June 2nd, 2009 · 4 Comments · Politics of Riding

1950-cars-shirtThere is an excellent article by P.J. O’Rourke, titled “The End of Our Love Affair with Cars,” out Saturday in the Wall Street Journal Online Edition. In his inimitable style, O’Rourke takes us back to the heyday of the automobile and, painfully, recounts the torturous path to modern bankruptcy. The path paved with political correctness for it’s own sake, with banality and bureaucrats and government mandates that don’t for a minute have anything to do with actually making our lives better.

I don’t believe the pointy-heads give a damn about climate change or gas mileage, much less about whether I survive a head-on with one of their tax-sucking mass-transit projects. All they want to is to make me hate my car. How proud and handsome would Bucephalas look, or Traveler or Rachel Alexandra, with seat and shoulder belts, air bags, 5-mph bumpers and a maze of pollution-control equipment under the tail?

And there’s the end of the American automobile industry. When it comes to dull, practical, ugly things that bore and annoy me, Japanese things cost less and the cup holders are more conveniently located.

We are witnessing an end to American idealism and individualism — and perversely this is all in the name of diversity. Even Pravda laments the loss of American freedoms in the face of this bureaucratic socialist onslaught that is taking our land, our cars, and our motorcycles:

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

Never before have we seen the level of government meddling we witness now on a daily basis. No pursuit is too small to be regulated for our own good — see this article on Federal regulation of garage sales. Yes, our love of the automobile is dead, and there are millions of people in this country — people who lack imagination, guts, character, honesty, and integrity — who are glad to see it go.

But I am not one of those people. I am not one who is happy to see honest Americans barred from our own public lands. I am not one who is happy to see an overgrown toy regulation agency given total control over motorcycles. I am not one who wants to see a President who has never held an honest job now guiding an entire industry with the help of a cadre of unelected buffoons.

But that is what we have. As O’Rourke says, it’s time to put a bullet in the V-8.

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • bill

    I enjoy your website a great deal,but; why not leave the P.J. O’rouke drama out. He only is playing to your anti-goverment slant. P.J. and the WSJ or Rush are gaming you kiddo. I come to your site for the news about real MX, not your political views.
    The coverage of freecasters is incredible isn’t it? I am struck by the professionalism of the race announcers and the fact they also include the riders who are not in the top 3, something that has been a part of the europe’s tradition forever. It bodes well to recognize that those riders are still very important and not just the latest star. The tracks are more complex in outlay and don’t mirror a supercross track like in the USA.I think the riders are also better on the whole.Anyway keep up your work, 2 strokes will return even against the Japanese’s wishes. I would suggest that the Europeon firms are setting the pace. Ah yes good old Jody, he never met an aftermarket part he didn’t like or a Europeon bike he did. Thanks for your time.

  • Terry Frazier

    Hi Bill. Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you like the site.

    As for my anti-government slant, I don’t need any help with that. If you read this site then you know that in the past year our industry and our sport have suffered the two largest losses in modern history with the CPSIA and Omnibus Lands bill — both of which inflicted massive damage thanks to government shenanigans, corrupt politicians, and wanton do-gooderism by legions of bungling, panty-waist bureaucrats.

    The entire auto industry fiasco is driven by the same people and motivations. It is also connected to what is happening to us as off-road motorcyclists. It may be true that our love affair with the car is not literally dead (just as our love for motorcycles is not dead), it is equally true that the people making the laws and regulations have absolutely no respect for what we think or want. To them, it is dead and good riddance.

    You may not like O’Rourke or the Journal, and that’s fine. But the idea that they are the ones hoodwinking us just isn’t supported by the evidence.

    • bill

      Terry;
      I did not presume that P.J. and the WSJ were not in and of themselves complicit in what has become these United States, i would suggest that their view of reality is clouded by their ideology and social positions. Your correct in saying that we are led by interests other than our selfs. Anyway enough of that.
      I enjoyed the post on the way the MX tracks have changed to accommodate 4 strokes is remarkable, and the change in styles of riding to better suit them. I don’t know that the new venues are as difficult to ride or are just a fad. Interestly enough some of the Europeon riders prefer the German and Swedish GP’s because they are old school. Your articles on the big fours marketing practices really is revealing, it ties in nicely with our political dicussion. I may mention a site that i follow to remember what MX was, and it is the Great Britian XC series. You would enjoy the fact that the 2-stroke class is very popular and that the venues are so like they were in the 70’s. It’s remarlable isn’t it that Gas-Gas and TM, Husky and KTM are so popular because of the cost and fun factor.
      I’ve wondered for yrs. what the dirt mag’s mean by a bike feeling _-very euro –you get my drift with regards to marketing. Thanks Terry.

  • Terry Frazier

    Bill,

    You’re spot-on about the Brit scene. Great stuff there. The whole vintage/2-stroke/twin-shock movement is really strong. I get several Brit mags, just to keep up with what’s going on over there. I’ll check out the XC series and post some stuff on the Brit mags. There’s a great tech article on stainless steel I’ve been meaning to post…