Tuesday, September 10, 2013

One for the road . . .

Tell me, do you feel threatened by the modern car?
Is it me, or are they daily becoming larger, heavier and more aggressive?
Beautiful . . . ?  Maybe . . . but it's a brutal form of beauty.  High off the road, their windows darkened, projected bumpers threatening any invasion of their space, they dominate the highway and evoke fear rather than admiration.

Why the darkened windows . . . why the need for self-protection.  Why this desire to be seen as a threat rather than as a collaborative, fellow road-user?  Large cars were once a source of admiration.  True, they might have evoked envy, but never wariness or fear.  And, whereas the high-powered, modern car is almost invariably a sombre black, the resplendent cars of earlier times were gloriously flamboyant.

Am I right in thinking that modern cars share much in common with modern gated-communites . . .  a link primarily displayed by a sense of mutual, wary self-protection?  They are not an integral component of their neighbourhood, instead they shroud their passengers in obscurity and hurry past, en route to the safety of a protected home and a secure garage.  These cars don't speak of families, or picnics, or outings to the sea . . . they don't communicate anything other than their insistence on protection and exclusion.

Beauty, it's said, lies in the eye of the beholder.  So could it be that I'm at fault . . . I'm blind to what the modern car has to offer?

Perhaps, but I could also be strongly influenced by my travelling companion.  Why should Chloe, who loves nothing more than communication and admiration, want to be lifted way above the ground and hidden behind the shrouded obscurity of dark glass?  It's her enjoyment to look out, examine all that she's speeding past, whilst attracting as many admiring glances as she can from the passers-by.

A modern car . . . ?  No, thank you!  Our ancient, unassuming, old-fashioned model suits us both perfectly!