You know how you sometimes wonder how we might reorganize society if we were starting over again today from scratch?
Imagine how public meetings to discuss it would go. Anyone recommending any variation on tinkle down economics or massive handouts to the rich as a solution to poverty would get laughed out of the room. Plutocracy? Corporations as citizens and citizens as consumers? Agribiz? Water as a subset of resource extraction? Skynet surveillance? Media monopolies? Organizing our public spaces around what is most convenient for cars?
Yeah, we’ve tried those ideas already thanks — please don’t waste our time at the mic.
I should admit here I’m not really a huge fan of the automobile and aside from that time someone gave me one — which served chiefly as a home away from home to various neighbourhood cats — I’ve never actually owned a car. This is not as inconvenient as it sounds, affording as it does ample opportunity to lecture drivers on the evils of car culture from the comfort of their passenger seat.
So today I’m noticing the local traffic report on the radio — which is of course actually the car report. A stall on the Lions Gate Bridge, poor road conditions somewhere, a three car pile-up on Highway One, and thanks for the traffic tip to Mike in Burnaby who wins a station mug or pencil or something from someone named Bambi in a helicopter.
And it occurred to me that rather than all these updates on what cars are doing, how about we put those resources into people reports instead?
- There’s a guy sitting on the median at Hwy One and First Street looking pretty bummed — could someone please go see what he’s crying about because I’m currently stuck up here in this stupid helicopter.
- The homeless community in Abbotsford would like to thank all the volunteers who helped to clean up the manure the city spread on their camp in the park but report they are still short of tent pegs, warm socks, and canned goods. No more old mattresses please.
- And this just in from Mike in Burnaby — Elderly Alzheimer patient named Susan has escaped from her caregivers again. Probably wandering lost in the vicinity of Main and Broadway. Wearing a tan mac and fluffy blue slippers and carrying a knife. Someone please find her before the tasershow starts up.
Presently such rare additions to a traffic update report are added as “human interest” stories, a sort of subset of the presumably more important things that are interesting to cars.
Possibly we have got this the wrong way round.