In the Wall Street Journal this weekend P.J. O’Rourke delivers a lengthy eulogy for American infatuation with the automobile. If you’ve got 30 minutes burning a hole in your pocket, then by all means dig in.
It’s the same kind of weepy analysis delivered by people that can’t imagine using their laptop in the morning to read the New York Times when they’ve grown accustomed to inking up their fingers on newsprint.
The essay speaks in the bold, royal We, asserting that We hate our cars now. The reasons: the car is no longer a place of wonder, it’s somewhere we get trapped. And pinheaded environmentalists, as well as bureaucrats, have taken the fun out of the auto industry.
Look, P.J., if the car ceased to be a vehicle of amazement for you, it doesn’t mean it applies to everyone. The culture evolved, but a new generation loves cars just as much as the last. Think about the rock and roll you loved and your parents called noise, it’s the same deal.
Going forward, in a world of hybrids, or electrics, the roar of the engine will die. But guess what, that world is decades from ever happening. In the meanwhile, if you want to find the open road and let er rip, you still can.
Though, let us warn you, it will be hard to find an open road. Lots and lots of Americans will be out there. Because we still love the damn things.
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