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Fw: Hands Across the Sea

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  • Simon Baddeley
    Lance We ve both made our points and arrived - reasonably honourably - at positions neither of us is prepared to abandon. I note the prevalence of the past
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 3 1:59 PM

      We've both made our points and arrived - reasonably honourably - at
      positions neither of us is prepared to abandon. I note the prevalence of the
      past tense in your rebuttals of my argument about the future of the car. You
      have noted weaknesses in my case. Shall we call it a draw in which you came
      a passable second?

      By the way I don't think you'll have to go to exotic foreign places to enjoy
      car culture. I envisage the grand opening of the Jeremy Clarkson Heritage
      Motorway Museum in the not too distant future where car-lovers can gather to
      reminisce about the "good old days". The museum will include a short stretch
      of salvaged motorway on which enthusiasts can experience safe re-enactments
      of grid-lock and multiple pile-ups and a cleverly recreated service area
      with the sounds and smells of passing traffic artfully reproduced and piped
      into the eating area.

      One thing I nearly forgot to mention. The Clarkson Museum is only accessed
      by cycle route or a pedestrian walk from the nearby Toddington Eurostar

      Best wishes


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Lance K Green <>
      To: Simon Baddeley <s.j.baddeley@...>
      Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2001 9:30 PM
      Subject: Hands Across the Sea

      <<I'd be glad if stopped suggesting that "I know" the things about which
      you want me to agree with you. If I did I'd hardly be taking the
      positions I have in this debate would I - unless of course I'm the
      perverted instrument of evil that you suspect at work in campaigns against

      Oh! I apologise for the error. I thought that it was just a manner of

      <<You are in love with the car. I'm not. As a wise parent knows it's no
      good arguing with a besotted child. It may be easier for you to maintain
      your romantic attachment to this wastrel technology because, as you told
      me early on, you no longer yourself drive. This separation from the object
      of your affection helps sustain the allure of the car in a way that would
      become increasingly difficult to anyone who tries to drive one from A to B
      these days - especially in cities.>>

      Maybe; but the ability to drive was also a source of self respect and
      pride. Now that I cannot drive, I feel deeply humiliated.

      <<By the way Edward Platt has just published a rather good book called
      "Leadville: a biography of the A40" (Picador 2000). The Sunday Telegraph
      calls it "brilliant". Craig Brown in the Mail on Sunday describes it as
      "compelling", Tim Lott of the Times says its "riveting", The Sunday Times'
      John Carey says it should be read by "every thinking motorist", Claire
      Colvin of the Sunday express praises the way it moves "from the richly
      comic to the near tragic." It's a journalistic sometimes literary account
      of the story of Western Avenue - a main thoroughfare in and out of London
      - from its exhilarating and popular construction in the 1920s to its
      partial demolition 70 years later amid the broken dreams of the suburbia
      it helped both create and partially destroy. More than anything else
      Platt's book tells a tale of "our all-consuming love affair with the motor
      car." It is not people like me who are destroying the romantic dream of
      the car it is the car itself which has over and over again filled and
      eventually blocked the spaces created to satisfy its owners' need for

      I know the A40 well. None of it is, in reality, anything like the above.
      Even if you were right, what is so bad about something having a useful
      life span of "only" 70 years. The A40 does its job continually. I have
      enjoyed my journeys on it as passenger and driver - the best on Friday 24
      July 1964. The vacuum cleaner may clog up now and again; but it is still
      a useful tool. You negative people could sure do a hatchet job on just
      about anything, if you put your minds to it.

      <<One person on this list has asked me if you are real, Lance. Are you
      sure you are not an alternative version of me using another email address
      to enable me to develop my thinking about the problems of auto-dependency?
      This can't be the case because I could produce so many better arguments on
      behalf of the car.>>

      don't suppose that you approve of LJK Setright; do you? Perhaps you
      doubt his existence too. He says that the motorcar will one day be
      replaced. That is true. Then maybe we will have to travel to far flung
      lands with strange sounding names to take in a car culture. He says,
      though, that the car will not be replaced by public transport. Dress up
      like a diver and stand around in the cold or heat waiting for a bus to
      take one where one does not want to go when one does not want to go? It's
      just not going you happen.

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