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Re: [carfree_cities] teenage car culture (was: selfish Americans)

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  • Andrew Hitchcock
    ... Being a recent high school graduate from a suburban high school, it is sad how much truth is found in this statement. Younger high school students look
    Message 1 of 6 , May 2 11:49 AM
      > The car also plays a crucial role in the rites of
      > passage celebrated in American mythology: it's where high school kids
      > first make out, it's what proud middle-class dads give their offspring on
      > getting into college, it's what husbands give their trophy wives to parade
      > in.
      >

      Being a recent high school graduate from a suburban high school, it is sad
      how much truth is found in this statement. Younger high school students
      look forward to turning 16 so they can finally learn to drive and increase
      their mobility. Getting a drivers license or car is probably the biggest
      event in most teenagers high school career. My suburb was fairly affluent,
      so most people had cars, but they were then angered because there were not
      enough places around the school to park. The farthest house in the school
      district from the high school was only five miles away, yet very few got
      to school under their own power. Most opted for school bus, car, or
      carpool.

      Most teenagers I met viewed getting a car as the start of their
      independence. When I reached this age, however, my animosity for cars and
      driving began. I did, unfortunately, drive for a few years, but this
      reinforced my belief that I was shackled to the car. It was hard to get
      anywhere without the car, since my neighborhood had minimal public
      transit, and the distances were so large. Half way through senior year I
      finally got fed up and vowed to bike ride whenever possible. I tested the
      time to high school... 45 minutes. Well, I wasn't sure exactly the best
      route, so that'll probably come down. And it did. By the end it was only
      15 minutes to bike, which is maybe five minutes longer than if I had taken
      the car and parked close, or about the same time it would have taken if I
      had to park farther away. Instead of a car for graduation, like I'm sure
      many people got, I made it perfectly clear that I didn't want one.
      Instead, I asked for a bike and actually got it before graduating, to make
      my daily commute nicer.

      Most of my peers would spend a great deal of time talking about cars...
      much of that time about how theirs broke, or their latest accidents. The
      most alienating thing about teenage culture, in my opinion, was
      'cruising'. I tagged along a few times with my friends when they went
      'cruising', but I must say I couldn't really see the allure. Most of the
      time this consisted of either driving around with no destination, or
      leaning on cars hanging out in parking lots. Parking lots! I can't find
      anything worthwhile in this activity, yet it was a huge part of many of my
      colleagues lives at that point.

      Someone we need to move the American (suburban?) idea of right-of-passage
      away from the automobile. If we can do this, hopefully we can raise a
      whole generation that isn't married to their car. Better public transit
      would help tremendously, but that isn't feasible in most suburbs (chicken
      and egg). If pre-teens and younger teens are able to be mobile without a
      car (using bikes and/or public transit), then getting a car wouldn't be as
      such a big deal. Perhaps someone here should write a teen movie set in a
      city with transit and where none of the teens have cars :)

      Hopefully I didn't wander too much off topic. Coming from a suburban high
      school (where I still have some ties), I can see first hand how bad
      teenagers are car obsessed.

      Andrew
    • Todd Edelman
      Andrew and others, Remember something that happened in the USA about the same time as the (finally!) reduction in teenage smoking were the big legal
      Message 2 of 6 , May 3 6:18 PM
        Andrew and others,

        Remember something that happened in the USA about the
        same time as the (finally!) reduction in teenage
        smoking were the big legal settlements on Big Tobacco.

        In addition, for at least 30 years schools etc were
        trying to get kids to stop (starting) smoking, and so
        something finally worked.

        Related to this (I think), I have long thought that
        something like safe streets for children are as much a
        human rights issue as anything else, but havent seen
        much discussion about this.

        Back to the legal settlement, one thing it paid for is
        the setting up of the American Legacy Foundation
        <www.americanlegacy.org> with its main public product
        <www.thetruth.com>

        Check out The Truth website. If we can do something
        like this for "carfree", we would be, as some
        teenagers say or used to say, "stylin'"!

        Okay, what I will actually do is make it part of the
        On the Train project proposal....

        (We could also do a parody of (or take inspiration
        from ) the - as I understand it - completely
        ineffective Nancy Reagan-endorsed Partnership for a
        Drug-Free America
        <http://campaigns.drugfreeamerica.org> "This is your
        brain, this is your brain on drugs" campaign from the
        1980s : "This is your car... this is your car without
        energy"...)

        see: <http://medialit.med.sc.edu/25grea17.jpg>

        This is an image from the TV commercial. A whole egg
        is supposed to be your brain, the fried egg is your
        brain "on drugs". Too sensational, over-simplified,
        too easy to make fun of...

        - Todd


        --- Andrew Hitchcock <mail@...> wrote:
        > > The car also plays a crucial role in the rites of
        > > passage celebrated in American mythology: it's
        > where high school kids
        > > first make out, it's what proud middle-class dads
        > give their offspring on
        > > getting into college, it's what husbands give
        > their trophy wives to parade
        > > in.
        > >
        >
        > Being a recent high school graduate from a suburban
        > high school, it is sad
        > how much truth is found in this statement. Younger
        > high school students
        > look forward to turning 16 so they can finally learn
        > to drive and increase
        > their mobility. Getting a drivers license or car is
        > probably the biggest
        > event in most teenagers high school career. My
        > suburb was fairly affluent,
        > so most people had cars, but they were then angered
        > because there were not
        > enough places around the school to park. The
        > farthest house in the school
        > district from the high school was only five miles
        > away, yet very few got
        > to school under their own power. Most opted for
        > school bus, car, or
        > carpool.
        >
        > Most teenagers I met viewed getting a car as the
        > start of their
        > independence. When I reached this age, however, my
        > animosity for cars and
        > driving began. I did, unfortunately, drive for a few
        > years, but this
        > reinforced my belief that I was shackled to the car.
        > It was hard to get
        > anywhere without the car, since my neighborhood had
        > minimal public
        > transit, and the distances were so large. Half way
        > through senior year I
        > finally got fed up and vowed to bike ride whenever
        > possible. I tested the
        > time to high school... 45 minutes. Well, I wasn't
        > sure exactly the best
        > route, so that'll probably come down. And it did. By
        > the end it was only
        > 15 minutes to bike, which is maybe five minutes
        > longer than if I had taken
        > the car and parked close, or about the same time it
        > would have taken if I
        > had to park farther away. Instead of a car for
        > graduation, like I'm sure
        > many people got, I made it perfectly clear that I
        > didn't want one.
        > Instead, I asked for a bike and actually got it
        > before graduating, to make
        > my daily commute nicer.
        >
        > Most of my peers would spend a great deal of time
        > talking about cars...
        > much of that time about how theirs broke, or their
        > latest accidents. The
        > most alienating thing about teenage culture, in my
        > opinion, was
        > 'cruising'. I tagged along a few times with my
        > friends when they went
        > 'cruising', but I must say I couldn't really see the
        > allure. Most of the
        > time this consisted of either driving around with no
        > destination, or
        > leaning on cars hanging out in parking lots. Parking
        > lots! I can't find
        > anything worthwhile in this activity, yet it was a
        > huge part of many of my
        > colleagues lives at that point.
        >
        > Someone we need to move the American (suburban?)
        > idea of right-of-passage
        > away from the automobile. If we can do this,
        > hopefully we can raise a
        > whole generation that isn't married to their car.
        > Better public transit
        > would help tremendously, but that isn't feasible in
        > most suburbs (chicken
        > and egg). If pre-teens and younger teens are able to
        > be mobile without a
        > car (using bikes and/or public transit), then
        > getting a car wouldn't be as
        > such a big deal. Perhaps someone here should write a
        > teen movie set in a
        > city with transit and where none of the teens have
        > cars :)
        >
        > Hopefully I didn't wander too much off topic. Coming
        > from a suburban high
        > school (where I still have some ties), I can see
        > first hand how bad
        > teenagers are car obsessed.
        >
        > Andrew
        >
        >
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to:
        > carfree_cities@...
        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
        > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
        > Group address:
        > http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >

        Send instant messages to your online friends http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com
      • Andrew Hitchcock
        Well, I don t remember the egg/brain commercial when it ran (it may have been before my time), but I have heard it made fun of a lot and it is pretty famous.
        Message 3 of 6 , May 3 7:24 PM
          Well, I don't remember the egg/brain commercial when it ran (it may have
          been before my time), but I have heard it made fun of a lot and it is
          pretty famous.

          As a non-smoker I find the Truth ads kind of obnoxious, but some of them
          are pretty clever (putting a number of 'dead bodies' outside a tobacco
          company that is equal to the number killed daily by tobacco). I think
          something like that but for cars would be neat. If we could find some
          damning car statistics and make commercials based on those, that would get
          our point across well. Maybe have one where a car is racing a bicycle to a
          destination, and bicycle wins (doesn't haven't to find parking and such,
          can slip through traffic easily).

          Andrew

          > Andrew and others,
          >
          > Remember something that happened in the USA about the
          > same time as the (finally!) reduction in teenage
          > smoking were the big legal settlements on Big Tobacco.
          >
          > In addition, for at least 30 years schools etc were
          > trying to get kids to stop (starting) smoking, and so
          > something finally worked.
          >
          > Related to this (I think), I have long thought that
          > something like safe streets for children are as much a
          > human rights issue as anything else, but havent seen
          > much discussion about this.
          >
          > Back to the legal settlement, one thing it paid for is
          > the setting up of the American Legacy Foundation
          > <www.americanlegacy.org> with its main public product
          > <www.thetruth.com>
          >
          > Check out The Truth website. If we can do something
          > like this for "carfree", we would be, as some
          > teenagers say or used to say, "stylin'"!
          >
          > Okay, what I will actually do is make it part of the
          > On the Train project proposal....
          >
          > (We could also do a parody of (or take inspiration
          > from ) the - as I understand it - completely
          > ineffective Nancy Reagan-endorsed Partnership for a
          > Drug-Free America
          > <http://campaigns.drugfreeamerica.org> "This is your
          > brain, this is your brain on drugs" campaign from the
          > 1980s : "This is your car... this is your car without
          > energy"...)
          >
          > see: <http://medialit.med.sc.edu/25grea17.jpg>
          >
          > This is an image from the TV commercial. A whole egg
          > is supposed to be your brain, the fried egg is your
          > brain "on drugs". Too sensational, over-simplified,
          > too easy to make fun of...
          >
          > - Todd
          >
          >
          > --- Andrew Hitchcock <mail@...> wrote:
          >> > The car also plays a crucial role in the rites of
          >> > passage celebrated in American mythology: it's
          >> where high school kids
          >> > first make out, it's what proud middle-class dads
          >> give their offspring on
          >> > getting into college, it's what husbands give
          >> their trophy wives to parade
          >> > in.
          >> >
          >>
          >> Being a recent high school graduate from a suburban
          >> high school, it is sad
          >> how much truth is found in this statement. Younger
          >> high school students
          >> look forward to turning 16 so they can finally learn
          >> to drive and increase
          >> their mobility. Getting a drivers license or car is
          >> probably the biggest
          >> event in most teenagers high school career. My
          >> suburb was fairly affluent,
          >> so most people had cars, but they were then angered
          >> because there were not
          >> enough places around the school to park. The
          >> farthest house in the school
          >> district from the high school was only five miles
          >> away, yet very few got
          >> to school under their own power. Most opted for
          >> school bus, car, or
          >> carpool.
          >>
          >> Most teenagers I met viewed getting a car as the
          >> start of their
          >> independence. When I reached this age, however, my
          >> animosity for cars and
          >> driving began. I did, unfortunately, drive for a few
          >> years, but this
          >> reinforced my belief that I was shackled to the car.
          >> It was hard to get
          >> anywhere without the car, since my neighborhood had
          >> minimal public
          >> transit, and the distances were so large. Half way
          >> through senior year I
          >> finally got fed up and vowed to bike ride whenever
          >> possible. I tested the
          >> time to high school... 45 minutes. Well, I wasn't
          >> sure exactly the best
          >> route, so that'll probably come down. And it did. By
          >> the end it was only
          >> 15 minutes to bike, which is maybe five minutes
          >> longer than if I had taken
          >> the car and parked close, or about the same time it
          >> would have taken if I
          >> had to park farther away. Instead of a car for
          >> graduation, like I'm sure
          >> many people got, I made it perfectly clear that I
          >> didn't want one.
          >> Instead, I asked for a bike and actually got it
          >> before graduating, to make
          >> my daily commute nicer.
          >>
          >> Most of my peers would spend a great deal of time
          >> talking about cars...
          >> much of that time about how theirs broke, or their
          >> latest accidents. The
          >> most alienating thing about teenage culture, in my
          >> opinion, was
          >> 'cruising'. I tagged along a few times with my
          >> friends when they went
          >> 'cruising', but I must say I couldn't really see the
          >> allure. Most of the
          >> time this consisted of either driving around with no
          >> destination, or
          >> leaning on cars hanging out in parking lots. Parking
          >> lots! I can't find
          >> anything worthwhile in this activity, yet it was a
          >> huge part of many of my
          >> colleagues lives at that point.
          >>
          >> Someone we need to move the American (suburban?)
          >> idea of right-of-passage
          >> away from the automobile. If we can do this,
          >> hopefully we can raise a
          >> whole generation that isn't married to their car.
          >> Better public transit
          >> would help tremendously, but that isn't feasible in
          >> most suburbs (chicken
          >> and egg). If pre-teens and younger teens are able to
          >> be mobile without a
          >> car (using bikes and/or public transit), then
          >> getting a car wouldn't be as
          >> such a big deal. Perhaps someone here should write a
          >> teen movie set in a
          >> city with transit and where none of the teens have
          >> cars :)
          >>
          >> Hopefully I didn't wander too much off topic. Coming
          >> from a suburban high
          >> school (where I still have some ties), I can see
          >> first hand how bad
          >> teenagers are car obsessed.
          >>
          >> Andrew
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >> To Post a message, send it to:
          >> carfree_cities@...
          >> To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
          >> carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
          >> Group address:
          >> http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
          >> Yahoo! Groups Links
          >>
          >>
          >> carfree_cities-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >
          > Send instant messages to your online friends http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com
          >
          >
          > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
          > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
          > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
          > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Todd Edelman
          Hi, If people who know everything about adverts, all that it takes... from strategizing and conception to getting stuff placed, and you can help in a concrete
          Message 4 of 6 , May 3 8:56 PM
            Hi,

            If people who know everything about adverts, all that
            it takes... from strategizing and conception to
            getting stuff placed, and you can help in a concrete
            way, please contact me OFF LIST at

            traintowardsthefuture@...

            Thanks,
            Todd Edelman,
            WCN


            --- Andrew Hitchcock <mail@...>
            wrote:

            > Well, I don't remember the egg/brain commercial when
            > it ran (it may have
            > been before my time), but I have heard it made fun
            > of a lot and it is
            > pretty famous.
            >
            > As a non-smoker I find the Truth ads kind of
            > obnoxious, but some of them
            > are pretty clever (putting a number of 'dead bodies'
            > outside a tobacco
            > company that is equal to the number killed daily by
            > tobacco). I think
            > something like that but for cars would be neat. If
            > we could find some
            > damning car statistics and make commercials based on
            > those, that would get
            > our point across well. Maybe have one where a car is
            > racing a bicycle to a
            > destination, and bicycle wins (doesn't haven't to
            > find parking and such,
            > can slip through traffic easily).
            >
            > Andrew
            >
            > > Andrew and others,
            > >
            > > Remember something that happened in the USA about
            > the
            > > same time as the (finally!) reduction in teenage
            > > smoking were the big legal settlements on Big
            > Tobacco.
            > >
            > > In addition, for at least 30 years schools etc
            > were
            > > trying to get kids to stop (starting) smoking, and
            > so
            > > something finally worked.
            > >
            > > Related to this (I think), I have long thought
            > that
            > > something like safe streets for children are as
            > much a
            > > human rights issue as anything else, but havent
            > seen
            > > much discussion about this.
            > >
            > > Back to the legal settlement, one thing it paid
            > for is
            > > the setting up of the American Legacy Foundation
            > > <www.americanlegacy.org> with its main public
            > product
            > > <www.thetruth.com>
            > >
            > > Check out The Truth website. If we can do
            > something
            > > like this for "carfree", we would be, as some
            > > teenagers say or used to say, "stylin'"!
            > >
            > > Okay, what I will actually do is make it part of
            > the
            > > On the Train project proposal....
            > >
            > > (We could also do a parody of (or take inspiration
            > > from ) the - as I understand it - completely
            > > ineffective Nancy Reagan-endorsed Partnership for
            > a
            > > Drug-Free America
            > > <http://campaigns.drugfreeamerica.org> "This is
            > your
            > > brain, this is your brain on drugs" campaign from
            > the
            > > 1980s : "This is your car... this is your car
            > without
            > > energy"...)
            > >
            > > see: <http://medialit.med.sc.edu/25grea17.jpg>
            > >
            > > This is an image from the TV commercial. A whole
            > egg
            > > is supposed to be your brain, the fried egg is
            > your
            > > brain "on drugs". Too sensational,
            > over-simplified,
            > > too easy to make fun of...
            > >
            > > - Todd
            > >
            > >
            > > --- Andrew Hitchcock <mail@...>
            > wrote:
            > >> > The car also plays a crucial role in the rites
            > of
            > >> > passage celebrated in American mythology: it's
            > >> where high school kids
            > >> > first make out, it's what proud middle-class
            > dads
            > >> give their offspring on
            > >> > getting into college, it's what husbands give
            > >> their trophy wives to parade
            > >> > in.
            > >> >
            > >>
            > >> Being a recent high school graduate from a
            > suburban
            > >> high school, it is sad
            > >> how much truth is found in this statement.
            > Younger
            > >> high school students
            > >> look forward to turning 16 so they can finally
            > learn
            > >> to drive and increase
            > >> their mobility. Getting a drivers license or car
            > is
            > >> probably the biggest
            > >> event in most teenagers high school career. My
            > >> suburb was fairly affluent,
            > >> so most people had cars, but they were then
            > angered
            > >> because there were not
            > >> enough places around the school to park. The
            > >> farthest house in the school
            > >> district from the high school was only five miles
            > >> away, yet very few got
            > >> to school under their own power. Most opted for
            > >> school bus, car, or
            > >> carpool.
            > >>
            > >> Most teenagers I met viewed getting a car as the
            > >> start of their
            > >> independence. When I reached this age, however,
            > my
            > >> animosity for cars and
            > >> driving began. I did, unfortunately, drive for a
            > few
            > >> years, but this
            > >> reinforced my belief that I was shackled to the
            > car.
            > >> It was hard to get
            > >> anywhere without the car, since my neighborhood
            > had
            > >> minimal public
            > >> transit, and the distances were so large. Half
            > way
            > >> through senior year I
            > >> finally got fed up and vowed to bike ride
            > whenever
            > >> possible. I tested the
            > >> time to high school... 45 minutes. Well, I wasn't
            > >> sure exactly the best
            > >> route, so that'll probably come down. And it did.
            > By
            > >> the end it was only
            > >> 15 minutes to bike, which is maybe five minutes
            > >> longer than if I had taken
            > >> the car and parked close, or about the same time
            > it
            > >> would have taken if I
            > >> had to park farther away. Instead of a car for
            > >> graduation, like I'm sure
            > >> many people got, I made it perfectly clear that I
            > >> didn't want one.
            > >> Instead, I asked for a bike and actually got it
            > >> before graduating, to make
            > >> my daily commute nicer.
            > >>
            > >> Most of my peers would spend a great deal of time
            > >> talking about cars...
            > >> much of that time about how theirs broke, or
            > their
            > >> latest accidents. The
            > >> most alienating thing about teenage culture, in
            > my
            > >> opinion, was
            > >> 'cruising'. I tagged along a few times with my
            > >> friends when they went
            > >> 'cruising', but I must say I couldn't really see
            > the
            > >> allure. Most of the
            > >> time this consisted of either driving around with
            > no
            > >> destination, or
            > >> leaning on cars hanging out in parking lots.
            > Parking
            > >> lots! I can't find
            > >> anything worthwhile in this activity, yet it was
            > a
            > >> huge part of many of my
            > >> colleagues lives at that point.
            > >>
            > >> Someone we need to move the American (suburban?)
            > >> idea of right-of-passage
            > >> away from the automobile. If we can do this,
            > >> hopefully we can raise a
            > >> whole generation that isn't married to their car.
            > >> Better public transit
            > >> would help tremendously, but that isn't feasible
            > in
            > >> most suburbs (chicken
            > >> and egg). If pre-teens and younger teens are able
            > to
            > >> be mobile without a
            > >> car (using bikes and/or public transit), then
            > >> getting a car wouldn't be as
            > >> such a big deal. Perhaps someone here should
            > write a
            > >> teen movie set in a
            > >> city with transit and where none of the teens
            > have
            > >> cars :)
            > >>
            > >> Hopefully I didn't wander too much off topic.
            > Coming
            > >> from a suburban high
            > >> school (where I still have some ties), I can see
            > >> first hand how bad
            > >> teenagers are car obsessed.
            > >>
            > >> Andrew
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >> To Post a message, send it to:
            > >> carfree_cities@...
            > >> To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
            > >> carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
            > >> Group address:
            > >> http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
            > >> Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >>
            > >>
            > >> carfree_cities-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >
            > > Send instant messages to your online friends
            > http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com
            > >
            > >
            > > To Post a message, send it to:
            > carfree_cities@...
            > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
            > > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
            > > Group address:
            > http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > To Post a message, send it to:
            > carfree_cities@...
            > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
            > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
            > Group address:
            > http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >


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