Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
A Los Angeles blog
from Echo Park

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Cars and freedom, a weird week in transportation

An old pipe broke in Bethesda, Maryland, as you may have seen, in the neighborhood where my father and stepmother live, and about fourteen "motorists" (Chicken Corner just loves that word, that's why it's in quotes) had to be rescued by boat and helicopter. It's a small irony that the flooded road is named "River Road" -- the universe likes a joke now and then. But who knew a broken water main could create such a torrent? Sometimes these man-made catastrophes look like acts of God.

Then we're expected to have heavy rain in Cali today and tomorrow, and some people may have to give up plans to drive their cars from one town to the next. Especially if the Grapevine is part of the route. Cars, cars, we're so sadly dependent! Cluck.

Then -- loosely related -- Browne Molyneaux, the poet and transportation political activist, among other things, checked in with Chicken Corner yesterday, with an offer to free any volunteers of the tyranny of their own vehicle, which she would destroy on stage.

Molyneaux emailed:

As you know my side hobby is being the voice of women and unpronounceable names of the alt transit movement. Being one of the few gurls in alt transit that's focus is public transit is hardwork.

In a Streetsblog interview, she writes:

The Project hopefully will be me destroying someone's car on stage, but to me the project is bigger than just that. To me my anti-car stance and I say anti and not pro alternative transportation, because I want it to be known that I'm firmly anti-consumer driven lifestyle. I know in some parts of the city a car is truly a necessity, but in Hollywood, Santa Monica and downtown if you are child free you don't need one. I want to challenge that person to get rid of the biggest chain of consumerism in LA: The car. There is no way that public transit is going to get better until that person decides they don't need to spend their disposable income on a car. I would also be willing to destroy people's brand name clothing, shoes and credit cards if that's something people would be up for. Bring the literal item of anything that is making you a consumer junkie and I will happily destroy it for you and send you a wave file or mov. file of you freeing yourself from whatever your consumer addiction is.

File this under process-driven political art: where getting there is the message. When getting there isn't the point.

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