The Car in the Landscape: A Love Story
For more than a century, the automobile has represented the essence of American life like nothing else, like no other artifact or idea. The freedom of the open road is a powerful age-old metaphor for life lived to the fullest, and in its heyday the automobile amped that up to the last limits of wish fulfillment. For the sake of argument, let’s peg that heyday as the 1950s and ’60s. We were cruising for burgers, having fun, fun, fun, escaping the tedium and responsibility of square adulthood with Jack Kerouac, and venturing into the romantic-ecstatic mythic zone out on Thunder Road.
The automobile also provoked a prodigious re-ordering of the landscape itself, the terrain of this beautiful continent only recently opened to European settlers. We took that to the limit, too, with the creation of the world’s first drive-in utopia, our beloved suburbia, and by the 1970s we had so mutilated that landscape that every fruited plain was covered with a hideous and depressing crust of tract housing and its accessories: strip malls, fast food shacks, muffler s
Article from LewRockwell