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Monday, June 23, 2008

Brit Living in States Promotes Ugly Stereotypes About Americans

posted by on June 23 at 9:55 AM

Not all Americans know how to drive, Andrew.

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Dan has a crush on Andrew!! "Dan and Andrew sitting in a tree, K I S S I N G!! First comes love then...."

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | June 23, 2008 10:02 AM

While I absolutely promote the elimination of America's dependence on massive gas-guzzling monster machines- I find it actually extremely ignorant, elitist, and ultimately unintelligent to poo-poo cars, or major transportation, altogether. It may speak to simple geography, but there is a reason- beyond the concentration of wealth- why most (but not all) Americans know how to drive. There is a necessity here that simply isn't there for most of Europe- Britain especially. The populations are dense. The space a lot less . . . spacious.

Yet here, in America, everything is spread out to a far more extreme degree- and to be without a car or some other major transport is to seclude yourself and cut of access to some of the more basic necessities (IE Food). Instead of waxing philosophical about "the good ol' days of not being able to get anywhere" I would think trying to point out the TYPES of major transportation America is using, and what it isn't, as its main issue would be a lot more helpful and a lot less elitist.

Posted by Johnny Liverwerst | June 23, 2008 10:09 AM

All Americans SHOULD know how to drive a car, and drive a manual transmission.

My grampa, may he RIP, never drove a car. But that was just stubbornness & the fact that there were streetcars available his whole life. I think he may have been the last straight man in america who didn't drive.

Its one thing to not OWN a car, but to not know HOW? An automatic transmission is gas pedal, brake pedal, and steer. My neice could do it at 6. All Americans SHOULD know how to drive a car, and drive a manual transmission at that.

Posted by max solomon | June 23, 2008 10:13 AM

#2 I am sure you arguments make sense but you are wasting your time. The non driver is just a pompous ass. The UK is crawling with them.

Posted by Mike | June 23, 2008 10:15 AM

Based on the drivers on the road in Queen Anne, I can confirm that not all Americans know how to drive.

Posted by Chris B | June 23, 2008 10:15 AM

I once dated a guy who didn't know how to drive. He was so high and mighty with his greenness, but always begged me to drive his ass all over town. In his mother's car no less.

Posted by ams | June 23, 2008 10:16 AM

@6 That's what I was coming in to say.

People who don't own cars like demanding rides from those who do. Which increases gas usage, and just puts the burden of gas usage on fewer people. C.S. Lewis and Andrew Sullivan are both dicks if they have to demand rides that are out of the way of their driver. (If Mr. Sullivan, however, has an office that is not out of the way of his husband's destination then he is not nearly the dick that others who want a ride to a place 5-10 miles out of the way).

If you don't know how to drive, don't want to own a car, want to be high and mighty about your greenness, and want to bitch about the lowering "value of distance" while you accept rides from your car-owning friends or your spouse, you are not only a dick but a hypocrite. This includes trips to the airport within the city, or road trips.

Hitchhike or take the bus, you pseudo-green pieces of shit.

Posted by TheMisanthrope | June 23, 2008 10:28 AM

Man, there are some bitter, bitter people in the Slog comments today. Time to adjust your meds, folks.

Dan, I'll give you a ride anytime.

Posted by Providence | June 23, 2008 10:34 AM

How come nobody gets all pompous like this about never learning to read? "Oh, I just never had the need I guess. I've got my husband here to read to me, and there are all kinds of public services like radio and TV and books on tape. Why, people who rely on technology such as reading have no idea all the warm, human contact they're missing!"

"Furthermore, I never learned to use a toilet. Now some of you may find that strange, but let me explain..."

Posted by elenchos | June 23, 2008 10:42 AM

The only people I know who don't drive grew up either in big American cities or in Europe. Interesting. I CAN drive but hardly ever do.

Posted by Balt-O-Matt | June 23, 2008 11:00 AM

I don't drive because I can't afford it (whee, student loans). Living near the downtown core in Toronto, it's pretty easy to eke out a decent existence without a car. Everywhere worth going has transit access.

The green benefits are there, yeah, but everyone I know who doesn't drive openly acknowledges it's primarily about money.

Still, when I secure a full-time job, I'll probably at least buy into a car-share program for occasional trips outside the city. Otherwise, no, I can't see a reason to buy a car. And I pony up gas money when friends insist on piling in a car, because it's polite.

(By the way, living on a subway line is frickin' awesome.)

Posted by Gloria | June 23, 2008 11:14 AM

Try living in Wisconsin in the dead of February with no car. Yeah. Have fun with that.

Posted by Marty | June 23, 2008 11:19 AM

What about that guy with 16 DUIs, the "DUI King" that Seattle Weekly profiled in the news last week.

I'm not real sure he knows how to drive.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 23, 2008 11:19 AM

the British Petroleum ad above is a nice touch.

Posted by Yohnson | June 23, 2008 11:58 AM

I learned to drive in high school, like everyone else, and got my license at 16, like everyone else, but never renewed it. I didn't get another one, nor ever owned a car, until after I turned 40. Seattle's not a city for the transit-dependent.

Posted by Fnarf | June 23, 2008 12:23 PM

Yuck, and he mentions "Ptown" in his first paragraph! The fact that his husband has to drive them to Massachusetts once a summer is a little too Jessica Tandy for me.

Posted by Matthew Grundy | June 23, 2008 1:11 PM

Yeah guys, fuck those pompous assholes who live on commuter lines and don't want to incur unnecessary expenses. They're such fucking snobs to want to save money and stop burning fuel.

Grow the fuck up, morons.

Posted by Jay | June 23, 2008 2:58 PM

17: Obviously I'm not talking about everyone here.

Posted by Jay | June 23, 2008 3:00 PM

Ever notice that "Elitist" is the slur-of-the-day hurled by trogladytes and morons?

Fuck, I kind of hope there's someone out there who's better than me, otherwise we truly ARE doomed.

Posted by Wackistan | June 23, 2008 3:36 PM

#11 -

Toronto actually has a robust and developed transit infrastructure, at least around downtown. (I've spent a lot of time there in the past). People commuting between places like Scarborough and downtown though might be a little boned. My experience is about a decade out-of-date.

Anyway, living in Seattle, I have a Zipcar/Flexcar membership and even with that spectacufucktarded "car rental" tax it's become more economical to pay 50 bucks a month for occasional use than than 4.75/gallon for gas.

Hint, to all you fucking rubes out there, an income tax is less regressive and insane than this nickel-and-dime melange of property, sales, and miscellaneous 'gotcha' revenue that WA state seems so willing to plunder by. They're going to get their money no matter what, it's just a question of how much from whom.

Posted by Wackistan | June 23, 2008 3:45 PM

I agree whole-heartedly with Andrew Sullivan and CS Lewis. What could be more awful than a long car drive across this big nation of our, seeing different cities, terrains, and meeting people from all walks of life.

Disgusting. Give me city walking, ride mooching, and sanctimony anyday.

Posted by Hamster | June 23, 2008 4:13 PM

I'll settle for a longboard by Derf Designs, thanks.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 23, 2008 4:16 PM

21: Yes, because most car use is for cross-country travel, instead of, you know, driving short distances in the city or commuting to the city from the burbs. Yes indeed, cars make us free!

Posted by Jay | June 23, 2008 6:59 PM

@23 Awwwww. Is Jay feeling guilty over demanding free rides from people?
As Fnarf said, Seattle isn't a city for the transit-dependent. Getting almost anywhere takes a minimum of 30 minutes by bus. Its no wonder I get so many ride requests.

Posted by TheMisanthrope | June 23, 2008 10:37 PM

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