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View Diary: Cars Cause Republicanism (338 comments)

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    Driving down a typical American suburban collector road during rush hour will convince anyone that most drivers do see the world as an obstacle. And sitting at a traffic light watching them pick their noses, apply makeup, or stuff egg sandwiches into their faces demonstrates the regard they have for their counterparts. These are not members of polite society. Such a civil disconnect cannot be anything but a manifestation of hyper-individualism run amok.

    make you wonder what type of regard the writers have for their counterparts. Okay, I'll grant that (in my personal opinion), an egg sandwich is a disgusting thing. But how many feet away do you need to be to determine that someone is stuffing his or her face with one rather than simply eating it? And how many inches away do you need to be to determine that it's an egg sandwich at all?

    So basically, Mr. Monbiot is pressing his face against car windows -- and is horrified to discover people doing things that they assume will go unnoticed except by people who peep through car windows. This is a scandal? Personally, I'd rather that he focus on the road.

    "I think that in modern America, we have far too many options for breakfast cereal and not enough options for president." - Barry Schwartz

    by AlanF on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 04:15:59 PM PST

    •  I Think You've Misinterpreted Him (none)
      Monbiot is not getting outraged over the fact that people are picking their noses or stuffing their faces with hard-boiled eggs, just noting that people do have a sense of invisibility inside their cars and a corresponding lack of sense that the road is a public place.  

      That disconnect between their behavior and the social good is a troubling sign of larger behavior patterns, but it also has a more concrete manifestation: endangering others by driving while eating, phoning, or putting on make-up.

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