Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

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Posted by shannonclark on September 13, 2002

On writing

From this week’s New City Journal, a quote from Aleksandar Hemon on writing.

The trick is to tell the truth about human life while lying

Not bad I thought as I read that line, the final quote in a two page story about Hemon, an award winning writer in English which is not his first language.

Another random thought, while eating lunch today I saw a Volvo pull up to the restaurant parking lot and a man and two young children get out.

Quick, how would you describe the man that your mind’s eye is showing you.

I doubt your image matches what reality was.

I saw a man today in a sleeveless tee and martial arts pants, buying lunch for his son and a friend (or his two sons, not sure).

Yup, same man. Slightly balding, with a construction workers build, but driving a Volvo (turbo) – not the usual image of a Volvo driver.

This go me to thinking, on one level cars are very important to Americans, they are beyond a source of freedom, a form of identity, a statement about who we are, what our status in life is, for many a form of self-expression.

At the same time though, with the variety that exists today, and with the quality of cars today, and the options available, I think that this identity stuff is less and less relevant.

Volvo’s do not need to be driven by soccer moms in the suburbs.

“Real men” don’t all drive American. (at least in Chicago, perhaps this sentiment still holds in Detroit.

I’m pleased, while at the same time I contemplate whether or not to continue driving a car at all. I go weeks often without moving it. But when I do use it, it usually it to visit friends, to do stuff with and be with my friends, and to be flexible about that, to easily suggest activities and be able to offer to do the driving that is needed. So, I do enjoy and benefit from having a car, and while probably it would be cheaper if I just rented a car when I need one, it would also be much less convienent, and would require advance planning.

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