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Monday, November 24, 2014

Jamais Vu: The New Ford Facade, Now With The New Problematic Transmission

"People love their cars. Each one is a special individual with a heart and soul under the hood. We spend so much time, experience so much, and go so many places with our automobiles that they rival the family house pet for time and attention. The character, personality, and even the name, brand, and color are crucial if one has to choose. Used cars begin like work horses and evolve into something more. Either we keep them because they are reliable or because we want our moneys worth in repairs.

Today, the industry is under tremendous pressure to drastically change the automobiles we are all familiar with and trade them in for electric or alternative fuel-powered vehicles without the Internal Combustion Gasoline Engine and tons of rubber and steel. Can we make the transition in America from beefy SUV's and pick-ups? Or sleek roadsters to fuel-efficient basic transportation? Will the new cars stand up against the bumpers of larger vehicles in a crash? Many are simply waiting to see what happens to them first.

The days of Grandpa's Station Wagon are through, that much is certain.  Still, in Grandpa's Day there were some elegant solutions. For Urban Dwellers the electric streetcar ferried many across town. In Science Fiction, cars were supposed to have been flying or gliding along clean plastic highways in the 21st century. No one believed in the year 2014 we would still be burning fossil fuels using the same basic designs. Surely, Artificial Intelligence has more applications than Anti-Lock brakes.

Entire cities are organized solely upon the automobile and trucking. Even rural life depends exclusively upon the transportation and distribution of goods and services on the road. As post World War infrastructure decays and is abandoned it seems an opportune time to introduce high speed rail systems and reorganized urban communities and enclaves designed for more pedestrians, bicyclists, and lighter traffic. Yet, Rush Hour continues to be grid-locked SUV's, idling with air conditioners on attempting to filter out the exhaust, inching along on the highway to home. In some cities like Washington DC the commute becomes excruciating hour upon hour trapped in vehicles listening to angry white men on the radio every working day and night. Was this what the forefathers envisioned? No.

Transition into the future is not automatic but it must occur. It is known in private, denied in public, and resisted everywhere: Change. So, if you can read this know that feeling of jamais vu, the familiar seems unfamiliar, the very opposite of deja vu you experience, is the past slipping slowly into the future. Maybe the steering wheel feels different today or you attempt to enter the wrong car tomorrow. Perhaps the way is strange and darker than you remember: THAT wasn't there yesterday. And what ever happened THERE? Look briefly into the rear view mirror and keep your eyes on the road ahead. Whatever you do, keep driving. "