Mirror of Zen Blog

Ditch the Fucking Car Already

I own more cars than the average person. I own several cars. Actually, I hate to admit it, as a monk, but I own several automobiles. I keep them in several places. On several continents.

Several million cars, that is.

Seriously, I’m not joking: I own several hundred million cars. All makes and models, because I like variety, just like the next person.

To be precise: My whole life, since getting a drivers license at 17, I have never owned a singular car, and I never will, until death. In its place, I have constant access to innumerable taxis, buses, trains, and shuttles. When I need to get somewhere that cannot be done by public transportation – – the preferred mode, by far – – I can call a taxi. Just by typing some numbers in the phone with my fingertips, or slightly raising my hand on the street, a car is in front of me. I use it to get precisely where I need to go. When I get out of the car, at the destination, the car disappears from view, and disappears completely from my list of concerns forever. I never need to worry about searching for parking places, or paying for them. I never need to pay taxes, or pay for engine maintenance or repairs, or for fuel, or for insurance, or for anything else related to this object and its upkeep or registration or storage or cleanliness. Where that car I was using to get into an accident of some kind, of course, I would console the driver for the time being, but then I can take my bag and completely walk away from the situation, perfectly scot-free. No paperwork or reports to file. No wrangling with some insurance company which only wishes to make me suffer with an endless request for documents, and the proofs to limit the money they can give me for the damage.

Next week, I will be attending some workshop just over the border in Switzerland. I will need a car for several days. So, I have arranged with a company to have a car, and I will have access to a simple, cheap, clean car, which will enable some friends and me to move easily for a few days through some rural areas. And when I am done, I will give the company their machine back again, and I will not need to repeat this experience for another year or two, at best.

I have never made a car payment in my life, to partially pay the salaries (and office rent) of bank workers through the interest that is given to the bank in order for me to have this four-wheeled “convenience“ sitting right outside at beck-and-call. I have not had to pay insurance companies’ salaries, or pay the exorbitant upcharge for car parts or repairs. I take particular satisfaction at not having ever owned a machine which relies on the constant payment of hard-earned money to petro-dictatorships all over the world merely for my operation of this “convenience”.

And yet, despite not owning a car for my entire life – – and actually seldom ever using taxis, to be honest – – I have been able to live with many full and rich experiences on three continents of the world. Lack of car ownership has never held me back from having any experiences, and rather has possibly enabled them to happen more richly, since I am not under the constant “suck“ of payment-slavery to banks, insurance, companies, and all of the related services tied to this indenturing machine. This leaves surplus funds for sharing those funds with others, helping some of my friends and students with their education costs, maybe buying a few drones for Ukraine when is necessary, these days.

A typical European car is parked 92% of the time. It spends 1/5th of its driving time looking for parking. Its 5 seats only move 1.5 people. 86% of its fuel never reaches the wheels, & most of the energy that does, moves the car, not people. 

Sound efficient?

@BrentToderian
Same-same — NOT same.

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