Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Young Folks Biking For a Cause

A young lady named Liza Stoner embarked this week on a 1500-mile bike ride to D.C. Her mission -- to deliver a petition to Congress asking for tax benefits for manufacturers and purchasers of electric vehicles. Liza is riding all that way and she's only 14 years old. Check out the Ride for Renewal website for details and a blog (just what you needed -- another reason to get less work done).

I'm pretty jaded. I think people are damn lazy. I love most of my fellow humans; I try hard to love them all, but I think way too many people rely on motorized boxes to carry their overweight, out-of-shape flabby cakes from Point-A to Point-B. Often there is no good reason to travel from Points A to B in the first place. And far too often Points A and B are so freaking close in proximity that the aforementioned lazy-ass duffers could just walk, pedal or skip there.

However, the point here is options. I recently viewed the film "Who Killed the Electric Car?" While it was mostly chock full of celebrity types going goo-goo and ga-ga over a "sexy, fast" electric coffin, the option of a quieter, emission-free car presents a refreshing idea. (It's still a car, mind you.) I do not intend to rip the scab off this topic. However, it cannot be denied that American car junkies have been presented no viable options to the internal combustion death trap. Whose fault is that? I'm picking at the edge. C'mon, leave it alone. Hold your tongue ...

Okay, I cannot resist one simple observation -- your average consumer will buy/ingest/drink the product/shitty media/Kool-Aid placed in front of them without much question or complaint, until their supply (or ability to consume) is compromised. Are these mental processes much different than those of cattle? No, and I'm not downing cows. I love cows because they are cool. Perhaps I simply hold humans to unrealistically high standards? But I digress ... . In a nutshell, I think people drive gasoline-powered cars because that's the only option that's been presented AND because we're lazy creatures of habit. Meaning: 1) No one wants to give up comfort, status and all that jazz, and 2) We won't go looking for options 'cause that's too much work. Wait for the government or some fancy corporation's PR firm to plunk an option in front of us. Then we'll start grazing.

That didn't hurt so bad, eh? I didn't lift too much of that crusty scab away. Let's just press it back down and get back on track. After all, this post is supposed to be about Liza and the other empassioned young people whose brains are still flexible enough to imagine possibilities, who are not so damned steeped in mind-numbing habit that they shy away from big problems and global challenges. These young people will create change, they will have to given the wonderful energy crisis that's looming. That's not to say some of us aging farts shouldn't be helping. We gotta get off our asses, too -- work our rigid, foggy brains. It can be difficult since we let stupid things like suburban living, RV vacations and memories of the 'Golden Age' of the automobile stand in the way. We need youthful energy and ideas to rock the stodgy halls where legislation is debated and to shift the foundations of society's conventional thought. Hell, do you think change is gonna come from the seat of a minivan parked in a McDonald's drive thru?!

Dig this from the 'About Us' tab of Liza's site:
Fellowship for Renewal, LLC supports youth led initiatives and young activists who aim to inspire a call to action by creating awareness and understanding of environmental and social injustices through extraordinary physical endeavors. These endeavors challenge and develop young peoples’ will, leadership skills, intellectual capacities, self-confidence, and belief in their potential to create change for their chosen cause.

Strong, declarative language directed by the assertion that "environmental and social injustices" DO exist. What a beautifully honest notion to introduce early on, backed by the affirmation that young people can and must accept the challenge to affect change. It's better than raising kids on a steady diet of junk food and entitlements. Injustices are everywhere, my friends. Perhaps some peeps are just a little too preoccupied with finding the cheapest gas in their areas to notice. Young people like Liza are precisely the folks I like to imagine will be catalyzing the sorely needed change in our fair land over the coming decades. Viva la youth spent in channeled, productive ways! Viva change! Viva laziness getting a swift kick in the ass!


Pierre said...

I understand where you're coming from. Cars in the city and much of suburbia are many times unnessary, but what if some people in Woodbury, or some outside suburb, want to go to Minneapolis on some evening for a baseball game or football game? It's quite the ride and it sure would take a lot of their time for the commute. What I'm getting at is many people, especially in america, want their own peice of land, their own "country." Because many people are like this, I think some sort of automobile is going to be neccesary. What that girl is doing is awesome. It's a step foreward and if everything works well it may have the same effect hummers had a few years ago (purchase one and claim it as a work vehicle and it is a huge tax write off). I think what needs to be done is not the expulsion of the automobile, but an uprise in our voice as people and community. We need to get our act together and create an efficient public transportation system.
that's my two cents

Pierre said...

pardon my poor grammer