Tuesday, July 18, 2017

New England, where trends go to die

Fads and fashions in the rest of the country tend to take a while to reach northern New England. By the time they're hip and hot here, they're on the way out everywhere else. So here it is, 2017, and some idiot in a truck finally tried to roll coal on me as I rode to work on Sunday.

Rolling coal is the practice of setting up your diesel truck to spew out copious quantities of thick, black smoke in defiance of the prissy wussies who give a shit about clean air. It is childish, vindictive, and one of the clearest indications that the human species might as well kill itself off now as later.

After laying down a rather thin smokescreen, the brave road warrior appeared to try to tail-whip his truck at me, but he was too far past. Off he went in triumph, having put me in my place. I rode in the fumes for a half-mile or so before the air cleared or I got used to the higher pollution level.

I have to remind myself that evolution is a long-term thing, and that I have no control whatsoever over the outcome. A human lifespan is too short for the big trends to matter, unless your span happens to line up with a sudden accumulation of the consequences of a few generations of ignorance and greed. Even then, you can't do anything about it. If massed ignorance and greed wants to keep going, thoughtful people can do nothing but endure the spectacle of destruction that so many people seem to embrace and enjoy. As much as I feel a surge of rage at the antics of destructive idiots, I have to remember that human existence is itself pointless, and that life has been fairly cushy in spite of the looming collapse of a nation that has chosen to live up to its potential to be a nest of spoiled brats rather than the thoughtful, diverse and interesting culture that the advertising led us to believe was possible.

I can only hope that the arrival of coal-rolling in northern New England signals its rapid decline elsewhere, and that the trend here falters and dies out in the face of ingrained cheapness and practicality. When it comes to flamboyantly destroying motor vehicles, however, the famous New England frugality goes right in the crapper. The American love affair with smoke, flames, and loud noises overcomes any restraining convention in this age when restraint is scorned. And the belief that the best expression of freedom is to offend as many people as possible guarantees that offensive behavior will enjoy rampant popularity.

1 comment:

David Henri said...

I'm sorry you had to experience that. I agree 100% with your post. It's a sad state we're all in when freedom equals ignorance.