Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cruising With Benny

I'm a little late in saying anything about this story where His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI announced "The Ten Commandments For Drivers" because I was shocked at its preposterousness. What, did Charlton Heston drive a Hummer down the side of Mount Rushmore and step out with stone tablets in hand containing Benny's sacred words, ready to cast them down at the feet of cowering drivers of economy sedans?

Is it a bad thing to encourage civility, compassion and basic common sense when driving? Of course not. However, no one is going to take Benny seriously on this (though I'm sure AAA's is just tickled pink that The Vatican has chosen to spotlight road woes at the expense of something of significantly greater import, such as doing everything possible in its admittedly limited power to end the Iraq war).

I would applaud the Vatican if, instead of laying the onus totally on drivers, they decided to get at the root cause of why so damn many people are on the road anymore (including your humble narrator of course; mea maxima culpa) and encourage countries to spend more on mass transit as well as pointing out to employers the commuting advantages of flex scheduling and (dare I say it?!) working from home. But of course Roman Catholicism, as well as organized religion in general, is often more preoccupied with manufacturing guilt directed at "the flock" than mediating to solve complicated problems in non-Third World countries.

All the same, though, I should follow the lead from Rome on this I guess, so, as a primer in How Not To Drive, I now present all 10:38 of the car chase scene from "The Seven Ups" starring Roy Scheider and featuring stunt driver extraordinaire Bill Hickman (just think of all of the sins displayed in this clip - don't try this at home, as they say).

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