Friday, August 7, 2009


(In Illinois you can't text while driving, or talk on the phone in a construction or school zone while driving, thanks to two new laws)


1. No changing the radio station or track on the radio/CD player while driving.
2. No talking to passengers in the car while driving.
3. Construction workers must wear foam suits, covered in bubble wrap, on top of steal armor.
4. All cars made hence forward will have room for the driver only, the heat and cooling will be automated, no nobs or twirly doonabbers and flashing lights or controls besides gas, break and shifter.

You can't legislate stupidity. We're just a couple genomes away from hairy primates that live in trees and eat their own boogers/fling poo, yet we feel confidant enough to drive 2,000 pound heaps of steal and fiberglass propelled by rapid fire explosions just a few feet from our noodles. If we believe we are capable of this thoroughly absurd feet, then everything else is water under the stupid metaphor. People are going to get hit by stupid people that can't keep the jalopy in line. It's what happens when you allow primates to drive cars. Cell phones aren't the problem. People are the problem.

As Kurt Vonnegut loved to say, we're just monkeys with over-sized brains. Every time I drive, I'm surprised the parkways aren't a completely chaotic mess of collisions, swerving vehicles and brashly irrational movements not contained by the rules of the road. Consider how we navigate other decisions in our lives. The great meat grinder that is our interstate highway system might actually be mankind's most impressive, organized participatory system, and it still manages to tear us apart one gruesome collision after another. Our greatest accomplishments are our greatest follies. This is going no where, don't worry.

Now, we can always try our best to manipulate the laws in ways necessary to make the roads as safe as possible. But I'm sick and tired (and tired of being sick and sick of being tired and too sick to be tired and too tired to be sick and too sick to be sick and too tired to be tired) of legislation that limits our own personal freedom on things as mundane as talking on a cell phone because some of our monkey brothers and sisters are too busy spreading gossip in the middle of rush hour to pay attention to the road.

Next time I'm on a leisurely cruise down a state highway, getting a phone call out of the way that I would never make on my own time at home, I'll make sure to abruptly hang up without warning right before entering the construction zone.

Rant over.


The Juice Box said...

At least according to the new texting ban, you can still text while stopped at a stoplight or in traffic, and also pull over on the highway to answer/receive a text. You just can't do it while in motion ... which is never going to actually be enforced.

bahler said...

I never felt talking on the phone and driving was that complicated. Maybe I'm a super primate!

Texting, however, is one of my worst habits - and I'm at least trying to stop.

The most volatile debate comes with the decision of where to draw the line between putting laws in place for people's safety and letting us have our freedom. Should we not have speed limit signs and allow people to determine their own safe speed? Should seat belts be optional to wear? Too often this gets political, once again pitting liberals against "freedom" and conservatives against "safety for the common good."