$60 bucks a barrel. I thought that since we annexed Iraq, we'd get a break on this.
The whole car thing is such a complicated issue for me. On one hand, the car culture is based on a wasteful, unsustainable, craven industry that exploits nations, falsely inflates oil prices and ships jobs overseas while placing our own country at the mercy of oil-producing countries. Not to mention the pollution and laziness that it creates. I know all of this, and yet . . .
I love cars. I can't seem to stop loving them. I can't get myself away from the intensely fond memories of being at my Grandfather's car dealership, playing around his antique car collection, hearing the well-engineered click of a Cadillac door closing and marvelling at the complete silence inside. I can't NOT feel happy when I'm driving my own car with the top down, remembering how we zipped through the Minnesota corn fields (the old farm, the one my ancestors established when they came over from Germany) in my grandfather's Lincoln Continental. White with red vinyl interior. I've been drunk, pierced and loved up . . . but the feeling of punching the accelerator on a highway and feeling the g-forces take over is still one of my favorite highs.
There is part of me that knows that Americans need to give up the car culture. Exurbs are bad for everyone, commuting is a horrible thing (although I'll be doing that in the near future every day) and the oil-based economy is going to collapse faster than a bad facelift when peak oil passes us by. But a big part of me will miss it. If we see the end of cars in my lifetime, I think I will be in mourning for at least a little while. Since their inception, cars have promised a kind of freedom. When you first get your drivers' license, there's a brilliant moment where you realize that you can go anywhere you want. You have to work within the constraints of gas money and time, but you can go anywhere from coast to coast if you want to. It's a great moment, and for some of us, that notion, the idea that at any moment, you can pick a highway and just burn rubber out of town . . . it never really goes away.