Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Walking over the 101 Freeway overpass from San Carlos to the Redwood Shores business park, I noticed a disaster.
There had been a crash, and a woman was being strapped onto a stretcher. There was no sign of any other car.
The crash and attendant emergency vehicles were creating a multi-lane traffic jam that stretched northbound on 101 as far as the eye could see.
If you have never read the British author J.G. Ballard's 1960s sick fantasia novel on the erotic ramifications of car crashes, I'm not sure I would really recommend it because the book really is seriously twisted.
So is the 1990s David Cronenberg film adaptation which keeps all the gore/erotica but jettisons the grotesque celebrity angle of the book. (One of the heroes masturbates repeatedly to the idea of smashing into Elizabeth Taylor's limousine at Heathrow Airport.)
Still, both the book and the movie get close to something profound about car culture and its essential sickness.
You'll never look at the world quite the same way again.