Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Suburban Crash

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.


Anonymous said...

This reminds me about the happiest days of my life-- NOT owning a car. However, it also reminds me of the great CAR CHASE of the 70's when some loony went on a driving rampage and crashed into the fire hydrant at the corner of the PYRAMID building in North Beach)--- it's in the papers if you want to check it out. The man lived and a friend and I saw it all... Wonder where he is today. I hate accidents, don't you????? spooky.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for juxtaposing the cool green labyrinth with the icky car crash stories. I have a serious complex all around that stuff and a reoccuring dream of a horrific never ending pileup -- that I hadn't thought of as erotic until now ...

Professor Zero said...

Juxtaposition is brilliant. Another v. smart post, SF Mike! :-)

Peteykins said...

One of my favorite books and one of my favorite movies, each quite different but each such a complement to the other.