New Outside Column! And Other Grumblings.

There’s no getting around it: I’m getting old. I’m also getting ornery–almost as ornery as I was when I started this blog! For example, it’s currently fashionable to blame motor vehicle size for basically everything, but I think the bigger problem is that today’s driver is chemically and electronically addled to an unprecedented extent:

I’m similarly retrograde in my belief that anybody who deflates someone’s car tires in the name of “climate activism” is a fucking asshole, though his writer disagrees:

However, I am willing to support it provided the “activist” meet the following criteria:

1. You Can’t Own A Car

Ironically, a ban on car ownership for anti-car advocates would probably disqualify at least half of them right off the bat. Of course, as I’ve experienced on many occasions, when you suggest maybe anti-car advocates shouldn’t own cars you get served the Hypocrite’s Get Out Of Jail Free Card:

Nevertheless, I’m going to stand by my assertion that if you’re so against cars you’re willing to engage in sabotage that you have no business owning or operating one of your own.

2. Start With Friends And Family

Before targeting strangers, start with your own sphere of influence. Does anybody you know drive an SUV? Your mother, your father? Your grandparents? Your friend, your romantic partner, your boss, your doctor, teacher, or yoga instructor? Just because you happen to like them or depend on them, that doesn’t mean they’re not destroying the planet, does it? Moreover, wouldn’t the message be that much more powerful coming from you, someone with whom they have a personal relationship? By all means, deflate the tires of your great-aunt’s SUV, and let her know you did it! Once you finish dealing with everyone you know, then you can move onto satisfying the next requirement, which is…

3. Punch Up

In this era of mutual sensitivity we’re constantly reminded of the evils of “punching down.” So instead of messing with the woman who works for a non-profit and drives her kids around in what is essentially just a station wagon:

Why not take the battle for the future of the planet to someone who drives one of those gas-guzzling pickup truck?

This guy certainly seems like he’d be receptive to your message:

If I didn’t know any better, I’d almost think it’s like these climate activists choose their targets not because of their emissions and impact on the environment, but because they’re less likely to have and use a truck gun:

What, you don’t want to take the fight to the people who are already taking it to you?

Funny how that works.

Anyway, if you’re willing to forego car ownership, address everyone in your personal orbit, and then move onto the most egregious offenders first, by all means, join “Tyreextinguishers” with my blessing.

And good luck with that.

(And just remember, in 2022 it’s perfectly fine to deflate a stranger’s car tire, but it’s never okay to tell a bicyclist they should know how to fix their own flat. It’s just common decency.)

And in yet another sign I’m out of touch with the times, I have to say I watched this viral video and thought…the problem is what exactly?

I mean obviously it would be great if the father and son had a nice separated path, but in the absence of that it seems like the driver was as far over as practicable and driving pretty slowly…?

Then again, I do live in New York City, so my bar for what constitutes considerate driving is extremely low.

Finally, the New Yorker has covered the Moriah Wilson murder:

It’s a compelling story, and it also takes gravel down a peg, almost as an afterthought:

“…an elite contest underwritten by the people who lose.”


That’s pretty good.

Powered by

Up ↑