Wednesday, October 09, 2013

ZINE REVIEW: Why We Drive

WHY WE DRIVE
Andy Singer [Microcosm]

Why do we drive? Well, it has to do with money and politics and back room deals and cronyism and greed. Cars are as American as guns and apple pie and we're about as likely to give up our guns as our cars, and it's all based on some pretty fucked logic. From pollution to congestion, noise, traffic jams, multi-car pileups and that whole dependence on foreign oil thing, the automobile industry (enabled by our artificial need for our cars) contributes to the destruction of farmland wild life and our health. Do I even have to mention how disgusting billboards are?

Why We Drive is about cars and driving and bikes and riding and feet and walking and why we do too much of one and not enough of the others. It's the history behind how we traveled to our current congested predicament. Researched, written and illustrated by bike activist, Andy Singer, Why We Drive seeks to explain it all and put the rise of car culture in proper perspective.

Singer's work may be familiar to you. His long running "No Exit" comic has been featured in 24 newspapers around the country and his comics and illustrations have been seen in The New Yorker, Esquire, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Saint Paul Pioneer Press and others. As a bike riding advocate who pedals the streets of St. Paul on a daily basis, Andy lays all these points out and also points out the absurdity of the way modern cities have been planned to accommodate—even encourage—more and more roadways, inviting traffic and congestion and resulting in more pollution and health problems.

I’ve never owned a car myself. Like Adam I've managed to get by on two legs or two wheels or public transportation, so I appreciate the effort that went into the creation of this book. Through the hard work of activists like Singer, both in and outside of government, we may see the creation of more bike friendly laws and city layouts. When short-sighted boneheads like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who turn down millions in stimulus money intended to fund the construction of light rail, start to see the economic value and heath benefits of scraping the car culture, we'll be heading further in the right direction. Until then, get on your bikes and ride!Chris Auman

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