The acronym pretty much says it all. B.R.A.K.E.S.
Go slow, young man!
Slow is the only way to go. Velocity, quickness of reaction. Taking independent action (based on independent judgment) rather than waiting to be told what to do by Authority…
These are the enemies of safety.
And safety is, of course, the guiding light of our declining age.
The pansyfied acronym is shorthand for Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe.
Has the taste of vomit entered your mouth yet?
Kia – of all things, a car company! – has “partnered” (right up there with “community” and “learn more” in terms of retch-worthy triggers) with this B.R.A.K.E.S. outfit to sour the youth on driving by exhorting them that even the lightest pressure on the accelerator is muey evil while perpetually riding (and applying) the brakes is the sine qua non of “good” driving.
“Kia is committed to continuing to support B.R.A.K.E.S.’ efforts to reduce teen traffic fatalities through hands-on defensive driving instruction,” says Kia marketing honcho Tim Chaney.
Defensive driving. AKA, passivity and learned helplessness, centered on the prime directive: Obey The Law.
Especially speed limit laws, which are the equivalent of Winston in Orwell’s novel, 1984, being conditioned to believe that 2 + 2 = 5. It’s obvious bullshit, but no one dares say so openly. One must say the opposite – and in a doublethinkian way, really believe it, too.
I see five fingers! I really do!
So begins the corruption of the youth.
They are not taught that it is safer to pass quickly – even if it means “speeding.” Rather they are taught not to pass at all.
Acceleration is evil, remember.
The Conga line is much more safe.
Do you suppose the kids are taught the merit of yielding to faster-moving traffic? That’s a law safely ignored.
Just slow down. It is always good to slow down. The slower, the better. Remember – speed kills!
A Clover is born.
No wonder the youth are turning to gadgets, staying indoors and jerking off to Internet porn.
Kids are giving up on cars in record numbers (and percents). The reason why is obvious: Cars have become No Fun. Where is the adventure? The freedom? The things that appeal to normal young people? Driving is becoming much like being married to a bitter, frigid menopausal Cat Lady when you yourself are still 22.
Today’s teens are lectured and hectored, controlled and constrained. Cars are dangerous! Buckle up! Geo-fencing, parental monitoring; the water-torture of endlessly “graduated” licenses. I have told a few of them about a dreamy world – the one I grew up in – where most kids began driving at 15 and were fully licensed the day they turned 16. Free as any adult to go where they liked, when they liked and – most of all – how they liked.
Yes, kinder, it’s true… there were no buckle-up for safety laws, back then. Or black boxes or parental controls either. Car companies made their pitch to youth on the basis of speed and style and sex – the things normal youth appreciates. I weep for you… .
Once upon a time, a print ad for the Pontiac GTO showed a couple of young guys cruising Woodward Avenue in their new Judge. The ad copy read: You Know The Rest of The Story.
Indeed we did.
Such an affront is today as inconceivable as smoking at work – or in a bar, for that matter.
The “training” of today’s youth (a la B.R.A.K.E.S) consists of inducted them into the Safety Cult as newbie acolytes, prospect Clovers. They are being prepared – conditioned – for the future world (almost here) of automated/self-driving cars. That is, for cars driven by uber Clovers (like the uber Morlocks in H.G. Wells’ novel, The Time Machine) who will make sure everyone gets where they are going safely.
That is, very slowly.
I will be accused, of course, of advocating for “recklessness.” But is it better to know how to drive – or to be driven?
To be herded, like cattle. Or to be the cowboy.
That is, indeed, the question.
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This situation is eerily similar to what the energy business, especially electric companies have done over the last couple decades. Doing something that goes against their own business model. It’s truly insane if you think about it a little.
If anything, energy providers should be promoting the use of more energy, not less. But today’s neutered companies have all fallen into line with “energy conservation”.
It seems easier to neuter a company, especially a publicly held (stock) one, since most hate bad publicity. It doesn’t help that there are fewer large companies controlled by no nonsense founders anymore, and the ones that are (like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg) are closet fascists . Most are easily cowed by a handful of noisy crackpots, and manage to outvote actual stock owners wishes.
It would be bullshit but they charge so much more it’s unreal. Luckily, I get electricity from a coop who only charges their customers what it costs to run their operation while buying cheap energy from the big boys. Even though it’s too much, it ain’t shit compared to what everybody else pays. People who pay retail from those same suppliers end up paying a great deal more than we do. I’m sure this thing won’t last much longer and the costs of energy will skyrocket to our provider.
Then again, we have wind farms everywhere and they’re producing power at an ever decreasing cost. I’d buy my own wind generator if I could. We have plenty of it(wind)except tonight. Forecast said a high of 76 today while the reality was 90 and it’s still 83 in the house @9:22 PM central. Well, at least we ain’t shivering and throwing on the coal(propane).
I’m currently teaching my 3 year old son how to operate excavators and skid steers. In 4 or 5 years, I’ll be teaching him driving at low speeds. When he’s around 12, you can bet your ass he will be driving.
I started driving at 7–dad put the chevy luv in gear and had me follow him–on rural roads. I drove myself to drivers ed a few times. The hard thing for me was to remember all the stupid rules and to not fall into my driving habits like one hand on the wheel and not drive too fast. The “skills”, if you can call them that, were simple. Parallel parking and such, shit, I drove full size pickups and grain trucks. How hard is parking a lumina?
I learned to drive with my dad teaching me in his lap. I moved on to tractors and jeeps. Before I ever got my license I had figured out by myself how to idle the pickup up and put into granny to pull out the tractor, just that little extra. Then I got into big tractors and used them to pull each other unstuck, jumping off the then unstuck one and getting on the tractor I’d been using to pull and stop it.
I had a guy get mad at me when I was 21 and working for him. I turned into the swale of dirt I was making by plowing and ran into an unseen underground irrigation leak. I walked a mile, got another big tractor and pulled it out. He was miffed for some reason.
My aunt propped me up in the seat, sat in the passenger seat and showed me how to drive a big rig when I was 10. That was great.
Bad ignition switches were nearly a life-saver for me since i learned to hotwire and got myself out of some jams in he middle of nowhere with “borrowed” equipment. I never tore anything up and always returned the equipment where I had found it.
A decade or more ago we had this new DPS. He was cruising an FM road one day and found this 9 year old driving the pickup behind his dad driving a 400 hp John Deere 8 wheel drive tractor. Well, the two of them, dad and DPS went at it with lots of bad feelings. I don’t blame the dad for being mad since it had always been done this way. Next time I saw them the kid was barely visible driving the tractor and all the DPS could do was stew.
Back in my day the local DPS simply didn’t see all us kids without licenses when we met. They knew it was a quick way to have to sell your house and move elsewhere. Now, they’re gods….or at least act like it. They still don’t get that much sympathy at the courthouse although as city slickers get elected it’s rapidly changing. When I was 14 I could heel and toe and in those old pickups that was quite the feat. I could drift around curves even on paved roads. A friend and I raced nearly every day. We got started racing tractors. Get a broomstick and lean out and push on the throttle governor and they’d really go. Nothing like skidding sideways around a corner on a farm tractor. If it would move, we raced it.
“Driving is becoming much like being married to a bitter, frigid menopausal Cat Lady when you yourself are still 22.”
Well said. Your analogy is unfortunately, all too accurate.
Driving fun is now mostly limited to the Mazda mode of “driving fast while going slow….” or for those of us who prefer acceleration, brief full throttle blasts to whatever max speed is “prudent.”
There are a dwindling number of places where at certain times, one may still be able to experience real driving fun. But those roads are best not named.
30 million years after the Eloi, comes the end of the novel. Not included in any of the films as far as I know.
“I have already told you of the sickness and confusion that comes with time travelling. And this time I was not seated properly in the saddle, but sideways and in an unstable fashion. For an indefinite time I clung to the machine as it swayed and vibrated, quite unheeding how I went, and when I brought myself to look at the dials again I was amazed to find where I had arrived. One dial records days, and another thousands of days, another millions of days, and another thousands of millions. Now, instead of reversing the levers, I had pulled them over so as to go forward with them, and when I came to look at these indicators I found that the thousands hand was sweeping round as fast as the seconds hand of a watch — into futurity.
“As I drove on, a peculiar change crept over the appearance of things. The palpitating greyness grew darker; then, though I was still travelling with prodigious velocity, the blinking succession of day and night, which was usually indicative of a slower pace, returned, and grew more and more marked. This puzzled me very much at first. The alternations of night and day grew slower and slower, and so did the passage of the sun across the sky, until they seemed to stretch through centuries. At last a steady twilight brooded over the earth, a twilight only broken now and then when a comet glared across the darkling sky. The band of light that had indicated the sun had long since disappeared; for the sun had ceased to set. It simply rose and fell in the west, and grew ever broader and more red. All trace of the moon had vanished. The circling of the stars, growing slower and slower, had given place to creeping points of light. At last, some time before I stopped, the sun, red and very large, halted motionless upon the horizon, a vast dome glowing with a dull heat, and now and then suffering a momentary extinction. At one time it had for a little while glowed more brilliantly again, but it speedily reverted to its sullen red heat. I perceived by this slowing down of its rising and setting that the work of the tidal drag was done. The earth had come to rest with one face to the sun, even as in our own time the moon faces the earth. Very cautiously, for I remembered my former headlong fall, I began to reverse my motion. Slower and slower went the circling hands until the thousands one seemed motionless and the daily one was no longer a mere mist upon its scale. Still slower, until the dim outlines of a desolate beach grew visible.
“I stopped very gently and sat upon the Time Machine, looking round. The sky was no longer blue. North-eastward it was inky black, and out of the blackness shone brightly and steadily the pale white stars. Overhead it was a deep Indian red and starless, and south-eastward it grew brighter to a glowing scarlet where, cut by the horizon, lay the huge hull of the sun, red and motionless. The rocks about me were of a harsh reddish colour, and all the trace of life that I could see at first was the intensely green vegetation that covered every projecting point on their south-eastern face. It was the same rich green that one sees on forest moss or on the lichen in caves: plants which like these grow in a perpetual twilight.
“The machine was standing on a sloping beach. The sea stretched away to the south-west, to rise into a sharp bright horizon against the wan sky. There were no breakers and no waves, for not a breath of wind was stirring. Only a slight oily swell rose and fell like a gentle breathing, and showed that the eternal sea was still moving and living. And along the margin where the water sometimes broke was a thick incrustation of salt, pink under the lurid sky. There was a sense of oppression in my head, and I noticed that I was breathing very fast. The sensation reminded me of my only experience of mountaineering, and from that I judged the air to be more rarefied than it is now.
“Far away up the desolate slope I heard a harsh scream, and saw a thing like a huge white butterfly go slanting and flittering up into the sky and, circling, disappear over some low hillocks beyond. The sound of its voice was so dismal that I shivered and seated myself more firmly upon the machine. Looking round me again, I saw that, quite near, what I had taken to be a reddish mass of rock was moving slowly towards me. Then I saw the thing was really a monstrous crab-like creature. Can you imagine a crab as large as yonder table, with its many legs moving slowly and uncertainly, its big claws swaying, its long antennae, like carters’ whips, waving and feeling, and its stalked eyes gleaming at you on either side of its metallic front? Its back was corrugated and ornamented with ungainly bosses, and a greenish incrustation blotched it here and there. I could see the many palps of its complicated mouth flickering and feeling as it moved.
“As I stared at this sinister apparition crawling towards me, I felt a tickling on my cheek as though a fly had lighted there. I tried to brush it away with my hand, but in a moment it returned, and almost immediately came another by my ear. I struck at this, and caught something threadlike. It was drawn swiftly out of my hand. With a frightful qualm, I turned, and I saw that I had grasped the antenna of another monster crab that stood just behind me. Its evil eyes were wriggling on their stalks, its mouth was all alive with appetite, and its vast ungainly claws, smeared with an algal slime, were descending upon me. In a moment my hand was on the lever, and I had placed a month between myself and these monsters. But I was still on the same beach, and I saw them distinctly now as soon as I stopped. Dozens of them seemed to be crawling here and there, in the sombre light, among the foliated sheets of intense green.
“I cannot convey the sense of abominable desolation that hung over the world. The red eastern sky, the northward blackness, the salt Dead Sea, the stony beach crawling with these foul, slow-stirring monsters, the uniform poisonous-looking green of the lichenous plants, the thin air that hurts one’s lungs: all contributed to an appalling effect. I moved on a hundred years, and there was the same red sun, a little larger, a little duller, the same dying sea, the same chill air, and the same crowd of earthy crustacea creeping in and out among the green weed and the red rocks. And in the westward sky, I saw a curved pale line like a vast new moon.
“So I travelled, stopping ever and again, in great strides of a thousand years or more, drawn on by the mystery of the earth’s fate, watching with a strange fascination the sun grow larger and duller in the westward sky, and the life of the old earth ebb away. At last, more than thirty million years hence, the huge red-hot dome of the sun had come to obscure nearly a tenth part of the darkling heavens. Then I stopped once more, for the crawling multitude of crabs had disappeared, and the red beach, save for its livid green liverworts and lichens, seemed lifeless. And now it was flecked with white. A bitter cold assailed me. Rare white flakes ever and again came eddying down. To the north-eastward, the glare of snow lay under the starlight of the sable sky and I could see an undulating crest of hillocks pinkish white. There were fringes of ice along the sea margin, with drifting masses further out; but the main expanse of that salt ocean, all bloody under the eternal sunset, was still unfrozen.
“I looked about me to see if any traces of animal life remained. A certain indefinable apprehension still kept me in the saddle of the machine. But I saw nothing moving, in earth or sky or sea. The green slime on the rocks alone testified that life was not extinct. A shallow sandbank had appeared in the sea and the water had receded from the beach. I fancied I saw some black object flopping about upon this bank, but it became motionless as I looked at it, and I judged that my eye had been deceived, and that the black object was merely a rock. The stars in the sky were intensely bright and seemed to me to twinkle very little.
“Suddenly I noticed that the circular westward outline of the sun had changed; that a concavity, a bay, had appeared in the curve. I saw this grow larger. For a minute perhaps I stared aghast at this blackness that was creeping over the day, and then I realized that an eclipse was beginning. Either the moon or the planet Mercury was passing across the sun’s disk. Naturally, at first I took it to be the moon, but there is much to incline me to believe that what I really saw was the transit of an inner planet passing very near to the earth.
“The darkness grew apace; a cold wind began to blow in freshening gusts from the east, and the showering white flakes in the air increased in number. From the edge of the sea came a ripple and whisper. Beyond these lifeless sounds the world was silent. Silent? It would be hard to convey the stillness of it. All the sounds of man, the bleating of sheep, the cries of birds, the hum of insects, the stir that makes the background of our lives, all that was over. As the darkness thickened, the eddying flakes grew more abundant, dancing before my eyes; and the cold of the air more intense. At last, one by one, swiftly, one after the other, the white peaks of the distant hills vanished into blackness. The breeze rose to a moaning wind. I saw the black central shadow of the eclipse sweeping towards me. In another moment the pale stars alone were visible. All else was rayless obscurity. The sky was absolutely black.
“A horror of this great darkness came on me. The cold, that smote to my marrow, and the pain I felt in breathing, overcame me. I shivered, and a deadly nausea seized me. Then like a red-hot bow in the sky appeared the edge of the sun. I got off the machine to recover myself. I felt giddy and incapable of facing the return journey. As I stood sick and confused I saw again the moving thing upon the shoal, there was no mistake now that it was a moving thing, against the red water of the sea. It was a round thing, the size of a football perhaps, or, it may be, bigger, and tentacles trailed down from it; it seemed black against the weltering blood-red water, and it was hopping fitfully about. Then I felt I was fainting. But a terrible dread of lying helpless in that remote and awful twilight sustained me while I clambered upon the saddle.
So I came back.
In “The Time Machine” the upper/ruling class and the lower working class separated into two separate species. It’s a sort of eugenics prediction. The working class was forced to live under ground serving the upper class with goods and services. The upper class enjoyed a life of luxury. As time went on the Eloi developed from the upper class and the Morlocks from the lower class. As the Eloi became more helpless the tables turned and the Morlocks became the rulers, using the Eloi for food.
The Morlocks had the knowledge and the ability to keep things going and were hardworking. The Eloi were helpless and lazy. The book was I suppose to be some sort of warning to the upper class. That if they became too lazy and ignorant the working class would come out on top.
I’m not sure how the story applies here other than children are being brought up as Eloi and thus will be helpless when confronted with the working class Morlocks of other nations.
Believe it or not, BRAKES was founded by NHRA top fuel driver Doug Herbert after his sons were killed in a street accident, If I remember correctly.
Personal tragedy is often a source water for Cloverism. See, for another, James Brady.
Yup and every time so pampered and overpaid somebody loses a relative, friend, or stone rock they call out for more SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAFETY laws even in areas where they exhibit supreme stupidity and ignorance.
What the scums do is want us to waste our TIME, so that we cannot enjoy life and most importantly have time to see the world around us and see that governments are the root of all evil on this planet. It may be that every company in the transport sector is an agent of agenda21 shit that really wants to do away with the human race.
B’crats are not concerned about our safety. They have no humanity left in them to be concerned with compassion and honesty.
“Defensive driving” seems to be an American phenomenon, that is not in the other camp of “offensive driving”. The two try to split driving into a black and white situation, when in fact good driving requires more nuance. Some driving maneuvers require deliberation (e.g. passing another vehicle) America seems to be the home of the ‘not passing’ maneuver where you can see a following vehicle is approaching you from behind, you move to the right to let them pass they don’t complete the pass and linger alongside. When I see this done alongside a big rig it is particularly troubling.
Other situations require patience, concentration and effective observations. Driving skills are arguably a lower priority than the 3 previous qualities. Being a person who, for the most part, observes speed limits, my anecdotal evidence is that puts me in the slowest 2% of drivers (I will exceed the limit in order to complete a pass, if it is safe).
Most drivers are completely ignorant of how much distance is required to bring a vehicle to a stop. Any vehicle following another with less than a 2 second following distance is pretty much eliminating their chances to avoid a collision if something goes wrong in front of them. Fortunately, those incidents only affect 1 in 12 drivers per year (that’s about 16 million Americans). Not much focus is put on that number since NHTSA and the states focus on impaired driving and fatalities, which affect far smaller subsets of people.
I prefer a regime of personal responsibility as opposed to the great tomes of traffic law that are used to restrict our liberty. Unfortunately, there is so little education on driving it is pitiful, and what is available for self help is largely made-up nonsense. Driving on a public road with other road users requires a far different skill set than driving off-road or on a track. Even our law enforcement officers are put on the road with a limited skill set, and questionable attitudes toward driving. They are quite happy to hand out speeding tickets, and yet will patrol well above those same limits. The largest killer of US police officers is not guns, it’s traffic collisions! LEOs are required to go to the range periodically to maintain their gun control skills.. How often do they take a driving assessment?
Consider this statement when you are enjoying a drive: I will endeavor to be able to stop in the distance I can see to be clear, on my on side of the road, and without drama.
b.t.w. That comes from the UK police advanced driving manual.
I’ll stand w/Vince Lombardi, “The best defense is a good offense.”
In the USA we are taught in all social situations to yield to avoid confrontation. It is supported by people who fear confrontation, people who want everyone else to back down to them, and lastly the downright lazy who want to push responsibility and effort on to everyone else. Our resident troll, Clover, is an example of the last group. With regard to driving this somehow got named ‘defensive driving’.
Teach everyone to yield to the other guy and a bunch of people are going to be the other guy. Hence many of the driving problems in this country.
“But is it better to know how to drive – or to be driven?”
Well, if you don’t know how to drive, it is better to be driven until you do.
Not sure where you would go to learn these days, short of a real driving school, like Bondurant.
Of course I took ‘Driver’s Ed’: a) back in the 60’s, and b) in rural Kansas where there was little traffic, so you could ‘learn as you go’ gradually, after becoming legal. And no, we weren’t using a footpowered Flintstonemobile, but it did have a ‘3-on-the-tree.’
Yep, when I saw the article I thought “somebody trying to close the barn door after the horses are gone”. It figures.
Just now – to feel a little better – I took the Kaw out for a road test after the major service (valve adjust, carb clean/adjust, tune-up) and there is nothing like bouncing off the rev limiter at the top of 4th (appx 145 MPH) and feeling the world narrow and blur all around you as you grab fifth and hold on for dear life….:)
eric, that would get my old heart beating faster. I might have to change gears and back off when it hits the rev limiter. I have some back roads you can really hang it out on. Places where there’s just wheat fields for a few miles, no worry about big animals and rarely cops.
Howzabout 170 on a bikini-faired muscle bike?
Somebody would have to tell me how fast I was going. I wouldn’t be able to look down. I probably wouldn’t be able to walk steadily once stopped. I love that movie of Burt Munro. One scene he tells the kid “I’m trying some Chevrolet pistons” and you know it’s all handmade and parts from this and that. 190mph on one of the first Indian Scouts, now that’s balls.
World’s Fastest Indian….great movie….with Anthony Hopkins. He, at least in the movie, cast pistons in the sand beaches in New Zealand…..truly a movie worth watching.
Kids are giving up on cars in record numbers (and percents).
Could it be that the car manufacturers –ALL of them– realize that the Millennial generation (and those that succeed them) will barely be able to pay for food, clothing, and shelter? That a car purchase will be out of the question? That for that reason there’s no point in making cars for them or marketing to them? That Uncle will have all the power and money in the future and that it is therefore in the manufacturers’ best interest to make cars that Uncle wants, according to his specs (which of course are designed specifically to “Cloverize” the rest of us)?
And you thought my reactions just a year or so ago were too extreme?
To acknowledge the writing on the wall, and declare war on the nascent abortion of our entire life?
Not so outlandish, to attack before they establish a beachhead…. Now? Already too late… The next generation has been perverted, and not just by this lunacy…