It takes as its springboard a rant that has been building within me over the past couple of years. Recently, Bush unveiled his national energy policy which gives a huge amount of money to oil companies that are already making copious amount of cash. A friend was telling me about this as we were walking our way through the evening around the very beautiful False Creek in Vancouver. The conversation turned to the topic of walking and how there's unfortunately no economic incentive for anyone to be an advocate of walking or a lobbyist for the feet. I started to get worked up over how there are no real spokespeople for this very simple solution to environmental problems. I mean Christ what better way to tread lightly on the planet than the simple act of treading lightly on the planet !!!
This story is hopefully a successful step in the right direction.
And I think this image from Robert Crumb nicely sums up the will to walk.
WHAT HAVE FEET EVER DONE FOR US ?!?!
He screams out of a clunky mega-phone affixed to the door of his car. An old-fashioned drive-in speaker reversed with a cone on top. A patchwork of machinery thrown together to spread the good word.
"The next step in God's overall plan for us isn't even a step at all !! We must abandon feet. God has given us minds and hands which have created technologies that have made our feet obsolete," he blares out at mostly empty sidewalks.
In the distance a shoeless pedestrian sticks out a red thumb. With books in his other arm, he resembles a beatnik statue of liberty.
"You sir, are a hippie. A failed experiment in free love and drugs. I will not give you a lift because you need to get a job so that you can buy a car and contribute to the economy. You have done nothing for the economy and therefore nothing for me. I will in turn do nothing for you," he screams out of the mega-phone, even as his car stops to idle right next to the hitch-hiker.
"I might as well walk anyway." He shrugs his shoulders and drops his thumb in effortless resignation. He steps off the sidewalk into an empty lot overgrown with weeds.
"Walk ?? Don't walk !! That is worse." The door of the car flies open and he flies out on a gas powered segway. He will follow him through treacherous terrain. To convert.
To convert to the gospel of gasoline.