Blur in the Intersection

“The long triangular grooves on the car had been formed within the death of an unknown creature, its vanished identity abstracted in terms of the geometry of this vehicle. How much more mysterious would be our own deaths, and those of the famous and powerful?”
― J.G. Ballard, Crash

Time Exposure, Night, Downtown Dallas, Ross and Pearl

Time Exposure, Night, Downtown Dallas, Ross and Pearl
(Click to Enlarge)

Sometimes the world is hidden in the nooks and crannies of the cable television spectrum – especially in the middle of the night.

There are these shows when some bunch of celebrity grease monkeys steal some poor victim’s car and then rebuild it – adding subwoofers that can shatter glass eardrums, lights visible from other planets, and an aquarium in the rear deck— things like that. Hopefully, they also shove in an engine that starts and brakes that stop.

At the climax – the reveal – the dupe is shown his new pimped-out chariot and he cries. He says, always, “Thank you. My life is changed.” The show ends with the impression that everything will be all right now.

I like that part. I am a sucker for redemption. I like to bask in the feeling that it is even possible that everything will be all right (although I know that it is not true).

Think about it. They are talking about a car. A hunk of metal and rubber – a capsule of steel and glass – a rolling coffin propelled by the burning ghosts of ancient jungles.

But maybe they are right. A car is freedom. A car is the ability to change your location at will. A car is sex… and a nice car is good sex.

When I was young, I went to a lake with a friend of mine and we were swimming in the green water, constantly being slightly bitten by tiny fish, and listening to some women talking to each other while they sunned on a worn wooden dock. One asked another if it was OK if she went out and had her hair cut the same way as the other. Then one asked another about her boyfriend.

“I don’t know,” she answered, “I don’t really like the guy, he doesn’t treat me that well, but he has that really nice sports car.”

“After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.”
― J.G. Ballard, Crash