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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

watch it: the weekly address from President-elect Barack Obama


I keep waiting for Obama to say: Sure, we’ll bail out Big Auto, but any company that takes a bailout will immediately retool to build the most fuel-efficient cars on the planet. You know, like how FDR ordered you to retool to build tanks and shit in the 1930s, and you did it, and it was awesome. Listen, Detroit, you screamed at CAFE standards that mentioned 35MPG? We’re talking 60MPG, bitches. Suck on that.

Why doesn’t Obama say that?

I gotta tell ya, I freaked when I saw the price of gas when I was in England this autumn: it was something over nine bucks a gallon. But then I did a little math as I was driving around my wonderful little Vauxhall Astra rental: that sucker was getting somewhere between 50 and 60 miles to the gallon. This was not a tiny car, certainly nowhere near as small as the cars I saw in Paris in the spring. It had a back seat and a decent-size trunk. Why aren’t these cars, or cars like them, all over the roads in the U.S.?

(I know, the “trunk” looks small, but we fit two huge suitcases and other stuff in that hatchback.)

I’ll tell ya one thing: it ain’t because Big Auto has offered them to us and we refused them.

(photo by Bonnie-Ann Black)



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