Wednesday, August 03, 2005
200 miles on electricity
I've been wanting to have a lawn big enough to wash my car on. I guess this works, too, to have a car small enough that I can wash it on the lawn I've got. Road grime is pretty nasty stuff; full of particulates and soot. Commercial car washes are connected to the waste water treatment system. I gave the Sparrow her first wash at my house. She's pretty leaky, but the wash committed no shorts (I think that's important for an electric car with a 168V DC system). My own self, washing this little car every couple of weeks, I'll just let the little bit of vegetable-oil based soap I use run onto the lawn. Probably not a big deal. The odometer is now at 2917.
A man not much older than me, courageous enough to wear his full head of hair its natural gray, pulled up next to me in his red convertible Chrysler Crossfire. I refrained from commenting on the sheer common-ness of his mid-life crisis mobile, as well as from telling him there were only 300 of my car in existence, and that I could probably get across the intersection faster than he could.
He: "What make of car is that?"
Me: "A Sparrow. Electric, and freeway legal."
He: "... Interesting. Do you like it?"
Me: "Very much. Yours is a nice looking ride, as well."
The light went green, and I beat him across the intersection.
The fossil record shows elk with massive, bone-depleting antlers; huge, nutritionally expensive things for an animal to carry about: evolutionary sexual dimorphism gone crazy. The theory is, the fitter the animal, the more of a "display" it can grow. It uses resources at a prodigious rate to create the appearance of boundless vitality. And apparently female elk go for that sort of thing.
Are we human animals any different? Isn't the purchase of resource guzzling things like single-use consumer goods, grass lawns in the deserts and SUVs nothing more than the demonstration that we can use these resources up? If we are nothing more than evolutionary pressure to pass our DNA, then the sexiest ones among us are those using resources flagrantly!
If however, evolution is but one of Cosmic Consciousness' tools on the journey to perfect expression, then we can choose that "sexy" looks like something different entirely, from giant, costly, dead-end antlers.
Posted by Robert van de Walle