Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Monday 7 July 2014

Pedestrians -- A Problem in Traffic Engineering


King George V (1865-1936) accosted by a beggar at Epsom Downs on Derby Day: photographer unknown, 1920 (Spaarnestad Photo / Nationaal Archief)

They're such an awful nuisance, forever cluttering our highways, streets and roads.

Running them over might at first seem the simplest solution, b
ut it can cause serious harm to your vehicle.

There's got to be a better way. 

Car with shovel for scooping up pedestrians, Paris: photographer unknown for Het Leven, 1924 (Spaarnestad Photo / Nationaal Archief)

In the future, all our cars and roads will be kept perfectly clean!

Deutsche Autobahn. An automobile on the sweeping curves of the Deutsche Autobahn with view of the forest. The driver's experience of the forest, assigned symbolic importance in German Romanticism and particularly under the Nazis, was maximized by avoiding straightaways in forested areas so that the driver remained enclosed by the trees as long as possible: photographer unknown, from: Vier Jahren Arbeit an die Strassen Adolf Hitlers, 1937 (Het Nieuwe Instituut)


TC said...

I hate to sully the clean slate on this one -- those Autobahn engineers would have loved it -- but the first and third shots here... No. Don't say it. You're dead right. Top drawer. Not a word.

aditya said...

Ah, one's fascist preludes to Nature!

When New Delhi hosted Commonwealth Games in 2010, apart from the 12 Billion $ scam , the Real Gold Medal(s) as I like to call it, several thousands of migrant beggars were transported from the streets and highways. The only way the streets could have looked clean to/in the Western Eye.

Spending crores and crores of rupees to create no tolerance zones for beggars (& pedestrians, in yr country, as I learned from yr horrifying accident) is the Capital's way of alleviating poverty (powerty). What genius!

Also, yr post, especially the terrifying experience of forest, also put me in mind for Brecht's sincere poignancy,

Ah, what an age it is
When to speak of trees is almost a crime
For it is a kind of silence about injustice!
And he who walks calmly across the street,
Is he not out of reach of his friends
In trouble?

I wish each of us, on his/her countless excursions along the streets we do not own, are not out of reach of our friends in trouble, in Gaza, in Iraq, as they restore the homes they do not own..

But with the American academies, it seems, these do not matter. The words are commodities too, as one says.

TC said...

Spot on, Aditya.

And the sad thing is, that beggar was only running along after the coach to offer his cap to the King, to protect him from the rain!

If only the King's carriage had had one of those convenient pedestrian-scooping baskets!!