Monday, February 2, 2009

Practical anarchy.

On Friday, my efforts to return home were stymied somewhat by my train line throwing a major hissy fit and declining to take trains in the burning, burning heat.

“No matter”, I thought and after a relaxing beer, decided to take the #86 tram home.

The interesting point, comrades, is that from Westgarth Street to Preston, all along High Street the traffic lights were out, not a cop to be seen and yet we made it home without incident.

That’s a pretty fair stretch of what is a busy road, around five to 10 kilometres or so, yet there was no aggro that I saw, no near-misses, not so much as a horn sounded in anger. It was all “you go first, no worries mate, after you – please”.

I don’t know what the situation would be in a mega-city like London or some squalid hell-hole like Mexico City or Sydney but I think we’re entitled to feel pretty Goddamn smug.

Maybe Kropotkin was onto something. Maybe the natural state of human society is a state of “mutual aid”. Maybe it’s possible to create a society where laws are obeyed, not through the threat of compulsion, but because we agree to treat each other with respect.

Or maybe we were all so fuckin’ hot we couldn’t be arsed.

Either way.


Perseus said...

It's cos you were in a tram. In a fight between my Subaru and a fucking tram, tram wins every time. I also give way to trams in Anarchist Traffic Conditions (ATC).

But I agree... in my post about the Lorne car crash, I also came to the conclusion that on the whole, all things being equal, us humans are a fairly reasonable and well-mannered species.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

That's a good point, Pers.

Few drivers would tangle with a couple of tonnes of tram - or as I call them, the People's Panzer.

squib said...

That beard's a bit much

People didn't want to prang their cars. If they were in bumper cars it would have been every person for themself

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Your weary cynicism in one so young worries me, Comrade Squib.

Pessimism of the mind, optimism of the will is my watchword!

squib said...

It's true Ramon, I think humans are a lamentable bunch of no-hopers. Thank goodness for dogs

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

More of a cat man, me.

Leilani said...

Ramon, not only were all the lights out but the boomgates were down all along the Epping line - and no trains, which meant cars navigating through the gates. Combined with black outs all over the Northcote region, it took me nearly 45 minutes to buy some fish and chips. That's damn UNAUSTRALIAN.

Cath said...

I agree with you Ramon, and Perseus - on friday when I was making my way home in the car.. I too found many lights out in my inner-city travels. Further, where I live in Brunswick, the railway line gates were all down, but people were politely taking it in turn to drive around them over the tracks. It was quite surprising. Despite the heat, people were quite nice. Go figure. People are surprising.

Pepsi said...

Sydney - a squalid hell hole?

You need a bit of perspective adjustment mate, heat or no heat.

squib said...

Yeah a real squalid hell hole was the Big Day Out in Perth

Boogeyman said...

That also happens here when the traffic lights go out.

However, I don't think it indicates people are essentially decent individuals (which they may be regardless), it's just that the unusual traffic situation, combined with wariness to prevent damage to one's own car and/or create a major traffic incident, cause people to be more highly alert and wary than normal.

Unfortunately it also slows the traffic movement significantly, so if ever it became long-term, a busy road sans traffic lights would become road-rage central.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Didn't somebody die of a drug overdose at the Big Day Out in Perth this year, Squib?

Fad MD said...

I like the freedom driving here. Generally people are friendly, or at the very least, tolerant of other drivers. Freindly toots of the horn abound here.

Partly it's due to the fact that so many people are armed. However I also think there's an appreciation that people have for particularly audacious traffic manoeuvres. Rather than seeing some one get away with say, doing a left u-turn from the right lane, and responding with rage, drivers here seem to think "well done tht man" and give them a mental golf clap.

squib said...

Yes and very sad too.
There were sniffer dogs and so forth

shitbmxrider said...

I went to BDO here in Melbourne on Australia Day...not a sniffer dog to be seen!


squib said...

It seems the sniffer dogs indirectly caused the overdose. Apparently she swallowed her stash when she saw them

Boogeyman said...

Yeah, because it's not like she could have:

a) shared them around friends to swallow,
b) said "free ecstacy to any takers",
c) dropped them in a bin somewhere,
d) inserted them where the sun don't shine,
e) wrapped them in a patchouli-scented handerchief,
f) not taken too many ecstacy pills along to the event in the first place - what ever happened to "take drugs in moderation"?

I despair for today's generation of drug-users - no forward planning skills (possibly screwed up by all the drugs).

patchouligirl said...

Sorry to go off topic but I just watched neighbours for the first time since before TSSH shut down. Zekes missing presumed dead (good), Rachels going on video hits (predictable) and Bridgets pregnant (WTF??). Mr Patch's only comment was 'I wonder what happenned to Sky Mangel?' - That first album must have bombed big time - I'd forgotten she existed. Holly Valance has a part in that new movie 'taken' though.

Lewd Bob said...

Back to practical traffic anarchy if I may, many Asian countries already operate on a perpetual 'make it up on the spot' method of driving. Of course in the case of Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Denpasar, Manila etc, the traffic lights are perfectly functional.

Melba said...

There are only three traffic rules in certain other countries:

1. Hesitate and you die.
2. Wait and you will never get there.
3. If you use your horn all the time, for all manner of communications, then you are a good driver.