Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autumnal Equinox, and more

Happy Equinox, yall! It's the last day of fall, yall!

And although today is technically the first day of Autumn, it sure felt like summer abruptly ended yesterday.

It was chilly-willy.

After riding through that yesterday, and last night, I dug out my glove liners after I got home and promptly stashed them in my jacket pocket. They will now, until Spring, accompany me where ever I go.

But today is the Equinox!

It is also World Car-Free Day, and OneWebDay.

I didn't know about either holiday before this morning. I guess I've really been celebration both all along, though.

According to the Cosmic Protean Intelligence, a Car-Free Day in 1994 was organized and executed in a way intended to engage, confront, and "break down" automobile drivers using techniques more commonly applied to treating individuals for addiction.

Which is interesting. You hear people talking and writing about our nation being addicted to oil. But I have always failed to narrow the metaphor to the individual and their automobile. Sure does make sense, though, doesn't it?

The notion of our nation having an addiction to foreign oil is almost cliche at this point. And it's not a problem that can easily be solved.

An individual's addiction to their car, though?


I got over mine, after all.

And as far as OneWebDay is concerned, I was quite ready to dismiss it. Do we really need a special holiday to remind us that the Worldwide Web belongs to everybody and that here, we are all equals?

But then I noticed that OneWebDay appears to be pretty legit because it is sponsored by Ford, Google, Mozilla, and others. (Quick! Let's play "One of these things is not like the others!")

I remembered reading an essay in Chris Carlsson's Critical Mass about some Berkeley kid, around the time of the birth of the Worldwide Web, racing around town looking for the CM after having heard about it on the message boards.

He went on to gush about this new thing called the Internet, and he went on about how he used it whenever he traveled to find and participate in the local rides all around the country.

Ultimately, if one intends, as suggested by the 1994 implementation of Car Free Day:

  • To spend one carefully prepared day without cars.

  • To study and observe closely what exactly goes on during that day.

  • Then, to reflect publicly and collectively on the lessons of this experience and on what might be prudently and creatively done next to build on these.

—well then there is obviously no medium more appropriate for public and collective reflection than this.

So happy Equinox, e'rybody.

Happy World Car Free Day, and happy OneWebDay.

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