“The fat pink slobs who go roaring over the landscape in these over-sized over-priced over-advertised mechanical mastodons are people too lazy to walk, too ignorant to saddle a horse, too cheap and clumsy to paddle a canoe. Like cattle or sheep, they travel in herds, scared to death of going anywhere alone, and they leave their sign and spoor all over the back country: Coors beer cans, Styrofoam cups, plastic spoons, balls of Kleenex, wads of toilet paper, spent cartridge shells, crushed gopher snakes, smashed sagebrush, broken trees, dead chipmunks, wounded deer, eroded trails, bullet-riddled petroglyphs, spray-painted signatures, vandalized Indian ruins, fouled-up waterholes, polluted springs and smoldering campfires piled with incombustible tinfoil, filter tips, broken bottles. Etc.” — Edward Abbey
My TV viewing is occasionally spoiled by advertisements showing clowns in four-wheel-drive and all-terrain vehicles bounding across the landscape as though such people are the conquering heroes of the wilderness.
While I often wonder why people think ownership of a 4WD or ATV vehicle provides them with status, the ads imply that it does. I’ll praise the man who claims status from his vehicle when he tells me that he designed and built the thing from scratch.
Until then, what is it in the wilderness that needs to be conquered by a vehicle, especially when the thing one’s riding is destroying the place itself while drowning out the natural voices of the ecosystem? Off the road, the vehicle is generally a blemish, the kind the devil himself might ride with an innocent grin.
“Enjoy the great outdoors, folks,” he might exclaim as he wrecks the place, disturbs its natural songs, spoils the quiet, and steals the back country’s soul.
for the latest Jock Stewart satire, visit the Morning Satirical News, last updated July 31, 2009