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Bloviating Zeppelin: Teens: Not Interested In Driving?

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Teens: Not Interested In Driving?

It was recently discussed on my local terrestrial radio stations, and amongst other adults I know (most of them parents), that there seems to be a trend developing in teens. One that I find interesting on any number of levels that, as contrasted to my generation, flies in the face of what I consider to be an extremely important goal in growing up.

And that is independence.

I was listening to parents in their 30s indicate that their teens tended to pass on taking driver training classes and were disinterested in acquiring a car of their own.

For a first stunning few seconds, I was shocked. Following those scant seconds, I began to assemble an understanding rather rapidly.

But let me digress for a moment.

When I was in my single digits, I couldn't wait to learn to ride a bicycle. I learned with training wheels (Anyone remember those?) as Dad initially insisted on my riding over the thick grass of our back yard. I can only guess that he placed the thick grass friction obstacle in my way in lieu of my bailing off and smacking my dome.

I quickly learned that it was a lot more fun to ride on our concrete back yard patio, our side walkway and the front driveway. From there I graduated to my brother Don's red-and-black Schwinn with the broken frame, Truxel seat and huge balloon tires.

A bicycle yielded my first true bit of semi-independence. It also yielded my second job as a paperboy, after my first job of mowing lawns. I can remember riding miles and miles on my bicycle, with my friend Rick Back to an aquarium store in Foothill Farms. I also rode to Ancil Hoffman Park, where we played solider in the park with plastic guns, rifles, machine guns and WWII surplus equipment to include helmet liners, canteens, web belts, suspenders and ammo pouches, purchased from the Metropolitan Army& Navy store at Marconi and Fair Oaks Boulevard.

The bicycle was my first key to independence.

I learned to drive in Ohio, in high school. We had ancient and huge Ford Galaxy driver training cars. They were brand new then, spotless, but cut roadway paths like massive, wave-ploughing battleships on soft springs and much body lean. I wore a special set of sneakers for driver training; I secretly called them my Ford Shoes. I only wore them when I would drive the big green Galaxy. I was very strange that way.

My first car was a very clean white 1966 Ford Fairlane four-door sedan, with a blue cloth interior, a loud and scrunchy set of front shocks, and the fuel-inefficient 289 V8. Dad helped me buy the car, used. Its original factory price was $2,385. We paid a lot less. I had to promise to continue to work at Chatham Village (mowing lawns, painting, general maintenance), in order to pay my father. Gas, incidentally, was 35-cents a gallon. I could buy a lot of gas, then.

The car, however, was my badge of independence. It was earned and I had won it. I also had a succession of mini-bikes, starting with the Honda Mini-Trail 50 and step-through Trail 90 with conversion kit.

I absolutely thirsted for independence and, at the same time, cars allowed me to work various jobs all over.

Bicycles and cars: actual independence. And, of course, a lot of chicks.

Fast forward to the original discussion: why is it that teens eschew cars?

Moreover: do they really?

There is evidence to indicate this is true:

I have some very salient theories.



What are yours?

BZ

P.S.
I don't "do" public transportation. As I wrote here, regarding my last new car purchase (a Toyota RAV4):
I've budgeted for $7-a-gallon gas and, until it reaches that point, I'm not much concerned. I'm getting a pay raise in June. My retirement system is stuffed. I've planned well. I'm sufficiently old that I shall NEVER be riding "public" transport. Far as I'm thinking, "public systems" are for nothing but losers, drunks, druggies and those sucking from the welfare teat. I don't "do" buses or "light rail" or "The El" or "the subway" or any of that low-class crap.




11 Comments:

Blogger dmurray said...

"Ford Shoes." Guess where I was when I showed up for work wearing Adidas Officials and called them my "RBF Flyers."

Kids are playing out the Peter Finch Mad As Hell scene and are smart enough to keep the outburst to themselves. No outburst means no reflexive crisis diagnosis, no tearful press conferences, no activist funding pleas, no branding, logos, stationery, giant national headquarters, government funding, embezzlement scandals, hearings and "where are they now?" stories.

After all the other excrement foisted on them the response to more exposure to punishment, liability, cost is "Not so fast, Stepdad." I don't blame them.

Thanks, Homes!

Sat Apr 07, 08:03:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Toaster 802 said...

I am right there with you BZ. I rode my bike ten miles to get to the best fishing. I got a moped at 15 cause it was the only motorized vehicle I could ride on the road at that time. I had a 1969 Mustang waiting for me in the driveway on my 16th birthday when I came home from my driving test. I worked for 3 years to get that car ready for that day.

They all were keys to freedom, like you said. Today's brats consider freedom freedom for doing anything constructive, useful, or tiring.

Kids today? Why do anything for yourself. Mommy and government will do it for you. Not all of them, just enough of them.

Just enough. That is all the National Socialists need.

Just enough of them to enslave us all.

Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Obama.

Sat Apr 07, 08:12:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Old NFO said...

Strange... To put it mildly... I grew up the same way you did, mowing yards, paper route, driver's license at 14 (sole surviving child, father died).

Sat Apr 07, 10:23:00 AM PDT  
Blogger TexasFred said...

I guess we ALL had a basic background that way.. I had a '66 Chevy Pickup...

Kids not driving today? My take? Brainwashed Obamabots and Greenie believers... They are going to save the world from people like us...

Yeah, people like US...

Sat Apr 07, 11:31:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

DM: I have a darned good idea!

And hey, why drive when you still live with your parents and they'll take you where you need to go, just like they took you to T-ball.

BZ

Sat Apr 07, 03:25:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Well Seasoned Fool said...

I cannot fathom it. I was driving at seven or eight (tractor), ranch trucks soon after, a motor scooter at 14 (Year around in the Rocky Mountains) and legally the day after my 16th birthday (which fell on a Sunday).

One son cannot drive. His brothers learned to drive in 1977-79 Subaru's I bought for $100, then spent $300 on brakes, etc. to make them safe.

To use country terms, these teenagers, "Ain't had proper fetchings."

Sat Apr 07, 04:30:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Average American said...

Not sure I agree this is a problem. I know at least 4 people with no license or DT. Two are brothers that are pushing 30! For them, it is because of the money. They would rather drink that $50.00 to $100.00 a week than spend it on gas, insurance, and vehicle expense, so they walk or bike around instead. We don't even have public transit up here, so that is not the reason.
Two others I know of (thru their parents) are younger (16 and 17) and just don't feel ready, one because she is afraid of the responsibility and the other because--I don't know why. I think he is afraid because of a previous accident involving a family member.

Sun Apr 08, 03:38:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bushwack said...

Independence for us was different. We allowed the school system to teach agenda. We have kids growing up being driven around, cared for until they are 26? Shit.. 26 I had been on my own 12 years by then.

Seriously, there's going to be a real issue when these teens grow up and have their own kids... They will be sheep.

Sun Apr 08, 09:00:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Catherine Moore-Barry said...

Schools aren't teaching the value of independence, but rather the "collectivism". Kids don't understand the value of independence, as they expect the government to take care of their needs and wants. Live at Mommy's place, take public transportation and get that entitlement loaded on your card each month. Most can't tell you who their elected leaders are, let along anything about what they vote for that affects them. Not surprised at all.

Sun Apr 08, 10:57:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

AA: I'm not sure it's a "problem," per se, as long as kids have their parents alive, and/or there's someone willing to drive them around. And, of course, there are exceptions. It would appear, however, that this is the beginning of a larger and more overarching trend: that of a willingness to let OTHERS take care of young adults, a lack of curiosity, a lack of desire for independence, a lack of desire for personal and face-to-face sociality.

Bushwack: IF they purposely have their own kids, if they're Caucasoids.

CMB: first, thank you for visiting, and thank you for taking the time to comment. With that, I respond: BINGO! You have HIT IT with your comment! Spot on!

BZ

Sun Apr 08, 12:39:00 PM PDT  
Blogger ∞ ≠ ø said...

I had great fun with this post BZ.

First off I found your seat.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vtg-Troxel-Truxel-Schwinn-Leather-Saddle-Bicycle-Bike-Seat-Made-in-U-S-A-NR-/170819291908
Second, if you Google up Truxel seat your blog is at the top!

Then there's this series of jems.
..."They were brand new then, spotless..."
"I wore a special set of sneakers for driver training; I secretly called them my Ford Shoes. I only wore them when I would drive the big green Galaxy. I was very strange that way."
"My first car was a very clean white 1966 Ford Fairlane..."

This all made me grin as I could see the BZ has a little OCD.

Driver's ed... I was lucky that my high school had the last of the old Torinos... and then there were the Fairmonts. Every guy wanted to drive Torinos and every girl preferred the Fairmont.

First day away from the cones we took out a Fairmont; I was first to drive. While exiting the school road I had to make a left at the stop sign. I hit the gas and the damn POS Fairmont didn't even move. So I punched it. The car lurched forward and lurched to a stop. Looking over I noticed the driver's ed instructor glaring at me with his foot firmly on the auxiliary brake. "What!?" I said. "I had time!" (as a car passed by)..... I never drove the Torino.

Driver's Ed. is privatized now. Damn expensive. Not a part of school so it's inconvenient and conflicts with extracurriculars.

Insurance is more expensive, the cars are more expensive to buy, to repair, and have check engine lights (automatic failure for emissions tests)(effing emissions equipment is always the problem. Gas is expensive. Today getting into a minor accident could get you sued.
Cars are a great big hassle.

Less high school aged kids have time for a job these days as their shitty education requires more busy work. Most teachers are assigners and the ones who actually can teach run ego driven A.P. classes which often require more work than the college course you get to opt out of.

Plus today a kid hits a tree in Florida and we all hear about it. The huge increase in commercial news space on broadcast channels, the advent of cable/satellite T.V., and the internet, has made us all a bit xenophobic as a society.

I think a car used to get you away from the hassle. Now teen driving is perceived as a bigger hassle with less benefits by both parents and kids.

Tue Apr 10, 11:11:00 PM PDT  

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