Isn’t it weird how everyone’s getting so fat and dying of cardiovascular disease and cancers and diabetes? Why is that? I guess it’s genetics or something.
Meanwhile, I stumbled upon this in a folder of old unprocessed pictures. It was on New Cross Road back when I lived in that part of the world. There are a lot of billboards along the Old Kent and New Cross Roads, targeting the motorists who pass though, destroying and polluting other people’s neighbourhoods. Whether governments try to change our behaviour or not, you can bet that commercial interests will be doing their best, explicitly or subtly, and even by ensuring that our choices are restricted.
On the lower advert you can see a government nudge: the provision of information about the fuel efficiency of the car being advertised. The HoL Sci & Tech Committee report on behavioural change commented on this “information deficit” model of harmful behaviour, concluding that information provision on its own is generally insufficient to lead to behavioural change (though it can help to pave the way for more robust interventions). The real barriers to a low-carbon lifestyle are bigger than a lack of information about fuel use.
A more helpful move might be to prevent advertisers from making such absurd claims as that junk food is “all good” or that cars are anything other than life-sucking parasites. We don’t let tobacco and alcohol companies do it.
To do what I do, I have to be paying attention 100% of the time. My peripheral vision and reflexes are my best friends. Acid is not a drug that lends itself to fast reflexes, however; it feels like I have ADHD on higher doses of psychedelics. ‘Oh boy, look at that beautiful tree! Gee, don’t you just love nature? Holy fuck, the sky! Goddamn, that cloud just turned into two ninjas fighting each other! I love you sky, you’re so blue and beautiful.’ On my early days of trip-cycling, I would occasionally find myself zoning out for short periods of time, too interested in the patterns on the asphalt below me or the height of the skyscrapers above me to remember that I was in a life or death situation. These sorts of distractions usually ended like this: ‘Jesus, look at the floral designs on the pavement, doesn’t that just look HOOOOOONK SQUEEEEEEAL FUCK FUCK SHIT FUCK A CAR!!’ I haven’t had one of those moments in over two years. To be honest, it only happened once or twice. But one or two times of trusting some fuck you’ve never met before to be paying attention to the road and not his Blackberry or the radio is one or two times two many.
This just goes to show how criminally reckless, selfish, and holier-than-thou [is this last one right? -Ed] cyclists are. We hope that the New West End Company will consider introducing street rangers to tackle this dangerous selfish anti-social rogue cycling.
For more responsible individuals, we recommend the Douglas Way de-Motorised route through Deptford, where Lewisham have installed a much safer simulated trip at the crossing with Watsons Street. We understand that Lewisham will soon be installing traffic calming lava lamps on the New Cross Road.