University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Ryan Brown Community of Cars
Ryan Brown did a fantastic job writing “A Community of Cars”. Mr. Brown slowly but surely pulls the reader into his grasps and gets his message across quite clearly. The world needs to reconsider its perception of convenience! By starting a single argument and asking does why the world need to depend on cars, Mr. Brown broadens his argument including his stand on new urbanism, his views about the vehicle industry, and his perception of convenience. At the introduction of the essay, Mr. Brown does a great job of emotionally and visually pulling the reader into his work. By giving a detailed description of how him and his grandmother use to “walk the tree-lined sidewalks down to the neighborhood grocery store”, Brown creates a descriptive visual for his readers. He talks about how the grocer knew his grandmother by name, and how the man would lift him on his shoulders to pet the giant buffalo head mounted on the shops wall. Mr. Brown then goes into how the old shop is now gone and has been replaced by a modern supermarket outside of town. He comments on how ironic it is to have drive past the old stores location to get to the new store.
This effectively makes the reader question how the new store is more convenient when it is much further than the old store. The answer is because one can drive there in the same amount of time as it takes to walk to the old location. Brown states how we are becoming a driver’s society. “We ignore the negative impacts to our environment, our communities, and our health for the sake of convenience”, says Brown. Ryan Brown is getting his message across that an urbanized world is not a better world. He says we Americans think with our wallets and not our heads. If its not too inconvenient and we can afford it, Americans are buying it. Rising gas prices pushes people to consider if the convenience of driving is worth the cost. Mr. Brown says that government regulations pushing for higher fuel efficiency and keeping fuel prices reasonable keep the consumer happy and spending money. The government keeps the people happy simply because of how naïve we are.
Throughout the essay Mr. Brown indirectly expresses his stand on politics. Its clear he stands conservative on many issues and is also in favor of small government and local small businesses. He talks about the idea of bringing back walk-able communities, incorporating features such as wide sidewalks and narrow streets, neighborhood schools and stores. Brown claims that these neighborhoods create stronger communities, better health, and are more ecologically friendly. Saying that American people think with their wallets is letting the people who run our country off the hook. The American people get our materialistic attitude directly from our government leaders, who clearly are heavily concerned with keeping their wallets and their supporters’ wallets thick. The old saying ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’ stands true here.
I stand beside Mr. Brown on his views of today’s society and his hunger for change. In a world controlled by the financially superior, the people must realize that democracy is a people’s government. We must stop thinking in terms of dollars and exert a little extra effort for the sake of society. A hundred years ago hardly anyone drove. Suburbia did not exist prior to the Second World War. Which leads us to the question, why do we do what we do? Society must step back and consider choices that are healthier for us as individuals, for the community as a whole, and the environment.