Students around here just can’t keep their feet off the accelerator. But then, Americans have always been crazy about their cars. In 1948, American William Faulkner lamented that he ‘really love[d] nothing but [his] automobile’ and, over half a century later, this still holds true among many of his countrymen.
The car is arguably the most practical tool ever devised for the pursuit of that unholy, unwholesome, and entirely all-American trinity of sex, speed and status, and there are now more than 200 million of them in the United States. In Los Angeles, there evidently are more registered cars than people.
The American love affair with the car is nothing new. It certainly came as no surprise to see abounding evidence of it when I arrived in the States. What did leave me dumbfounded, however, was the realisation that America’s car obsession extends beyond the reaches of the working population, and to the realm of the humble student. My conception of the typically eco-conscious and cash-strapped student was severely shaken by the array of fantastically expensive and impossibly enormous vehicles that adorn the parking lots of student housing complexes.
In England, you’re lucky if perhaps one person among your group of mates is either insured on his or her parent’s car, or
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