The auto industry



I took this photograph of cars sitting in a dealership covered by a blanket of snow. That day I was thinking about the multi billion dollar package given to the U.S. auto industry and the ruinous conditions attached that will ultimately harm the unions and the line workers much more than the executives. Later I pulled a book by Lawrence Ferlinghetti from my shelf and opened it at random. This is what I read:




One fine day

a proud owner of a brand-new car

started up his infernal combustion engine

and with the first gasp of gas

the whole car gasped

and out the exhaust pipe emerged

a very small scream

as of a very small animal trapped

in the bowels of the motor

The owner heard it and

thought perhaps a cat or rat

was trapped under the car

He put it in gear

and slowly turned out

into the roadway

But the little scream

didn't stop

He looked back through his mirror

and saw nothing at all

He pulled over and got out and

looked under the machine

There was nothing caught or hanging down

The scream had stopped

when he stopped the car

but when he started up again

the scream arose again and it grew louder as he

stepped on the gas

He thought he might outrun it

He thought perhaps if he raced the motor

he could clear it

like a frog in the throat

So he took off down the boulevard

but the faster he went

the louder the scream became

Then he heard all the other cars screaming

and people were hanging out the windows

of all the houses on each side

and holding their ears

looking at all the cars screaming

And as the traffic increased at rush hour

a great roar of animal agony

as if all the animals in the world

were caught in all the machines

of the world

And the roaring grew and grew

And the drivers kept on driving

and driving and driving and...

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