Library of Cultural References

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An Unfortunate Woman: A Journey

by Richard Brautigan [Canongate Books Paperback Edition, 2001 (Originally published by St. Martin's Press, USA) - 2000]
ASIN: 0312277105

So much of America, even what were once unspoilable beautiful towns, look as if 'Los Angeles' had overflowed on them like a toilet bowl whose defecated contents all have something to do with the lifestyle of the automobile.

I think the worst case of 'Los Angeles' automobile cultural damage I’ve ever seen is Honolulu. For all practical purposes of survival you might as well drop dead if you don’t have a car in Honolulu.

I’m not talking about being a tourist in Waikiki and lying around like a suntan lotion postage stamp on the beach, mounted right next to thousands of other postage stamps in a stamp collector’s album owned and operated by the sun.

I’m referring to living in Honolulu.

I think I saw more cars there than I ever saw people.

Often whenever I saw somebody just walking down the street with their feet actually touching the ground and not accompanied by four wheels and a metal eggshell around them, I was startled.

I almost felt like stopping the car I was driving in and offering the person sympathy for the circumstances of misfortune that had led them to walking.

A folksinger has written a song about Honolulu in which she mentions tearing down paradise and putting up a parking lot.

(Contributed by John Low)


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