Someone traded a part of their life for this. South of Williamsdale in NSW, Australia

Every time I see an old wrecked car I wonder about the circumstances of the last time it was driven. I also find myself thinking about how the car was once shiny and new in a showroom. There is a whole involved process to buying a car. Getting the finance, getting it registered and insured etc.

This was once someones dream

Someone once looked at this old wreck when it was new and wanted to own it so badly that they went into debt. They traded the expendable income from a couple of years of their life for what is now a worthless rusting lump of junk. Consumerism is such a addictive drug. If we were told that we only had a few more years to live, would we spend that precious remaining time working to make money to buy some thing? Yet, when we are healthy and think we’ll live forever, we gladly trade our youth and freedom for things.

It’s ironic how there is this tacit promise made by the automobile manufactures, “buy a car and be free”. The truth is that cars tie you down to one place while you make the payments to pay it off and enough money to run it. Cars don’t free us, they enslave us.

I didn’t get my drivers licence until I was 35 and I only did so because it was required for a job I wanted. Now that I own a car, I’d be hypocritical not to admit that I enjoy the fact that I can drive out into the country easily and take photos of things.  

Sometimes I feel so conflicted.

4 thoughts on “Someone traded a part of their life for this. South of Williamsdale in NSW, Australia”

  1. Bravo, Razz, bravo, not only do I completely agree with your points here, I also enjoyed immensely in how you were able to put it into so little, yet so clear statements.
    Just two hours ago, after reading some bloger’s long and happy account of buying a brand new shiny huge SUV, I wanted to respond with questions about why such a car for one person, why a SUV, how about the environment, why V8, what about consumerism…, but I felt I would only be moralistic and decided not to respond at all. Yet the thoughts remained fresh in my mind, especially since I have just bought a car last month, after having gone through a month or two of sincere thinking about all these issues and coming from the-best-I-can-afford down to what I really need to have. Saved a lot of money (actually I saved a piece of my life that I would need to trade for that money) and feel very happy and content.
    And then I read your last post…; a lot of synchronicity happening this week.

  2. Hmmm. For some reason, I couldn’t sign in.

    I have often thought the same when I see a wrecked… anything. Waste of any kind drives me bonkers and I try very hard to take care of the things I have, not out of some, “THERE”S A SCRATCH ON MY CAR!” kind of obsessiveness but because I want to get the most out of it before I’m forced to get a new one. Even then, I usually wind up stripping the old, worn out whateveritis for stuff that I might be about to use later.

    Cars purchasing in particular makes little sense to me. One day as I drove to work I started playing the, “If I could have any car I wanted” game in my head. After the obvious makes and models filtered through, I decided that what i really needed was a four door sedan. Probably a Toyota or Nissan. Oh well. So much for grand dreams.

    -Turkish Prawn

  3. You didn’t drive until 35!! Living where you do? I find that amazing. I guess you traveled so much that it wasn’t a problem but I would think the Australian landscape, at least, as you have presented it, would just about mandate a vehicle. And, not just for photographers, either!

    Welcome to the world of figuring out what we need and what we want. Me? I needed a Saab. (Couldn’t resist, OK. Just couldn’t.)

  4. Robert

    Glad you liked the post. It just goes to show how we get confused by marketers into desiring things that we don’t really need and then trading away our precious time to acquire them.


    Don’t know why you couldn’t sign in. I’ve got this blog on a different server to the WordPress server and I think sometimes it goes down or plays up.

    I also play the “If I could have any car I wanted” game. When I was younger I probably wanted something like a Ferrari but nowadays I own the car I want (2.5 ltr Subaru Outback) and to be honest I wouldn’t buy anything else even if I had unlimited funds.


    I’ve never felt the need to own a car and the fact that I own a car comes from external forces acting on me, like jobs or partners. One of the good things about Australia is that we have a pretty good public transport system here. It surprised me when I lived in the US how such a rich country had such poor public transport.

    I can remember going to a movie in Columbus Ohio by public bus and then having to hitch-hike back because the last bus back was at 7:30 at night.

    If a public transportation system is crap people won’t use it and are left with no other option than to buy a car. This situation, may in the short term be good for an economy but is bad in the long term to the environment and the economy as well, because the infrastructure is always much more expensive to put in at later stages of development.

    There will be a day in the not too distant future when private car ownerships will no longer be viable and all the people who didn’t believe in supporting public works will wonder how their situation in regards to mobility became so dire.

    As for the Saab, I guess it matches the Channel bag you were recently given.

    It’s pretty amazing when one looks at why we buy things. It’s hardly ever a rational decision. I’m trying to purchase in a more rational way. I guess it’s the mission on the marketers to draw us away from smart decisions. It would seem that there is so much style over substance.

    Having said all that, you are correct that to take some of the photos you can see on this blog one would find a car very handy. Like I said, I’m very conflicted about owning a car but I do enjoy the fact that my wife and I can get off the beaten track fairly easily.

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