Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: No end of mileage

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  • Robert Fox,

    To me, freedom is to being allowed.

    Yes but freedom is also abused by knuckleheads

    Since Nov 2006 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Andrew llewellyn, hey it's no worse than the Holden painted as an Australian flag I saw cruising weakly past me last time I was in Sydney.

    hey Ben, I'm not passing judgement - I LOVE that site. Just demonstrating to Hadyn that I know what he means..

    BTW - most fun car I ever owned was a Mazda Eunos Presso. Which must surely count as a boy racer car.

    the sunroof leaked, but that little v6 aluminium motor was the sweetest & most reliable engine I have ever enountered.

    now I have the over priced, over powered euro car you mention.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Tom, it's nice to be liberated from your car, if it's practical. If not, it's an imposition. In NZ it is impractical, and if you really feel imprisoned, perhaps liberating yourself from the car and the country isn't such a bad call.

    I get what you're saying, which is pretty much that Europe is choice. And it is. I agree. But we are so far from being Europe it's not funny. Both physically, demographically, culturally and in terms of development. A friend of mine who is a traffic engineer in Sydney told me that decent public rail systems typically won't develop until commute times reach about 90 mins each way. Auckland probably needs to double in size for that to happen. Until then we are stuck with cars and buses. Cycling is a crap option, and I speak from personal experience. I love cycling but it's an impractical form of transport here.

    I also love driving. I hate commuting and won't do it. But since this thread is about boy racing, I feel obliged to point out the the extremely obvious fact that cars are choice.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Good comments Rebecca. I think you're articulating why things are a little different now from when we were kids. Sure, there was booze and a bit of dope but that was it. And there weren't 200+ people gathered at each 'event'.

    I think what Rebecca did was knowledgeably articulate a specific problem for vulnerable kids around these scenes, as opposed to the mayors blathering about, well, things in general. My guess would be that those girls' parents aren't particularly reachable either.

    I presume one of the drugs of choice would be P, which would have certain advantages: gets you up for the action, not a problem to drive on; and inevitably disastrous consequences for some of them. There's probably not that much of gap between being raped in the back of a car and giving it up for the sake of another pipe. I'm just not sure that you wouldn't have the same thing if you took the cars out of the picture altogether.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    And freedom, oh freedom well, that's just some people talkin'

    <cough> I have waited most of my life for the chance to quote an eagle's song on the interewebby thing. In NZ Music month. My work here is done.</cough>

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Tom: you are talking from the perspective of someone who has a lifestyle that allows you to live on public transport.

    I luuurrrve the public transport options available in Wellington and wish there were more. The same goes for Auckland (except for the "luuurrrve" part). And Mayors can have an influence on this, and city planning, compared to being able to influence parents.

    But as Russel pointed out most of the roads deaths for youth* are happening on rural roads. Wasn't it Hastings last year where the kids wrapped themselves round a tree? I know my cousin was in a couple of crashes in Matamata (sorry for the anecdotal evidence). These are towns where you are not going to get 24hr public transport.

    Also having a car can be bloody handy for example the 48 hour comp on the weekend. If we didn't have cars we'd be screwed.

    *which reminds me, youth goes up to 24, for a good proportion of our national stats

    Oh and waaaay back someone asked why Bob Clarkson (who I hate) didn't open up his speedway to the boy racers. The reason is that his speedway has a dirt track (like all speedways) and street racers wouldn't go so well on that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I also love driving. I hate commuting and won't do it. But since this thread is about boy racing, I feel obliged to point out the the extremely obvious fact that cars are choice.

    Don't really get it. Jolly handy, fer sure. But as a main event in life, whatever ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Andrew, no offense was taken. I hope you're not bitter on my Euro car rag. I think they make good cars there (unlike in Oz or the US), but they charge Euro prices. Imagine what a sweet ride you could build from a good solid Jap muscle car and that much cash...

    I see owning a euro car as a status symbol more than anything else - it says 'I have money to burn'.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I have waited most of my life for the chance to quote an eagle's song on the interewebby thing

    With regard to the Eagles I stand with Jeff Lebowski I'm afraid.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Just another thought about the fringe casualties of the illegal street race scene as described by Rebecca: it makes the subjects of some previous moral panics - say, thousands of loved-up kids at dance parties - look remarkably benign. Of course, we had the moral dial turned up to 11 for those too ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    "Don't really get it. Jolly handy, fer sure. But as a main event in life, whatever ..."

    Not for everyone, sure. I dare not mention your age, but I'm kind of thinking a Ford Anglia would have been a bitchin ride when you were impressionable, and mate, that's just not the same as what kids get these days. It's like comparing a ZX81 to a Playstation.

    It's far from the main event - just calling something good that is good. I get what the racers are about. It's not just rebellion. It's also loving something that is very loveable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Heh, yes. I don't get dance parties. That tells you my age.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I hope you're not bitter on my Euro car rag.

    Not at all! Most of my life I've never even owned a car. First one I bought was a Fiat 500 because I had designs on the vendor's sister (lucked out, and the car was rarely roadworthy). The next car was one I inherited from an inlaw - Hillman Hunter that had been garaged for 10 years (all the rubber had perished it turned out).

    The Presso came after that, at a time when I actually needed a car. Since then there's been a Honda CRV & now the VW.

    The VW is a lovely car, but somewhat bigger that I prefer (although more economical than you'd think), but it sold itself to my wife by virtue of half it's size & weight being made up of airbags (we travel SH1 a lot & safety was a major consideration) and its heated seats. (It is most definitely designed for cold climates).

    So... I'm not likely to get bitter about a slight to any car. I walk to & from work & rarely use it except for weekends.

    Although unlimited funds might see me embrace Ford Mustang ownership.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    it makes ... thousands of loved-up kids at dance parties ... look remarkably benign

    heh heh - I wonder if/when the politicians would be prepared to legalise E in return for P being gone forever??

    Speaking of loved up kids - I must pick mine up from school now

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    I'm with Russell on the appeal of driving. Don't get it as a form of entertainment, to me it seems about on par with train spotting. Transport! Phwoaar...

    But with that said, in NZ it does seem to be something that you need, at least in most areas of the country. That's unfortunate, but population density really is the issue. Not much of an excuse in Auckland though, it was a deliberate choice after all...

    That said, I'm all in favour of banning teenagers from driving entirely. A driving age of 19-20 seems about right. Kids in Taranaki? Fuck 'em, it'd be good for them to get out while they can and this just provides another illustration for parents as to why trying to raise teenagers in rural or semi-rural areas is a bad idea in the first place. Maybe having to drive their kids to and from all their social functions would help outline why it'd be an idea to move into a decent-sized town. And this is coming from somebody who substantially grew up in Hawkes Bay and small-town Yorkshire, so I don't think I'm being snobbish on the topic.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Terence Wood,

    Ben Wilson,

    No; freedom is to be able and to be allowed.

    [/ranting about pet peeve].

    Since Nov 2006 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    A Mustang is probably the coolest yank car ever. You might be a bit shocked how weak it seems now, though.

    I've owned exactly one Euro car and one American one. Both were total lemons. Since then it's been jap after jap. I can't decide which was ultimately more fun - the Suzuki 800 because it was just so damned cheap and handy at varsity, or the Supercharged MR2 which steered like it was on rails, also cheap and handy. The Turbo MR2 was waaay more grunty, but it scared the crap out of me, and constantly getting stopped by cops was getting old.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Ford Anglia would have been a bitchin ride when you were impressionable

    Well, speed isn't everything. My first car was a very old war torn Escort Mk1 whose suspension worked intermittently. When I hit 50mph on the M4 life got very interesting.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    I'm 34 and I still don't have my licence. I turned out fine, never hurt me any!

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    But we are so far from being Europe it's not funny. Both physically, demographically, culturally and in terms of development.

    But we don't have to be (apart from physically, of course). Parts of NZ already have half-decent density and half-decent public transport infrastructure, and where that is the case, people can and do use public transport. Demographics are changing, and culture can change too: we just have to stop telling ourselves that we all live like Wal Footrot and look to the future instead.

    In NZ it is impractical, and if you really feel imprisoned, perhaps liberating yourself from the car and the country isn't such a bad call.

    That reads a little bit like "if you don't like the way things are, you can get the hell out of here", but I'll try not to read it like that. In a sense, maybe I have "liberated myself from the country" by living in central Wellington: the world that the "bored Taranaki teenagers" or boy racers in some godforsaken sprawling suburb of Tauranga inhabit seems like not just a different country, but an entirely different planet sometimes. Except when they invade the city at the weekends, but that can generally be avoided by steering clear of Courtenay Pl (which is good advice in general).

    Good luck with transforming NZ into that. See you in 50 years.

    Well, it is a long term vision. And we're never going to transform all of NZ into an urban(e) culture, but we can at least stop building suburbs that are impossible to live in without a car.

    A friend of mine who is a traffic engineer in Sydney told me that decent public rail systems typically won't develop until commute times reach about 90 mins each way.

    But Wellington has a (half) decent rail system on much shorter commutes, and if we made the political decisions to tax petrol adequately, fund PT infrastructure instead of more and more motorways, and stop modelling our town planning after 1950s America, we'd have a decent one.

    I feel obliged to point out the the extremely obvious fact that cars are choice.

    When I'm waiting to cross a traffic-clogged road, watching an SUV nearly hit someone as it runs a red light, hearing councillors howling at the thought of giving up three carparks to make a park, putting up with inadequate public transport because all the money's gone on roads, or watching a great big trench being driven through one of the oldest and formerly most interesting neighbourhoods of the city, then even if I were inclined to use the word "choice" as an adjective, I would not not agree that cars are "choice".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Lee Wilkinson,

    Following on from Finn,
    the rural 15 y.o drivers argument gets demolished when the said vehicle is licensed to be used on the road. Post a minimum age on the driving of aforesaid vehicle and have the owner liable thru insurance. there we go, production issues covered.......Food for thought?
    Would have annoyed me as a young-un. I was travelling the length and breadth of this country on my own or in a pack of extreme high velocity (even by todays standards ) motorcycles. Oh that and going to parties with hundreds of people and doing wild youthy things I would be loathe to tell my kids about. Why, people even did burnouts!
    James Dean didn't have the monopoly on rebel without a cause.

    Whangarei Heads • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Finn, perhaps it's on par with liking NZ music? Heh, I kill me.

    And sorry man, you are being a snob. Bad enough to be stuck in Taranaki, but to have some dorklander ban your wheelz? The bitterness.

    Terence, freedom from and freedom to? Takes me back to my varsity days when I used to be able to park my Suzuki on Symonds St and not have a council cockknocker stick a ticket on it. Now I can't even cruise past the ole department, thanks to said cockknockers. That's if they even still teach philosophy. That might be too 0ld 5k00l these days.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    A Mustang is probably the coolest yank car ever. You might be a bit shocked how weak it seems now, though.

    I bet - and I'd be torn between wanting an old one or a new one. But I'm not really a car person (or anything with a motor actually). I think a classic mustang might require a mechanic on the payroll, and the new one a lotto win.

    When I hit 50mph on the M4 life got very interesting.

    Which reminds me - I have had precisely one speeding ticket in my life (the Mazda Presso, circa 1999) because that was the first car I owned which was capable of speeding.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Terence Wood,

    Regarding Kiwisaver,

    It's just silly to say that it is the end of national super. Possibly, it might make it easier for some future political party to eliminate or abolish super at some distant future point but I doubt it. If they tried withing the next 40 years retirees (who will comprise an increasing slice of the voting age population) will be able to argue - quite correctly - that Kiwi Saver started to late for them. Even after that, because nat super is not a pay as you go system; there'd be a heck of a lot rather angry voters, a good proportion of whose taxes were spend on funding other people's retirement, irate about receiving none of the same in return. Matt McCarten should worry about realistic threats, not imaginary ones.

    As for risk,

    As I understand it you will be able to choose what sort of investment strategy your investment provider follows. Particularly in the low risk strategies much of the investment will be in relatively safe areas such as govt. bonds. There's still risk true, but that's no different from any other investment you make. (Graeme, you forgot the bit about the two mortgages...)

    Since Nov 2006 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    a great big trench being driven through one of the oldest and formerly most interesting neighbourhoods of the city

    Tom, it's not cars that drive great big trenches through interesting parts of cities...

    It's urban planners & local politicians!

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

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