I mention it because of a seemingly casual reference made to the ‘self-destruct switch’ of an SUV.
An interesting idea, no? It flows with the essence of the device, does it not? Fictional spacecraft tend to be fitted with them. And I’m sure the driver of, say, a Hummer would think it was right on ... the power to annihilate himself in an exploding ball of fire ... right there, at his fingertips ...
Rather than mandate it, authorities would automatically frown on such a thing. Too much collateral damage for a start. But if we are capable, as a society, of inviting such monstrous devices into our streets, then surely the sight of them detonating should not appall us that much? In a frightening greenhouse future, things that may once have seemed shocking may become commonplace. It’s just a question of emotional perspective.
Like seat-belts and air-bags, the self-destruct system would naturally have to pass stringent regulations and be of the highest quality manufacture – yet it’s still difficult to see how extraneous damage to other vehicles, infrastructure, onlookers [and their emotions] would ever be avoided.
Does this kill the idea? I don’t think so. Designated zones might be created, even thunderous death arenas; but my instinct is that a high percentage of self-annihilators will be acting on the spur of the moment - and the world would not want to lose those precious seconds in which a noxious parasite was prepared to voluntarily wipe itself from the face of the Earth.
What we require is implosion, rather than explosion. In a necessary riot of harmless light and sound, the vehicle would safely crumple in upon itself, leaving a small recyclable cube or sphere. Crumple zones are already incorporated into car design, they just need more development.
The SD switch, required by law for all personal vehicles over a certain weight and fuel consumption.
Southland Tales also mentions something called Serpentine Dream Theory. Whatever it is – and the explanation just washed over me - it could never be as good as it sounds.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Southland Tales: the newish film by Richard Kelly, [Donnie Darko]. It’s very entertaining, a sprawling futuristic comedy not unlike Idiocracy; more vaudeville than high art, and different in nature to Kelly’s previous film.