Another column I wrote recently:
I love the film “Drive.” There’s a lot to love about it: The synthesizer-heavy soundtrack, Albert Brooks playing a heavy, Ryan Gosling (ladies), Gosling’s satin baseball jacket, the cinematography, etc…
I like all that, but the title says it all. Deep down, I know I love “Drive” because of the cars, the chase scenes, the stunts, the act of driving. It’s precisely why I will tolerate, even secretly enjoy, ridiculously over-the-top movies such as “Gone in 60 Seconds” and “Death Race.”
I’ve always enjoyed driving, and I suspect it’s due to childhood road trips with my family. In a country whose identity is so tied to Manifest Destiny and rugged individualism, a car, driving, represents independence. It represents potential and opportunity.
There’s something unmistakeably American about a road trip. One only has to look at American classics like “Easy Rider” or “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac where the road trip is raised to an almost mythical status.
That sort of reverence is possible because this country has the luxury of space. The great expanse of land we call home allows one to make a several-hour, or several-day, trip without running into the border of another nation. We can travel 3,000 miles, coast to coast, and still call where we end up home.