secret life of Interstate 10

10/18/04

Okay, enough ranting for a few days. How about some pictures? Here’s a few slices o’ life from our journey from Los Angeles across the Deep South en route back home.

First off, every time you have a meeting in Hollywood, they offer you a bottle of water. Tessa takes one because she’s Tessa, and I always take one for kidney stone reasons. Thus, we have termed our month in Sunny California as the “L.A. Water Tour”:

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When we pulled into Texas, driving a Prius with a Kerry/Edwards sticker, everyone thought we were helming a pod sent from Neptune. There was even some outright hostility, and several things I couldn’t snap with the camera because I would have gotten my ass kicked. But these should give you an idea. First of all, we had THE ONLY SEDAN in THE STATE OF TEXAS. Check this out from various parking lots:

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While in a home in East Texas, somebody’s son was printing these off the Web:

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These asinine “Support Our Troops” stickers are plastered over every goddamn SUV in the South, which is stunningly ironic:

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I suppose it’s better than this, though:

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Thank God we made it to New Orleans on Sunday night, just in time to scalp tickets to my NFL team, the New Orleans Saints, playing in the Superdome. For not much money, we got seats on the 50-yard-line, even though my beloved Saints lost a heartbreaker. As I reminded Tessa, this field is also where Dean Smith won his ’82 and ’93 NCAA Championships:

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On the way back to the hotel, I tried a time-lapse exposure in Jackson Square with the digital camera, and it finally worked. The shutter was open for five full seconds, which is why I look like I have a pole vault shoved up my ass (click pic for bigger):

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Next stop: rural Georgia!

0 thoughts on “secret life of Interstate 10

  1. kevin

    I am jealous of your stop in new orleans.. nice shot in jackson Square… did you get your palm read?
    Any hoo… everyone in the south drives a Pick up/mini van/ or SUV.. There are scenes such as yours in the parking lot daily.

    Reply
  2. Mac

    You can’t get into a conversation with a bumper sticker. They really are designed to be unanswerable, unless you want to follow the car they’re on and confront the owner when he/she finally parks somewhere. But of course, like the bookish liberal I am, I carefully read through each of those bumper stickers to determine my response to each of the six, even though they clearly weren’t designed to trigger a thought-process.
    From top to bottom:
    1) I agree. America exists as a fairly free country because of the actions of brave people.
    2) I agree. War does suck. But if it is the only way to preserve a mostly free society, it must be pursued. However, since this particular bumper sticker is probably meant to respond to the Iraq War rather than, for instance, World War 2, then a few more questions are in order. Is the creation of new freedom in other nations worth going to war for? And what if a war-effort already in progress has so far only yielded freedom but also murderous chaos? Doesn’t that suggest there are both good and bad kinds of freedom?
    3. This bit of dialogue was stolen from the recent Denzel Washington movie “Man On Fire.” It’s probably going to be used a lot by Christians justifying the use of violence to themselves, despite the fact that the Bible forbids killing as well as encourages forgiveness. That said, I am in full support of the Marines killing Osama Bin Laden.
    4. This is a bit puzzling. This is probably referring to the idea that without brave soldiers in Word War 2, we might all be speaking German. But if there had never been any brave soldiers fighting for freedom going all the way back to the late seventeen-hundreds, presumably we’d all still be speaking English. So I don’t think this one’s completely thought out.
    5. Well, no one knows who Osama Bin Laden or, by extension, Al Qaeda would prefer to win this election. Obviously, Bin Laden isn’t voting for anybody. One theory is that he wants Kerry to win because that would prove that Americans have no stomach for war and won’t support a warlike leader. The other, equally plausible theory points to the fact that part of Al Qaeda’s theology involves a holy war between Islam and the west that will ultimately restore the Caliphate, and they would prefer Bush because he’s more likely to pursue policies that will lead to this holy war occurring in the near future. And since we don’t have him at hand to ask, this one also seems poorly thought-out.
    6) This one was a real puzzler. What double-standards are they talking about? Finally I realized, with not a little horror, that this bumper-sticker is an apologia for the tortures that took place at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. The argument goes: liberals condemn torture carried out by Americans when (far worse and far more widespread) torture was also carried out by Saddam Hussein. Well, everyone, regardless of their political leanings, should spend more time protesting torture in other countries. But torture carried out by Americans should particularly horrify other Americans, because we hold our country to a higher standard. Yes, a double standard. America is supposed to be better than despotic dictatorships. We aren’t supposed to torture people.
    I can’t believe I just spent ten minutes fisking bumper-stickers. This is why I’ll never win an argument. By the time I was four words into any of these responses, the person driving the car with the bumper sticker would be bouncing my face off the parking lot.
    Anyway, I like the pictures, Ian.

    Reply
  3. truck driving man

    Speaking of trux (and a potential stopover in Chapel Hill), I was in the Triangle last weekend and had one Sunday to make my rounds using a cousin’s borrowed longbed Ford Diesel. We’re talking an f’in roadhog, king of the sty. I spooked some church-going old ladies good.
    My only bumper sticker was for soccer.com; talk about a hazy, fence-riding political message.
    But hey, if you’re a sportsnut like me and it helps you decide, I think an adept windsurfer/snow-skier and what-not (Kerry) is far better than a nine-minute per mile shuffle-jogger who can’t keep from face-planting on his “Texas hill-country” mountain bike (Bush). YOu’d think with his more than regular get-away-from-it-all sojourns to his beloved Texas ranch, Dubya’d have learned to ride that friggin’ thing by now.

    Reply
  4. Brady

    Hi, Ian,
    Since we met you and Tessa in California, my son and I have been checking out your blog. I find it very amusing, intelligent, and interesting. We have enjoyed “catching up” with your travels and successes. We are fans of both you and Tessa and wish you the best in your careers. But today, you broke my heart. You see, I am one of those, how did you put it, GD Southern SUV drivers who has an asinine “Support Our Troops” sticker plastered on her vehicle. Maybe it is an ironic statement, but the reality of it is that there are many men, women, sisters, brothers, mothers, and fathers from the South over there serving and maybe we just support them because we love them, whatever we drive. One of those serving is my husband. He left in January and because of his absence, we left GA to pursue the acting dreams of my son. So the family that you met in Santa Monica who you almost spent the day with at Six Flags has a father and husband who is a southern national guardsman helicopter pilot who was called up to active duty to go and serve for 12-18 months. We love him and miss him, and we proudly display our asinine “Support Our Troops” sticker while he and other citizen soldiers, friends, are away. I love him and hope that he returns to us safely.

    Reply
  5. Ian

    I totally hear you. I think it’s absolutely cool that you put the sticker on your car, because you – above all people – have the moral authority to do so. It’s really hard to defend my original comment, but I’ll try to make it so I don’t sound like a total jerk…
    My comment was directed at SUV owners who do NOT have any kin in the armed forces, and just slap it on there as a George W. Bush sticker by proxy. I don’t like being told to “support our troops” because to do so blindly is, to me, un-American. I don’t agree with anything our troops do in Iraq – I don’t think they should be there, period. I might have put a “Support Our Troops” sticker on my car during Bosnia and Afghanistan, but not this time.
    Also, the SUV comment was directed at these gas guzzlers that are one of the primary reasons we had to go to war in the first place. And you know Tessa is from Texas and I claim North Carolina, so this is not an aspersion on the South, which is a place I love.
    Please keep reading the blog, and commenting, and know that I hope your husband comes home soon, safe and sound. In the meantime, I hope your son gets more gigs, because he’s very talented.

    Reply
  6. Brady

    Perspective
    Ian,
    Thank you for the comments and compassion. I liked your response and do not think that you are a jerk. You are passionate about your beliefs, and I respect that. And I completely agree with you about false advertising in displaying bumper stickers or magnets, etc. If a person slaps one of those things on their vehicle, they better have to goods to back up what they are displaying. Placing the

    Reply

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