Greenpoint, October, 2015

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Do the Right Thing!

The photograph is from the artist Martha Rossler's 1995 series Rights of Passage.  While she mediates on how American highways embody the "twin dreams of escape and possession," I'll riff a bit on her title.  A nice play on rites/rights for sure, but is there another double meaning here?  I think so.  Given certain preconditions (valid license, registered and inspected car, etc.), we have a right to drive, but do we have a right to drive in the lefthand lane when we are not passing?  Who are these drivers who sit in the passing lane, going at speed or below, and forcing the rest of us to pass (illegally) on the left? Is it that they don't know or (more likely) don't care?

While I'm at it, I propose Mayor Bloomberg do all New Yorkers a public service with a massive "Do the Right Thing" campaign--I visualize billboards, posters on buses and in the subways, TV spots with Edie Falco and JLo, etc.  How much better would NYC work if pedestrians, by and large, walked on the right side of the sidewalk, stood on the right on escalators (say, at Grand Central) to let others pass on the left?  Or am I just dreaming?

No comments:

Post a Comment