Commodification All the Way Down

“Car companies have been working hard to reduce driver distraction for years.” That is the opening line from the latest episode of Motorweek, the car-capitalist advertorial that airs on the pathetic Public Broadcasting System here in the USA.

Well, how true, except that it leaves out the obvious clauses. The real news is this: “As they push to make a range of inherently distracting but profit-boosting media systems standard equipment, the car companies have also been working to [deal with the problem of] driver distraction.”

The alleged concern with driver distraction is, of course, concern only with finding a way to keep selling the distracting equipment. The obvious answer to anybody genuinely concerned with the issue is simply to say “We wont allow cars to be used as a platform for more cell phoning and screen gazing.” But that’s not a capitalist decision, so it might as well be unintelligible gibberish.

So, what is this great “technology” they’ve been working on? Sensors that apply brakes when a driver clearly has stopped looking at the road.

Apparently, the video is not yet available, on the paranoid and stupid theory that somebody might actually use it while it’s still on PBS stations.

Anyway, check out the transcript.

Note the interpretation: The alleged concern is “when a driver is not able to react because of the laws of physics.” Yes, those pesky laws of “physics,” which apparently require not just cars-first transportation, but also the incessant drive to foist ever-more unneeded shit in every ordinary car. Yeah, it’s either that or the laws of the capitalist push to commodify every possible activity in every possible situation, regardless of the cost to society.

I will post the video here once the great PBS deigns to release it…