I’m going to get me a car
And I’ll be heading on down the road
Then I won’t have to worry
About that broken-down, ragged Ford
—Chuck Berry, “No Money Down”
The automobile is the Empire’s most popular machine. As the name of this machine indicates, it is a means of self-mobility, which is the Empire’s most popular activity. To be moving, to get away from and go after—this is what Americans do. And they like to do it on their own. They like to have their hands on the wheels of their own mobility machines. Chuck Berry’s songs are full of the idea that, with a fast car, your problems are solved. Moving, rambling and rolling are ingrained in American pop culture. To get over it, get on with it, get passed it, let it go, go for it, get ahead, “go, go, go”—the American idiom abounds with mobility metaphors. It boils down to a popular notion that you can leave your sorrows behind and follow your dreams. Who cares if, inevitably, you will arrive and have to be somewhere? Who cares if your problems will abide and your dreams will materialize into another tedious reality? The temporary amnesia of movement is what counts—the escape-pursuit paradigm that mobility is the solution.