Motorists are Murderers, Morrissey.

I love Morrissey. The way he sings, wants Elton John’s head on a plate, wears his hair, used to ride bikes once, dresses and waltzes about. There’s not enough there to go gay for (if, indeed, he is homosexual), but there is certainly enough about Morrissey to sway me from eating meat. If Morrissey says meat is murder, then yes, meat is murder (or so I would say to his face).

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Imagine how disappointed I was then to learn from the documentary The Importance of Being Morrissey, that the guy is into driving. I don’t mean driving out of necessity because he lives in car-centric L.A. and otherwise could not do his shopping. I mean driving in the manner of a motoring enthusiast. Driving a Jag! If we measured my goodness and his according to my standards, I would be a pesco-vegetarian holding a hand-line, and Morrissey would be a big game hunting red-neck out there shooting bear with a cannon.

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Just how many animals have been killed as a result of motoring enthusiasm? Never mind animals, how many people have died? While individually every road death can be mistaken for some kind of accident, at a policy level, the carnage is planned. Accompanying every new roadwork proposal, estimates are provided of the number of human deaths that will happen on that road over time. These are used to justify more being spent for fewer to die. That’s just lessening the carnage, mind you, not eliminating it altogether. Reducing the forecast to zero would be too expensive. Every road is a calculated sacrifice of human life.

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Anticipated losses of animals’ lives aren’t even modelled. The image above is a rare example of any extra, at all, being spent to save animals. Typically nothing is done to save the poor mites whatsoever. In fact we know a significant percentage of drivers will kill them on purpose.

And since cyclists cannot imagine infrastructure ever being built for their mode on the scale of the animal crossing above, we have to assume we are lower than animals. Lower even than trees. Highway projects are often diverted, at huge expense, to save trees from being cut down, the way we are cut down.

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It’s easy making a canard of someone like Morrissey who has a strong moral position. It’s easy finding pictures of cute animals dead at the side of the road. It’s easier still, copying Morrissey’s hairstyle.

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What I’d most like to copy about about Morrissey though is his indiscriminate, take-no-prisoners, scatter-gun style when it comes to slandering anyone more famous than he is. Which is why I am saying: you’re a murderer Morrissey. You use the road with an armoured machine, not as a cyclist or other vulnerable road user, so are statistically more likely to kill than be killed. I wouldn’t mind betting you’ve already “accidentally” killed a few critters. How long before you kill a pedestrian, a child passenger in an oncoming car, or more likely still, kill a cyclist? Your victim could even be vegetarian! Anyone who cares about human or animal lives limits their car use, or eliminates it entirely. They don’t cruise around in V12 convertible sports cars, just for the heck, unnecessarily endangering lives.

Having your two tonne car crashing into me would not be a heavenly way to die. It would be a heavenly way for you to die, you murdering motorist. Bring me Morrissey’s head on a plate.

About Steven

I'm on a mission to put cycling on the agendas of architects, urban designers and fellow academics, who see the potential for bicycles to change cities and buildings. My PhD is in architectural history and my interdisciplinary research spans art theory, philosophy and cultural studies. I teach architectural history and theory and design studio at The University of Tasmania, Australia, and formerly worked as an architect designing large public housing projects in Singapore.
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3 Responses to Motorists are Murderers, Morrissey.

  1. Louis says:

    “Traffic Engineering, optimising the casualties while you unwittingly text all the way to Maccas”

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