Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Where is Radiator Springs?

In the deluge of political conversation, signs, headlines, culture, and spin my son Wylie absolutely nails the crux of most matters in an "off-the-record" conversation last night on the way home from swim.

We're headed down the Blvd., just past 7th and Wylie remarks (not for the fist time)

"I wish Yucaipa had more tall buildings".

"Why? What would go in the tall buildings" I ask innocently.

"More businesses and stores and stuff".

"But, we already have a lot of businesses and stores, right"?

"Besides, Mom, if we have more tall buildings, we'll be on the map. Only cities with lots of tall buildings get on the map. More people will come to visit us that way".

And, before I can continue the "managed vs. unfettered" growth dialogue, Wylie sums it all up with this zinger:

"Man, Yucaipa really is Radiator Springs"!

If you haven't seen the movie "Cars", this reference won't hold a lot of meaning for you. I'll recount the story...

A totally hip "new" race car named Lightening McQueen gets disoriented and lost in the middle of nowhere and finds himself crawling into a sleepy little town called Radiator Springs off of the main highway. On his way into town, he breaks a few laws and ends up behind bars and in need of some repairs. Not to mention, this little intersection of life is way off the radar and no one knows where Lightening is or what's happened to him.

For all its backwardness and lack, Radiator Springs really is a wonderful place where people matter and life is...simple. After Lightening gets to know the other cars there and experiences life outside the fast lane, he begins to see the place differently. His quest to get back to fame, fortune, big lights, bright cities is a bit derailed. In short, Lightening gets a chance to make a life "lane change". It's a really good story.

Intuitively, but certainly not intentionally, Wylie peers into the consciousness of the average voter on November 4th. The choices before Yucaipans (and many voters) is really about this one idea: where is Radiator Springs?


Leigh said...

Yucaipa can feel like Radiator Springs... you should take him to a real radiator springs... someplace like Lone Pine or any little speck on the map along the 395. :)

The Biggest Blessing Is Being Called Mama said...

Awe, I love that story!!!
~Melissa from Kindra's MOTS group