Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lucia The first automotive sacrifice

The first car belonging to a boy racer has been crushed today. "Crusher" Collins has been well and truly blooded with the title, which is no longer be in name only.

Though Anne Tolley oversaw it, I doubt she will really share in the glory. "Crusher" Tolley? Nahh.

It's a disturbing turn of events in New Zealand, heralding a return to the scapegoat sacrifice. At this point it's only a car that is being crushed, but in the future, who knows?

In my post on the Hunger Games and Human Sacrifice, Fr Barron talks about the Scape-Goating Mechanism, which is so prevalent in human history as a way of discharging our anxieties onto someone (or something, the car being a proxy for the boy-racer at this point):

Why is it, that this dynamic of human sacrifice is so prominent in our culture ... from ancient times to today ... Rene Girard uncovered this dynamic ... discovered what he called the scape-goating mechanism ... tensions arise within human communities ... how do we solve the problem ... by this mechanism we choose someone to blame, someone to isolate, someone to ostracise, at the limit, someone to kill. We discharge our anxiety, our tension, our fear onto that person or that group. In that process ... we come to a kind of peace. Which is precisely why this kind of activity is sanctioned so often by the state, and by religion.

And here we have the State in NZ sanctioning car-crushing. Disturbing.

Related link: First boy racer car crushed ~ Stuff

15 comment(s):

Keeping Stock said...

She's already been christened "Terminator" Tolley Lucia.

And I don't believe that this is disturbing at all; the law change was well signalled, and intended to be a deterrent to anti-social street racer behaviour. That 116 street racers are sitting on two strikes without having graduated to a third suggests that the law is working exactly as it was intended to.

I'm a petrolhead from way back, and did some things as a callow youth which I now hang my head in shame about. But there was a helluva difference between my father's Morris 1100 and the rocket-ships that street racers drive and die in today. There are plenty of outlets for them to have a skid legally, but they have no wish to do so within the law. That is synonomous with youth culture now where there is no respect for authority or for other people's rights or property. But today the worm turned, and that's not a bad thing at all.

Lucia Maria said...


"Terminator" Tolley! LOL!

LiberalLeftie said...

One car in four years? Real successful, I don't think you've got much to worry about

Seán said...

What Keeping Stock said. *

Its the message that comes from this law that is so effective rather than the law itself. 10/10 to Collins.

* Though what burnouts could be done in a Morrie 1100 would be amusing to witness, to say the least.

Lucia Maria said...


I think you and Keeping Stock have missed the spiritual dimension of this post.

Seán said...

Hi Lucyna,

You are right, I have missed the spiritual element of your post. There are mentions of "scapegoat sacrifice" and "the Hunger Games" but I fail to see any connection.

This law has sent a clear and understandable message to the perpetrators. It seems to have been received for the benefit of society and would-be victims.

I see no evidence of a pattern of this turning into a "Logan's Run" scenario.

What is the problem exactly?

ZenTiger said...

The state has a monopoly on violence. The manner in which it exercises power is therefore something worth noting.

At one point, the magna carta was a stepping stone to protecting against this imbalance. That progression has ended, and we have turned around and started heading back.

A government minister standing on a crushed car, glorifying the exaction of vengence (sorry, justice) as a symbolic gesture may seem to be a trivial matter, but if one looks, it is one of many abuses. Mark my words.

(and whatever Lucia says :) )

ZenTiger said...

For the pedants - yes, magna carta was well befor the Treaty of Westphalia - the point was about a stepping stone limiting power imbalance. Just go with it.

Seán said...

"The state has a monopoly on violence."

Really? Strange statement, strange connection.

This law is sheer brilliance. Even if not one car was crushed, the law has already succeeded. Who would've thought a piece a legislation would get so much air time amongst the dumbest of our society.

ZenTiger said...

Yes, indeed it does. That is one of the defining characteristics of the State. The reinvention of the State to provide welfare came much later.

This law might be brilliant, as might be the law banning patches, as might be the law seizing people's property before a fair trial (and often destroying the value of it, or selling it later).

Abuses of such laws though will ultimately bite us.

Just as Tolley insisted on pushing the button, then posing on the destroyed car, and then made a speech on how good this all is, rather than how much it pains her to exercise such power, can't wait for the repeat performance when the death penalty is reinstated, she insists on pushing the button and then poses on the corpse and celebrates the success of the law.

Although that scenario might be a little more sombre, if only to respect political correctness.

Seán said...

Hmmm Zen, the connection from boy racer car crushing to death penalty (and State monopoly on violence) only blows a few holes in your argument. Apples, oranges and all that.

Ever thought of the positive effects on the would-be victims?

I think you and Lucyna are drawing a really long bow on this one, sorry.

ZenTiger said...

The post was about the first automative sacrifice. I thought the discussion was being expanded to other interesting things, but not necessarily drawing a long bow.

To bring it back a little - So, you think posing on the car is all part of the process of reasoned justice?

The positive effects on would-be victims - now there's a long bow. Why don't we move from brnading all petrolheads as collective nuisances to focusing on meaningful action with repeat drunk drivers?

There would be a far longer line of families devasted by drunken drivers who have been caught repeatedly and failed to heed the law. Crush their cars, chop their feet off and dance on their heads Tolley.

ZenTiger said...

"I think you and Lucyna are drawing a really long bow on this one, sorry."

It can be hard to tell, but I don't rank this issue up there in the list of critical issues of our time. So, for me, your comments are welcome and I don't totally disagree with them.

However, I do subscribe to the frog in a warming pot theory, and such events need not pass us by unremarked.

And the sacrifice nature Lucia pointed out is a very relevent example of the scapegoat mechanism

Again, such events should not pass by us unremarked.

Seán said...

ZT said: The positive effects on would-be victims - now there's a long bow. Why don't we move from brnading all petrolheads as collective nuisances to focusing on meaningful action with repeat drunk drivers?

Not at all. If now as it seems idiot boy-racers are taking a second-take on their antics then all the better for the rest of society (your local neighbourhood). Direct, not long-bow.

As for the mention of repeat drunk drivers...well that may be right (to also focus there) but it is a completely different issue.

And I hate the argument of "but I don't rank this issue up there in the list of critical issues of our time.". Maybe you are right in this respect, but this should not take anything away from the issue at hand. Sort of like "lets not think about becoming a republic because there are more important issues at hand" or "lets not think about banning abortion because there are more important issues at hand" Radio talk-back nonsense. Any government has a whole heap of issues to deal with at any given time. Priority is in the eye of the beholder, and even so, even lower priority issues (as polls may indicate) doesn't mean they are not any less important.

ZenTiger said...

Sean, I agree with your point about relative importance, but I don't think I was using my statement in that context.

I was more simply expressing my opinion on how important it was to me relative to other issues. However, that did not mean I was not putting some thought into it - or to be more explicit - I did not use that argument to walk away from a discussion.

Not only have I put some time into debating this, and strssing that this kind of issue is important based on the slow cooking frog theory, but I have also written a few posts on this topic and peripheral to this.

My personal favourite was this post: Boy Racers

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