Friday Genius Ten “Once More Unto The Breach, Dear Friends, Once More” Edition

By Amanda Marcotte
Friday, April 22, 2011 12:19 EDT
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Wish me luck.  I'm going to the DMV in an attempt to get a driver's license.  I have tried this before, but it turns out the paperwork requirements to get oen in New York state are the sort of thing that a red state trying to pass voting laws or birther laws couldn't even dream of.  I will be armed with my lease, my Social Security card, my passport, and my old driver's license.  Let us hope that this is enough to at least keep the lady at the counter from laughing in my face as she did last time I thought I had enough paperwork to get a driver's license. 

By the way, I think these ridiculous requirements are due to a fear of illegal immigrants, though I can't be sure.  What I will say is anyone mounting a defense of this practice on behalf of trying to reduce the number of drivers on the road should be bounced from the ranks of policy wonks until they learn something about behavioral psychology.  Attempts to discourage a certain behavior only work if they target that behavior and make it frustrating in the here and now.  So if someone is going for their car and they're thinking, "Ugh, traffic and no parking," they're likelier to take the subway.  This works in the same way that you keep dogs off the couch while you're gone by putting loud things that clatter when they fall all over the couch.  What not having a license mainly does is encourage people to drive without licenses. That is stupid. 

I don't drive, but I'd like to retain the option to do things like rent cars.  Thus, I am going to pack up my life and go wait in line.  There may be  atheists in foxholes, but it's possible that this uncertainty and fear will drive me to pray in desperation.  For the Genius Ten, I'm going to kick it off with The Buzzcocks' amusing rant-y anti-car song.

Original song: "Fast Cars" by The Buzzcocks

1) "White Riot" by The Clash

2) "Walk on the Wild Side" by Lou Reed

3) "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" by The Ramones

4) "New Rose" by The Damned

5) "California Uber Alles" by The Dead Kennedys

6) "Blank Generation" by Richard Hell

7) "Search & Destroy" by The Stooges

8) "Chinese Rocks" by Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers

9) "Gloria" by Patti Smith

10) "Los Angeles" by X

Videos below the fold.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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