Truckasaurus Rex: The Colossus of Roads

Ever since Homer wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey Western Civilization has been captivated by the need to move, to travel, to discover the new, to see what lies around that corner or beyond the horizon. And often this leads to conflict.

About 500 years after these works of fiction another set of Greeks sailed away on a real life adventure to take the Island of Rhodes.

The islanders held out against the Greek invasion, with the help of the Egyptian fleet sent by Ptolemy I. To celebrate the people of Rhodes erected a colossal statue bestride their harbor of their patron god Helios, which in due course became known as the Colossus of Rhodes.

Sydney Barclay wood engraving 1875

Symbols of this god Helios, his success, power, masculinity no longer appear as a tall statue at the entrance to the harbor of ancient Rhodes, because an earthquake some 80 years later drove it to the ground.

Today we stand astride our own colossus of roads; Chevrolet’s  Fords,  some GMC or Dodge, and relish our heroic journey, not Greeks but Americans. Yet like the Colossus our symbols of success, power and masculinity are doomed. The evidence is the internal combustion engine and the size of the vehicle it powers are inefficient dinosaurs likely contributing to climate change with each step on the accelerator.  


It is not just trucks either. For the longest time the sedan carried the torch of our myths of ourselves. I know that it does for me, largely because what I drive was owned by my Dad.

Now we learn the state of Washington has commissioned a study to identify the small percentage of drivers who use the most gas; something like 7% of us burn 1000 gallons of fuel a year. What do you suppose the state will do with this information? The media has predicted the results will show these people live in rural settings where mass transit does not exist, and likely drive pickups because they actually pick things up and drive long distances to do so.

Not everyone of course that drives the F-150 Ford style vehicle fits this mold. I had a guy move in next door who found his Ram 3500 Dodge simply did not fit in his driveway. It stuck out on to the sidewalk. He was ticketed by the Parking Enforcement Shock Troops of Seattle incessantly. He was gone a the end of his lease.

This is the kind of guy that is out on the freeway intimidating sedans like mine, or even the now common and lighter electric cars we will all be driving one day. All in all it is probably better if we get there sooner than later, but I certainly hope we are not pushed by the government.

Somehow when I started this post I thought the audio podcast found near the top of this page would be about this need for humanity to portray itself in its perceived greatness and myth. Instead this week witnessed so much madness on the road I found myself Friday afternoon in the studio referencing the film The Matrix because that is how modern life on the road seems to be.

We all know something is not really right. We see it on the freeway and in the streets in town; conduct rational human beings do not normally exhibit is an everyday event.

I met the another ancient Greek preparing this podcast, Morpheus, the god of dreams. He offered me the same black pill he offered Keanu Reeves to forget these events and going pretending everything was OK.

I am afraid I have swallowed the red pill Morpheus has also offered both of us and like Keanu Reeves I know too much. And you do too if you read this far and listened to the podcast.

There’s no turning back.

An Agent. “I don’t like you Mr. Patterson.”

End Music Dividing Lines by Ford Geisbrecht

4 thoughts on “Truckasaurus Rex: The Colossus of Roads

  1. Caught this in while waiting in line for entrance to a jam band, “Goose” concert in Cleveland last night. Put me in the best mood. And just caught up on the podcast portion now that I have returned from the trip. A Goose concert resembles the Zion celebration scene from the Matrix, minus the diversity. Dionysian abandon. A hot spot for terrific rock music, liberated minds, and loving kindness. The downside is you have to put up with (…people) Plenty of negligence bordering recklessness. Last night saw a guy took the L and crack his head open on the stairs just 5 seats to the right of me. Presumably too drunk, or mixed his drugs. Created a shockwave of grief that rippled out about 20 seats in every direction from the epicenter. I spent most of the second set catatonic processing… “… But that First set was fantastic!”πŸ˜„ Anyways, more to come. I’m jazzed about this post.


  2. Yup, Matrix Reloaded highway, that’s the scene. And Mad Max. 20 minute commute? Aw that’s nothing! (Dismissive hand wave)πŸ˜‰ Actually mine’s about the same rn. This is why I’ll never live in LA. You couldn’t pay me to sit in that I-5 smog poison traffic. The Smiths definitely couldn’t pay me enough. Nope. The road is where I make my living. Almost exclusively for the past 5 years or so. So I see it all too. The same day you were recording this I was out there letting my mind wander into a movie idea, very similar to your observations here. I wanna call it “ShazAmazon.” It’ll be a cross between Idiocracy and Terminator. Mike Judge will direct, of course. Synopsis: In the not so distant future Amazon has lobbied for delivery trucks (All automated of course) to be granted equal rights as American citizens, and also special “privileges” which allow them to take the most direct path to any delivery destination. Regardless of what or who is in their path. Outfitted with nitrous “fire hose” exhaust pipes, steel plows and monster truck tires.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.