Monday, May 9, 2011

Europeans Feeling Smug

Regarding the superiority of manual transmissions.
One of the reasons I like to visit the United States frequently is to gather ammunition against that majority of Europeans for whom it is an article of faith that America’s economic success comes at some intolerable social price. In fact, especially in red states, the level of kindness and consideration puts Britain to shame.
To be frank, with the single exception of health care and gun control, the number of areas where Europeans can feel smug in relation to the United States is vanishingly small (although I suppose it is possible that it is America’s widespread gun possession that makes everyone so polite). So I would now like to tackle one of the last great areas in which Europeans cling to a feeling of smug superiority versus the US — a sense of superiority so deeply ingrained that I may be the first person in any British publication to make this assertion.
You see, I truly believe that automatic transmission in cars is much, much better than manual transmission. And not only better for the owner of the car, but for other road users and pedestrians too. In fact, I think, rather like guns, manual transmission should be outlawed in urban areas.
Here is the whole thing.  Obviously I'd disagree with his exceptions of health care and gun control, but otherwise Mr. Sutherland and I have much common ground.


Expat mum said...

The reason why automatic transmission is better where I live (Chicago)- there are so many damn STOP signs that your foot would go numb pressing the clutch all the time to change back down into first gear. Practically every block.

Duncan M said...

So things in America are superior to things Europe in everything then?

AHLondon said...

@Expat mum, very true. Yield type intersections, like roundabouts, are uncommon. We use stop signs for everything. I tried to learn stick once and gave up.
@Duncan, no not everything, though Europeans and Americans reflexively assuming that Europe is better annoys me to no end and combating those assumptions is one of the main reasons I started this blog. That's my Sawdust and Planks bit.

Lonely Conservative said...

In college a stick shift came in handy because I had an old car and could get the guys to push it while I popped the clutch. Worked like a charm. Now that I can afford a better car I prefer the automatic transmission!