Parking Theory

After a break of a year I’m now once more a regular attendee of St Mellion International Golf and Country Club. I don’t play golf but they have the nicest gym, swimming and leisure facilities that I know of. It’s also a nice friendly place with polite staff and a relaxed atmosphere. It helps that I live within a mile of the place.

The downside of a Golf and Country Club such as this is the unashamed display of wealth that’s on show in the car park. I swear there’s a little “My car’s better than your car” competition going on. Fine by me, I’ve got a 1995 Honda that’s starting to rust and the dogs have turned the interior into a dark shade of mud. If it stands out in the car park then it’s because it’s a wreck.

Anyway, some of the players in the “My car’s better than your car” game appear to have become anxious that their brand spanking Teutonic Travel-piece isn’t being shown the attention it deserves from passers by. To overcome this lack of lustful looks, they have taken to parking them in the most ridiculous manner possible. This usually involves spreading it across two parking spaces or even in places that aren’t even marked out as parking spaces. The really important people have even taken to parking them right in front of the pedestrian exit between the car park and the main entrance. In this position their four-wheeled penis extension can no longer be ignored by anyone!

Of course there are some cars that should be excused from this ridicule. Some of the cars are too big to actually fit within the marked parking spaces. These are the ones belonging to the super conscientious parents who have bought a vehicle that will be able to convey the children to primary school in even the most severe weather conditions. I’m surprised that more people don’t join the 4×4’ers. With our severe winters here in the extreme South-West of England, it’s amazing other families make it through to Spring without a trusty Range Rover to get them to the supermarket.

Yeah I know, some of you 4×4 owners are reading this and thinking I’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t buy the £50k petrol guzzler to transport little Johnny to school or to fetch the shopping. You don’t even want to lay bare your wealth in front of the little people. You just bought one because your new extra-long putter wouldn’t fit it the boot of your BMW320i. DUH!


  1. The act of placing your wealth (car) that signifies your power (title) to conspicuously obstruct others is to be expected as that is the purpose of winning these titles. Titles are the result of winning competitions such as the competitive career grind and are used to silence future combatants. Titles are perpetual and passed to progeny (think of George Bush and son).

    Titles describe power and force the silence of those without title. Monarchs, Knights, and elected officials are all treated with deference and have the privilege to silence others with lesser or without title. Those who have “won” the highest titles enjoy monuments to their power. The more these monuments inconvenience those “lesser” humans, the greater the display of that power. This why many statues and other edifices are placed directly in the path of common passerby’s for their consideration of and humiliation by the title holder.

    When I left California and Silicon Valley in 1989, I passed through the entire US back to the State of my nativity in Florida. While in Boulder, Colorado I visited a bookstore near the University and happened upon a book by J. P. Carse called “Finite and Infinite Games.” I started this book and could not put it down. It describes a lot about our human societies in a way that I had not before contemplated. The concepts of “power” vs. “strength” and how these are played in our minds are described by Carse.

    It’s a fascinating read even though it starts out in a very fundamental and redundant tone. I recommend that everyone read this if for no other reason than to can another useful perspective on human nature.

    I have always considered the Internet and its possibilities to be an infinite game. It really has no real fundamental boundary. The true visionaries that create new ways for us to interact are really doing their best to play with and expand the boundaries imposed by current technology.

    Many companies that are interested in advancing or just maintaining their title are doing their best to create artificial boundaries. This allows them to create limited, finite competition arenas where they enjoy and profit from their title. The DCMA is a fine example of creating boundaries that limit our expression and force our compliance to their power.

    for more information, you might want to give this synopsis of “Finite and Infinite Games” a read: But really the best thing is to read the book. Don’t be discouraged by the slow and somewhat redundant prose at the beginning. You may not agree with everything but it will certainly change the way you understand current events.

  2. Weird – I was just rambling through this blog and stumbled across this reply… I read that book 20 years ago (believe me the cover of my edition is truely awful) and it has influenced my thinking ever since.

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