When the blog started 5 years and 5 months ago, there was a basic rule: No politics! No way ! The world has changed since then, Europe has changed. It has been a few weeks since an island decided to go back into isolation. Back then my fingers tingled and I wanted to write. About the European idea, living together in Europe and in general. I did not do it.
Just before the weekend, there was an attack in Nice. Unspeakably cowardly, with many dead. Our friends and neighbors in France are, again and again, on the target of the terrorists. In Turkey, tanks roll, jets throw bombs. Europe, and for me Turkey is considered a European country, has become an uncomfortable place.
You want to destroy our culture
What is to be achieved with incredibly cowardly attacks, where the greatest number of defenseless victims are concerned, is obvious. You want to destroy our culture and way of life. You want us to be afraid - and prepare for terror. The moment we start to change our lives, where we align ourselves after the terrorist threat, at that moment terrorism has won. If we crawl at home, don't go to concerts, don't go to football matches, think twice about going to friends, at that moment it would be time. The victory of terror over culture.
Europe has been a place of freedom for many decades. The fact that until recently you could drive through all countries without a visa and controls is part of our way of life. It goes without saying that we maintain friendships across language and national borders. It has become part of our European identity, like the self-image of being able to live and work anywhere in Europe at any time. Nice today, then Istanbul, next year Paris. Why not…
The individual freedom
We owe the freedom and the privilege to do this to the unity of Europe. What cannot be taken for granted and what we have to pay attention to. I am European and I am happy to be. Which is currently not modern, but I admit it.
The car is a tool for freedom. We could start now, drive via Strasbourg to France, in the direction of Grenoble via the Maritime Alps - and then be in Nice. The car gives us the freedom that people have always dreamed of. Being able to travel at any time is a democratic privilege. The car, our Saab on the doorstep, is great freedom. Especially when we're on the road with old, analog vehicles. If we don't have navigation on board, we take the good old road map instead, we pay cash at the petrol stations, don't use the main routes, then we travel to wherever we want in Europe without leaving a trace.
How banal is an autoblog?
I sometimes wonder if it is possible to continue writing an autoblog in the face of the gruesome events and acts of terrorism. Whether it's not too banal and whether there isn't something more important to do. I think the car is part of our culture, our individual freedom. And precisely that, the freedom of the individual, the European lifestyle, does not suit the terrorists. They want us to close our borders, to go back behind national barriers. They want to see us intimidated in fear. We should stay at home, no longer travel, no longer get to know foreign countries and people.
When Mark and I write about Saab cars every day, that's part of our lifestyle. It's our culture, it's politics too. What it should never have been, but has become.
Is the autoblog getting political now? It already is because the car is part of our everyday life and our culture. And because our culture is under attack, we keep writing. About cars that are tools for freedom. That give us mobility that generations dreamed of. Our way of life is in danger, but terror will only win if we live it according to it. It is the mission of every individual at this time that we do not allow ourselves to be impressed by cowardly attacks, not to be fearful and despairing.