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Single Serving 
Song: Cars 
Artist: Gary Numan 
A PsychoSONGanalysis by psychologist, Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen 

Before forging ahead with my psychoSONGanalysis of this classic song of the New Wave era, I want to give you an opportunity to hear a bit of my cover of Cars, as well as an opportunity to win it.  

Cars (audio sample) 

If you are the first to send me the correct answer to this Tollbooth Trivia Challenge question, you will win the complete Digital Dr BLT Download.  Here’s your question:

Based on this Phantom Tollbooth interview, what was Pat Boone’s initial career goal? 
High School teacher 
Rap artist 
President of the United States of America 

And here’s your link, connecting you to the interview that holds the answer: 
Pat Boone Interview: The Dr BLT Interview 

Here in my car
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It's the only way to live
In cars

It’s hard to get by in our society without a car, though it can be done.  Cars are dangerous.  Cars are deadly.  So could it be any more ironic that, in Gary Numan’s new wave classic of the late seventies, a car is the subject’s object of perceived security and protection from a dangerous world that surrounds him?

“Cars,” is “driven” by mechanistic beat, and the nervous energy and angst thinly veiled behind the decidedly flattened affect in his voice.  These characteristics of the song gives one gets the distinct impression that the subject of this song has a love/hate relationship with the metal that serves as a protective barrier between the driver and the outside world.

The song’s dehumanized, alienated, mechanistic element is taken to such an extreme that it suggests an outright rebellion against an ever-increasingly dehumanized, alienating, mechanistic society.  

Unless one is taking a necessary retreat, so as to rejuvenate oneself for the battles that lie ahead, withdrawal and social alienation are fueled by fear and, at worst, paranoia.  The Bible says that “We have not been given a spirit of fear, but of love, and of power, and of a sound mind.”  

There is plenty in this world to fear: Illness, natural disasters, accidents---both on and off the road, crime, terrorism, war, economic collapse---the list goes on and on.  But there is only reason to fear if whatever one turns to for protection is of a superficial, ephemeral nature.  

The Bible says, “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”  Greater than a car?  Much greater!  Greater than any potential disaster waiting to happen!  

So, to summarize, “Cars,” is definitely cool.  It reflects, and aptly and unequivocally captures, the angst that defined the end of the 70s, as a decade that brought us both disco and punk. “Cars” is disco.  “Cars” is punk.  “Cars” is paranoia, when it takes the wheel as it steels the last scintilla of a man’s peace of mind.  “Cars” elegantly captures the desperate futility of an alienated, angst-ridden man of the late 70s, taking the wheel of false security, and clinging to it for dear life.  

Here in my car
I can only receive
I can listen to you
It keeps me stable for days
In cars

Here in my car
Where the image breaks down
Will you visit me please?
If I open my door
In cars 

“Cars” brilliantly articulates the problem, even as it not-so-subtly scoffs at its own proposed solution.  The alternative solution is not contained in anything of a material nature.  As an older song, a classic hymn suggests, “Safe am I, safe am I, in the shelter of his arms.”  

God is the only enduring source of protection.  And, in order to further elaborate upon that point, I’m going to look up some more Bible verses, and then I’m going to share them with you, and break them down.  Oops.  Hmmm… just wait a moment.  It seems I left my Bible in my car……………………….

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