I don't know if this link will work as I believe you need to be signed up w/ the LA Times in order to see it - Nonetheless, I'm posting it anyway.
(if this doesn't work, try latimes.com and entering "When Parking Gets Personal")
The gist of this piece is how most American households now have almost one car per person - like 3-4, (a stark contrast to the 1950s where most households owned one car); that folks don't use their garages anymore as they're filled with a bunch of useless shit, and so they park their cars out on the street, often in front of their neighbors houses, which really ticks people off.
Apparently, at least 2 people have gotten shot over this issue.
This sets off so many emotions and thoughts in me, all I can offer is the following montage of words and sentences:
political -> gun accessibility, land use and design, advertising, car manufacturing, oil extraction
cultural -> sense of personal space, shopping addiction, autodependence, crisis of desire
humor -> this one time, my grandma set the garden sprinklers on this woman who had a habit of parking her car outside my parents place, while smoking cigarettes with the window down. that was fucking funny.
personal -> shortly before i sold it, my old millennium falcon (grey 87 Honda) received a few tickets for being left out on the street to rot as i'd become a full time bike rider. The fact that the law favors those who own property and have access to a parking space (I rent), not to mention gives little incentive to those who choose not to feed the capitalist beast, is just another reason i have little love for it.
But there are answers - For starters, there's www.freecycle.org which allows folks to trade used stuff for free, I've gotten rid of tons of stuff I no longer use and also have received everything from bicycles to seeds.
The other crucial aspect is the difficult task of weening oneself off of corporate propaganda - i.e. advertising. If you live in a big city, you're totally mind fucked already - corporate graffiti in the form of billboards has its way with you everyday. Then there's commercial radio, who's main function is to sell you stuff you didn't realize you needed. Turn it off. And the worst carrier of all is television - turn it off/destroy it. When you're done doing that, and your brain begins to heal, get rid of your car or start sharing it with other folks - try Zipcars (www.zipcars.com).
Oh yeah, be nice to your neighbors.