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Tolerating the Intolerable, Enduring the Unendurable: Representing the Accident in Driver's Education Films


Driver's Education, like all accident-prevention discourses, attempts to govern that which it cannot represent. Representing the accident reduces the multiple, complex force of its coming forth. The images of accidents shown to students in driver's education can never be the accident that awaits them, and the accident that awaits them can never be known in advance. Such conservative management produces a blindly reactive discourse (in the Nietzschean/Deleuzian sense) deeply preoccupied with self-preservation. Faced with active forces of potential disorganization, accident prevention aims to conserve, not spend, to turn forces back toward the conservation and enclosure of the integral self and to harness repetition toward the security of the same. In accident prevention, variation is the enemy.