To be human is to be anthropomorphic.
We naturally attribute human characteristics to things.
Cars, for instance, used to justify a variety of human descriptors. For me:
– Any Citroen was quirky and a founding member of the EEC.
– A 2CV was against nuclear weapons and had long hair.
– An old air-cooled 911 was badass, like having a pet alligator. You knew it was always looking for that opportunity to finish you.
– A Peugeot 205 GTi was exciting – knowing you must never crash, ever (or you’ll disintegrate), is always exciting.
– A Volvo was caring and liked large items of furniture.
– A Ford Capri was cool for 2 years when it was young, then married a slapper, and regretted it.
– An E-Type was promiscuous.
– A Hemi Challenger was menacing. You heard it coming and you hoped it would keep right on going.
– Any American car between 1950 and 1970 was brash, big-hearted and fun. It liked old school rock n roll and had good teeth.
– A Pullman Merc dissolved your parliament and murdered the opposition leaders.
– Any Ford was blue-collar.
– Vauxhalls were a bit stupid.
– Renaults and Peugeots were good at farming.
– A Golf was sensible.
– A Golf GTi would stab you in the back at work.
– A Miura was beautiful. It did not need to be driven.
– A Bentley saw democracy as an ill-advised fad.
– A Ferrari stood around, looking good. It had no interest in
driving, and only spoke to other very rich people.
– An original Mini smiled a lot, took drugs, and liked going to parties.
– A new Mini turned into a white woman with matching accessories.
– A Nissan Micra was incompetent and did not like cars or driving.
– A Honda Civic liked trimming privet hedges, at 11.20 am on Saturdays.
– An Audi quattro was a culchie adrenalin junkie. It had a wardrobe full of bobble hats and nylon bomber jackets with “Duckhams” written across the back.
– A Countach was Freddie Mercury in a white spandex suit – ridiculous, but somehow quality.
– A Toyota Corolla once thought about doing something exciting, but spoke to its therapist until the feeling passed.
Cars used to have a variety of personalities.
Nowadays, all cars are converging to a bourgeois mean.
All new cars are bourgeois new cars. Every new car has the personality and flair of a 42 year old certified suburban accountant. Safe, predictable, worthy, respectable, designed to assuage status anxiety, suspicious about driving or fun. Changes every 2 years for the newer screens.
Seriously – would any young person nowadays, in their late teens, feel drawn to any modern car as a way to express feelings such as freedom, excitement, independence, fun?
Car culture is on the way out …