08 October, 2012

Taking a Measure of Society's Maturity

If the recent trend towards absurdly giant wheels on vehicles is any indicator, western civilization's zeitgeist is clearly hanging a u-turn and heading straight back to the womb. How else can one explain a grown adult's desire to drive around in something that looks like it just drove off the cover of a Toys R Us catalogue?
For about 1/200th the cost, I could step out of General Motors and into Fischer-Price and not give up a thing. According to that catalogue I'd still have "a real FM radio to pump up the fun, see-through windows, doors that really open and close, flashy 'chrome' wheels and grille, and more!"

(Hey! They're talking to me... I want more!!)

For less than the cost of an adult-sized SUV's tank of gas, I could also enjoy "two speeds forward (2.5 and 5 mph, max.), plus reverse, on hard surfaces and grass, with a high speed lock-out option for beginners and Power Lock brakes."
Now I ask you, what in the name of Ransom Eli Olds Speed Wagon is not to like about that?! Okay, sure - the radio burns through C batteries like a baby whale in a school of herring - but really, if you only want to whine about how nobody gets out of your way fast enough, or how there still aren't enough cupholders, or how the person ahead is blocking your view because they are taller than you, you may as well save yourself some serious coin and go with the lighter version that requires a bit of assembly. It's not like you are going to look any more mature because you bought the real thing.

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