Tuesday, July 26, 2011

American Muscle!!! F*ck Yea~!11One!1!!!One~!!

There’s a lot off shit clogging the hearts and minds of today’s consumer. The media, their celebrity stooges and the Bieber-obsessed unwashed masses perpetuate this shit into the collective stream of the collective underground sewage system that is the pulse of society. It is from this morass that I get most of my material in fact.

...as do most ninjas.
Earlier this year, I explored PowerBalance bands and Vitamin Water as two of the most blatant ways in which we, as buyers, have been proven to be quite retarded. This article has been a long time coming and it’s about something I actually do like but I’m also gobsmackingly stupid to actually consider getting.

How stupid? This stupid.

Now before we get into the newfangled nuances of ninja-nuity that generally define my blog and indeed my entire frikking life, let’s talk about the good ‘ol US of A for second. We’ve all heard of it. We all wish we were born there. We’d all like to go there someday and become its president as per the American dream parameters. It is truly the Land of the motherfuckin’ free and the home of the motherfuckin’ brave. Of course the latter point is moot since all the braves were wiped out by early settlers. Oooooh burn.

"Grip that blunderbuss tightly honey. We havin' Indians for dinner."
Smell it. Smell America! Smell drums of lard being poured onto sizzling, flavoursome piles of French fries. Smell the breaths of spitting rednecks casting covetous glances at blood-relatives from the same wheeled-household. Smell the reality TV shows about douchebags and overtanned chicks curiously named after South African fish. This is a community of people so unique that they turned Rebecca Black into a celebrity by hating her. They (along with Japan) also churn out some of the best products we have.

iPads are a great example.
I dish out ample venom but also give credit where it’s due. The very fact that you’re reading this blog is due to America. Fuck winning the internet - they invented the son of a bitch. For every 200 000 useless welfare-ist, there’s an American genius whose ideas will shatter the very meaning of computers, operating systems, portable media devices or gargantuan space-faring, planet-cracking, robotic death-machines. From movies to music to consumer electronics to wartime to sport (they’re even pretty damn good at what they call Soccer), the USA runs this shit. Accept it.

Oh say, can you see this redneck?
 What the USA cannot do, however, is make cars. Anybody who knows anything about cars, knows this intrinsically and Jeremy Clarkson – an absolute authority on everything stupidly American - will tell you the very same thing. Carmakers of Middle Europe and Japan take to high-end car manufacturing as they would to Charente Cognac or Playstations – treating them as premium products for discerning and stately peoples of fine upbringing. Now, there are obvious exceptions (the Ford GT being the only one) but US carmakers generally take to making cars as they take to making Big Macs – they design them to kill fat inbred people from Texas... or Perth.

Inspired somewhat, by this. Ya damn right.
Of course those of the trucker hat, plumber’s crack and sister’s name tattooed on their arm would disagree with your favourite ninja. They’ll tell you that a muscle car is the most ‘honest’ kind of car in the world. And by pretending - as all petrolheads do - to understand what that means, I suppose ‘honesty’ (when pertaining to an automobile) means that said car lacks certain... European (the carmaker would say gay) luxuries. In other words it won’t have the wind-tunnel aerodynamics of a Ferrari, it won’t have the trick chassis of a Lotus and it won’t have the light, turbo-charged pocket rocket engine of a Nissan. In fact, it won’t have any tangible discerning safety-feature to separate it from a ballistic missile... or a suicide bomber.

Banzai! Fuck Amerika! Fuck Hawaii! Fuck you Ben Affreck!
“Safety”, “comfort”, “agility”, “fuel-economy”” and “low-emissions” are all just confusing things to Muscle Car manufacturers - big words that mean nothing. Traditional American vehicle-design philosophy, so free of foreign influence, is basically finding a way to strap a truck’s engine to a road car and making it go forward in a straight line. And by truck’s engine I mean taking the eight-point-holy-fuck-two-litre V10 from a full on moustache-sporting, Johnny Cash-playing, prostitute-murdering Mack rig and putting it into a much smaller object.

The Dodge Viper - for the discerning prostitute-killer.
Gorgeous as they are, make no mistake that a Viper, Corvette or Trans Am will attempt to embarrass, maim and even elaborately murder you and your family every single day you decide to drive it. They cannot steer, they cannot brake and they’re made out of very crumply steel ideal for person-crushing – a fact made all the more dire by the small matter of ALL muscle cars being as attracted to trees as dogs are. I mean it - a classic Camaro can find a tree in cyberpunk 2099 Neo-Tokyo to wrap its shell (and driver) around.

Neo-Tokyo. Giant psychic babies. Cyborg purple-haired hotties. No trees.
So any would-be muscle car owner should regard the following (saying this next bit as though you’re Stephen Lang’s Colonel-Fuck-You-That’s-Why character from Avatar helps a lot): “You're not in a Prius anymore. You're in a Muscle Car! Respect that fact every second of every day! If there is a Hell, you might want to go there for some R & R after driving around in Muscle Car. In this car, beyond this driver-side door, every little thing that steers, revs or brakes wants to kill you and eat your eyes for jujubes.”
It is the muscle car's job to keep you alive. It won't succeed.
But we love them, don’t we? Any guy who says he honestly wouldn’t want to one day own a muscle car is far too sensible to be male. It’s not even a sexual preference thing. It’s just about being a man. One creative director I had, who in addition to being creative is also gay (and now owns a coffee shop), drives a 1967 Ford Mustang. He bought it because every male (even ones who like manbum) have favourite muscle car movies.

What's your favorite?
That’s right. Every guy wants to pretend they are the main character in Bullet or Mad Max or Vanishing Point or The Fast & The Furious or what have you. We all want to be the Winchester brothers in a menacing black Chevy Impala. My favorite muscle car movie has got to be Gone In Sixty Seconds - the remake with Nick Cage (don't listen to that dumb Aussie chick in Deathproof). The iconic Shelby Mustang GT500, known the world over as 'Eleanor' as a result of this movie, has got to be one of my favorite cars on the planet. If I had one, I'd call myself Memphis and get a special jacket.

I wouldn't look like a bible salesman though.
 And that’s the thing. Muscle cars are romantic beasts and by romantic I mean extraordinarily badass. You can’t afford the gas (unless you’re from Baghdad or California). You can’t afford the running-costs. Fixing one will probably take the rest of your life but approaching the lights and revving and being seen doing it - that feels pretty good. You could in fact argue that they’re a lot like Alfa Romeos in a way – not particularly good but also fucking spectacular – but that’s the "oh fuck!" moment because they’re not like Alfa Romeos at all.

Nothing matches Alfa for spirit. NOTHING.
Alfas have never been movie cars. They’re driver’s cars and are loved as such. Muscle cars are the exact opposite - they aren’t drivers’ cars at all. They’re fables we desire the connotations of when in fact they’re just mobile death traps that have been granted legendary status by early example of product-placement gone haywire. Trust me - Ford, Chrysler and GM are regretting how awesome those movies were now, because current-generation Camaros, Mustangs and Chargers cannot compete with the legend of their predecessors. They never planned on their cars’ desirability exceeding their production runs over 40 fucking years ago.

Sean Connery looked like this. It was a fucking long time ago.
What we love about Muscle Cars just doesn’t exist. They’re not just impractical, they’re downright pointless to anything other than being cool. Aside from the “oh my fuck I’m gonna die right now” dynamic capabilities of a muscle car, they’re too long for garages, too wide for parking lots & roads and too loud to be used without waking up sleeping insects – and insects are deaf. In South Africa, they're not the honest everyman cars they're made out to be either: go to a classics dealer, the sign on the windshield will tell you that you have to pay about R800 000 for a vehicle you could pick up for a nickel in the States. So you see, what Muscle Cars represent – the cowboy, the avenger, the working class hero and the plain & simple badass – those things do not exist. Even if they did, you are not one of them. You’re probably some hipster.

Nice. Fuck off.
Don’t get a Muscle Car. Get an old Beetle. I mean you might end up looking like a self-obsessed fuck ass but you’ll be a living and breathing self-obsessed fuck ass – probably one who will end up benefiting from a Muscle Car-driver’s lungs when yours give out from smoking cloves...

Nick Cage and Eleanor? Pfft. Lindsay Lohan and Herbie's where it's at!
As for me, I’d rather die a slow and agonizing death than own a Beetle... So Eleanor it is.