Archive for the 'Cars: Damocles’ Last Sword' Category
Monday, January 21st, 2013
My sequel to the TCT book is the (long) forthcoming attempt to explain why corporate capitalism is doomed by one of its core products, the private automobile.
As this doom approaches, the level of ideology in car advertising on U.S. television grows apace. It is already well into its whistling-past-the-graveyard stage, in fact.
Watch a football game or an evening of godawful sitcoms, and you’ll see claims such as Ford’s jive — couched in the mega-annoying “Introducing the _____” trend in which advertisers of everything from cars to candy bars have recently been trying to hype their wares — about how its latest sedan is “entirely new.” Yeah, sure, the worst of the nineteenth-century transportation inventions is somehow now not so stupid. Why? Because its patent idiocy is starting to breathe on some necks, so must be repositioned, to stave off proper perception for a few more months or years.
Then there is this one from the supposedly cutting-edge Honda corporation.
Things can always be better? Um, no.
Thursday, November 17th, 2011
TCT heartily endorses his recent take, as reported in Harper’s, on an issue at the heart of the Occupy Wall Street movement:
Harper’s: You were critical of some of the slogans used by protesters in 2008 — “Save Main Street, Not Wall Street” for example. During Occupy Wall Street, people say, “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out.” Is there a better slogan to be had?
Zizek: The problem is that if you mobilize against the bad financial system you fall into a certain ideological trap, the fascist trap. This is the basic fascist idea: we have the truly productive strata — workers, industrial capitalists — and then we have the bad Jewish bankers who exploit them. The problem is not to fight Wall Street. The problem is, why does the system need Wall Street to function?…If Wall Street collapses, then Main Street collapses. That’s how the system works.
TCT would add that it’s also not very advisable to forget that, along with the financial sector, the supply-side bailouts included corporate capitalism’s beating heart — the automobile industry.
Sunday, July 3rd, 2011
Recent advancements in vinyl development have led to new types of vinyls specifically for doing wraps, such as vinyls that feature air channels to prevent bubbles, and microscopic glass beads that prevent the adhesive from taking hold until squeegeed down. This feature allows the material to be lifted and reapplied as needed during the wrapping process, without compromising the longevity of the wrap. Vinyl is heated with a heat gun or torch to mold around objects.
So, it’s a huge piece of high-tech plastic glued to the body of the automobile (or train, if your town has any).
Outdoor Advertising Magazine said that outdoor mobile media billboards have a 97% recall rate, and 99% of survey respondents thought mobile advertising is more effective than traditional outdoor advertising.
Ah, the wonders of our age of appropriate technology! Cars, those 3,000 pound machines that sit idle 95 percent of the time while burning up what remains of the planet’s petroleum stock, covered in plastic sales pitches! Who says the market doesn’t solve all problems?
Tuesday, January 4th, 2011
Consumer Reports calls the Ford Motor Company’s new MyFord Touch system, by which automobile operators use computer-video touchpads rather than old-school knobs and switches to perform various mostly extraneous tasks while driving, “complex and buggy” and “a complicated distraction while driving.”
Translation from the polite punch-pulling language of Consumer Reports: This latest case of marketing-driven product elaboration, which Ford propaganda shamelessly paints as being “all about making the driver’s experience connect with technology in the car, and their digital lifestyle safer and simpler,” is, as the Ford Motor Company certainly knows full well, going to kill thousands of people a year.
Of course, this won’t stop this precisely planned corporate marketing tactic from working. MyFord Touch, Ford tells Reuters, “is helping make Edge and MKX [the models in which it has been launched) among the best sellers on dealer showroom floors.”
All in a day’s overclass entrepreneurship…using people’s “digital lifestyles” to boost the profits of an outdated corporation’s shareholders, via a deadly, cynical gimmick.
And they say trickle-down economics might be outdated…
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
The first 4,400 purchasers of General Motors’ new Chevrolet Volt hybrid car are receiving a free gift from the public in excess of $10,000. This takes the form of a $7,500 tax credit, plus a gift of a home charging station that starts at $2,500 excluding installation (and the installation requires an electrician rewiring part of your house).
Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Beverly Hills, Calif., Jan 17, 2010 – Nominees, presenters and performers arriving to “The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards” will have an opportunity to help raise money for Haitian relief efforts with a simple signature. Positioned at the entrance of the Beverly Hilton Hotel is President and Chief Executive Officer for the Chrysler Brand, Chrysler Group LLC, Olivier Francois’ personal car, a Chrysler 300C. Francois donated his vehicle so that attendees to the ceremony could place their signature upon the sedan which could then be donated for auction to specifically raise money for Haiti relief efforts.
“Looking at the devastation this catastrophe has caused to an already impoverished country,there is no doubt that we have a social responsibility to assist in any way that we can. This will not be the only funding we will provide to this country on behalf of the Chrysler Brand and Chrysler Group LLC, there is more to come.”said Olivier Francois, President and Chief Executive Office – Chrysler Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “We are pleased to join hands with Hollywood to offer this gesture as part of the relief efforts toward Haiti. And, to my colleague, Dodge Brand President and Chief Executive Officer, who is of Haitian-descent, and to all Haitian-Americans with family in Haiti, our thoughts are with you.”
The Chrysler 300C that will be donated for auction is expected to raise approximately 1 million dollars.
Chrysler Joins Stars for a Cause to Auction Chrysler 300 “eco style” Edition Vehicles
The Chrysler brand, together with Dick Clark Productions, has also partnered with Stars for a Cause to donate six eco-friendly accessorized vehicles that will be auctioned off to select celebrity charities.
Nominee Meryl Streep, presenters Christina Aguilera, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Felicity Huffman and actor Colin Firth will arrive to the Golden Globes in their select Chrysler 300 eco style limited edition vehicle, which will be donated and auctioned to the charity of their choice.
Based off of the Chrysler 300C, the most-awarded vehicle in the industry, the eco style edition vehicles are accessorized with eco-friendly materials such as cork, bamboo, recycled jute carpeting and suede seat inserts and feature refurbished wheels while providing high-end luxury and elegant design. The vehicles feature a refined interior, premium technology and offer fuel-efficient performance and excitement.
Each of the celebrities will arrive to the awards in their select vehicles:
* Presenter Christina Aguilera’s Chrysler 300 eco style vehicle features a water-based Vanilla exterior color. On the inside are cactus-colored seat-inserts with bamboo applique placed on the door trim and center console
* Presenter Leonardo DiCaprio’s vehicle has Cream exterior and Aqua-blue seat inserts, a hydrographic water-themed applique is subtly placed throughout the interior
* Actor Colin Firth’s vehicle features a stately and sleek Black exterior color with Black Bamboo interior accents
* Presenter Tom Hanks will arrive to the awards in an elegant Black Chrysler 300 eco style edition vehicle with Curry seat-inserts and organic appliques
* Presenter Felicity Huffman will arrive in a Dark Cordovan vehicle with a stained Cordovan cork interior color
* Nominee Meryl Streep’s vehicle features a Platinum exterior and on the interior are Cumin-colored seat-inserts along with natural mat and cork materials
Recycled materials are used within the interior of the vehicle. Recycled ultra-suede seat inserts are used for the front and rear-passenger seats and are soft to the touch and durable. Hydrographics patterns are used to place organic themes on the center console and door trim of the interior compartment. Water-based paints are used on the exterior of the vehicle.
And here’s the kicker:
Under the hood is the 5.7-liter HEMI® engine with Muliti-displacement System (MDS). MDS seamlessly alternates between smooth high-fuel-economy four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is needed. MDS optimizes fuel economy without sacrificing vehicle performance.
If you know anything about physics, you know that a 5.7-liter engine is a huge motor. If you know that, then you won’t be surprised by the EPA mileage rating of this “eco-style” engine: 15 city/23 highway!
This is the “new” stuff that’s being peddled, after Obama’s automotive bailout, after the arrival of supposedly better European managers…
And, of course, don’t you just want to weep with gratitude at the sacrifices that were made all around for the people of Haiti? As part of being honored from churning out yet another year of unwatchable pablum about cops and robbers and saints in surgical garb, the attendees at one of the multiple versions of the Hollywood Employee of the Year Banquet “raised” perhaps 1/10th of what was spent on the “awards ceremony” — “for Haiti.” All, of course, while pimping for Chrysler’s deranged ecocidal waste-pushing.