The Toyotathon Phenomenon — A Phenomenon Indeed!

Addled leftists have long stumbled around blaming “consumers” for being independently mentally ill and greedily destructive.

The seriously over-rated Herbert Marcuse, a leading pioneer of victim-blaming, capitalist-excusing pseudo-radical “cultural” analysis, wrote this in his magnum opus:

“If the worker and his boss enjoy the same television program and visit the same resort places, if the typist is as attractively made up as the daughter of her employer, if the Negro owns a Cadillac, if they all read the same newspaper, then this assimilation indicates not the disappearance of classes, but the extent to which the needs and satisfactions that serve the preservation of the Establishment are shared by the underlying population.”

All the “ifs” in this ridiculous string of hypotheses are as preposterous now as they absolutely were in 1963, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, when Herr Marcuse was somehow passing himself off as a rebel, polishing this willfully obtuse crap up for the printer.

Herbie’s contention? No need to talk about classes, because the palookas are all corrupt anyway. Let’s just wring our hands about the “one-dimensional” stupidity of the whole of the masses. I say — bad show, my good man. Sniff, sniff, pass the cognac…

If you wonder why such familiar blame-everybody blather needs to be swept aside, take a look at what it excises from view — namely, elite brain-conditioning efforts such as the latest television ad campaign from the “moving forward” Toyota corporation.

Lovely, responsible stuff from the investors who would elsewhere have you think that buying a Prius solves the problem.

The Decrepitude Mounts

Utterly remarkable. Orwellian/Huxleyan almost beyond words. Peak Oil has arrived, or will VERY soon. Oil wars have already begun in earnest. The U.S. economy, and probably the whole world economy, has no answer to the former problem. The USA is actively working to ensure that the latter will continue and we’ll end up finding out whether Einstein was right that World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

Meanwhile, what are the car capitalists doing? Check out Toyota’s shocking “Born of the Earth” advertising for its criminally wasteful Land Cruiser 200, a vehicle model that almost certainly spends less than 1 percent of its collective use-time doing anything resembling outback driving.

Remember this kind of material well, citizens. In 25 years, it will be recognized for the massive institutionalized depravity it is.

Robert Heilbroner used to say that “advertising teaches children that grown-ups tell lies for money.” We will soon have to explain to our own children that we sat by and allowed this outdated, infantile, pre-civilized practice — and the market-totalitarian technological and economic dictatorship its serves — to continue right up to the point of no return — or even beyond.

Obfuscation Through Clarity

another Step right up, suckers, er, “consumers”! The overclass continues to lavish more of its booty on material and symbolic propaganda to disguise from the public the extreme dangers of the impending near-term death of its core product, the personal automobile.

The latest advance in this expanding shell game is yet another instance of that latest and greatest of unrecognized oxymorons, a “green car” — the Honda Clarity.

Orwell’s Big Brother would have creamed his Levis over this “Clarity” name, as the entire reason the “new” vehicle exists is to further trick you into hoping against hope that science will soon find a way to suspend the laws of thermodynamics that confine Earthlings to living with finite supplies of usable energy, thus magically/entrepreneurially rendering our autos-über-alles transportation order sustainable.

The Clarity, you see, is (breathe a baited breath!) an actual hydrogen-fuel-cell car! Oh, the rapture!

If you bother to investigate this phony breakthrough, however, you will see reality: Clarity and its “green car” cousins exist not to provide any viable answers to our energy-supply gathering troubles and the capitalist technological dictatorship that insist on ignoring them, but rather to convincing you (and perhaps also the more gullible among Honda’s investors) that hydrogen is somehow a new “alternative” source of energy. Of course, it is not, as admitted by none other than Jerry Hinkle, the president of the National Hydrogen Association:

“Hydrogen can be produced from a wide range of sources including natural gas, coal, water, wind, nuclear power and biological methods,” Hinkle says.

There’s exactly where the body is buried: Hydrogen, you see, is not lying around, ready to burn, in the ground or sky or anywhere else. On the contrary. For reasons of elementary chemistry and physics, hydrogen must always be stripped away from the other elements to which it inherently binds, at very high energy cost. To “liberate” hydrogen for burning in cars, it takes the same old quantities of the same old stuff — “natural gas, coal, water, wind, nuclear power and biological methods.” Those old energy sources, of course, are now both peaking and being very rapidly squandered. Hence, hydrogen cars are dead letters.

Nevertheless, if you’d like to ignore this simple inconvenient truth and help Honda and other corporate capitalists parade their murderous “green car” distractions, you can apply to be one of the lucky few to obtain a heavily subsidized lease for a Clarity. All it will cost you, after the subsidy, is — $600 a month, or a mere ten times the wage of a corporate factory worker in Nicaragua!

Ford’s Latest Lie: “All Things are Possible”

We humans are at or extremely near the top of the Peak Oil curve.

Alas, the corporate capitalist investors who dictate which technologies we may use are also intractably addicted to selling cars. They will continue to attempt to do so, no matter the costs, until we remove them from power.

Meanwhile, ponder the Huxleyan/Orwellian (that’s the worst-of-both-worlds character of our unchallenged, rampaging overclass) nature of the waste-pushing propositions they continue to foist upon us. The latest to strike my eye is Ford’s shocking attempt to sell people new cars by saving them 5 or 6 button-pushes a day: “Sync.”

Yes, friends, what we all need to do is boost “our” economy by spending $40,000 on another huge, toxic, petroleum-guzzling contraption, all so that we can turn on the stereo without having to move our fingers! “All things are possible,” say Ford and its partner-in-this-crime, Microsoft, as they announce this glorious breakthrough in human civilization!

Not only is this tag-line mega-laughable in this bought-and-paid-for, market-totalitarian madhouse of a nation, but it is also patently, egregiously, and especially relevantly untrue. The laws of thermodynamics that govern the known universe contradict the childish statement that “all things are possible.” Some things are possible. That’s it.

Meanwhile, very high on the list of impossible things in this universe is the sustainability of the USA’s auto-über-alles transportation order beyond another few decades, at most…

MPG Disinformation

Capitalists know only one solution to any problem: redoubled doses of the same old medicines.  The reign of the automobile and the auto-industrial complex is clearly doomed.  There is simply not enough energy in the world to make it last past roughly the middle of this century.

So, what do corporate car-marketers do? They heighten their efforts to misinform their “targets.”

The latest form of this trend is the change in the way car-capitalists state their miles-per-gallon claims in advertising. The old practice was to state two MPG ratings, one for city driving, the other for highway. So, my 1998 Toyota Corolla was advertised as having 32/41 MPG.

Now, in these increasingly dangerous end times for the automobile, the marketers have taken to simply shifting the city part of the MPG rating into the footnotes. Virtually all new ads that bother to mention MPG now only state the highway rating.

GM's Version

This is neither more nor less than planned disinformation, an intentional attempt to alter people’s access to and perceptions of vital information about products. Though you will never see this fact admitted in public, it is a standard method of big business marketing.

Capitalism, you see, is a just a well-disguised form of humanity’s 6,000-year run of pre-historic barbarism. A a social system, it is entirely of a piece with the older forms of class coercion that its apologists have long tried to distinguish it from.

Courting Carmageddon: The Real Meaning of Gore’s Nobel Prize

Al Gore has just won the Nobel Peace Prize for making the movie “An Inconvenient Truth.” So far, talk of the consequences, however interesting and important, has entirely missed the deepest meaning of the award: By endorsing Gore’s insidiously wrong-headed film, the Nobel committee has seriously worsened the already terrible ideological climate shielding the reign of the private automobile from the serious democratic scrutiny it requires.

Read moreCourting Carmageddon: The Real Meaning of Gore’s Nobel Prize