Click for Larger Image
Story and photograph by Jack Baruth
They call it “Trauma Bonding”, and although the exact definition is highly debatable, it’s generally understood to mean a situation in which victims come to identify or sympathize with their victimizers. It occurs in cults, domestic violence situations, and even hijacked airliners, but most importantly for the purpose of today’s discussion, it’s running rampant in the automotive enthusiast community. The most recent manifestation of the illness appears to be a fondness for outrageous fuel prices; it’s characterized by statements like, “I can’t wait until five-dollar gasoline forces us all to drive small, economical cars,” or “The best thing for everybody would be if we were taxed into using (insert naive reference to diesel, soybeans, unicorn sweat, or whatever other smelly, sticky, low-power, improbably available fuel tickles one’s fancy). Then all the SUVs will be gone from the road and we’ll all drive the cars we need, instead of the cars we want.”
It’s not enough for these pump-price Pollyannas that miserable suckboxes like the Prius are available for them to purchase; they’d prefer that you be forced to purchase them as well. They’ve taken the American Dream – the idea that everyone should be free to achieve as much as their ability permits – and perverted it into a socialist fantasy where everyone will be issued the car they need. Who will determine the need of the American motorist? Well, you can bet that our quasi-Communist “betters” won’t let the American motorist actually make his or her own choice, because they might choose something outrageous, like a Mercedes CLK63 Black Series – perhaps even a Ford Expedition Funkmaster Flex Edition! Instead, we will be limited to “sensible” choices along the lines of the aforementioned suppository-shaped Toyopet or, if we’re lucky, one of those rocketship Nissan Versas, preferably in a nice shade of beige to discourage unnecessary feelings of aggression or enjoyment.
Decades ago, Kurt Vonnegut anticipated these pathetic people and their hateful outlook on life with his story “Harrison Bergeron”. It’s worth a read, because Vonnegut makes a pretty decent argument that enforced equality at the level of the lowest common denominator is not something to which we should aspire. Still, I can see the merits of the mandatory-one-point-two-liter-crapbox argument. If we really are facing an era of unprecedented resource scarcity – and there is considerable evidence to that effect – then perhaps we’ll need to burn the automotive village in order to save it, so to speak. Better to have some cars than none at all. No, I’m not quite ready to condemn the “responsible usage” people to the absolute lowest level of Car Guy Hell, although I will continue to apply random throttle on the freeway to frustrate the ambitions of any would-be hypermilers in my vicinity. No, I think I’ll save the worst of my venom for the most evil so-called enthusiasts in existence, the scum of the motoring earth, the Trauma-Bonders par excellence, the basest filth imaginable. That’s right, I’m referring to those sick bastards who complain about the prices in the Porsche option catalog.