Earlier this week on my blog I wrote about narcissism – specifically of whether or not bloggers are by nature narcissistic and if gender makes a difference in that judgment. As I linked in that entry, Justine Musk, soon-to-be ex of Tesla head Elon Musk, had some interesting ruminations on the subject if you care to read it.
Anyway, between Musk’s thoughts, another run-in with an Unnecessary Truck and this awful situation in the Gulf, self-involved tendencies have been weighing heavily on my mind of late. Being so selfish has certainly led to that disaster, but I also don’t think you can argue with the fact that many of our choices as consumers are driven not by necessity, but by pure narcissism.
Take that aforementioned Unnecessary Truck, for example. To reiterate, I am not talking about pickups driven for legitimate professional purposes, or that are frequently used to haul boats and dirt bikes and trailers and the like. I mean the ones that are purchased for no other reason than to fuel an already overinflated ego. After all, why else would you drive something so heavy, inefficient and large, put obnoxious and borderline obscene stickers all over it, then park it across three spaces? Because you crave attention. Because it’s all about you.
Or the very wealthy man who buys a very rare, extraordinarily expensive supercar and never takes it on the track, but instead merely drives it back and forth to his favorite nightspot. The sole purpose it to be seen, to get laid, to make people turn their heads, to wonder who you are and what you did to make so much extra cash that you can afford this million dollar Bugatti Veyron (the answer to which is more likely than not porn or drugs). A car like that was born for the high speeds you can really only get on a track, and if you’re not going to drive the hell out of it why bother? Of course – narcissism.
And of course this phenomenon extends to the new “green” world of hybrids. Mindset Media did a study a couple of years ago to develop a psychological profile of the average hybrid driver: better educated, wealthier, highly creative, more liberal and a bit older than the average car owner. There is also a definite subset that buys a hybrid in large part because they want to be seen as the type that drives a hybrid, regardless of whether or not they even recycle at home. While I’ll agree that every little bit helps, if you’re really that serious about saving the environment then you should be powering your toaster with a stationary bike a la Ed Begley Jr.
What does your car say about you?
The Booth Babe is an anonymous auto show model who dishes about what really goes on behind the scenes. Read her blog at http://doyoucomewiththecar.blogspot.com. And if you treat her nicely, read her each Sunday at Thetruthaboutcars.com