Daily Podcast: By Thy Deeds Thy Bangle Shall Be Known

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
daily podcast by thy deeds thy bangle shall be known

Again, for the record, TTAC has never accused Chris Bangle of being a racist. We accused the BMW designer of racial insensitivity. He singularly failed to realize the potential impact of his "axis of white power" remark on a minority audience. Invidious distinction? Well, the fact that Bangle's apology-free reply dealt entirely with the inadvertent origins of his faux pas— rather than its possible effects on sensitive listeners– does nothing to allay our misgivings. The subtext of his defense: it's all about me. Of course, it isn't about Bangle. It's about his desire (or lack thereof) to respect the dignity of those people who may be offended by an unfortunate turn of phrase. And BMW's responsibility to this same audience. TTAC is no stranger to these issues; we've stepped over these same boundaries. When commentators have pointed out our racial, sexual or political insensitivity, we have immediately withdrawn the offensive text and apologized– despite the fact that we meant no offense. That's the right thing to do. It also seems strange that Bangle felt obliged to deal with criticism of his work BEFORE dealing with the "axis of white power" remark. Clearly, that was really got his goat. Which is just as well. There are those of us who believe the aesthetic indignities that Bangle inflicted on otherwise superb automobiles is a longer-lasting and more egregious error. Your thoughts below.

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  • Philbailey Philbailey on Sep 26, 2007

    Trouble is, the way the whole industry is going, things may never shift the other way. Even if the EU decides to restrict engine size to a ridiculous degree, BMW will still be king of the hill.

  • Johnny Canada Johnny Canada on Sep 26, 2007

    Like most BMW drivers, I'm typically identified as yuppie scum as I blast by in the left lane in my E39 540. Sure, my penis is small, and my driving skills are questionable, but as a member of Herr Bangle's "Axis of White Power", I can't help but feel a sense of entitlement. If that becomes Chris Bangle's only contribution to BMW, then mission accomplished.

  • Philbailey Philbailey on Sep 26, 2007

    The rest of us are so glad that you blast along in the left lane, no doubt flashing your headlights and tailgating as you go.

  • Mrcknievel Mrcknievel on Sep 26, 2007

    BMW playing deaf/mute on this issue is a little surprising, but I guess success is an aegis of sorts. Bangle's designs are ridiculously overdone..it's like he's offended by a flat, clean, piece of metal anywhere near a vehicle he's "designing". At the end of the day though..you'll go broke just selling to enthusiasts...the yuppie airheads keep the lights on and if they want Bimmers with sides that are wavier than the last gen Taurus..you don't say "What?!?!?"...you say "What color?" I guess.