The Booth Babe Chronicles: Narcissism And You: An Automotive Primer

The Booth Babe
by The Booth Babe

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 And if you treat her nicely, read her each Sunday at

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  • RogerB34 RogerB34 on Jun 17, 2010

    I can relate to those who DIY their ride maintenance. At least they are interested enough to pay the personal effort price to enjoy their inclination. Had I done that, we would not have been able to provide 5 years each and fully paid college for two daughters. Cars didn't fit though it did require DIY two Fords purchased 2 - 3 years old for cash and sold when they were each 21 years old. Cars didn't fit to the objective of a house free and clear at 65. With the market crash of 2008 came loss of 401k's and homes upside down for many over 50. When they should have had the end objective in sight the dream is gone. Was the satisfacton of a car worth it?

  • Shortthrowsixspeed Shortthrowsixspeed on Jun 21, 2010

    As has been pointed out, the same can be said of what you wear, do for a living, neighborhood you live in, food you eat etc. that said, this is a car site, so the "what does your car say about you" thing makes sense. however, to be fair we should be taking into consideration what people can afford as well. the civic says much more about it's driver if he's a CEO rather than a college student. for me, i'm driving a 2003 mazda protege. at the time i bought it i was right out of college and couldn't afford more than 15K. My choices were civic, corolla, sentra, ion, or protege (because i couldn't stomach the other offerings). In the end I chose the best driving experience of those three without giving up fuel economy or reliability. Also I got a great deal because the new Mazda3 was debuting and the dealer was giving (not literally) the proteges away to make room (part of me wishes I waited for the 3 and just got a base model, but c'est la vie). now, if i had the means would i go for something nicer? yeah. i'd like some leather interior, more sound dampening, and a few more horses. but i still love my protege.

  • Johnny ringo It's an interesting vehicle, I'd like to see VW offer the two row Buzz in the states also.
  • Chuck Norton And guys are having wide spread issues with the 10 speed transmission with the HP numbers out of the factory......
  • Zerofoo "Hyundais just got better and better during the 1990s, though, and memories of those shoddy Excels faded."Never. A friend had an early 90s Hyundai Excel as his college beater. One day he decided that the last tank of gas he bought was worth more than the car. He drove it to empty and then he and his fraternity brothers pushed it into the woods and left it there.
  • Kwik_Shift There are no new Renegades for sale within my geographic circle of up to 85 kms. Looks like the artificial shortage game. They bring one in, 10 buyers line up for it, $10,000 over MSRP. Yeah. Like with a lot of new cars.
  • Ribbedroof In Oklahoma, no less!