A friend is putting together an art project called “Tales of Consumerist Trauma” whose exact parameters are unclear to me, but which involves people writing short anecdotes on that theme. Well, short anecdotes are what blogging software was invented for, so here’s my contribution.
A few years back I was driving through a wealthy suburb of Seattle with a few other graduate students from the University of Washington. We were stopped at a red light when a giant black SUV with tinted windows crossed in front of us. As if on cue, everyone chirped out a disparaging comment. Look how gaudy, look how expensive, and you just know the insufferable frat-boy behind the wheel was compensating for his tiny dick. Our light turned green and we drove on. At the next intersection we stopped again, and this time going the other way was a lumbering, tricked out, neon purple low rider. Again everyone chimed in, except this time the graduate students were full of praise. How expressive, how creative–it’s like the car is a work of art. As we left this light behind, I felt distinctly sheepish. The questions of if this counts as a controlled experiment and, if so, what it demonstrates are left as exercises for the reader.