Jamie Kitman, New York bureau chief of Automobile Magazine, writes in the February ’14 issue about the difficulty of being a left-of-center car buff:
Many of my more extreme fellow travelers on the left end of the dial disdain any interest in cars, much less full-blown habits like mine. Automobiles, they’ll tell you, are vulgar, polluting mechanical expressions of the will to power and male sexual insecurity, hence emblematic and highly beloved of the patriarchal, capitalist war machine.
“Well, duh!” I reply. But cars are useful, sometimes essential, and often a lot of fun.
Critics on the right brand me and my kind as freedom-suffocating communists, because we like cars but believe the law ought to require that air and water be clean, that cars be safe, and that manufacturers who break those rules or are found guilty of gross negligence in the design and manufacture of dangerous machinery and fuels ought to be held accountable.
The tricky part here is coming up with a definition of “safe” — or, for that matter, of “gross negligence.”
Okay, there’s one thing trickier: finding a suitably female counterpart to some phallic sports job like Jaguar’s original E-Type.
Then again, in my neck of the woods, both men and women tend to drive humongous trucks or cars that try their darnedest to look like humongous trucks; there are, of course, parts of the country that find this practice somewhere between inscrutable and inflammatory.