stockholm syndrome

Yes I know the most recent episode of top gear purposefully, erroneously referred to this. Message to them: the ‘it’s technologically impressive so it lacks soul’ routine is boring. Say something new.

The only good bits in that whole six eps were 1) Rowan Atkinson: he’s such a great speaker – voice, intonation and vocab. He could’ve easily gone into politics. Why not Atkinson for President of UK? He could sort their mess out. And 2) the 2011 nissan GT-R: technological excellence.


Perhaps as another indicator that I want to go back is I’ve been browsing through used cars on an australian website. Funny considering I don’t have a driver’s license. The don’t seem that expensive.

<a href=”” title=”mx-5-5450 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”240″ height=”180″ alt=”mx-5-5450″></a>

What about this 1989 mazda mx-5? Only five and a half thousand and can probably go lower. Sporty. Easy on petrol… but even a friendless weirdo like me would eventually end up in a situation where I had more than one other person to transport, so two seats seems rather limiting.

<a href=”” title=”1998-wrx by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”240″ height=”183″ alt=”1998-wrx”></a>

What about this 1998 subaru impreza? From subaru’s rally years. Sporty. 4 doors. A bit more expensive at $9000 but only 190K kms on the clock – not bad for these.

<a href=”” title=”volvo-244 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”240″ height=”153″ alt=”volvo-244″></a>

Lo! But what’s this? A beige (biscuit, officially) 1981 volvo 244 for only $1200? The bourgy middle-classness is perverse yet enticing, like slipping into a bath of luke-warm baked beans. The only real cars my family had during my childhood were two volvo 245 stationwagons, one after the other during the early/mid 80s. I can remember when I first sat in the first one and being amazed by how many buttons were on the central console — it was like K.I.T from Nightrider! As I got to teenagerdom being in and being seen in a volvo was less fun but it’s one of those smaller things that made me who I am. Maybe owning one of these things would be a way of reowning and setting straight that part of my life.

<a href=”” title=”interior-244 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”359″ alt=”interior-244″></a>

1991 was 20 years ago

I mentioned before I was really enjoying Top Gear. I’d say they jumped the shark around 2007-08. I haven’t watched the most recent season, but I just finished the one before that and unfortunately it was low on content and leaned heavily on over-mortgaged personalities. And so it was amusing to take a look at how things were back in 1989. Was TV really that … um, <em>bad</em>? It doesn’t feel that long ago.

Here’s Clarkeson dressed like Tears for Fears.

<a href=”” title=”jeremyclarkeson-1989 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”379″ alt=”jeremyclarkeson-1989″ /></a>

“What on Earth is this? It’s a Marina.”

all we know is, he’s called …

I’ve been watching Top Gear quite a bit this year. It’s taken over as what I look at while eating dinner I’ve cooked. I completely stopped watching the SBS news because is was so much garbage. It’s part of admitting and getting back to my boyhood roots. I like cars. For a while it conflicted with my ‘oh what about the environment?!’ phase but I’m not really thinking that we humanoids and out contraptions are the real problem.

Top Gear is a bit formulaic but it’s good fun. I was really impressed with the Arctic special they did. They were the first ones to drive a car to the North Pole, they raced there against a dog-team, documented it and shoved it all into one 60minute episode. On American tv of the ‘survivor’ calibre that’d be strung out into a 14-part series.

I have been watching from the early series’, when they didn’t even had May, they had some fat bloke who like to talk about used cars. They used to have a black Stig. But I guess he had other job offers so he left. They got the white one.

And recently, in the news I see that the guy who is/was the stig won some court appeal to release a book about himself. Like when Luke got Darth’s mask off at the end of _Return of the Jedi_ it was a bit of a disappointment. He’s just some formula 3 driver. I thought it was Damon Hill.

The interesting thing is that it seems like in this day and age, no one can be famous and not want to get the recognition the think they deserve. Surely this guy was getting paid enough by the BBC, so I am thinking the money from book sales was not the motivator. He just couldn’t not be famous. The thing is, I think he’s a lot less interesting now.