Sunday, February 18, 2007

Negley says... Bryan in The Sunday Times on 4X4 wars and political drama.
As usual all complaints about these articles should be directed to my central complaints site.


  1. Now I'm impressed. The 4x4 article is one of the best you've ever written. Are you going to be on the next series of Top Gear?

  2. ahh but I have nothing against 4x4's like the Fiat Panda and Audi TT. Its those big fat, truck-like things I don't like. Two reasons (a) They look like they are designed to decapitate children. (b) You can't see past them/wave at your friends across the road.

  3. Although, if I was going to quibble - and I'm not, mark you - but if I was going to quibble, I'd quibble over those politically-correct remarks about women being better at sex AND driving. Now, you might be trying to mend things with the missus, Bryan, after your fling with Gabby, but honestly! Sex AND driving?

  4. Bryan,

    you certainly gave me a new perspective on 4x4 debate. Quite provoking and I see you enjoyed your trials with Land Rover.

    Top Gear tonight trashed 4x4s, ridiculed Kia (small car, low CO2 emissons) but extoled virtues of some fast gas guzzlers with shows of virtuosity (!?) driving on an empty airfield. So, boys had their toys and thought they are ultra smart!

    Plus ca change.

  5. I dislike 4x4s for the simple reason that they are too wide for narrow roads and you have to keep making tiring and irritating judgements about whether you need to stop to let them by. These days it's like everything on the road is a bus.

    The political drama article was very good.

    What's with this Negley thing? Negley....immortality... Is it some sort of Blair-like crisis about your legacy?

  6. Negley is my mascot. I needed one. But, yes, it is a crisis about my legacy in so many ways.

  7. The great thing about Top Gear is that it provides two installments of pleasure each week: first there is the show on Sunday night itself (and last night's was brilliant); and secondly, there is the pleasure to be had, during the subsequent week, of listening to the carping and complaining from the prigs and the sanctimonious kill-joys.

    Of course, the presenters behave like boys with toys. But this is the virtue of the show. There's an implicit moral assumption which underlies all accusations of childish behaviour: namely, that behaving like an adult is morally superior to behaving like a child. On the contrary, I would argue, to behave like a child is to be joyous and care-free, and to do something for its own sake. Behaving like a child is a good thing to do.

  8. Hello Bryan

    I cannot understand why it is a problem to admit that despising 4x4's is to do with class hatred rather than only the environmental. What precisely is wrong with class hatred? The emissions issue as you say is murky - and the problem we have brought upon ourselves, melting ice sheets and so on and on, is to do with CARS not 4x4's. What is most interesting is that the revolting motor industry and its frontmen like the Top Gear presenters, have found in the 4x4 a means of sharpening, exposing, celebrating class divisions: emissions are secondary. The question then is more interesting: why have we re-invented class struggle on the road? Now of course a Jag versus a modest Citroen, like the one I drive, was already symptom of status and wealth. But the aggressive new 'forms' of the 4x4 have fundamentally changed that: they resemble tanks (many are German, made by Hitler's own car company VW)and are designed to bear down and indeed kill members of other social classes. By all means let's find out what they emit: but I am not sure if we yet understand what they mean.

    Chris H

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