Gordon Fitch gcf at
Wed May 23 07:18:12 PDT 2001

Wojtek Sokolowski:
> I think you are reading too much into this SUC (sport unitility car) thing.
> People buy them not to make up for some personal inadequacy or to manifest
> their deep id, but simply because they have been told so by advertisers and
> cued so by others. Contrary to popular belief, the guiding principle of
> human behaviour is following the flock - rather than solipsistic rational
> choices.

There is probably some flocking, but the SUV is so incongruous in its usual context that some further explanation seems called for. One thing I think is significant is that the marketing- psychology material (some just quoted) primarily notices anxiety and hostility as major elements in vehicle choice. The minivan is a womb-like shell; the SUV, a sort of military weapon. Both imply that the world the driver lives and travels in has become a place too hostile for the older automotive decors of sensuality, flow and speed. Considering that this fear appears to be an outcome of the very political and social practices of the class most subject to it, we might be observing a vicious circle, a behavioral sink. If the feedback loop continues undamped, a significant crisis of some sort is to be expected.

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