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I totally agree.




Oh yes.
And on that bombshell....
good night!

Love it!


Great piece of reflection! I'd like to flag it up on the blog if that's OK (obviously with due credit to the Lambretta riding non Reverend of the emerging Telford).

BTW Greetings from Oxford :-)

Just came across this today - somewhat relevant here: "How Would Jesus Roll?"

Massive rims fit for the Almighty himself.

Ian, thanks mate, feel free to post it... BTW I am in Oxford teaching at CYM on Wednesday... oh, and its a Vespa not a Lambretta ;)

Welcome to all who have clicked the Jalopnik blogs link... just to say, I'm 100% with TG on their re-think... they are going with the culture, not seeking to shore up the monolith of modernity... good on them I say... and hasn't it worked for them!?

I'm not sure if there is much post-modern about men and toys / gadgets, men being boys and all that - Men have always been like that havn't they? And I don't feel like celebrating a programme that encourages and celebrates stunts, speed, anti-environemtnalism and ladism.

If they are being post-modern - then perhaps modernity wasn't so bad...


TBH James; first, as I said it was just a bit of fun... second, it was much more about style than content - ie. how the programme format has changed and how it flagged up some of the things cultural futurists have being saying about the transitional paradigm... thirdly, I agree in terms of the anti-environmentalism - but you know I do think that some of the worthy political corectness we hear today does as much damage to multi-culturalism and culture in general... the intolerance of tolerance etc. I don't know what "Ladism" is other than a construct of the "moral minority" if as you say Men have always been "boys"... If political correctness takes all the fun and risk out of life then I'll stick with plain old respect and care for individuals, communitiy and society etc.

Another aspect of the paradigm shift might be breaking links with (or indeed completely ignoring) history: According to that Top Gear link you gave, they are now in series 9 and the programme began in 2002. In fact it has run from 1977 to the present day. But anything pre its remodelling in 2002 the official website chooses to ignore.

Of course, post-modernity does have some uses for history, but tends to 'cherry-pick' from the past things it can use in the present. Otherwise it tends to dwell in an eternal 'now'. IMO.

Hi Mark,

Wow – I feel that you have just laid several labels on me – Political correctness , part of the moral minority and one who wants to stop play amongst other things. What did I say…?? In my mind I dared to question the pursuit of men and cars (for me speed and power and young boys and cars is a desperate cry for some meaning and need to belong - some sort of rite of passage stuck in a patriarchal paradigm.) and the possibility that this may be an expression of immature masculinity.

I wasn’t aware that to be environmentally aware was engaging in being politically correct – for me it is a matter of great importance grounded in the sacramental and expressed in a respect for the interconnectedness of all life.

I also wasn’t aware that to question the pursuits of men and cars meant that I couldn’t therefore enjoy and foster playfulness. Surely play and risk doesn’t have to include power, ego, performance, competition, speed and destruction of the planet ?

Hi James, Sorry if you felt I was labelling you, that was not my specific intention.

As I said in my comment I totally agree with you on the question of the environment, so no I wouldn't say that was PC at all nor would I diminish it's importance.

I don't fully agree with you in regard of speed etc. I think there is a peacock mentality in terms of young people/"boy racers" etc... that I agree may have an element of "immature masculinity", which is no surprise... but I think the road you seem to be suggesting going down may well lead not to a "mature" masculinity rather to an emmasculated one. I don't "support" a "patriarchal paradigm" neither do I support one where competition and pushing oneself or ones experiences are deemed innapropriate... I guess that seems an immature cultural paradigm to me. I love climbing mountains, getting to the summit... does that make me immature? well if so, so be it! I'm not 100% in sympathy with "Wild at heart" - mainly because it doesn't encourage women to take risks etc. in the ay it does men... but I think there is something in stepping out of the passive rational culture and embracing some of the gut instinct, the wildness etc. both men and women, rather than a egoless culture of apologists. Interesting that there are as many women in the audiance (in the studio and watching) as there are men... and women Celebs seem to do better at the "star in a reasonably priced car" than the men!

I'm not sugessting that play has to include the things you mention (I share your concern for the planet) but neither do I have a problem with ego, performance, speed or competition per se (I'm not sure which manifestation of power you refer to?) Nor am I making any great claims for the cultural significance of the programme TBH the post was simply a reflection, I was watching Top Gear the other night and it struck me that the show seemed to illustrate many of the elements thought by many to be characteristic of the transitional culture... at the time I wasn't "celebrating" the show specifically. I do like the show, with some reservations and the vast majority of people I know; male, female and of varying ages do to, none of them are "boy racers"!

It's an interesting observation - and I suspect you are onto something.

Just wondering how the top gear piece on the US' deep south fits into this?


I'm not trying to provoke - it is a genuine question because to me how we navigate the global/local thing is very telling in this age.

TBH when I watched this I couldn't make up my mind how much of this was a set-up, recently they did a similar thing on Caravans which was clearly a mix of real and set-up footage. There are some questions for me about it as a "real" film... like How on earth did Clarkson get that bloated cow onto the roof of his car on his own? In terms of the painting on the car, some of it I found funny (Nascar, Country and Western and Hilary Clinton) and TBH of you cannot say those things without getting stones thrown at you then questions should be asked about the culture and the rule of law etc. The "Man-love" thing was pushing the boundaries for me... i.e. it was more than simply provocative... but again, I'd ask does one not have freedom of speech in Alabama? The most shocking things about it for me where the state of New Orleans a year on... that asked some serious questions of the "richest country in the world" and it's institutional racism and clascism (mind you I'd seen Spike Lee's documentary so it was no great surprise to me) and the (alleged) attitude of the Christian Charity worker who theratened to sue them for mis-representation of a car they were giving to the Charity for free! That paints a very bad picture of Christianity in the states.

The proviso to all this is still the question..."was it real?", I have no real problem with provocative action if it is intended to reveal the underbelly of truth, and humour can make political points very powerfully, even sometimes be instrumental in change! ... and there have been lots of words like "racist" flung about about Clarkson with no evidence, and whether it is "funny" or not is a subjective matter. The other question is in a Global context how much do we respect and how much do we challenge other cultures, I do think there is a both/and situation, we have to challenge oppression, prejudice, abuse in other cultures (female circumcision being a well covered example) whilst being fully aware of the "log" in our own cultures eye... and doing something about that too.

I had the dubious pleasure of being a driver at an 11 year old's birthday party yesterday. Top Gear was THE topic of conversation in the car and when I asked the boys about it they all agreed it was their favourite show and the one everyone spoke about at school. The reasons for this did not strike me as being particularly post-modern; they just loved the way they smashed things up, liked the cow on the roof and one of them enjoyed trying to explain the numerous anti-gay sentiments to the others.
A new fan base? Successful marketing to an emerging market. Beer swilling rugger boys of the future?
I hope they've grown out of it by the time they are 12! They might want to borrow the car.

Lot of useful information are there. Its really keeps me updated. Thanks to Author.

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