Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Car My Kiki No More

In a hilarious article for Salon, Gary Kamiya wonders about the effects of Chrysler's "Fiat-ization" on the American Male's psyche, asking, "Can a nation of dudes whose sexual self-image was built on macho Jeeps survive the rise of the Little Mouse [aka Fiat 500]?"
"Ever since the first American car clanked off an assembly line, American males have been programmed to associate virility with large, overpowered steel-and-chrome automobiles, preferably adorned with tumescent hood ornaments and protruding, D-cup-size bumper boobs," Kamiya writes. "Buffeted by divorce, feminism, potbellies, a useless repertoire of lame pickup lines and the thousand other natural shocks that flesh is heir to, the long-suffering American male has always known he could find solace in the long, rigid-chassis object reposing in his garage. Indeed, only their function as a kind of auxiliary national phallus can explain why Detroit's gas-guzzling dinosaurs have survived as long as they have."

Given the Italians' "French" reputation as lousy warriors -- nothing like those tough Germans and Japanese -- could the American Male be in danger of turning effeminate Euro-socialist, his macho weenie shrunk to "Little Mouse" size? Not necessarily. As, Kamiya reminds us, "For an entire generation of Italians, [the Fiat 500] was literally sex on wheels," and "While Americans may have their doubts about the sexiness of Italian cars, they have no such misgivings about the sexiness of Italians [as ultimate lovers]."

All this takeover business will surely challenge America's sexual imagery, "But if it saves American jobs and pumps up American libidos, what patriot would shrink from the sacrifice?"
illustration Google Images

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