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February 14, 2002
Buy It from the Blue Monster

Gorilla at auto dealership

I've been thinking more about the float put up by the GM dealership at Tysons Corner. It's a good companion to the obnoxious ads devised by the auto industry to "keep America rolling." Bombs apparently are not enough to drive home the point; this is how one avenges the murder of 3,000 innocent people, by buying buying buying, preferably large vehicles. There's interest-free financing to help you out. If you don't buy, surely the terrorists win.

The gorilla stands tall, underscoring how primal this type of conflict is when you strip away the suits. It's a personification (well, gorillification) of amplifying one's voice to win arguments, of simplifying perspectives to eliminate nuances, of reductionist thinking that will stomp on you like Kong and prevail thanks to its avalanche effect.

The gorilla speaks to us and we agree. Since Sept. 11, car sales have been up despite the sagging economy, and an increasing percentage is made up of pickup trucks and SUVs, few of which will be used to carry us to the backcountry or transport heavy goods; they will move our swaggering posteriors and hulking Oblomov brains instead.

Or perhaps I'm doing the same thing, painting a picture with overly broad strokes, and it's just a harmless balloon, infinitely cuddly with its harmless pudginess and sparkling green eyes.

Gorilla at auto dealership

Gorilla at auto dealership


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