It's a cool summer day. Rain is forecasted. Now would be perfect for walking. I want to walk but I didn't get up until 7:30, started writing, thinking, then posted some thoughts. Now it's coming up on 9:00. I have errands and chores planned for the day. I'll need to walk later, walk out some frustations, found some solitude, escape to isolation.
But I pass my rack of magazines. In one basket is Autoweek's April 16th, 2012 issue. The cover car is the 2013 SRT Viper.
It is sad.
It is red. Shiny. No doubt their glowing descriptions call it mascular and curvaceous, favorite descriptions for the supercar class of vehicles.
The Viper's hood features a power bulge with a NACA duct, reminiscent of the Ferrari 599. Its headlights are like another recent Ferrari while its grill has Alfa flavors. The roofline is old Viper with the Gurney bumps and the side is updated Viper.
Second Coming of Awesome, the magazine's headline calls.
Here is the problem. We're celebrating the solution to a problem that doesn't need to be solved, refining old technology to change things and call those changes 'better'.
But what is better here? That is has more horsepower, can reach higher top speeds, accelerate faster, costs more money, is more comfortable?
It's considered better for Chrysler, of course. They have a performance flagship to spread the brand's name and improve its image, which will cause people to want and buy their cars, because this is a showcase of technology.
It is a showcase, all right, of misplaced priorities and needs. The 2013 Viper can be our recruiting poster for our problems but you can substitute our pursuit of new and 'better' smart phones, television, computers, shoes and fashion, and 'redecorating our houses'. We're such a society of waste, a civilization of waste. With so many problems that really require attention, we sink time and money in idle pursuits.
Yet, listen to me talk, walking for a corporation to make money, writing fantasy and science fiction.
Talk about escape.
So you if want to talk about problems and challenges, put me on the poster.
And that's the problem and challenge. So many are like me.
I have met the problem and it is us.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com