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Friday, February 24, 2006

DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION (cont'd) 

I’ve been a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters for two plus years now, and one thing that’s always been a hit with my little brother is my car. First there was the Toyota MR-2 Spyder; now it’s a Mazda RX-8.

In all that time , I have never really inflicted any serious "mentoring" discussions on him (you know, stay in school, don’t do drugs, try not to get anyone pregnant, etc.), but I do emphasize again and again the sports car essentials. You need:
  • Decent power-to-weight ratio.
  • Great handling.
  • Rear wheel drive.
  • Coupe or convertible.
  • Two seats strongly preferable.

(On these last couple of points, the RX-8 is admittedly a compromise, but I have two little kids of my own now).

  • And it absolutely MUST have a stick.
All the badgering and all the cogent arguments came to nothing. A couple of weeks ago, he informed me that all of the cars in his fleet (he plans to be a pro football player, and so he'll be able to afford multiple cars) are going to be automatics. Even the BMW 6-series! Sheesh. I’m still working on him, but what's with these kids today?

Turns out maybe it’s their role models. Daniel Craig, the new 007, can’t shift the gears on his Aston Martin DB5.

UPDATE: Tim Blair notes that Daniel Craig is also afraid of guns and boats. This new James Bond movie is going to resemble a Merchant Ivory production.

1 Comments:

I was a late convert to manual transmission, but you're absolutely right. Even in my putzy old '92 Honda Civic, I loved it. Alas, my current '03 Civic, though it has a bigger engine than the '92 did, is an automatic, and I definitely miss the stick. (We got it sans stick to make it easier for E to handle. Of course, she hasn't driven it once in the two years we've owned it. Sigh.)

On the other hand, it's a helluva lot easier to eat and drive in traffic at the same time with an automatic.

By Blogger THE WARRIOR MONK, at 11:14 AM  

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