|Cars - what's not to like?|
Top Gear fetishises the totally unnecessary consumption of fossil fuels in the name of sport, entertainment and feeling better about your premature ejaculation disorder; it normalises dangerously fast driving; it contributes to the hunger for more and more cars that we neither need nor can sustain; it treats the sheer act of moving a machine as if it’s a display of heroic bravery and skill; and it paid Jeremy Clarkson’s salary for over 25 years.
I don't know where to start with all the goodness in this quotation for it gets right to the heart of Top Gear's appeal which is to wave those two fingers made famous by English archers at Agincourt in the direction of all the spiritless, pinched, judgemental, snobbish bores like Nell Frizzell, its writer. What Top Gear provides is a brief escape from the endless dribble about climate change, from the institutionalised attack on the motor car, and from the dreary moral high ground inhabited by people who write for The Guardian and appear on Channel 4 News.
Cars are great. They sit at the heart of our civilization. Nearly 90% of journeys made are made in cars. The manufacture, sale, maintenance and support of cars is a massive slug of our economy. The modern car is a remarkable feat of engineering, filled with innovation in engine management, fuel efficiency, communications and comfort. And millions - I really mean millions, far more than ever even glance at The Guardian - enjoy the stuff that goes with cars and motor sport.
So Nell Frizzell doesn't like cars (I probably don't believe her on this one but we'll take her at her word). That is, without question, her loss. For the rest of us, we'll carry on enjoying programmes that celebrate cars and car culture, that do so with wit and charm, and that provide the tiniest piece of opposition to the endless boilerplate of green nonsense that infects our media.