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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 01-13-08, 05:48 PM   #1
bigbadwimp
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Allow me this quick rant...

I lurk here more than I post since I'm not car-free. Our family has a car and I also ride a motorcycle so we're sort of car-lite at best. But this doesn't mean that our car dependence doesn't annoy me.

This is why the current run of Dodge Caravan commercials are starting to piss me off:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk6xYKc5IvE

Basic message: The more you drive our car the better your quality of life will be. The family hated each other before but now that they have a Dodge Caravan they love each other instead.

Sorry, just wanted to vent.
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Old 01-13-08, 07:05 PM   #2
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Clearly, driving a "high quality" motor vehicle really will improve your quality of life.
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Old 01-13-08, 07:10 PM   #3
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Good point. Car commercials often aren't about what the car can actually do; they're about the changes a car can't bring. Instead of discussing things like the number of people and amount of cargo it can haul, the fuel economy, safety features, reliability or even the warranty, commercials often seem to be about comfort and image. Those things have nothing at all to do with the purpose of a car, which is moving people and goods from one place to another. (And besides, if you're a jerk before you buy an expensive and fancy car, you'll still be a jerk afterwards.)
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Old 01-13-08, 07:42 PM   #4
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^ Agreed , and that commercial is pathetic.
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Old 01-13-08, 09:58 PM   #5
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Ya know...

I spent a summer with a family of two parents and two teenage boys.

One place where they seemed to spend quality time was in their van.

I vividly remember on particular evening, returning home with them after we all went out to dinner, and as soon as everyone came inside, the two boys disappeared into their rooms to watch TV -- and so did the parents. I was standing there, all by myself in the foyer, wondering where the family had disappeared to, especially after everyone was having a fun evening, eating at a good restaurant and laughing & joking in the van.

It was just weird.

FWIW, this commercial pitch isn't much different from how they pushed station wagons a few decades ago. The only difference is the height of the vehicle.
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Old 01-14-08, 12:11 AM   #6
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If there were some feature that made the vehicle stand out above the competition in any given commercial, such as the fuel economy, safety features, reliability or even the warranty, rest assured that they would point it out. Sometimes, what they do not say is so loud I can't hear what they do say!
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Old 01-14-08, 05:57 AM   #7
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I will say I'm glad to see all the Christmas car commercials are over for the year. The idea of a car as a Christmas present boggles my mind and there's yet another skewed message of: "Buy this car, your spouse, daughter, father, etc. will love you for it.
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Old 01-14-08, 07:10 AM   #8
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It's the same thing as any other commercials you've ever seen. They advertise ideas, because you already know the product. You won't remember the Sto-An-Go seating, rotating captains chairs, and rear entertainment system when you go to the dealer, but what you will think about as you're going, is how happy you're all going to be. IMO beer commercials are the worst, followed quickly by men's hairdyes/women's beauty crap/clothing. I've never once seen a guy drinking a Coors light, then switch to a Bud Select, and all of a sudden turn into a well tasted rock star who's the life of the party and has to fight the women off of him.

What you're really mad about is Western Culture and its roots in materialism...

That commerical still pisses me off too though .
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Old 01-14-08, 07:39 AM   #9
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I think the ultimate in this is the "Pimp My Ride" show. What always gets me is the end testimonials by the officially pimped person and their friends: how this car is now going to get them some Real Life, get them to school / work on time and with dignity, get their friends to ride with them etc... They focus so much on the change this car will supposedly bring in their life, it's almost painful to watch.

Let's see. You used to drive a POS '79 Corolla. You then smashed in a couple of its windows and removed passenger side floor to qualify for the show. After the show you have a POS '79 Corolla with new paint, windows and floor, and two Playstations thrown in the trunk. You consider this a truly deep and profound change in your life?

I'd love to see the agreement they had to sign with the show, the one that defines how they must play along to get their 15 minutes of fame. Also, does anyone know if they do follow-ups? It would be interesting to see if ANY of that junk is still running after 3 years, for example.

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Old 01-14-08, 07:52 AM   #10
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what??!! The car makers are trying to sell cars based on irrational EMOTIONAL APPEAL!!??

NO!!!!!!

SAY IT AINT SO!!!

/sarcastic/
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Old 01-14-08, 10:33 AM   #11
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It's the same thing as any other commercials you've ever seen. They advertise ideas, because you already know the product. You won't remember the Sto-An-Go seating, rotating captains chairs, and rear entertainment system when you go to the dealer, but what you will think about as you're going, is how happy you're all going to be. IMO beer commercials are the worst, followed quickly by men's hairdyes/women's beauty crap/clothing. I've never once seen a guy drinking a Coors light, then switch to a Bud Select, and all of a sudden turn into a well tasted rock star who's the life of the party and has to fight the women off of him.

What you're really mad about is Western Culture and its roots in materialism...

That commerical still pisses me off too though .
Oh I'm well aware of this Rocco. It's just that I happened to see the Dodge commercial for the umpteenth time and needed to vent. I could probably go on and on about the media in all it's forms but I'm not near eloquent enough to make myself clear.
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Old 01-14-08, 10:54 AM   #12
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Clearly, driving a "high quality" motor vehicle really will improve your quality of life.
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Old 01-14-08, 10:59 AM   #13
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Clearly, driving a "high quality" motor vehicle really will improve your quality of life.
Funny, not only did going car free improve my quality of life mentally it did so physically also. The last doctor’s visit I had before getting rid of my car the he mentioned that my blood pressure was getting high enough that I was going to have to start looking at taking medication. Since cycling blood pressure is not a even topic when I visit the doctor. I would like to see a car do that.

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Old 01-14-08, 11:12 AM   #14
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I'd love to see the agreement they had to sign with the show, the one that defines how they must play along to get their 15 minutes of fame. Also, does anyone know if they do follow-ups? It would be interesting to see if ANY of that junk is still running after 3 years, for example.
I have seen this show a few times and all I have to say is what the hell. I never see them do any type of mechanical repair, just some really over the top crap that would be prone to breaking or getting stolen. One of the episodes I saw they put a cotton candy maker in the trunk? Yeah this would go over real well with Houston heat and roaches.
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Old 01-17-08, 09:50 PM   #15
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(And besides, if you're a jerk before you buy an expensive and fancy car, you'll still be a jerk afterwards.)
Actually, I find that jerks become an even wose jerk behind the wheel of a flash car.

Ya, know, I love to drive. It's just these days, I see the true cost.

Also, it's hard to actually drive, these days, it's more like moving your car from one traffic jam to the next.
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Old 01-18-08, 12:48 PM   #16
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I think the ultimate in this is the "Pimp My Ride" show. What always gets me is the end testimonials by the officially pimped person and their friends: how this car is now going to get them some Real Life, get them to school / work on time and with dignity, get their friends to ride with them etc... They focus so much on the change this car will supposedly bring in their life, it's almost painful to watch.
While Overhauling is interesting because you see the work that went into the car and the build quality usually seems to be fairly good, "Pimp My Ride" pumps out toy cars. In one show they pulled out the back seat to put in some monster speakers, then installed TV monitors into the backs of the front seat head rests. Now, with no rear seat, who is going to watch them. In another car, they put a camera in the trunk that would take a picture every time the trunk was opened. The cars tend to be so garish its disturbing. At least Monster Garage never claimed that their cars should be considered streetable, and when they did poorly, Jesse James at least had the decency to dispose of the car.
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Old 01-18-08, 01:46 PM   #17
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I understand your frustration. Commercials will almost always pander to our fragile self-esteem.

In today's instant-gratification-consumer-marketplace, I'm reminded of a Queen song that starts like this, "I want it all, I want it all, I want it all...and I want it now."

IMHO, 95% of the TV out there sucks. That's probably why I don't own one. Whenever I'm at a friend's place, and I watch some TV, it's quite transparent. On at least two levels.

If you have the fortitude, shut it off.
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Old 01-18-08, 01:59 PM   #18
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I will say I'm glad to see all the Christmas car commercials are over for the year. The idea of a car as a Christmas present boggles my mind and there's yet another skewed message of: "Buy this car, your spouse, daughter, father, etc. will love you for it.
That reminds me of how ridiculous a car looks with a giant gift bow on it.
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Old 01-18-08, 02:00 PM   #19
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I understand your frustration. Commercials will almost always pander to our fragile self-esteem.

In today's instant-gratification-consumer-marketplace, I'm reminded of a Queen song that starts like this, "I want it all, I want it all, I want it all...and I want it now."

IMHO, 95% of the TV out there sucks. That's probably why I don't own one. Whenever I'm at a friend's place, and I watch some TV, it's quite transparent. On at least two levels.

If you have the fortitude, shut it off.
+1000

Im TV-light though. Netflix only. No broadcast programming at all.
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Old 01-18-08, 06:31 PM   #20
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I understand your frustration. Commercials will almost always pander to our fragile self-esteem.

In today's instant-gratification-consumer-marketplace, I'm reminded of a Queen song that starts like this, "I want it all, I want it all, I want it all...and I want it now."

IMHO, 95% of the TV out there sucks. That's probably why I don't own one. Whenever I'm at a friend's place, and I watch some TV, it's quite transparent. On at least two levels.

If you have the fortitude, shut it off.
+1 or get rid of it completely! When I was growing up my parents refused to have a television in the house, I was out of high school before I got one of my own...and what a waste of money, when I think back on it.

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Old 01-19-08, 08:57 AM   #21
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Funny, not only did going car free improve my quality of life mentally it did so physically also. The last doctor’s visit I had before getting rid of my car the he mentioned that my blood pressure was getting high enough that I was going to have to start looking at taking medication. Since cycling blood pressure is not a even topic when I visit the doctor. I would like to see a car do that.
I was taking a blood pressure medication before I started riding everywhere. At one point (without the medicine) my blood pressure was 180/110. Now it's consistently 120/80 every time. The doctor originally thought my high blood pressure was genetic, but it turns out it was basically caused by the stress of driving and the lack of exercise involved. So I, too, would like to see a car do that!

Also, that commercial reminds me why I stopped watching television.
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Old 01-19-08, 12:59 PM   #22
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I was taking a blood pressure medication before I started riding everywhere. At one point (without the medicine) my blood pressure was 180/110. Now it's consistently 120/80 every time. The doctor originally thought my high blood pressure was genetic, but it turns out it was basically caused by the stress of driving and the lack of exercise involved. So I, too, would like to see a car do that!

Also, that commercial reminds me why I stopped watching television.
Time for truth in advertising!

Show real people hooked up to blood pressure monitors whilst driving around in traffic jams .

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Old 01-20-08, 09:44 AM   #23
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Time for truth in advertising!

Show real people hooked up to blood pressure monitors whilst driving around in traffic jams .

East Hill
BTW, before I started biking again, my resting pulse rate would sometimes be over 100, and was always at least 8X. Now it's never more like 65.
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