Top Gear: British Tossers

Via Ben.

Top Gear set it up to be a battle of Youth versus Tradition via a hill climb. Hill climbs in themselves are the preferred motorsport of middle-class dead wood. Get the Sprite cruising and see how many heads it turns (that is if the stodgey tweed covered driver doesn’t get stabbed by some chavs). The ‘measure’ of the competition needs to be ‘measured’ itself.

Now the offensive thing about this clip is that the Austin Healey club represents the children of the middle-class, white British car owners of the 1960s (or those that aspired to become such people). The 1960s date is important, because after this the flood of non-British, and especially non-European cars took over. Not only is there a class difference between the two groups that the automotive technology is meant to represent (something that isn’t quite there in Australian car culture, because the working classes in Australia could and wanted to access cars before the ‘flood’), but there is a difference of ethnicity, too. The foreign looking car is a reified commodity and technological abstraction of the ‘foreigness’ of class, ethnic, and social age differences.

Of course it is framed as a technological battle between the ‘modern obsession with horsepower’ versus a ‘light, well sorted classic’, but this is code for an excessive baroque non-british automotive technology and correlative schizo-irrational cultural obsession versus a minimalist, masculinist piece of straighforward British ingenuity and paranoid-rationalist cultural obsession respectively.

I am not sure why they didn’t race the R34 Skyline doing donuts at the start of the clip or the Mitsubishi Evo that can be seen in the background towards the end of the clip? lol! No offence, but the show is ‘top gear’ and the Skyline or the Evo would eat both the other cars…

Top Gear. Tossers.

6 replies on “Top Gear: British Tossers”

  1. maybe, we have to work on the possible. It is a political thing…

    But considering my PhD thesis is on contemporary modified-car culture, then I am currently writing, on average, about 2000 words a day over-analysing media-based entertainment and other non-media activities (that may or may not involve entertainment of some description).

    jon, in all seriousness, I would rather suggest that, except for a few, everyone else is under-analysing such television entertainment.

  2. Forgive my glib remarks, and clearly the item was meant to highlight contrasts between old and new engineering in a ‘look how far we’ve come’ kinda way as well as of course the contrasting attitdues of those involved, but the Top Gear boys are hardly deep thinkers and it was produced purely for entertainment and not to delve into deeper philosophical meanings.

    We could go into the subconcious reasons for their invention of that feature but they just wanted a bit of showmanship, and that’s why they didn’t race the Evo or Skyline because they would, as you say, trounce most things.

    Plus, it seems to me you do belittle your arguement by resorting to name-calling. Just because someone likes particular types of cars does that make them socially skewed in one direction or the other? Not necessarilly I would have thought. I used to own a Mustang and still love them, but that doesn’t make me more American than it does British or European, or any more middle / upper class than anything else.

    Mind you, sounds like you’ve got a hell of a thesis on your hands there!

  3. Hmmm, my theory; get to the point. You didn’t like it then? So what? Tv is like that. Anyway, there have already been tests against the Evo8 and Skyline, so why duplicate. And while I’m at it, Top Gear are NOT tossers, and the Top Gear three are very deep thinkers, all well educated men with many years of learning between them. But this is light entertainment, not a programme on Einstein’s theory of relativity.
    Life’s too short to over analyse everything in life. Programmes like Top Gear are there to entertain.
    TV. You rule it or it rules you.

  4. Top Gear is a fucking brilliant. 7.4 Million viewers… so obviously you’re the only retard that doesn’t like it. you’re probably American.

  5. excellent, thanks looie.

    obviously you can read the minds of 7.4 million viewers, because they all must be watching the show cause they believe it is so cool and not because they think that the hosts are tossers that entertain them.

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