Merry Christmas to all at RG! Wait a minute Klockau, you may be thinking, why are you writing a post on a day of rest, relaxation, celebration? Easy, I am typing this at approximately 3:35 PM Saturday, December 22nd. This particular Sedan de Ville is about as holiday-hued as you can get, at least this side of a Continental Mark IV Lipstick Luxury Group or Jeep Grand Cherokee Orvis Edition, anyway. But I digress! So if you are avoiding relatives or hiding out with the last of the Christmas cookies, here’s something to read.
As cultural headshots go, the idea of “fragile masculinity” is just about perfect. Grown from the Marxist concept of hegemonic masculinity, it adopts Saul Alinsky’s fifth Rule For Radicals (“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon”) to associate the legitimately risible — “Is it gay to use scented soap?” — with the traditionally male — “Shouldn’t I, the husband, have the final authority in my house?” Naturally, the media uses it with abandon, creating the hashtag #MasculinitySoFragile to drive the nails into the coffin just that much further in hopes of immanentizing the eschaton before the 2020 election.
You suffer from fragile masculinity if you voted for Trump, at least according to the Post, which published a study on the topic. (Even if you’re a woman.) If you disapprove of relaxing the standards applied to firefighters or SWAT troops or Green Berets so more women can qualify, your masculinity is fragile. If you own a gun… well, I’m literally shaking right now, I can’t even, wow just wow. In fact, if you are any more conventionally “manly” than the nu-male in the Swagger Wagon ad, you have gone right past Fragile Masculinity, all the way to Toxic Masculinity. Even African-American men can suffer from Fragile Masculinity, although in their case it was. apparently, forced upon them by white men.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the idea of fragile masculinity is also, you guessed it, a sign of fragile masculinity. Pay no attention to the non-binary character behind the curtain. If you see something, say nothing.
Ah, but this isn’t the Fragile Masculinity Edition of Weekly Roundup, it’s the Masculine Fragility Edition. Which, as you will see, means something quite different.
It occurred to me recently that I’ve only used about one-third of the pictures my friend Jayson Coombes took at the Gilmore this past September. So here we go, for another round! Like before, this is pretty much visual, with little to no text. Enjoy!
Note: Today’s guest post is by Barry Wolk, a friend of mine and Lincoln owner. His Mark II convertible is well-known in collector circles, and appeared on Hemmings Classic Car several years ago. There has been a lot of flack on the 2017-present Lincoln Continental, and social media and third-rate blogging sites are awash in fear and loathing on a car they’d never buy in the first place. Why so many spleens are vented on something they hate rather than things they enjoy is beyond me, but such is the state of many corners of society today. This is Barry’s response. -TK
While the new Continental was still in clay form I was asked if the Lincoln Division studio could borrow my Mark II for the winter for inspiration, for an upcoming car that had no name at that time. It didn’t have door handles yet, so I asked if it would have rear-hinged doors. I was told that their surveys of potential buyers found this less than important.
I also asked David Woodhouse why the LCOC or any Lincoln club members weren’t asked to participate in focus groups for the new car and he sat me down and explained that people that buy old Lincolns rarely, if ever, buy new ones, making their opinion about new cars irrelevant.
As a business model making cars for the used car market makes zero sense. Still doesn’t.
I asked him about the shared platform and he educated me as to how many shared platforms we have in our lives. TVs, washers and dryers, cars and houses all have shared platforms. The difference between luxury items and base items is what added to the base, not the base itself.
I asked why it wasn’t rear-wheel drive and he responded that AWD is better, and it’s true in every circumstance, whether you believe it or not.
If Ford isn’t building a car that suits your needs or desires, please buy what you want, but quit grousing about cars you’ll never buy new. That’s the true definition of an anachronism.
Steam and coal aren’t coming back, either.
There is a certain website out there that is trying, desperately, incessantly, to bash successful GM cars. Why is anyone’s guess. But despite popularity, despite corresponding sales figures, it doesn’t matter for these guys. Bitter, angry people make for bitter, angry car posts. So in my own way, I’ve been trying to counterpoint these surly rants. Today’s subject is the redesigned 1985 front wheel drive C-body GM cars: De Ville/Fleetwood, Electra, and of course the Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight.
“Oh ho, aha!” some folks may rant: “They were shrunken, stupid, unreliable maaaan! No one bought them!” Big talk from persons who only got brand new cars when they conned them out of their employer. But I digress. The simple, plain truth is despite a completely new look, smaller dimensions in nearly every area, and a major change from V8 and rear wheel drive to V6 and front wheel drive, these newly minted GM lux cars sold well.
Our own Ronnie Schreiber is somewhat infamous on these pages for using the phrase “Jew-hater” instead of the more neutral-sounding “anti-Semite”. He believes that it’s both honest and descriptive. I have little opinion on it, other than to suggest that we need yet a third term for people who claim to have nothing against Jews in general but who hate Israeli Jews with a passion. Perhaps there’s also a fourth term required for people who hate Israelis and Israeli but are themselves ethnically Jewish. I don’t know.
In any event, I’m using Ronnie’s phrase because I think it applies very well to a remarkably unpleasant situation within the organization that calls itself “The Women’s March”, albeit in the face of objections from fourteen other organizations.
The biggest Chevrolet Caprice was the 1971-76 version. They were the ultimate expression of long, low and wide, that first appeared on U.S. cars in the late Fifties. The last hurrah before fuel economy standards, changing tastes and increasing safety regulations changed cars forever.
I’ve always liked them. When I was a kid, caddy-corner to our house, one of the neighbors had a metallic kiwi green 1971 Caprice four-door hardtop. It still retained one of its deluxe ‘electric range’ wheel covers; the other three were off of a 1971-72 Olds Delta 88. This was in about 1990, and it seemed so old at the time to me, with my parents’ Volvo 740s sitting in the driveway. Of course I loved that car. It was still there when we moved in 1995.
BO KNOWS. If you are a man of, shall we say, a certain age, you most likely recall the Nike ad campaign from 1989 that suggested Bo Jackson wasn’t just a sui generis athlete with professional-level talent in both football and baseball, but that he was brilliant at a variety of other sports, such as road cycling, hockey, and surfing. The irony of the campaign is that the sporting press crucified Jackson for being a two-sport superstar quite a bit more often than they lionized him for it. “Pick one or the other,” they’d screech, with the common opinion being that Jackson should focus on baseball since it paid better and rarely crippled its participants. After a career-ending football injury, Jackson spent four more years playing baseball before retiring at the age of thirty-two.
Jackson was neither the first nor the last casualty of our collective national unwillingness to allow the famous or talented to escape their pigeonholes. Be an NFL player or a major league slugger — but under no circumstances should you be both. We like to freeze people at the moment they enter the national imagination. Any attempt to deviate from that results in opprobrium at best and obscurity at worst. Ask Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell… or Marcus Mumford. On exceptionally rare occasions, we will permit a move from rapping to acting (cf. Ice Cube, Ice-T) but attempts to move in the other direction are treated as comic relief.
Kenny Gorelick, aka Kenny G, made a name for himself as a smooth-jazz superstar, earning a sharp diss track from Pat Metheny in the process. At the age of forty-two, he decided to veer back towards the “real jazz” that he played in his youth. No such luck. So he returned to the smooth jazz, with a roundly ridiculed detour into investment management. Today, he’s back out there playing the music people want to hear, which is the music he recorded a quarter-century ago.
Here’s the latest Impala in Jason Bagge’s life-for now! He acquired it, like he has so many other times with his vintage rolling stock, by being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes this can be both a blessing and a curse.