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Anybody who follows me on Facebook knows that I don’t post all that often unless I have something fun to share. I rarely post anything personal simply because I’m not that kind of Facebooker and my life is just that … my life. I guess I would say that I am more of the quite stalker type and I have to admit that the advantage of having a gaggle of online “friends” is that my browsing life is rarely boring. Aside from the constant drama and religious/political crap that is inevitable; seeing the plethora of Internet memes, lame pictures of pets and ridiculously awesome (or horrible) vehicles can keep me entertained for hours. I have to say though that the car/truck pictures pretty much top the list of my favorite things to see on the Interwebz and I think anyone who is reading this probably agrees with me there.
Recently I saw a couple posts that got me thinking, but there was one in particular that told me that I needed to address this thought of mine in my next column. One of the truck magazines posted a picture of an … umm … let’s call it an “avant garde” truck with a snide comment attached to it. My initial reaction to the photo was not all that positive, but I’m a traditionalist so my opinion is jaded and I didn’t blame the page for attaching a negative comment to it, as it kind of deserved it. Several people showed their dislike for the admin’s insinuation that the vehicle was not cool by sharing the picture with some obvious anger.
Here’s what got me thinking though; the people who build these unique vehicles have to know that their vehicles are going to be either loved or hated. If you want more people to like it then don’t build it off-the-wall and certainly don’t subscribe to the idea of “if a little is good then a lot must be better;” that almost never works (yes, I’m talking to the ultraflush-waytoomuchcamber guys, the letsbodydropmytrucktothedoorhandles crowd and the destroymytrucksogiantwheelsfit folks).
In all seriousness though, why aren’t we allowed to smack the proverbial hands of people who have just gone too far with their build? And on to the point of my column this month, what if custom vehicles were susceptible to the same type of critiquing that movies or music are? Imagine this: a magazine would have their custom-critic who writes their opinion about the feature vehicles of a particular issue and in typical critic fashion would verbally decimate the vehicle ’til the owner/builder cried themselves to sleep. Would people stop pushing the envelope so hard if they knew definitively that they were going to be berated for doing so or would they just hide from the media and hope that they never had to face the music? Or perhaps the industry would create lesser groups of critics to address the oddball vehicles while the magazines only critiqued high end builds? I realize that the Internetz give everyone a voice and some people take their liberties WAY too far, but there is a difference between the personal opinion of a random keyboard-commando and a paid critic who is at the top of the industry.
So what do you think? Would the industry benefit from such things or should people just keep their opinions to themselves? Drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org and vent.