Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Aurion TRD's interior is flashy in red but compared to some of the 175 comments on the blog post by Toby Hagon in The Sydney Morning Herald's Drive section, it's tame.

Two days'-worth of comments bring up a diverse set of views from the frankly xenophobic, to the cliched (of the cardigan-and-slippers sort), to the enthusiastic, to the technical. Some people have a deep vein of car lore and in the blog they draw on it to either celebrate or savage Toyota's new 'beast'.

Which is manna for the automaker charged, as I mentioned yesterday, with having produced a car that's "got no soul". The religious theme used by Poland in his February video clip was apt. Toyota have answered the challenge but the cost (starting at just over $60,000 for the TRD) is a curse, I fear. They anticipate sales of 500 to 1000 annually.

Which means it's experimental. And statements by interviewed managers, who say they're not targeting Ford and Holden enthusiasts, are not credible. My model, the basic, $35,000 unit, is well-appointed and less likely to attract thieves than the TRD. But will it turn heads?

I remember, when opting for the Echo in 2005, I did a lot of scoping out the goodies on the streets of Sydney. The car popped out at me all over the place. Now it's the turn of the Yaris. And the Aurion. The style appeals and the stats reassure. Who will complain if it keeps performing reliably for years? Why complain about the resale value?

I think there are a lot of men out there who would love to drive one but don't want to make a choice they feel inclined, by tradition and bias, to avoid. For myself, I'm a dedicated Toyota fan and have been since I drove the first car I owned: a 1976 Corolla.

Where's my cardigan?


R.H. said...

Good. Cars are advertised on TV as some sort of advent.

Matthew, I notice the cattle at sarspirella yet again getting hysterical at the prospect of having to think. I've made a comment on it at Copperwitch. Have a look. It's all true.


Matthew da Silva said...

R.H.'s comment at Coppwerwitch:

I'll tell you something, those dancing canaries at blog soda pop all ganging up on one bloke as usual, are the most try-hard humourless creeps on any blog I've seen. And conservative? Oh my goodness gracious golly me!- terrified! A classroom of fairies.

Well listen, you nicely brought up lot of nothings, the day you ever do anything that isn't ordered by someone else I'll pull out my cock in Swanston Street.

Get off these fucking blogs, you are BORING!

END of his/her comment

Which is very clever. Imagine: setting up a special blog called and leaving revealing comments that feign assent but demand silence! How labyrinthean! How cunning and grotesque!

R.H. said...

It's alarming that so many of these donkeys actually have teaching jobs.

Does the standard really have to be that low?

R.H. said...

Well you have to laugh, there's nothing funnier than seeing dullwitted conservatives needing an ambulance when conventional thought gets threatened.

Dean said...


I'm sorry to be so "dull-witted" but you're freaking me out here. My impression is that you are criticising me for being such a smart-ass. I accept that most I meet are threatened by evidence of their own ignorance.

It's the tall-poppy syndrome signing its lasting legacy. But what interests me to know is: are you the same?

I reject being boring. I accept that some might think my ideas conservative - to whit David's assumption that I was taking the usual "line" pursued by journalists at the Oz.

But if you mean to jolt me into submission by making cryptic what is difficult to say directly, you will be disappointed.

R.H. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R.H. said...

Sorry, I don't know what happened above; a single letter printed itself.

R.H. said...

University instills irony, and that's all. I never went there.

I've been supporting you; unusual opinion should be considered, not brushed aside as agenda. The reaction you got was typical: dullwitted boring and conservative. That's what I said.
I remember watching foreign newsreels as a kid, and if Australia got the slightest mention the entire audience cheered. Because they felt ignored; like they didn't count, and as with infants, would have welcomed recognition by any means at all -and still do, wanting bombs down their chimneys to feel they're important.
It's an old situation, well established; young Aussies go to Europe and come back gobsmacked, "Oh!- just look at Paddington! So Parisian!" But they're disappointed: where's our cobbled streets they say, "our Arc de Triomphe, our Nelson on a pole...Where's our wars with France!"
Australia has a bland history, boo hoo. It is not Europe.
Well I'm British, that's my culture, Australia doesn't have one.
And funny, but it was shameful once to have a convict in your ancestry, now it's adorable.

R.H. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dean said...

I'm doing my second Uni degree but my knowledge of history came from a few years ago when I was unemployed. Every week I went to Fisher Library and borrowed a backpack-full of books, mainly history and 18th century literature.

I agree with you about the desire for recognition and your newsreel story is great. It's natural to want recognition and I don't blame people for their bias.

But it's also seriously counter productive to ignore the truth. Not only does it facilitate a shallow nationalism but it diminishes us in the eyes of our nearest neighbours.

The Modernist project has ended in the West but endures in the developing world where it creates the conditions necessary for the establishment of efficient institutions. In countries like Australia, the 'postmodern' project is well under way and is similar in its goals to the humanist project of 400 years ago, IMHO.

These are just theories. But what I want to say is that a reassessment is due. Hence my remarks were labelled 'conservative' because that's the only way some people can frame complex ideas they may not be acquainted with. It's one reason journalists have such a bad name: they only see what they recognise.