Sunday, November 13, 2011

How To Drive Your Porsche

As Peter Parker's uncle put it "With great power comes great responsibility." Upon first glance it might be difficult to see the correlation between Spiderman and a Porsche driver yet, they are in their essence the same thing. Peter Parker was an every man who was transformed by a spider bite into a heroic protector of the weak and innocent.  A Porsche owner by virtue of a key is elevated to a level of prestige and envy untouched by most. The problem that arises with many Porsche drivers however is that they are oblivious to the unstated duties of driving a German crafted sports car. Besides having the funds to pay the astronomical price tag, a Porsche owner is obligated to uphold an image of class and unobtainable superiority. People who see a Porsche drive by shouldn't feel jealous, instead they should look upon it with reverence and eagerly get out of the passing lane.

Sadly, inside North America and I imagine many countries all over the world Porches are being passed over with cursory glances that were once reserved for Fords Buicks and Dodges. This loss of image is directly related to a deflated sense of mystique which is directly related to a dwindling adherence to the rules of driving a Porsche. Should you ever find yourself among the 1% and you stumble across this blog please read the following detailed instructions to insure that you are driving your Porsche correctly.

1) Cleanliness: A Porsche must always be clean. Correction, a Porsche must always be spotless. With a cost of 80,000 dollars and up a Porsche is a jewel to behold. You wouldn't wear a scuffed, dinged and dirty watch or necklace so why should you expect anything less for your car? A Porsche is intended for good weather only, not because it can't handle a little bit of rain or snow but because it should be regarded as a toy of excess. Let your four door Mercedes or BMW do the grunt work on the sleet filled salty streets. When the weather is cool and clear, then and only then is it time to let the turbo's rip. If you can't afford to store your Porsche in inclement weather you can't afford to have a Porsche. Also, if you can afford to foot the bill for high octane fuel then you can spare the cost for a monthly detailing.

2) Manner of Dress: You are not a hobo/hobette who stumbled out from your crack den and into the alley where your Porsche was parked. Absolutely no sweat pants. I don't care if you just came from the gym, that is what changing rooms were invented for. The optimal dress is probably business casual, something with movement but enough style to still look important. If you must wear anything else first insure that it is properly tailored or that it is an article of clothing that isn't prominent within the general public. Remember, a t-shirt isn't just a t-shirt if it costs 100 dollars.

3) A Porsche Boxster isn't a Porsche: If you are rich and you have accidentally purchased one of these cars for yourself please immediately throw it in the garbage. If you own a Porsche Boxster thinking that you had finally "made it" sorry, you are still not part of the club. No member of the upper class strives for the bare minimum. The Porsche Boxster is merely a Pyramid scheme that keeps Porsche in business long enough to sell real Porsches to real Porsche owners.

4) Attitude: You are the 1%, the working world aspires to be you. You are not just a king/queen among men, you symbolically represent the dreams of millions of people. Because of this you are not allowed to be in a bad mood when you are driving your Porsche. The desire for many to go on with their lives is fueled by the vain hope that one day they will become someone like you.  Do not crush their lives by getting angry at the barista who forgot your non fat whipped topping. Your tiny burst of road rage or sad frown at the sight of a traffic jam is enough to crack the facade that is holding up the world. Remember, even if nothing is going right in your life, you've still got a Porsche and that ain't so bad.

5) Driving Habits: A Porsche is a high performance machine that has been tested on the Nurburgring in order to tweak it for maximum response in braking, turning and acceleration. A Porsche was not built and was never intended to be a boulevard cruiser. Under no circumstances should you drive the car 15 miles per hour...anywhere. A Porsche should always be driven fast. Speed limits should be regarded as a suggestion rather than an instruction. Because of the unstated requirement to drive fast it is also your duty to pay a small duty fee in the form of speeding tickets. A couple hundred dollars is a pittance to pay in order to tell the rest of the world "I can drive as fast as I want."

 Whether it is a briefcase, a basket of wine and cheeses from the Napa valley or a lady of the evening the passenger seat should always be occupied.  Onlookers don't want to believe that sad, old, lonely men putter around nightclubs in search of gold digging strays. Rather, people want to believe that a Porsche driver has already got it all and if he doesn't have it yet, he is on the short, exclusive waiting list.

Finally, music. If the sound of a high revving engine and turbo whoosh isn't enough for you then please be sure to choose your music wisely. Save the 80's hair bands for your cousin's Camaro. Anything too loud or ostentatious takes away from the importance of the car. Loud noises are devices used by children and people of low intelligence. Like a drunk heckler at a comedy club an overly loud display of music will get people looking at you for all of the wrong reasons.

If you work these five steps into your Porsche driving regimen the world will be a better place for it. Good luck and God bless.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Attitude For Platitudes

Platitudes are the more annoying cousin of cliches. They are commonly used by idiots to be indirectly condescending to  people who are experiencing a great deal of stress or grief. Granted, the idiot is generally not aware that they are being condescending nor are they are aware that what they are saying is a platitude. So let us dig deep into the psyche of a platitude user and try to understand why they are so abhorrent.

For the record a platitude is a "dull or trite remark, uttered as if it were fresh or profound." Cliches are often disposable sayings that have lost all meaning through repetition. They are commonplace and used in every day situations to express everyday feelings about everyday things, everyday.

Platitudes on the other hand strive for the profound and attempt at their heart to express something meaningful but fail horribly. A human misconception (with an emphasis on the male species) is that all problems CAN and SHOULD be solved as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, matters of an emotional nature can rarely be broken down, assessed and corrected over an afternoon of coffee. Further, any priceless advice or wisdom that someone might dispense in order to quickly correct a problem generally registers as an insult rather than a helping hand. 

I think the original idea behind platitudes deep inside their nougaty caramel center was a promise of wisdom and guidance. These sayings were supposed to provide reassurance that the afflicted was not alone in their suffering, or if they were alone in their suffering, that it was somehow important and justified. So was born a famous platitude: "Everything happens for a reason." Granted, the thought that all things are connected and every life is equal but opposite is a good thought/feeling to project. However, I suspect the guy who accidentally lit himself on fire and burned to a smoldering heap might have preferred an unplanned chaotic torrential downpour to help quench the burning in his inflamed skin.  

As long as life eventually takes an upward turn it is easier to put life changing events into perspective and weather the storm. However, to the men/women who continually suffer throughout their whole lives until their untimely death I don't think that the mantra "Everything happens for a reason" is providing much solace. I don't think that the bloated stomached, emaciated, disease infested African babies find comfort in the knowledge that their suffering is perhaps making the apathetic, bored, bloated first world masses incrementally more appreciative of their own lives.  

Some platitudes remind us to seize the day or to strike while the iron is hot. But, they also remind us that patience is a virtue and that good things come to those who wait. In essence often two opposing platitudes neutralize each other. If one of the above statements is true then half the world is misinformed and is being sent off to certain death. The other possibilities are that both camps of opposing statements are either both true or both false. In that case neither of the phrases need to be stated as it is unnecessary to stress caution or confidence when both should be juggled  equally. Further, there is no knowledge or advantage gained if both statements apply equally to opposite situations. What if someone is seizing the day when they should be practicing patience? In many  instances in life we are faced with a choice and unless we know beforehand the ultimate outcome a simple recap of the possibilities is hardly necessary or beneficial. 

So what's the subtext here? People who need support require it in all encompassing, personally involved ways. If you don't possess the courage, strength or resources to help nurture someone through a tough time please resist the urge to insert a platitude. No one wants a condescending prick pretentiously pontificating a less than poignant point.