The Fast and the Furious: Lofthouse Drift

There is one thing I can tell you about any motoring review that includes such phrases as ‘helm responses are a tad lightweight and compromise detailed feedback, the involvement for the petrolhead pushing the machine and wanting to feel a sexual responsive purr as you grind through the apex will be cut to a minimal’ and that is that it was written by the kind of Grade A bell end that you would happily kill within thirty seconds of meeting them. Slowly, and with considerable pleasure. Using a soup spoon. You’d get Medieval on that mother’s ass. This is the kind of man – because almost invariably the articles are written by men for men – that should be denied a drivers’ license on the grounds that they are absolute fucking wankers. But the attitude is typical. According to most motoring journalists what the average driver should be looking at in a car is not decent MPG, not safety, not comfort, not luxury, not reliability, not build quality, not value for money, but some kind of semi-sexual symbiotic relationship with grip and acceleration that’s on the verge of violent collapse and could change from frantic, no holds-barred sex to blood up the walls murder at any moment. Apparently the drive to and from work should be a personal Gumball Rally that starts from the front door and ends with a handbrake spin into the same parking space that you’ll occupy for the next twenty-five fucking years, with a second leg to get you back home to negative equity and all the fun of The X-factor. And anything less than adrenaline levels equivalent to a Kamikaze pilot heading into the deck of the USS Bunker Hill at Mach 5 as you sit at the lights on the outer ring-road will simply not fucking cut it. Anything less and you’re car is shit, and you are a boring cunt who knows nothing about cars or driving, and should be universally derided for even considering getting behind the wheel of it. You ignorant twat. Your car should be making every trip down the motorway a living experience of the computer game Spy Hunter. You are Burt Reynolds at his shimmering, sexual best with the open highway in front of you, a squadron of Smokies in your rear view mirror, you want a V12 and six hundred stampeding horses, and this isn’t the trip to pick up the kids from school, this is the fucking Cannonball Run! Now kick it!

 

And this is all one man’s fault. Jeremy Clarkson. Clarkson took the old Top Gear by the balls and slipping a finger up its back passage, tickled its male ‘G’ spot, turning it from the consumer affairs yawn of the obligatory Sunday morning tumble of a dead relationship, into an entertainment dirty weekend fuck-fest. Consequently the entire nation’s attitude to driving is the product of a fourteen year old boy’s imagination trapped inside the body of a middle-aged man. The self-fellating attitude has a target audience of one – Jamiroquai. And it hits the spot every time. Top Gear mark 2 is a chewy whinnet that clings on from the early/mid 2000s period of lads’ mags like FHM and the abundance of easy credit that we wallowed in back then. It is escapism. It is Nut’s Top 100 Babe’s with cars. The programme is estimated to have 350 million viewers worldwide; or, if you divide it by the number watching the looping repeats on Dave, fifteen. And five of them are Jay Kay. It is incredibly successful because Clarkson is right, people don’t want to be average. People are aspirational. And people want to be entertained more than educated. People want to see super cars race Concorde across the Antarctic, they want to see a 1995 Vauxhall Calibra turned into a submarine and driven under the Straits of Gibraltar, up against a raft crammed with African economic migrants. Because the world if full of people who suddenly find themselves faced with the uncomfortable prospect of having to grow up and they cling to someone or something that tells them that they don’t have to. Track days, internet porn and Jeremy Clarkson for PM is all they have left in the ashes of hope.

 

That people aren’t interested in watching ‘sensible’ programmes about cars is summed up in Jason Dawe. Jason Dawe is the Pete Best of motoring journalism. Dawe was dropped by the second incarnation of Top Gear after the first series in 2002. He refused to get rid of his teddy boy quiff to fit in with the rest of the band and John Lennon didn’t like what he had to say about depreciation prospects on the 1999 Ford Puma. Plus he was fat and talked far too sensibly. Dawe tended to review standard cars for the average driver. A principle he’s followed since that time. Take this review of Dawes’ from 2007: ‘We may dream of driving a Lamborghini, but outside the realms of unbridled fantasy most motorists are faced with the much less glamorous task of tracking down a reliable used car. Television car shows have tended to pander to wishful thinking and ignore the needs of the great car-buying public.’ I can see Clarkson’s expression register apoplexy now as thoughts like this slap him in the face. To picture the big man’s clock, imagine Clarkson sat in the passenger seat of a diesel Daiwoo next to a German on a trip between London and Peking and being told that he’s going to have to offer Hans some mutual while listening to a Happy Hardcore compilation at full blast before he’s allowed out of the car. Terror and outrage. It’s no wonder that Dawes was kicked out of the band and replaced by Ringo Starr in the form of James ‘Captain Slow’ May, the perennial butt of Clarkson’s gay jokes. Top Gear isn’t about reliable used cars. It serves up motoring wank fodder. Jay K at home with a stiffy on, open Ferrari brochures all around providing some visual stimuli doesn’t want to see a programme that tells him about the bargain to be had by bagging a 1988 Fiat Yugo. He wants to see Clarkson, Hammond and May enjoy a bukkake party over a shiny new two thousand break horse power Lambo. And the viewers want to see the world broken on Clarkson’s opinions. Though of late the toady bowing to Clarkson’s pronouncements is slightly disconcerting. It’s all too obvious that George and Ringo want to stay in the band. This is Berlin in 1933 and the Ford GT is the best car in the world. It’s a boys club that talks about boys’ toys. And remember: ‘Anybody who hasn’t owned an Alfa Romeo can’t consider themselves a Petrolhead.’ Fuck. How cringe-inducing is that? The very phrase ‘petrolhead’ makes my skin crawl. It sends appalling shivers down my back that feel like piss from a wino dribbling down my spine. It makes me deeply, deeply, embarrassed for anyone saying it. It’s the equivalent of Dad dancing. Think ‘ace’, ‘fab’, ‘cool’. It is appalling. Reach for the soup spoon.

 

But what does Clarkson care? Clarkson’s Times car reviews have now become stylised to the point where he almost fails to mention the car under review. They are ego-stroking sonnets to himself in lurid prose, full of elaborate similes. He has the capacity for enthusiastic bombast which is often refreshing. But he is largely negative. Especially if reviewing any car that fails to meets his exacting demands of speed and white knuckle thrills. Typically he’ll talk about the excavation of an anal boil by some celebrity pal, using a rusty pin and without anaesthetic, for the first 950 words, and then, for the volta, in the last short paragraph, mention the latest car from Kia that he’s been begged to review. And I thought the festering, septic boil nestled inside my ring piece was bad… Then I sat in the Kia Margarine…

 

It’s an embarrassing fact that motoring journalism is over-populated by wannabe Clarksons. The Clarkson philosophy has become standard. It has been taken up by men who claim to feel the minutiae of sports suspension and ride capability. Who despise under steer, who live for rear wheel drive, who are appalled by turbo lag. Because the world loves a fucking expert. Except that experts are simply often over-opinionated twats who have no facility for self-irony and over-estimate their own abilities. And motor journalism typifies this. Motoring journalism has become a Jeremy Clarkson impersonation industry. Take Tom ‘The Wookie’ Ford from Fifth Gear, created in a petri dish by Tiff ‘I used to be a real racing driver, you know’ Nidell from a spent fatty gobbet of Clarkson flem recovered from the rear valance of a Jaguar XKE and a fistful of Vicki Butler-Henderson’s hair, ripped out during some rough coital encounter on the back seats of a Range Rover Sport TDiV12M while off-road riding across Dartmoor in a race against a hang-gliding nun. Tom Ford is Clarkson on Vitamin C. A chubby, bullish lad’s lad who likes his motors like he likes his women – loud and fast. He is more optimistic than Clarkson, and isn’t fuelled by Clarkson’s gloomy Yorkshire fatalism, but the attitude and principle is the same. The hyperbole revs stamped on until the red line screams like a monkey with it’s balls trapped in the door sill of a Porche Cayenne. It’s an attitude of let’s turn off the electronic stability programme, let’s rip out the traction control circuit board, let’s pop the speed regulator chips, let’s taking motoring back to its muscle-power basics, and let’s glam all that up by comparing the car to the sexual organs of Marilyn Monroe. Anti-locking braking – pah! Power-assisted steering – tush! Air bags – fucking air bags???!!!! You don’t want steering that takes you ‘round the corner comfortably, you want to rip the apex apart and cling to the g-force as the car slides out of your control. And Ford is just one of hundreds writing for Evo Magazine or Top Marques, or Big Dick/BigMotor that ape Clarkson in a desperate attempt to be as opinionated, rich and as famous as he is. What next? Pull out the seat belts and have no speed limits?! Let’s be power-sliding on the way to Tescos, struggling to hold onto the road as you head to get your four pints of milk and a pack of Toffee Crisps, because the ride of the Focus ST is like making love to Marilyn Monroe on a bed of barbed wire – it hurts, but you just have to keep going.

 

And it is total and absolute fucking bollocks. People don’t drive like that. When you hit a roundabout do you really want to feel the intuitive relationship between your tyres and the tarmac be pushed beyond its absolute limits? You do? Tell that to the physiotherapist on the Douglas Bader Memorial Ward when you can’t feel your slippers. Contrary to the apparent mindset of such chest slapping wankers we are not living inside an episode of The Dukes of Hazzard. The standard motorist will not need to call on enough torque to stop the earth spinning on its axis on their trip to work and back. Let me see the ‘fun’ on that man’s face as the back end swings out of control on the tight bend as the M1 (North) joins the M62 (East) and he realizes he’s not going to make it. Snap a Polaroid of him in that moment. The moment when his philosophy falls down on top of him from a height of ten thousand feet. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!!!!!!! Booshta! Straight into and over the central reservation, a triple salco and then side swiped by a lorry driver munching on a Yorkie, just wondering whether to pull in to Hartshead Services to play with the misper tied up in the back, or hold onto the anticipation for a little longer and drive through to Burtonwood. Where will Daisy Duke and her hot pants be then? On her way to A&E on a spinal board with facial injuries and partial brain damage. And where will you be then, Clarkson, eh? You twat.

 

Obviously, I’m bitter. I drive an Audi.

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4 comments

  1. luckystar2591 · November 25, 2009

    laughed so much a little bit of wee came out

    Like

  2. guinnessorig · November 25, 2009

    That’s the sort of seal (sic) of approval that I like.

    Like

  3. deleted user · December 8, 2009

    I like the movie, sory if my comment didn’t have relate with what your discus. I like something related with car .

    Like

  4. pcb assembly · December 17, 2011

    Thank you, may I say I am glad you have too (by the recent posts of yours) .. Keep posting related to it.
    pcb assembly

    Like

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