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Go back to: home culture bashing outbursts

Page 1

New Car Smell and the Risky Business Syndrome

by Jason Roth

New Car Smell

Who exactly decided that "new car smell" was a good thing? Nobody consulted with me on this.

The idea that plastic, vinyl, metal, rubber, and whatever the cologne chemists in the automobile industry can come up with is something that I'd like to immerse my head in is one of the stupidest ideas I've ever heard.

According to Chemical & Engineering News, new car smell is a product of "volatile organic compounds (VOCs), primarily alkanes and substituted benzenes along with a few aldehydes and ketones". Hmm... doesn't that make you want to cover yourself in chocolate sauce and roll around naked in the backseat of a Subaru Outback? Nothing gets me going faster than aldehydes and ketones.

Evidently, some car companies actually pump in extra artificial scents, such as "leather scent". But according to C&E News, this scent has as much relation to "leather" as you do to your cousin's step-uncle's best friend's ex-wife. It's a scent that simulates the scent which leather tanneries add to leather in order to cover up the rank odor of tanned leather.

The marketer in me envisions all kinds of new products. How about an artificial nonalcoholic beerlike beverage? Not nonalcoholic beer, but a beverage that tastes like nonalcoholic beer. I bet recovering alcoholics would drink this stuff for breakfast. And maybe there's a market for artificial artificial sweetener. First ingredient: sugar. This could be the Nicorette of dieting. Call it "Sugarette". When you're not quite ready to quit eating crap, you start with simulated healthful foods and work your way down.

I wonder what Henry Ford would think of artificial "new car smells"? I have a feeling he'd probably say, "Give them any scent they want, as long as it's minimum-wage day-laborer B.O."

The Risky Business Syndrome

There's a cliché in American movies in urgent need of assisted extermination. I call it "Risky Business Syndrome". It's when a character or characters sings or dances to a popular song. It's named after Tom Cruise's famous scene in Risky Business when he dances in his underwear to the song "Old Time Rock n' Roll".

These scenes, much like the act of giving a wheelchair to a gangrene victim in need of an amputation, provide a sleazy way to bypass one actual need (e.g., creating a plot) while superficially providing a value. The suits at the movie studios know what songs are popular amongst their market, so what the hell? Why not have your B-grade television star turned movie hack perform karaoke for five minutes? It's pre-tested cash in the bank.

If I see another commercial with a white chick singing a Motown song while trying on the entire, multicolored collection of the wardrobe department, I'm going to puke into a Rubbermaid thermos and express-mail it to Ruppert Murdoch. We need to put an end to these scenes, and everyone who likes them is just going to have to deal with it. We have enough time in our own lives to act like idiots, so can we try to keep the amount of vicarious stupidity to a minimum? If you want to take off your bra and panties and sing timeless hymns to the independent spirit of the American female (e.g., "Respect", "I Touch Myself", and "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"), no one's gonna stop you. But please, can't you do it without needing Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Bimbo of the Week 90210 to do an impersonation of you in order to feel comfortable with yourself?

We get the point, everyone sings in the goddamn shower. Fucking hilarious, Ashton Kutcher is just like me. Here's a request. How about getting back to the story? I can't wait to see whether or not that stupid, overweight mutual friend can get his or her shit together and actually get these two idiots to fall in love. Please don't interrupt me while I'm on the edge of my seat.

Did you have an opinion on this? Then post a comment.

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