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What does Lisa Birnbach say about preppy cars?

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I happen to have a copy of The Official Preppy Handbook, and it seems that preppy cars barely changed at all since the book was written in 1980. That’s 41 years ago!

Lisa Birnbach says the following car makes are preppy:

Land Rover
Toyota Land Cruiser
Jeep
International Harvester
Woody station wagons
Volkswagen
BMW
Volvo
Peugeot
Mercedes Benz
Any English car (today, that would include MINI, although MINI is owned by BMW)

I didn’t especially notice any Toyota Land Cruisers in the preppy town in New England. I think that Toyota lost its preppiness because they have become too common in the United States. Plus now, every European manufacturer sells SUVs, as does Subaru which is more preppy than Toyota.

International Harvester no longer exists, but it was the precursor to the modern SUV craze.

No one makes woody station wagons anymore.

Peugeots are no longer sold in the United States.

Lisa Birnbach says that Volkswagen is preppy because of “reverse snobbery.” There’s also a picture of a Volkswagen Rabbit. The Rabbit was renamed the Golf, and sadly 2021 is the last model year that the Golf will be sold in the United States. Americans hate hate hate hatchbacks. Vintage Rabbits in good condition sell for a lot of money!

For some reason, Lisa Birnbach fails to mention Audi as being a preppy car, but I saw plenty of Audis in the preppy town in New England, and Audi is a luxury Volkswagen, so I think that was an oversight. Unless Audis weren’t preppy in 1980 and have since become preppy, but that seems pretty unlikely.

And I guess that Subarus weren’t preppy in 1980 but they are preppy today, the most preppy Japanese car. Like Volkswagen, Subaru fulfills the role of being a reverse snobbery car. Or maybe Subaru is just popular in New England because of the all-wheel drive.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 12, 2021 at 6:43 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

Preppy Cars

I’m in a preppy place in New England and I notice the cars are different here than in prole parts of the New York metropolitan area.

The quick summary is that European cars are preppy, American cars are not preppy (except for Jeeps which are preppy), Korean cars are not preppy, Japanese cars are neither preppy nor unpreppy, except for Subarus which are preppy.

A longer answer is that there are three types of wealthy people:

1. Those who show off their wealth with an expensive luxury car. Especially European luxury cars.

2. Those who can afford an expensive car but choose not to own one because they are gauche or nouveau riche.

3. Those who are culturally preppy but not actually that rich.

Between category 1 and 2 are people who drive Volvos. I’ve seen lots of Volvos around here.

Especially popular SUVs are Range Rovers and Jeeps.

Other popular luxury brands are the Mercedes, Audi, BMW and Porsche. You see Japanese luxury brands, but they are not as popular as the European brands.

You see a lot more MINIs around here than in prole places.

Japanese cars are like the NFL, they cut across all social classes. But one Japanese brand in particular is preppy, and that’s Subaru.

Of course you do see Toyotas and Hondas, but you see as many Volkswagens as you do Toyotas, while in the rest of America there are three to four times as many Toyotas on the road as Volkswagens.

– – –

I forgot to mention electric cars. Teslas are not preppy. Electric cars are not preppy.

– – –

So the bottom line is, that if you want to drive something preppy, and you can’t afford a Volvo or a Range Rover, get a Subaru or a Volkswagen.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 7, 2021 at 1:20 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

Red Planet by Robert Heinlein

Warning: I suppose this contains some minor spoilers.

Over the past few years I’ve been re-reading Robert Heinlein books that I read a long time ago when I was a kid. (Although I’ve certainly been taking my time. It has been four and a half years since I started this project, and I still haven’t read Rocket Ship Galileo, Space Cadet or The Rolling Stones. When I was a kid I could have read all these books in the course of one or two weeks.)

I believe that this book is one of the first Heinlein books that I ever read, but also one that I only read once and never again. Until now.

I recalled that it’s a book about a boy and his pet Martian, and was expecting to find out that the Martian pet was really something else, and indeed that was the case.

But I totally didn’t remember any of the book’s political stuff. This is really two stories in one. The first half of the book is an adventure story about Jim and his friend Frank trying to make their way home from a boarding school run by an evil headmaster (shades of the Harry Potter book when Dumbledore was cast out and an evil headmaster took over) while chased by Martian cops.

And then the book segues into a story about a revolution on Mars, with the right to bear arms playing an important role. It’s very classically Heinlein, and you can see the precursor to Heinlein’s more famous adult book, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. This is not Heinlein’s only juvenile about colonies revolting from Earth, there is also Between Planets.

The Martians described in this book seem to be the same Martians from Stranger in a Strange Land. These are the only two Heinlein books, that I am aware of, that share this depiction of Martians.

Those looking to be offended will find some things in this book that they could call “misogynist.” I previously wrote that Heinlein novels tell us that girls can do anything boys can do, but what they really want to do is have babies. But in this book written in 1949, one of his very earliest novels, he hadn’t even reached that stage in his writing evolution. The women in this book don’t do much besides raise children and cook.

I rate this book as being better than Between Planets if you want to read a juvenile about a revolution, and I recommend it for big fans of Stranger in a Strange Land who want to learn more about the Martians. Although I wonder if Stranger in a Strange Land actually has any big fans because I found it to be Heinlein’s must overrated novel.

But nevertheless, this isn’t Heinlein’s best juvenile. I still recommend Citizen of the Galaxy, Tunnel in the Sky, and Starman Jones, as his best.


For serious Heinlein fans, an essay about how the edition originally published in 1949 (which is what I just read) was altered from what Heinlein intended: https://www.heinleinsociety.org/2003/10/red-planet-blue-pencil/

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 2, 2021 at 9:25 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

What I think The Father is about

This is all spoilers, so don’t read if you haven’t watched the movie.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 21, 2021 at 1:42 PM

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Self-driving cars and remote work

At first glance, it’s easy to think that they have nothing to do with each other. Self-driving cars are touted as a more convenient way to commute to work, but if people are working from home then it doesn’t matter if one’s car is self-driving or human-operated.

But in fact, what remote work and self-driving have in common is that they are both vehicles (excuse the pun) for enabling people to live more effectively in suburbs, exurbs, or even rural areas, and will combine to make big cities more obsolete.

People (almost always liberals) who advocate for public transportation claim that one of its benefits is that you can do your own thing while someone else does the driving for you. But with self-driving cars, you get the same benefit of someone else (or rather something else) doing the driving, but with the convenience of door-to-door service. Anyone who has any experience with public transportation knows that it takes at least a half hour to get anywhere by the time you walk to the transit stop, wait for the public transit to arrive, and then have to walk to your actual destination. And it’s a huge hassle on top of that.

Self-driving cars plus remote work means that no one ever needs to live in a city again.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 19, 2021 at 11:04 AM

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Tweet of the day

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 10, 2020 at 7:58 AM

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S&P 500 down 7.6% today

Since February 6th, I’ve been warning to sell stocks.

How much lower can the market go? Quite a bit lower. In 2007-2008, the S&P 500 was down more than 50% from it’s peak, and that was only because of overlending, and not because of an external black swan event that has nothing to do with the business cycle. So stocks can go a lot lower.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 9, 2020 at 4:12 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

Final Iowa poll, New Hampshire polls

Emerson poll of “likely caucus-goers” has Bernie ahead of Biden by 7 points.

Three new New Hampshire polls, Bernie leads all of them. As I’ve been saying for a while, I don’t see how Bernie can possibly lose NH with momentum from IA, and I don’t see how he can possibly lose NV with momentum and NH. He’ll probably lose SC, but by how much? With that momentum, does he score a knockout blow on Super Tuesday?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 3, 2020 at 8:19 AM

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Islamic terrorism in Florida!

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 6, 2019 at 1:17 PM

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The whitest counties in New York

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 22, 2019 at 4:02 PM

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