“The Edsel is a case in point, and it proves that even if you plant a want, herald its spontaneous creation, and rush to fill it, it won’t grow without proper nourishment…We consumers ought to be more careful when polled on our buying intentions, and we ought to consider our financial limitations when baring our hungry little souls.”
Vanitas, Lapham Quarterly, February 25, 2010
I think the Lapham Quarterly writer is missing an important point. In the late 50s, over-extended auto consumers bought the Edsel to be swanky. In the 21st Century, over-extended (and the not so over-extended, too) auto consumers bought Hummers to be able to drive over the bodies of rioters, counter-insurgents, refugees, freedom fighters, or whoever scares them the most when the social order completely breaks down. I believe this because after the Rodney King Rebellion Los Angeles exploded with SUVs of the ‘my car can crush your car’ variety.