Monday, January 15, 2007

More...More...MORE!!! We MUST HAVE MORE!!!

There seems to be a trend over time where people want more than what there was before. More money. More stuff. More responsibility in their jobs. More fun. More TV, more games, more technology. more sex. more violence - just more!

It used to be enough to have a single TV in the house. Now, many houses have 4 or 5 TV's and one or two of them are flat-screen plasma or LCD TV's! Houses are bigger with more stuff inside them. It's almost as if, as a society, we've been driven into a consumer feeding frenzy.

I look at the movies and I see an escalation over time. They are just getting more more MORE - of violence, horror, drama, sex, explosions, car chases, tension, motion, action - MORE MORE MORE!!! The producers are competing for the attention of a public who has seen it all, so they keep trying to shock us with ever more escalated triggers. Nothing is subtle - everything seems over the top nowadays.

Cars used to be considered powerful if they had close to 200 hp. In 1985, I had a 300ZX Turbo that had about 210 hp, and that was considered a fast, powerful sports car. Now, they start at 300 hp and go up. The current corvette has two versions - a 400hp and a 500hp (the Z06 option).

My last car, a Jaguar sports car, had about 290 hp. That was considered a lot of power 9 years ago when it was new. But now it was getting old and needed repairs so I just replaced it with an SUV and even that has 270hp! In fact, I had the option of getting the higher version which has 507hp!! on an SUV!

Aside from sheer power increases over the years - think about all the features on vehicles today. I remember when power windows and air conditioning were expensive luxury options - and cruise control was only for airplanes. Now, viturally all cars have these things - even the least expensive of vehicles.

And as I learn about my new SUV that I bought last week, I am simply amazed as I read through the two owners manuals. One is 586 pages, and the other - strictly for the COMAND center console system, is another 280 pages! It is not just a vehicle - it's an automotive system now with menus within menus within menus on the three computer screens in the vehicle. The features are so sophisticated now!
For example, not only does it have intermittent wipers, but there is a rain sensor that determines just how wet it is outside and adjusts the speed of the wipers to match the amount of rain. And if the car is stopped and one of the front doors is opened, then they assume a person may be standing beside the car so it stops the wipers so they don't splash you. And if you put it in reverse, it automatically turns on the rear wiper because they know that if it's raining at the front of the car, then it must be raining at the back of the car too! And the sunroof is not just a little opening above the 2 front seats - it's a complete glass roof stretching from the front all the way to the back of the vehicle. There are three different zones for climate controlled heating and air conditioning - driver, passenger, and rear seating - and it holds 6 people in executive jet comfort and has full-time 4 wheel drive and accelerates and handles like a sports car AND still has to get over 20 miles per gallon! And then of course, 4 of the 6 seats all fold down so I can carry my music gear to the next concert!

And there are menus to set the timing of the headlights after turning off the engine, and the timing of the interior lights after the door is closed, and the opening height of the power-operated rear hatch door, and readouts for the outside temperature, and which seek functions on the radio you might feel like wanting to adjust. And brakes that tell how hard you are pushing and take appropriate action assuming an impending crash, not to mention airbags in every part of the vehicle front, side - everywhere. And if those airbags DO deploy, the car automatically calls the Teleaid service who notifies the emergency vehicles and gives them your precise location. And a roadside assitance service that you call through the car system in case you get a flat tire or get stuck or something.

And of course a Harmon Kardon Logic7 surround sound system, with satellite radio and CD player that also plays MP3's and a navigation system that not only shows you and tells you where to go, but also slightly turns down the stereo system every time she talks to you, and even suggests restaurants to eat at, by the type of food you feel like! And an integrated bluetooth telephone that detects the phone in your pocket and if it rings, it automatically mutes the stereo and navigation while you answer the phone right from the steering wheel (heaven forbid you should reach over to touch the console to answer it) and talk to them through the built-in microphone and speaker system. And let's not forget the portable DVD players for each passenger....
If that isn't and over-the-top vehicle I don't what is! This one is a Mercedes, but I've seen some of these features even on Kia and Hyundai. Many new vehicles have a lot of these features, not just the more expensive ones. It's as if all the automotive manufacturers are trying to one-up each other to get our attention - just like the movie producers. And I didn't even get the Parktronic system - a color rear camera for reversing! (imagine that!)

A few decades ago, sex was exciting if the teenage boy touched the girls breast while they were kissing. It was called 'feeling her up', and it was very risque at the time. Now, looking around at sex sites on the internet even just for 5 minutes, one gets the impression that it's not even interesting to people anymore unless sex involves 6 or 7 people, half of whom are tied up and tortured by the other half, all doing multiple insertions in every orifice including dildoes the size of bedposts, and somehow combined with 2 dogs, a chicken, a llama, and a shetland pony.

Incest used to be taboo to even mention. Now it's an entire category of websites when shopping for porn! BDSM was an anomaly, now it's a whole almost mainstream category of websites with thousands of websites dedicated to it. There is even an entire Japanese artform that involves the artful ways the women are tied up and left hanging and ready for sex. Even beastiality is a competitive category for porn now with horse sites trying to one-up the dog sites, and some sites with more exotic animals from gorillas to zebras to snakes and ostriches. It's not enough that women have sex with horses - they have to have anal sex with horses in order to get attention now! The ante keeps going up!

Some people I have read about need to attach electronic equipment (called e-stim) to deliver electric shocks to metal rods inserted into the urethra of the man's penis and labia rings of the woman in order to feel anything sexual at all. They are so numbed by years of over-the-top sexual adventure that they cannot enjoy normal sex anymore. They need electrical apparatus attached to metal piercings in their genitalia! I read one story written by a woman who wanted to have sex with 50 men in one night. Fifty. A football team and all their friends. And she did. And the story of what she did and how she did it was amazing. One was not enough - it wasn't even getting started! She was barely warmed up from the first guy. It seemed that it took her about 30 or so before she began to feel fulfilled sexually. So she was tired and worn out after 50.

And it's all accessible immediately. You don't have to spend hours and weeks poring over porn sites. This much you can find out using google within 5 minutes.

A few decades ago, they could make a movie exciting with having a murder. Someone is poisoned, and they try to figure out who did it. Now they seem to have to have elaborate gory beheadings, and stakes driven through bodies. Body parts have to be severed and flying and blood splattering everywhere. It has to be an explosion of body parts and blood. Or else people burning on fire, or some other horrific nightmarish vision of ways for people to die. Last night the ad on TV was for a new movie called Hannibal Rising. Of course - cannibalism. Why not. It's Sunday. These are things that would not have even occurred to the sickest minds 50 years ago, and now they are commonplace on regular TV every night.

Car chases use to be just that. A police car chasing the bad guy's car through the streets. Think of the old James Bond movies in the 60's and 70's. Now - it's dozens of cars crashing, exploding, flying through the air, etc. Nothing so tame anymore!

Everything is way over the top now. Where does this all lead? What's next? Can it really just keep escalating out of control? Or is there a breaking point? A point where people just say - enough. And reject it all and go back to the solitude of a quiet life without all the noise and screaming and explosions.

What do you think? Have you noticed this too? Or is it just me?


At 1/21/2007 11:25 PM, Blogger joe caneen said...

No, it doesn't end there. It ends right about after they start feeding Christians or Muslims or whatever to the lions in a big sports arena just for entertainment.

Then we have a Dark Ages.

Then we start all over.


At 1/22/2007 7:59 PM, Anonymous igor said...

are Harmon Kardon good speakers?! I always thought of them as a kind of .... "hi-fi" for joe-6-pack... am I wrong?

At 1/23/2007 11:51 PM, Blogger joe caneen said...

I see you're a far- left liberal whose highest form of communication is snide comments and name-calling.


At 1/24/2007 7:37 AM, Blogger Val Serrie said...

I always thought of Harmon Kardon as a relatively high-end system.
In this case, you can buy a pretty good car stereo system for about $500, but this Harmon Kardon system is almost $2,000.
And that's not the whole cost of the system. That's just the upgrade from the existing system - which is also pretty nice.
I didn't order it to be added - it was already ordered in this model I got.

I suppose it comes down to your idea of what comprises a good stereo sound.
Maybe your idea of a good stereo system is a $12,000 Bang&Olufson? Or possibly a $180,000 Mark Levinson Audio? Maybe your standards are that much higher than mine.

To my ears, this Harmon/Kardon Logic7 surround sound system has excellent articulation and clarity and range for an automotive sound system. And in a quiet vehicle like this Mercedes, you can really hear everything.
But maybe my taste is too pedestrian compared to yours?
Perhaps you prefer a $1 million dollar Bugatti with a $100,000 stereo system in it? I hope you get your money's worth out of that.

Well, I only earn Joe 6-pack income, so I can only afford a Joe 6-pack car and stereo. But I am happy with my little vehicle so far.

At 1/24/2007 7:40 PM, Anonymous Igor said...


Who? Me? I don't understand you, what is your comment about ?...

At 1/24/2007 8:00 PM, Anonymous Igor said...


I admit my practical knowledge of hi-fi is only up to 2003, but if I remember correctly, I've never seen a H-K speaker with screw connectors (not to say about bi-wiring!), or 4om, or with high sensitivity (91db or higher).... B&W, JBL, Infinity, Klipsch, JAMO, KEF, NHT ... still remember those, but H-K ? hmm...

(always LOVED kef - combined twitter and main driver with high (92+db) sensitivity - great - 'cause I never liked my music loud or in a large room !)

At 1/24/2007 8:23 PM, Blogger joe caneen said...

Igor, I apologize. Didn't realize you were asking about something Val said. Duhhh. --Just saw it after my response so it didn't make any sense to me whatsoever. Forgot by then there was an earlier reference to speakers. I actuallyi googled it to see what it was and still couldn't figure out any sensible reason for your saying it. Not used to this blogging stuff. Thought it was some kind of a joke and dig on my name. Oh well. How embarrassing. Please forgive me.


At 1/24/2007 9:21 PM, Anonymous Igor said...

no problem.


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