Saturday, August 28, 2010


I used to aspire to one. Their long sloping fenders that they had until the mid-60s are still worthy.

Their product from the 70s through the 90s looked like 50s Buicks, but without any flair whatsoever.

Since they changed hands a number of times, their product has gotten steadily worse. Would anyone in their right mind be caught dead in a Rolls-Royce? Their current products are unbelievably gaudy.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


What do you call people who repackage cliches?


Ah Disney, what an arrogant bunch.

Living in Southern California, I have been around them longer than most. Disney used to be movies and a couple of theme parks. Walt had his weirdness and his issues, but everything felt more real in a way.

Over time, Disney has grown into more than a corporation. It's a rigid happy orthodoxy.

After not having been to any of their parks for many years, I went to one of their malls. Downtown Disney is extremely oppressive. Sound systems follow you everywhere. Precisely placed food stands make the whole place smell like a sweets factory where they use too much corn syrup.

Other places designed by Disney people feel the same way to varying degrees. San Diego's Seaport Village has a similar oppressive fakeness about it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


My first lesson in product inferiority came from some now deceased cousins around 1980. "Any time production is moved, quality goes down."

They were antique dealers who traded in Leicas, real Leicas from Germany.

Subsequent products are competent, but they're just cameras.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


When I went to Japan in 1995, there was a buy-American craze running full blast. Converse shoes were everywhere. There was nothing like Converse shoes.

Since then, production was moved to China. The only thing that's right about them is the high price. Knock-offs, most likely from the same factories, abound. Why shouldn't they? None of them are really Converse. There is no reason to pay a premium price.