I have a surface knowledge of a wide variety of topics, and yes it’s true an in depth knowledge of none. Before the internet I thought I knew quite a lot about cars. After the internet I realised how little I knew. That said any number of strange subjects can grab my attention and I’ve always felt that there is never any harm in knowing a little more about anything, no matter what.
This positive state of affairs has, over recent years become less and less true. I can’t muster any enthusiasm for baking/singing/talent contests on TV. I really don’t feel I need to know about the latest indiscretion of an overpaid footballer. That said, when information is put in front of me I tend to take it in. I like knowing stuff. I especially like knowing stuff about cars. All cars. Even the Ssang Yong Rodius. I like knowing that it’s deluded designer (Ken Greenley) wanted it to evoke feelings of a luxury yacht. A luxury yacht? I think he must have taken the blue pills instead of the green ones that morning. I like knowing that it has a MB mill. I like that it engenders passionate conversation (my favourite quote being that it looked like “a collapsing bus shelter”). It may have been the worst looking thing this side of an E65 siebener but it still grabbed my attention and I wanted to know about it.
These recent years though have been tough. Extremely tough. I do not want to become some grumpy old lad in the corner pining for the past. My passion for these wonderful machines we call cars has been carefully placed on a meat hook in the centre of a cold room. It has been incessantly and viciously attacked by an onslaught of sameness, mediocrity and crossovers. It all started with the ML launched by Mercedes in the late nineties. This was some sort of cat o’ nine tails whipping my delicate sensibilities. My now defenseless love of cars came under sustained assault from what seemed like all comers. The Nissan Qashqui brought a rack and almost stretched it to breaking point. The Hyundai Tuscon became Ireland’s best selling car two years running taking a pikestaff to it’s now weakened torso. I thought perhaps not really being able to tell which Merc was which anymore might have been the holy lance. Not quite though. A tsunami of shite now arrived that I just couldn’t care less about (yes you Audi Q2 and VW T-Roc or Tiguan or Toureg or whatever the hell it is this week) teeing up the last remnants of my morale to be smashed by a baseball bat.
I have recently come to a decision. It is with reluctance yet I am certain that this is the correct course of action, the only course open to me. I no longer care. I refuse to take an interest. For the first time in my life I am not going to make an effort to educate myself. Needing to know every last detail of a mildly facelifted model is so last century. Only 18 years late to the party but now I shall revel in my ignorance.