We like movies about World War II. We like British movies about World War II. We like British literature. We like British literature related to World War II. Somehow, though, the film Atonement, a British film about World War II based on a book by a British author. Somehow it doesn't work for us. We liked the adaptation of Pride & Prejiduce by the same director with the same star (still prefer the BBC version, though). Yet somehow, when we get to the World War II portion of the film, the movie takes an awful turn and never quite comes together in a film we like. Good try, but just not there. In honor of Yom Kippur we asked "What Should Automakers Atone For?" and found ourselves pleased with FP: Your Volvo Is Awesome's answer enough that we're letting him break fast early.

Halt, my brethren. This is not merely a failing on the respective parts of our automakers; nay, it is also a failing of our American people.

All automakers, save for a few European players and our own Cadillac, must be held accountable by the people for stopping production of wagons in favour of less-practical SUV-shaped 'crossovers'.

The people shall not hold them accountable, flocking instead to these ungainly, less-versatile vehicles with no rear visibility. The Mazda6 and Focus were cut down in their stead by the ignorant masses who flocked to those criminally-named 'sport-utility' vehicles when times were good, and it is too late for them now.

And these automakers must have their refusal to offer a manual transmission or efficient turbodiesel held up to them, and broadcast for the world to hear by an outraged populace.

But this shall not occur, so long as slothful Americans maintain their slushbox addiction and their 1980s stigma against diesel cars, which TDI and Bluetec cannot conquer alone.

Styling exercises, too, were once intended to show off a new design, a futuristic work of art, which would then be adapted to the production line. Yet no longer: each generation of automobile, any automobile, affordable to the proletariat will invariably grow more offensive to the eyes, and each new model shall provoke lamentation from all who still possess their sight.

Here, too, we have neglected our duty. We have purchased the obese Venza, with its horrific meshed-needles grille, inspiring an even worse Crosstour; we have flocked to the Durango and Sequoia, with their lumpy body lines; we have continued to purchase Acuras because of their nameplate, despite styling reminiscent of a $25 computer case; perhaps most egregiously, we as a nation have continued to fawn over the Camry and Accord as they became ever-blander, ever-more-offensive caricatures of themselves as recently as 2001 and 2002. Toyota, indeed, is perhaps the most serious offender.

Automakers as a whole will not regain their past sense of style, taste, and practicality until we - not Jalops, but Americans - do the same.

Not in our stars, but in ourselves, eh?