While I know that even the most improbable of cars can have obsessive and dedicated fans, I’d always sort of assumed there was a limit. That there would be some cars that are so free of charm or character or interest that there’s just no way someone could become devoted to them. This week, I learned how very, very wrong I was. This week I met the biggest, most ravenous Chevrolet Captiva fan in the known universe.
Yes, you read that right: the Chevy Captiva. For most people, this name conjures up in their mind no image whatsoever, save perhaps for some static, or maybe color bars. The Captiva is such an anonymous, boring-ass car that I picked it for this week’s Meh Car Monday, a choice I was so foolishly confident about that I said this:
“For some reason, I just don’t see that happening this week, because I simply cannot imagine any sentient being with strong feelings about the Chevy Captiva.
Bring me your best. I dare you. I fucking dare you, this time.”
I really couldn’t imagine someone having genuinely strong feelings about this lump of fleet-vehicle crossover automotive ennui. Then I got an amazing email, with the subject line “Here is the Challenge you requested Arrogant, Self Important Lump of Excrement.” Here it is, in full:
Ordinarily, I do not bother to respond to opinions. In this instance I am making an en exception. First, I have always found this “Meh Car Monday” to be a exercise in hubris; Vapid,Vacuous, Insipid and Arrogant but still First Amendment protected Free Speech and Expression. Consequently, I held my nose in a manner of speaking and wondered how you reached the conclusion that your opinions, impressions and feeling regarding various cars is so much more important than anyone else’s that you post these abhorrent diatribes as if they contain the “fount of all knowledge” from an automotive perspective. But no more. I am going to tell you exactly low of an opinion I have of you, your attitude, your pedantic and pathetic excuse of a journalist writing style BECAUSE-YOU invited me. You “Fucking Dare(d)“ those of of us who take exception to your inane opinion of the Captiva to reply. And I am not going to be polite about it(as the Subject Line should have already indicated. Oh, lest I you are not clear; I just plain dislike you.
First, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING objectionable about the Chervolet Captiva. I have observed first how it is a reliable, comfortable and exceptionally functional in a practical sense. The car is relatively economical and YES even attractive. It is what many far more expensive aspire to be but fail miserably but since many such vehicles are among the “dream machines” which you take every opportunity to wax poetic.
Second, the Captiva is a rather anonymous car and, contrary to your egotistically inflated opinion, is a trait much to be to desired. I, for one, don’t like people knowing my business and such a car makes one’s forays into the world more private and comfortable. On the subject of COMFORT the car is indeed a pleasure to drive or be driven in. It contains enough power to get this done well. The fact that it does not have an insane amount of horsepower, which the average person does not need and never uses)is NOT a con. And I don’t give a damn if the car was marketed more as a fleet vehicle or toward some other location on the planet(out of North America). All of these aspects you deemed negative when in fact they are mundane facts which are neither positive or negative-they just are. One is free to like, dislike or be indifferent.
Third, I despise the whole “Mean Girls” high school juvenile essence of “Meh Car Monday” where an IDIOT(I would say Jackass but that is an INSULT to mules) decides what is cool or should be cool and expects the World to go along. Since you are a SENIOR EDITOR I shudder to think of the skills and qualifications of lesser staff of Jalopnik. In conclusion I did not drink the “Kool-Aid” and now your wish has been granted.
Wow, right? This is amazing. Keep in mind, all of this thesaurus-punishing vitriol is inspired by a Chevrolet Captiva. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see this, to feel the rage in this man, a man who was moved to write this long, angry, rambling email about a car I once believed absolutely nobody could be passionate about.
Holy shit, was I wrong.
It’s also interesting how in the email, the most strident defense of the Captiva in the second and third paragraphs are pretty much the exact reasons why it’s such a meh car. He even uses the words “anonymous” and “mundane” to describe the Captiva and its features, but in a positive context. It’s really amazing.
So, I’ll freely admit, I’ve done a lot of growing up based on this experience. Look, if a Chevy Fucking Captiva is capable of generating this level of passion in a human being, then, shit, pretty much every car ever made has the capacity to inspire such fanaticism.
I now believe that every single car has at least one rabid, dedicated, fan, a person so obsessed with that particular car that they’re capable of becoming unhinged, ready to fight like hell to defend their chosen car’s honor.
Really, it’s a beautiful thing.
Oh, and for the record, I never once suggested that my opinions are, somehow, worth more than anyone else’s. It’s just my job to have them, and I love it. Even if it means the world’s biggest Captiva fan dislikes me.