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1/01/10 / Decadent

Volvo cars

Volvo logo

I’d like to contemplate on another (see below) curious question at the start of a new year, something that’s been on my mind throughout the latter part of last year (mainly because I live in Boulder and see them everywhere):

Why do people buy Volvo cars? What is their appeal?

I can understand the appeal of other major brands of cars:

  • BMW: luxury, performance, status
  • Mercedes-Benz: luxury, status, performance, engineering
  • Toyota: affordable, reliable, build quality, resale value
  • Honda: affordable, reliable, fun to drive, resale value
  • American brands: cheap, American
  • Saab: unique, quirky
  • Subaru: AWD

I can’t definitively say other brands are better than Volvo, but I can definitively say that Volvo is not better than other brands in any of the categories I can think of that people consider when buying a car: luxury, performance, status, fun to drive, reliability, resale value, safety, build quality, styling, and versatility. They advertise safety, but they’re not that much safer than other cars, enough to overlook all those other points. Or are they?

So why do people buy Volvos?

Song of the day

If you’re bored then you’re boring
The agony and the irony they’re killing me

Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger

I had visions, I was in them,
I was looking into the mirror
To see a little bit clearer
The rottenness and evil in me

Fingertips have memories,
But can’t forget the curves of your body
So when I feel a bit naughty
I run it up the flagpole and see who salutes
(But no one ever does)

I’m not sick, but I’m not well
and I’m so hot ’cause I’m in hell

Been around the world and found
That only stupid people are breeding
The cretins cloning and feeding
And I don’t even own a TV

Put me in the hospital for nerves
And then they had to commit me
You told them all I was crazy
They cut off my legs now I’m an amputee, Goddamn you

I’m not sick, but I’m not well
And I’m so hot cause I’m in hell
I’m not sick, but I’m not well
And it’s a sin, to live so well

I wanna publish ‘zines
And rage against machines
I wanna pierce my tongue
It doesn’t hurt, it feels fine
The trivial sublime
I’d like to turn off time
And kill my mind
You kill my mind

Paranoia, paranoia
Everybody’s comin’ to get me
Just say you never met me
I’m runnin’ underground with the moles
Diggin’ holes
Hear the voices in my head
I swear to God it sounds like they’re snoring
But if you’re bored then you’re boring
The agony and the irony, they’re killing me, whoa!

I’m not sick, but I’m not well
And I’m so hot cause I’m in hell
I’m not sick, but I’m not well
And it’s a sin to live this well

(One, two, three, four!)

Now that not only a new year but a new decade has begun, I have one poignant question to start with:

The first decade’s years were referred to like “O eight” and “O nine”. So I wonder, do we refer to 2010 as “O ten,” or just “ten”? Or something else that hasn’t occurred to me?

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