No. 1014
September 18, 2019
 

About The Autoextremist

Peter M. DeLorenzo has been immersed in all things automotive since childhood. Privileged to be an up-close-and-personal witness to the glory days of the U.S. auto industry, DeLorenzo combines that historical legacy with his own 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising to bring unmatched industry perspectives to the Internet with Autoextremist.com, which was founded on June 1, 1999. DeLorenzo is known for his incendiary commentaries and laser-accurate analysis of the automobile business, as well as racing and the business of motorsports. Author. Commentator. Influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the business today.

DeLorenzo's latest book is Witch Hunt (Octane Press  witchhuntbook.com). It is available on Amazon in both hardcover and Kindle formats, as well as on iBookstore. DeLorenzo is also the author of The United States of Toyota.

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Tuesday
Aug272019

AMAZING JOURNEYS.

By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. One of things that I have noticed in this graceless age we’re now living in is the degradation of the meaning and importance of words and phrases that we encounter in everyday life. It’s easy to wander around in a fog in this contemporary life we’ve been dealt with and just let annoying things roll by with a shrug of the shoulders, but in the course of my wanderings I have come to realize that certain words in our language have been corrupted and demeaned. Wherever we turn we encounter this abject verbal weirdness going on that sucks the life out of formerly meaningful words, and it is beyond disconcerting. 

Let’s take the word “journey,” for instance. When did the majesty of a meandering trek across The Badlands or a hike through some beckoning but foreboding wilderness suddenly become trivialized to the point that “journey” is used for the most insipid tedium of everyday life?

The registration for academic classes becomes a “journey,” as if you need some provisions and a day’s rest to make it through to the end. A trip to the market is described as a “journey.” What, did you encounter Visigoths in the produce section? Did you have to beat off a fellow shopper with a stick to score some Cheetos? Were you required to elbow your way around the cheese counter to obtain some Provolone? Were you required to present credentials for a piece of salmon? 

I mean, come on.

The tedium of everyday life doesn’t warrant the use of the word “journey.” Dragging your ass to the local Gas ‘N Flask for a cup of coffee and a gut bomb that’s allegedly healthy on the way to work doesn’t constitute a “journey.” Roaming the aisles at Costco may be mildly amusing, but a “journey?” Hardly. Standing in line at the Post Office may feel like a “journey” but you know it isn’t; it’s just another tedious civic requirement that bites us in the ass, like a visit to the Secretary of State’s office. (Okay, visiting the SOS office isn’t a journey, it’s sanctioned torture for all who enter.)

And then there’s the whole thing about the journey being the destination, or is it the destination is the journey? I get confused with all of this journeying. Why ask why? I do know that every car commercial these days is some sort of journey of discovery. A journey that will reconnect us with our souls on the way to finding out that this is one fine automobile!

Come on, Part II. 

I think for most people whatever the impending romantic journey that’s implied by signing up for the latest and greatest Belchfire 8 gets lost in a hurry when the seemingly endless payments have to be made every month.

But the debasing of the word journey is just one example of the degradation of words going on in today’s world. How about what’s going on with the word amazing?

Who knew that tedium of everyday life could be transformed by just one word? That Cajun aioli at that new hot restaurant-of-the-moment is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. That cappuccino at “1 Percenters Coffee” is AH-mazing! And it goes on from there. The word amazing has permeated everything these days. Particularly advertising. That new hipster bank that has no people in it, just kiosks? Amazing. The service at the local Mr. Foamy car wash? I mean that foam is amazing. Every car is now officially amazing and every deal you can get is beyond amazing. Furniture (no payments until 2022 – amazing!) Mattresses, pizza, tacos, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches (okay, some of those are pretty AH-mazing). 

Then there’s fashion, which is a whole other dimension of amazing altogether. That jacket is amazing, that look is amazing, your hair is amazing; oh, my goodness, it’s all just so amazing! It’s a wonder some people can even leave the house they’re just so amazing.

I find that the degradation and trivialization of words is sad, simply because when something actually is amazing or a journey is truly momentous it gets lost in the fog of the celebration of the mundane. 

We can all agree that there are some things that are indisputably amazing, and that there are journeys that are truly special and memorable. 

Sunrise over the Great Smokey Mountains. Driving up Sunset Boulevard in L.A. at night. Driving the Million Dollar Highway in Colorado. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Fall colors in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York (and in northern Michigan, for that matter). Driving across the U.S. and experiencing the sheer scope and majesty of this great country, including our magnificent national parks. The Hill Country in Texas. The Painted Desert in Arizona. The lush serenity of Savannah. The countless images of stunning beauty in Moab, Utah. Gettysburg at dawn. The Lincoln Memorial at night. And on and on.

We all have our favorite journeys and amazing memories. So, the next time you hear the words “journey” or “amazing” trivialized or blatantly misused, take a deep breath, and think for a fleeting moment about the amazing journeys and life experiences that matter most to you. 

And then just smile to yourself. I promise you it will make the daily slog called life a little easier. 

And that’s the High-Octane Truth for this week.

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