Friday, September 15

Playing To Type

UPDATE: Volvo was so concerned about its bad image in Australia that it decided to confront its stodgy image head-on with a series of ads about "Bloody Volvo Drivers!". All of the ads are available here. But this one is my favorite: a car ad with no cars.


A new book by linguist Geoff Nunberg, Talking Right, argues that the American right has successfully co-opted political discourse in the US. The subtitle of his book is: "How Conservatives Turned Liberalism into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show."

I like to think that I bear substantial personal responsibility for this image of liberals. I read the NYT (had it home delivered all through law school), love sushi (even worse, I gave up being a strict vegetarian just so I could eat sushi), I used to have an eyebrow ring and, as of this weekend, I'm the proud owner of a Volvo station wagon (a V70 XC).

In Australia, Volvo drivers are not derided as leftists but do have a reputation for being atrocious drivers. My friend Patrick the Volvo enthusiast proudly claimed that it was he who gave all the other Volvo drivers a bad name. This was an exaggeration.

Looks like I'll be in New York on 12-14 October for ACLU training and then in DC on 15-17 for the 2006 ACLU Membership Conference - hope to catch up with some of you eastern folks.


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