Saturday, August 13, 2005

"4x4 advertising is dedicated to manipulating landscapes into generic forms. All that it requires of a landscape is that it evoke the idea of challenge - something resistant to be conquered, something natural to be tamed. A river is valued for its difficulty of fording. A mountain for its dramatic and nameless escarpments. No landscape can be only itself: it must represent an obstacle of some sort.

The hypocrisies of 4x4 marketing are dark, multiple and pernicious. Everything about the product urges us to the wrong relationship with our environment. The vehicles themselves are the gargoyle of a rampant and acrid form of individualism: gated communities of one. They bespeak the urge to dominate and crush which is at the root of what Ivan Illich called "the 500-year war on sustainability". They expound a vision of an unspoiled and untroubled land, even as they market the tools of its further wreckage."

-Robert Macfarlane. The rest here.