From Cars to Star Wars, We're Not Buying What They're Selling

If you’re hanging on to your car longer than ever, welcome to the club. Recent reports show that the average age of the American car is older than ever — and it’s for the same reason that the newest Star Wars show just flopped harder than anything since the notorious 1978 holiday special. 

No, I didn’t just break into Hunter Biden’s stash.

When I first read a couple of weeks ago that the average age of cars on the road had hit an all-time high of 12.6 years, I figured it was worth a brief mention on Instapundit. That’s up from 11 years in 2014 and much of the increase has come since the government’s COVID-19 disruptions, Bidenflation, and high interest rates.

But according to a new Wall Street Journal report, the causes run much deeper than high prices.

“Lately another, stranger element is showing up in the numbers,” Dan Neil wrote, “a motivated belief among consumers that automakers’ latest and greatest offerings—whether powered by gasoline, batteries or a hybrid system—are inferior to the products they are replacing.”

Consumers’ list of complaints, according to Neil, includes spyware, finicky stop/start cycling systems, craptaculent continuously variable transmissions (CVTs), cumbersome diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) systems, touch screens replacing convenient physical controls, complicated engines that require premium fuels, etc.

Some people prefer CD players or manual transmissions, both of which probably qualify for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Then there are states like California with increasingly draconian electric vehicle mandates coming into force.

All this consumer doubt comes before Presidentish Joe Biden’s remote kill-switch mandate comes into force in 2026. Once Americans realize that Washington holds the remote control to new cars, we’ll start holding on to our old cars in the Cuban fashion — for as long as we can keep them running by whatever means are available.

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That brings us to “The Acolyte,” the new Star Wars show on Disney+ that’s debuted to mediocre reviews and tiny audiences. By most accounts, the show is boringly woke and atrociously written. The Critical Drinker’s review of the first episode tells you everything you need to know.

Writing more broadly about Hollywood’s dismal summer box office, Ace of Spades warned that they “can’t survive long on costly failure after costly failure”:

ComicsGate had a good point about the word fans: Don’t call them “fans.”

Call them what they are: Customers, or potential customers.

“Fans” suggests that people love you so much they will show up for whatever crap you churn out. “Customers” suggests you have to woo them and provide them with good value for money.

Hollywood in general (and Disney in particular) have brought their woes onto themselves. For the auto industry, the features customers don’t want were imposed from above by Washington.

But the root cause is the same: somebody forgot who their customer is. For unwanted car regulations, it’s Washington that’s forgotten that we are their customers and not the other way around.

Are we citizens of a representative constitutional republic? Or are we subjects of unaccountable technocrats? If it’s the former, we need to give them a shakeup so hard that it’s a long, long time before Washington again forgets that we’re the boss. I always hope that we can do that with proverbial lampposts rather than the literal kind, but each year that hope grows a little more dim. 

If it’s the latter, let’s just dispense with elections altogether. We shouldn’t give those unaccountable SOBs the veneer of legitimacy that even meaningless elections provide. 

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