McSweeney's Quarterly Subscriptions
November 9, 2018
The Guys in Those Volvo Commercials Are the Woke Male Role Models We Need Right Now
- They don’t have enough time to abuse their privilege because they spend most of their free hours stroking the fine leather and wood grain in their Volvos.
- They either live in the woods — like deep in the woods — or somewhere resembling the Scottish Isles. It’s hard to oppress and discriminate if you are the only person populating an entire landscape.
- While driving, they keep their eyes locked a thousand yards out across the peat bogs and craggy coastlines they call home. This look says that the future of equality is bright if we would all just buy a Volvo and move to the Shetland Islands.
- Their homes are flooded with natural light and thoughtfully adorned with Scandinavian mid-century modern furnishings. One gets the sense from their living rooms that any problem — including thousands of years of sexism and structural oppression of all who are not white and male — can be solved with the right design aesthetic.
- They dedicate their time to the study of cockpit design, men’s tailoring, stylish wool cardigans, and, above all, car ergonomics. “Darn,” they sometimes think, “if only everyone could drive a car where all of the buttons are exactly where they should be. Then — THEN we’d fix all of this.”
- Through their isolation, they come to understand that sex is only a bastardization of the one true universal desire, which is to drive with lukewarm aggression through a barren countryside. They often think to themselves, “We won’t be totally free until we can all push an entry-level luxury car about halfway to its limits.” While scratching this itch, they often exchange subtly diabolical glances with themselves in the rear-view mirror, as if to say, “You’re a rebel, you’re in the vanguard, you’re [Oprah bellow] DRIVING!!!”
- Eventually, they transcend food with the help of optimized driver’s seat ergonomics. A perfectly contoured captain’s seat with manually-adjusted lumbar support is all the nourishment they need once they attain peak Volvo-level consciousness. Their penises also evolve to a point where they only understand the world in ergonomic terms, preferring naked contact with heated cockpit leather to all else.
- In time they learn that human hands should never know anything besides baby cowhide and mahogany. Enlightened steering wheel design makes human touch obsolete and facilitates an ascetic focus on all things Volvo.
- As this focus intensifies, they realize that their homes should be inside their cars. They begin struggling to distinguish dreams from wakeful reality, as sleep brings on visions of vigorous cliff driving in 5.1 Bose surround sound. At dawn, they wake up to their own car noise vocalizations — “vrooom,” “bbrrrrrr,” and “errrnnnhhh” — which become their only verbal language.
- Every so often they think of their old life. These flashbacks tend to happen in their back seat saunas, which they create with differentiated front and rear climate zones. Confident in their new ways, they vocalize a low engine rumble of satisfaction with themselves for redefining locker room talk.
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