"What we've got here is a failure to communicate." In the 1967 Paul Newman movie classic Cool Hand Luke, that memorable line is uttered by the character "Captain" (head of the chain gang) to justify beating Cool Hand Luke, played by Newman. Captain of Road Prison 36 has just told Luke that he is wearing chains for his good—to which the prisoner cleverly responds, "Wish you'd stop bein' so good to me, Cap'n."
I was reminded yesterday of how cars play a role in our identity, and separately how new auto safety regulations for electric and hybrid vehicles create an opportunity for auto manufacturers to be creative. I was picking up my 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid from a car stereo retailer in Austin, and while I waited, I glanced at the stacks of sub woofers waiting for owners. They ranged in price from $149 to over $1000. Admittedly, my family has installed high-end stereos with sub-woofers in cars ranging from a 1992 5.0 Mustang GT to a Toyota Sienna mini-van, however a low-rider in the showroom brought to mind low-decibel vibrations at intersections when, by chance, I was sitting at a red light alongside a low-rider. The car and the sub-woofer are an expression of the driver and their identity.