Part 1: Of course I took my notebook to the Auto Show. I take it with me everywhere, and a lot of what you read on this blog comes from my notes. Here are three pretty good bits of overheard conversation from my two days in Chicago:
- Security staff woman (bored): I need to check all bags. Please open your bag. I need to check your bag, etc. etc.
- Teenaged boy (cheerfully) : I’ve got a Snickers bar!
- Male booth babe at Fiat to female booth babe at the same establishment: “He moved back to Utah … (mumblemumble) got stabbed in the eye with a pitchfork … (mumblemumble) … off his medication.”
(Things are more interesting in the booth babe business than one might have thought.)
- Two old ladies are sitting at a table in a restaurant, and one old lady says to the other old lady: “I was just thinking about the Neanderthals.”
Please go on, I wanted to shout, or at least say loudly. Why? Why were you thinking about the Neanderthals? And what were you thinking about them? Unfortunately, having a notebook and taking notes in it does not automatically give you permission to ask nosy questions. Interesting though the potential answers may be.
Part 2: So my notebook goes with me everywhere, but it very seldom has any adventures of its own. The Auto Show trip was an exception to this rule: The notebook found itself featured among others of its kind in one of the displays. (Click on the image to read a note reminding me to take this photo.)
Ford, as part of its efforts to rebrand Lincoln as the “Lincoln Motor Company”, the upscale domestic car of the politically progressive middle class, offered some examples of other products its new intended audience enjoys. These include the Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth speaker, compact fluorescent light bulbs with excessively curly shapes, and Moleskine notebooks. Here’s the marketing department’s explanation:This highly dubious document is not enough to make me ashamed of my beloved notebook, but I feel it is making a good faith attempt. For the record, I do not carry my notebook because it is a symbol of contemporary nomadism. I use it to write things down so I don’t forget them. I would have written this whole spiel down in the notebook if it didn’t also carry an iPod with a camera in it these days. I guess I just am pretty darn dedicated to creating a mobile identity and identifying myself wherever I go in the world. Perhaps I am someone who might be interested in buying a new Lincoln.
Perhaps if the new Lincoln sedan had any leg room, foot room, hip room or shoulder room in the front seat, came in any decent colors at all, or had controls I could identify and use without looking away from the road, I might consider it. Or if I wasn’t a poor working artist who considers a Moleskine notebook a luxury purchase. Or if the new “Lincoln Motor Company” wasn’t a pretentious bag of pretentiousness.