- Politics and Social Issues
Shiny Chrome Rims
A Cut Above
Shiny new things. Who doesn't love a brand new, glittering possession to dangle in front of others and play with teasingly? Thou shall not covet, eh? More and more older vehicles ( '92 Camry for example) are being upgraded in a very questionable manner. The owners are installing ground effects skirts, air intake scoops, custom graphics, tinted windows, modified suspensions. Who can blame them-how else is the driver supposed to convey his personal wealth?
All that is left is for the installation of Shiny Chrome rims-that will complete the set-up. Ultimate status will then be achieved. This vehicle can usually be heard from a mile away thanks to its 1000 watt car stereo. Unfortunately, the police enjoy heckling these drivers. Like moths to a light. A relaxing ride down main street can very quickly escalate into "resisting arrest". A heavy-handed police force often takes a dim view of citizenry driving around aimlessly while enjoying music at loud decibels. If it's too loud you're too old, they say. And now a cop is pulling you over...It can't be because of the fancy car with chrome rims and new paint, can it? Inner cities know this common scenario only too well.
People just cannot have nice things anymore. They should be allowed to customize their belongings as they see fit as long as they are not encumbering anyone. No shiny new rims on the car...apparently.
The question remains: how does one convey a small measure of wealth in a car? The acceptable route would include Ferrari, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini etc.,.How predictable. Surely there is a middle ground somewhere? A choice that involves quickly installing a set of Shiny Chrome rims on a car that's been lowered to four inches above the ground.
Freedom of Expression: customized vehicles, tattoo art, manicured lawns. These items all convey the importance of individuality, of strength within a group. The critique is often made regarding the willingness of westerners to wear clothing with logos on everything so that the wearer becomes a walking billboard, a mannequin. The sight is very common in sporting events.
One of the biggest challenges for America has been to create a semblance of continuity among dissimilar peoples from numerous cultures. The rulebook for that play has not been written, unfortunately. The colonial rulers affected change through the whip and the barrel of a gun-methods that would surely lead to armed insurrection in our present climate. Corrupt politicians and heavy-handed police equals Tyranny. What we now know is that the rulers are most often the cause of the problems. They oppress and mistreat the people for their own evil purposes. The citizen merely wants to work and support his family. And if he can afford it he'll show off the chrome rims on his '72 Impala.