Monday, February 13, 2012

The machine of a new soul


Here's your soul. I mean, your Soul. The new Kia Soul.
Admittedly, calling a car the Soul is a pleasant change from all those alpha-numerics like A3 and letter combinations like GTO. At the same time, it shows the devaluation of "soul" in our age of scientific materialism.

Even silly terms like "soul music" and "soul food" had some vague connection with human qualities. Naming the Korean-made car the Soul is to reduce the word, which once suggested the transcendent part of human identity, to the tag for a mechanical object.

Those who still respond to the old meaning will be disconcerted to hear people say things like:

"I got a used soul cheap."

"I liked it so much I got a second soul."

"She said she'd only marry me if I traded in my soul."

"The bank re-possessed my soul."

I'll stop here. Brevity is the Seoul of wit.



Anonymous said...

I saw an SUV called a Mariner the other day.

A Mariner.

An automobile ... called a Mariner.

Rick Darby said...

That's a good one. Then there's that Japanese car (I believe) called the Protégé (but spelled wrong, without the first accent), which defines as "a person under the patronage, protection, or care of someone interested in his or her career or welfare."

The Buick Electra was presumably named after the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, who helped her brother kill Clytemnestra ...

Ghost of VW said...

Neither a soul nor a Soul has a sole.

Rick Darby said...

Is this an incorporeal Volkswagen speaking?

Sheila said...

My son's former roommate (a kindred spirit of the occupiers) had his rich daddy buy him this mini-auto. He's named it, and constantly posts pictures of it at Facebook. Gag.

There's a Toyota called the Solara. Every time I see it I'm reminded of the old Volare, and how people I knew back in college referred to certain amorous Hispanic males by that name.

Ghost of VW said...

Is this an incorporeal Volkswagen speaking?

More formally, The People's Car of the Baskervilles.