How to Understand the Use of Blatant Status Symbols

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Reader Comments (20)

This is how Steve Jobs' death has affected the world: we are now forced to use names that are somewhat less recognizable in webcomics. Also Apple products have been getting progressively worse, but I think that problem's secondary to the webcomic one.

February 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCovarr

This is about the 15th time I've had a conversation about an issue only to see Scott post a BI later that day discussing the same topic. It's downright eerie.

February 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

Here in Danbury, I drive a non-Mercades, non-BMW, non-Acura, non-Infinity to make a statement. It says "I'm not from 'round these parts so y'all can kiss my 'Murican buttocks."

February 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

@Patrick: Note the name of the second individual in this comic, and the last syllable of your own name. Perhaps this is no coincidence.

February 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLydia

It seems Rick and Scott are swapping roles in panels 1,2, and 3, Rick's comments are actually, well...insightful. Scott recovers in panel 4, though. (I had to look up Jon Ive to fully get the joke. Never heard of him.)

February 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterInfogleaner

Is mercedes really a status symbol anymore?

February 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAllen


It's because he sees everything you do. He can't not.

February 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

@Patrick: You may even say it's "ghastly"!

February 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoker_vD

It's okay, Patrick. We've all been there. Some say it proves Scott is a wizards, others that he works in the NSA, while some say it's just an amazing talent for communicating what we are all thinking. I have my hopes set on wizard, personally. ;)

February 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenteraSimplerSimon

@Covarr It becomes less and less relevant to blame Bill Gates for things. But that doesn't mean less satisfying. It also doesn't mean less effective, since Windows users complaining about Windows doesn't hurt ol' Bill. He already got our money.

February 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Carnegie

I am a fan of the word "ghastly" - well done.

February 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterZoltan

@Patrick - same here. Happens WAY too often.

February 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMikey

Given what Ive did to iOS, with the hideous shaded icons, he'd probably love it.

February 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterResuna

I used to drive an old, beat-up white minivan when I was in my 20's (as a single guy). It made my friends fume -- I could see their skin crawling with frustration when we'd go places. Not because the minivan was especially bad. It was consistent enough with the types of vehicles my friends could afford, and they were used to it. They'd cringe at it, because I kept my Lamborghini Countach in the garage, and refused to drive it anywhere. I wouldn't say it was a "statement" as much as it was incredibly funny to watch my friends pickle up over riding in an anti-cool minivan when we "could be driving" one of the most aggressive supercars in the world.

For those who are curious, it's a 20-year old car that depreciates like nearly all cars do, and a patient, bargain-shopper can find one for about $65k eventually. Not cheap, but really not worse than a Mercedes, Lexus or BMW. And if you rarely drive it, it'll be in perfect condition and impress people forever and lose value extremely slowly (because it already lost most of its value). If you use it as "your excuse" for driving used, beater cars "to work and for errands", it ends up being cheaper than buying or leasing normal middle-class cars like a normal middle-class person. Over time, anyway.

February 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDrowlord


Except that Scott published this a few weeks ago to subscribers. Maybe one of your acquaintances who subscribes is mind f'ing you....

February 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJack

I don't notice actual cars much. But I do notice the deeply obnoxious TV ads in which children are portrayed as horrible little snobs who care deeply about what kinds of cars they are riding in. Obviously the children are being used as surrogates for horrible snobby adults who are delusional enough to think that everyone notices and envies their vehicles and assumes the drivers of same have really large sexual organs. (Sorry, but the ads seem mostly aimed at men.) I note the car companies featured in the obnoxious ads so I can avoid buying their products.

February 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

When I was a kid, I saw a color change paint car and decided I would have that paint scheme someday on my own car. I cringe at the poor taste my 8-year-old self had.

February 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I just wonder whether the car is intended to be used as a getaway car because no two people will agree on the color.

February 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter=Tamar

I have a similar policy; when a car company expresses contempt for its customers through its ads (like VW's "Sign, *then* drive" campaign) or shows people driving its products irresponsibly, I don't want to be associated with that kind of company or driver.
Then there was the "jimmy" ad.
I still don't know what the message was - were they trying to say "this machine may start itself and drive away without you, leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere."?
I certainly wouldn't buy one.

February 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDee

"Not only can I afford to buy a Mercedes, I can afford to ruin one." Hmm. Why does that line sound RESTAURANT AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE DUDE WHAT
I like when you use references that I understand.

February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHannah
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