May’s Theme – The Editor’s Introduction
I still use the same tailor my Father first took me to as a boy. Their jackets have a small label sewn into the inner lining on the right breast, showing their name but nothing else. Were I to ask them to put the label on the outside, they would be aghast. But they are an old fashioned firm and, I fear, not much longer for this World. Although my preferences have never changed, those of the rest of the World appear to have. It might seem understandable that cheap sports clothing should incorporate free advertising for the maker, since it could be argued that it subsidises the cost, but what seems stranger is that it has become acceptable for an expensive fashion brand to do the same. Don’t their customers object to being walking billboards, or are they simply boasting?
Likewise tattoos. When young, I knew chaps who had been in the Navy who, usually inebriated, had visited a parlour. The result were variable; occasionally the pictures had a naively attractive quality, but the writing always put me in mind of a side of Danish Bacon. But now it is David Beckham. I have worked for many august journals, but I would never countenance the proposal that I emblazoned my body with their names.
Motor vehicles have always been different. Since the Industrial Revolution, it had been the norm for machinery to have its maker’s name incorporated somewhere. Possibly a small brass plate, but sometimes a huge name incorporated into a casting. This was partly advertising, and partly an aide should the machinery require attention. Therefore, it was only natural for the early cars to continue this tradition and it has never gone away.
My own viewpoint is that a vehicle should be judged on its merits, not its badge. Some badges are quite attractive, so might be excusable but, if one is an enthusiast, one will recognise the vehicle in question and, if one does not recognise it, then it deserves to wither and die. You might not agree, and feel that you can give me good reason why your vehicle should be emblazoned “Turbo SportRail XXR”. There is not enough healthy controversy on these pages, so please do feel free to convince me, or add your own opinion.
Simon A Kearne