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Jamie Lincoln Kitman Examines the Five Stages of Automotive Journalism: Cars: GQ

October 30, 2010




In 1969, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, a Swiss-born psychiatrist living in America, first outlined the Five Stages of Grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance—which have since become the standard roadmap for human response to death of a loved one, as well as a time-honored and versatile set up for bad jokes. Now, after more than twenty years professional experience, I am now prepared to share with you, kind reader, the Kitman-Floss Special Sauce Five Stages of Automotive Journalism. Remember them well, car fans, as everything you ever read or will read in the world of road-test literature can be viewed through this prism: elation, enthusiasm, bargaining, depression, nostalgia/retirement.



The young car tester is elated just to be cleaning the wheel covers on a stripped Mercury Tracer. Noting its industry significance, he will later be enthusiastic when he is among the first wave of people invited to drive the new Nissan Sentra during a Fresno heatwave. A few more years later, he will attempt to bargain his way out of the Mercedes S-Class launch festivities in Sonoma, preferring instead the Kia Forte introduction in Korea, because that way he’ll see more frequent flier miles. Inevitably, as time passes and car launches blend seamlessly into one another, depression sets in, and our no longer youthful scribe will be overheard declaiming he’d rather be dead than traveling to Portugal to drive yet another new BMW 7 Series, frequent flier miles be damned. With luck, retirement comes next, though one can only hope our long-suffering journalist friend is no longer being paid to write; too often, the bylines keep flowing long after the heart, mind, and critical faculties have left the building, leaving only nostalgia for when a car was a car and things were better.



via Jamie Lincoln Kitman Examines the Five Stages of Automotive Journalism: Cars: GQ.


via Jamie Lincoln Kitman Examines the Five Stages of Automotive Journalism: Cars: GQ.


From → American Life, GQ, rich, style

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