Psychosexual Dysfunction and Pickup Trucks

“I love my truck, she’s right outside

I ain’t got much love, but I sure got a ride”

— Glen Campbell

Driving along the street the other day, I coasted toward a red stoplight half a block away. A pickup truck loomed large in my rearview mirror.

It closed to within a millimeter of my back bumper. I couldn’t see the driver in my mirror because he was about 11 feet off the ground. I saw only the grill of his Ford F350.

Or it might have been a Chevy Monstrosity or a Toyota Enormity or a Nissan Malignancy. It could have been a Dodge Rammer because I think I saw horns on that shiny grill, but those might have been the real thing and not a logo.

He swerved wildly to the other lane, gunned past me, honked his horn and flipped his bird. He swung back into my lane in front of me and accelerated right up to the stop light, where he screeched to a halt.

In due course, I eased up behind him at the stoplight. But I have to admit, he had me beat by 17 feet. Given the size of his vehicle, it could have been 23 feet.

What makes a person want a pickup truck?

Car manufacturers like them because they make a killing, since they’re priced like a car and built like a jalopy. Ford announced recently that they’re practically getting out of the car business in order to focus on this steel and glass junk where they make a large majority of their profits.

By purchasing this product that costs little to make and a lot to buy, you can help them.

Look at it this way; you get the best of all worlds. You get the road handling of a truck together with the gas mileage of, well, a truck. And the comfort of — guess what? — a truck. What’s not to like?

OK, it’s not exactly a Porsche. But maybe it is, in a way. A Porsche is for guys with a certain, let’s just say, compensatory need. All that acceleration in their car is to make up for a certain sluggishness elsewhere. There’s a reason for the correlation between Porsche sales and Viagra prescriptions.

“That thing got a hemi?” That’s what one pickup driver asks another in a pickup advertisement. With the eloquence of pickup drivers everywhere, the other driver answers, “Yep.”

From that tête-à-tête, we’re to gather that the driver is fully equipped with a big turgid hemi. I guess you know what that is, if you’re the kind of guy who needs to get one at a car dealership from a salesman in a plaid jacket who sells a 4,000-pound vehicle with a trunk shaped like a hot tub.

‘Nuff said.

But there’s more.

Insofar as I can tell, this need for a big truck to compensate for other, um, shortcomings, is the only reason for the existence of pickup trucks. When’s the last time you saw anything in the back of a pickup besides unscratched paint?

Now, let’s be clear. My psychoanalysis excludes tradesmen like your plumber and electrician. Those guys need pickups to carry their tools, not to compensate for their tool. And I’m excluding my friends and family who own pickups, because those pickups might need to be borrowed once in a while.

All the rest are psychos.

I will say this in defense of pickups. They do serve to warn everyone that the driver is a weirdo. In that respect, they’re similar to baseball caps worn backward — as IQ reducers — which I’ve always liked because they warn everyone that the wearer is indeed suffering from a reduction in his IQ. And it wasn’t very high to begin with.

If you ever see a pickup truck driven by a guy wearing a backward baseball cap, call 911 immediately to report the impending accident.

I wonder what Sigmund Freud would have thought about pickup trucks. Pickup truck owners who get this column read to them might contend that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and that’s so, but a pickup truck is never just a vehicle. It’s so much less.

“I’m gettin’ married to my pickup truck,

It doesn’t leave me when I’m down on my luck.”

—Rodney Carrington

(Published Dec 16, 2018 in the Aspen Times at


Group victims to group guilt — the left’s identity politics

The immolation of Judge, now Justice, Brett Kavanagh didn’t keep him off the Supreme Court, but it did offer a road map to the left’s identity group politics.

The left has long been telling certain groups that they are victims. If those striving for victimhood can’t point to any specific instance of persecution, no matter. To be a victim, says the left, it’s enough that you’re a member of a group with other members or ancestors who were victims. If you are, then we’ll pretend you’re a victim too.

The left does this to get votes. They promise to champion these victims/voters for the recompense or maybe even the reparations to which they believe they’re entitled, if only they’ll vote Democrat.

This group victim idea was destructive enough, but now it’s evolved to something even worse. Continue reading

I Bird, Lime, Lyft and Spin ‘cuz I was born to be wild

“Get your motor runnin’,

Head out on the highway,

Lookin’ for adventure,

And whatever comes our way.”

— Steppenwolf, 1969

I’m so hip that I use kick scooters. You’ve seen them, the annoying little vehicles about the size of a skateboard with a motor in the base and a handle on top.

They won’t get you from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. Heck, they won’t even get you past the roundabout. But once they’re offered in Aspen, they’ll transport you the mile from one side of Aspen to another.

For that, they’re great. They’re what Silicon Valley calls a “disruptive technology” and what the rest of us call a “game changer.” They make more sense for you, me and the planet than hauling around 3,000 pounds of steel, glass and rubber everywhere we go.

For the benefit of my two or three readers who are less hip than I, here’s how they work. Continue reading

Sick of Mick, more than ever

Here in Aspen, we had a mayor named Mick Ireland. After a while, yard signs popped up saying “Sick of Mick.” A website even popped up, called (the website is still up).

We finally got over Mick, we thought, but it turns out he was just in remission. Now he’s back.

A 2014 story in this newspaper shows how unpleasant this ailment can be. Mick crashed a private party in the park, ate their food and drink and abused a lady guest with profanities. When an 84-year-old at the party tried to escort him away, Mick took a swing at him.

Mick later claimed on Facebook that he’d been assaulted, contrary to the statements of everyone else at the party. And Mick made no mention that his “assaulter” was 84.

I once criticized Mick’s position on a political issue. He posted my column on Facebook with the comment “Aspen. It’s not for everyone. Maybe you should move on.”

I wondered what kind of mayor tells a citizen to leave town for disagreeing politically.

I soon found out. Continue reading

James Madison doesn’t want your dead cat to vote, and maybe not you either

In 1987, the eminent jurist Robert Bork was nominated to the Supreme Court. The American Bar Association evaluated Bork, as they have evaluated nominees since 1956. Despite the fact that the ABA leans left and Bork leaned right, they gave Bork their highest “Well Qualified” rating.

No matter. Bork was “borked” by a senate smear campaign led by failed presidential candidate, failed husband, failed drinker, failed driver and failed swimmer Ted Kennedy, who avoided failure in only one thing in life — getting repeatedly re-elected by foolish voters in Massachusetts who liked his family name.

After Bork was defeated, a replacement nominee was named, Anthony Kennedy. Continue reading

Let’s be gentlemen again

In a physical sense, women are vulnerable to men. That’s because most men are larger and more muscular than most women. Even aside from their larger mass and musculature, men have different hormones. Male hormones not only produce those larger and denser muscles, but also produce aggressiveness and risk-taking.

Political scientists sometimes dispute this and want to believe that the obvious differences between the sexes are a product of different upbringings. But real scientists say that’s bunk. It’s a fact that men’s size and hormones produce significantly stronger lower body strength and, on average, nearly twice the upper body strength.

This is about biology, not sociology.

Women know this. They see the strength of a man in ordinary activities such as moving furniture or playful physical activity.

Sadly, and inexcusably, Continue reading

The 2020 Dem spectacle: Spartacus and the Native American

Democrats have demanded recounts, challenged the Electoral College, shot Republican congressmen playing softball, shot themselves in the foot, yelled obscenities at the president, claimed Russian collusion, assaulted conservative campus speakers and worn pink hats.

But Donald Trump is still president. So Dems are now down to their last resort: Defeating him in the next presidential election.

But with whom? Or as a Dem would say, with who? Joe Biden is too old, Barrack Obama is too 2008 and Hillary is, well, too Hillary.

Ah, but the Dems have nothing if not a deep and diverse bench. Take their junior senator from New Jersey, a fellow who declared in the senate’s nationally televised Supreme Court nominee hearings, “I am Spartacus.”

Well, I suppose “I am Spartacus” has a better ring to it than “I am Slick Willy.” Continue reading