The term "purist" is synonymous with people who're highly qualified experts in their particular domain. People who look at things from a truly intellectual perspective, making everybody else respond to them with a wondrous "owwwww"; and usually, people who preferred things the way they were rather than the way they are.
I myself am a purist, and indeed I'm not a huge fan of the way the automotive industry is progressing. I have much more love for classic, soulful machines from years gone by than I do for many of today's super-techno wonders. I know that there are many fellow motoring-purists who're with me on this.
Usually, people’s perception of purists can be organised into 2 stereotypes: either that they're an elite sect of their own – or a bunch of insufferable know-it-alls. But all purists are not equally divided into two neat categories. Some merely prefer the purer ways of doing things; whereas others are so far out, they're practically in their own little ludicrous world. And that's the trouble with being a purist: one name for very different kinds of people, with the most dogmatic bringing the rest down with them.
Some of the more unsavoury purists out there often think that their opinion is fact, and that their purist's status gives no one else the right to argue with them. This heinous attitude is then exacerbated by the ridiculousness of their bigoted opinions.
There are musical purists out there who bombastically decide on behalf of everyone else that a piece called the "4:33" by John Cage is the greatest song ever written. Their reason for this is that, according to them, it puts you in touch with what music is all about. If you've never heard of this piece, I implore you to YouTube it. When you play the video however, please don't panic; I assure you your speakers aren't broken.
If the 4:33 is the greatest song in the world, then walking is the greatest car in the world. If you are a musical purist and you think the 4:33 is the greatest song ever written, then you are a fucking idiot who clearly hates music!
Some purists think they can justify their weird preferences by using the king of snooty cliches "it's an acquired taste". This phrase particularly rubs me up the wrong way. People say it with such sanctimonious pride, like they're trying to tell you that they're above you because they've acquired a taste they hold as inherent to an upper class lifestyle. But most of the time, purists who use the phrase to hammer home what is, in their mind, their superiority, are just twats!
There is a more depressing trouble when it comes to being a purist, too however. And that's with the way the world is progressing, sooner or later, the cars we pine for more than anything will be extinct.
Manual gearboxes, natural aspiration, hydraulic steering – it's all on its way out. They will all soon be confined to the history books and museums. In fact, I can see a day coming where people look into the foot well of a car in a museum, see 3 pedals, and ask "how did they operate 3 pedals with only 2 feet back then?"
I suppose there's a moral to this story somewhere: it's that even if people can be branded under a single title, it doesn't for one moment mean they're all singing from the same hymn-sheet. Judge by what you find and not by any predetermined conclusions.
Oh dear. I didn't mean for this to become skin-crawlingly liberal, honestly! My apologies.
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Written by: Angelo Uccello
Tribe: Speed Machines
Facebook: Speed Machines - DriveTribe