- Jul 2015

The future is now – New age Motor Journalism

Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond have welcomed the future…

One of the biggest problems with being a generation Y’er is the gap that exists between us and the generation that birthed us. Unlike the Baby boomers or even the early generation X’ers, we have grown up in a very different world. There are pros and cons to being part of generation Y and X, for instance one of the cons is how we are generally impatient people, due to technology playing a large role in our lives. That same con is also a pro because our generation has embraced new technology fully and as a result our world has become more streamlined, much smaller in terms of communication and much more instant.

As a result, the way we do things has changed completely, even the way we entertain ourselves. My mother talks of times when the whole family would congregate once a week around a small device with antennas and wait for some programming to come on. Thereafter it was back to a blank screen emitting white noise. I do wish I could have experienced the lack of television dependency that was there at that time. ┬áThen I realise that I wouldn’t be able to get fast access to cars that were launched this week or watch Chris Harris powerslide whatever he is power sliding at that time. I also wouldn’t be able to see what my role models were tweeting about and what crazy story Jalopnik had for me today.

The past generations lives seem so simple and for someone who is bombarded with so much media, it seems like they had it better from a “peace and quiet” point of view. Really though, I think if the generation Y’ers spent a week in the 50’s and 60’s, they would die of sheer boredom. In today’s day and age, even most of good ol television is boring. With the internet and platforms such as Youtube and Netflix, you can hand pick what you want to see and when you want to see it. That is why I must admit, I wasn’t following Top Gear the way I used to for the last few years. The reason being that since it was on television and it played on a Sunday evening, I was often out with my mates at that time. Even if I recorded it on the decoder, sitting on the couch and watching it seemed like a shlep. When I did watch it, I watched it purely for the laughs and not for the new cars because I had already seen the car they were testing on Chris Harris’s channel months before. So when news broke out that Jeremy, Richard and James had signed with Amazon Prime, this made me smile.

“Welcome to the future gentlemen” is what I would say to the three if I knew them personally. This shift into a digital platform could be very interesting for them as it opens them up to a world of new possibilities. The internet is like what the double clutch gearbox did to the manual, of course enthusiasts still long for manuals but the gearbox in a 911 Porsche GT3 doesn’t make you sorely miss it. It’s more convenient, it’s faster and it’s here to stay, much like the internet. One thing about a double clutch gearbox is that it’s not free, you have to pay a premium for them. The same applies to platforms such as Amazon Prime, they aren’t free and that can potentially be a problem.

Remember that one time that the Drive Channel moved to a subscription platform and everyone lost their minds? I have an eery feeling that the same could happen with this new show. There is nothing wrong with expecting people to pay for good quality content, the problem is with our generation and our expectations. Mediums like YouTube have made us spoiled, so we expect a lot for free. This isn’t right but a lot of things aren’t and to expect millions of people to adopt a new attitude is not a days work. So let’s hope this new show by Jeremy, Richard and James will be received well. For now, all we can do is wait. I’m excited to see legends such as them buy into new age media such as the internet. Hopefully this can be a turning point for countries such as South Africa to warm up to the idea that everything in the future will be online.