It’s a Black Funeral, Ah Ahhhhhhhhh!

If anyone gets the title reference I will be extremely surprised and pleased.

The Hearse is dangling by a thread. The MOT’s up in a couple of weeks and the repairs made necessary by the low fuel/contaminated diesel incident will be extensive and more money that the vehicle is worth. Can’t sell it without the repairs, at a market the engine tone in front of the auctioneer and bidders will condemn it to the unpopular and unsold paddock afterwards. I’ll have to fix it or scrap it, and that’s really going to hurt.

But, why make the damned thing so fragile in the first place? I’ll tell you why, it’s the same as everything else. every product you buy out there, maximum performance within the guarantee period followed by instant obsolescence.
The oldest car I’ve ever had was from ’71, it was a gloss green rocket that went twice around the clock with chrome trim everywhere and I could take it apart and rebuild it with a standard toolkit. Progress is apparently to make things unfix-able and that makes me seethe. The argument that it’s cheaper to replace something is both true and the wrongest thing in the world.
I hate the tag of consumer that’s attached to us all, we pay taxes, we contribute to society, we’re citizens. Calling us consumers is an insult, it degrades us to the position refrigirator lights, waiting for someone clever to come along and open the door to make us useful. The government, media and business all see as as consumers, not people, just a resource to float themselves upon.

Never mind the tanker drivers going on strike, we should all go on strike. One day where none of us goes into a shop to buy anything, and I mean anything, not a newspaper or roll for lunch never mind a flat screen HD TV or a leather sofa. Could you imagine the reaction?
You can riot in the street all you want and you’ll achieve nothing, but taking away their income is the biggest gun you could hold to the head of the bastards who think we’re all idiots.

And another thing, see this incident where the chopper pilot stopped off at the butchers to pick up some stuff on his way? That pilots actions are something that’s gone on in the Highlands and Islands for as long as there’s been transport and communication, steam train drivers would keep parcels in the cab for out of the way places between stations, buses and boats did the same, people would do the same to help each other out.
Does society have to be so rigid that any step left or right from the manual that’s been written to control us must be punished? I didn’t vote for that, what happened to our humanity and our spirit, I know mine is still alive or I wouldn’t be hammering this keyboard with clenched fists right now (it’s making spelling a bitch too), is it just that the po-faced bastards that have manoeuvred themselves into authority that are the soulless scumbags?

Some days you can see the blue between the clouds and all is well with the world, sometimes you can too easily see that it’s wrong and you just want to tear it all down and destroy.
Today is a destroy day.

28 thoughts on “It’s a Black Funeral, Ah Ahhhhhhhhh!

  1. I’m guessing a White Wedding reference? But the reciprocal of that obviously.

    As for the rest, I see, hear and agree. It’s just a pity a lot of people also agree but are too bloody apathetic to do anything about it!

  2. I drive a 2005 Crysler PT Cruiser. Black of course. The nearest thing you can get to a hearse without buying… well, a hearse. Only one small problem. Fuel consumption. 27MPG. On the motorway! Nearer 20 in town.

  3. Being able to fix my own motor with a few basic tools is one of the good things about owning a Defender!

    You should ask yourself how much the Hearse is worth to you rather than market value though when you make the decision on whether or not to cut your losses. Louise’s car (Effie) is a 15 yr old Toyota Corrola that cost us something in the region of £400. I’ve just spent £250 keeping it on the road which may seem a bit silly but we’ve had our money’s worth out it over the years. It’s worthless on the market but we know it drives fine and we know its history. If we get another year out of it we’ll be happy.

    If you spend the money on the Hearse will it run for next few years or is there more trouble to come??

  4. Find out what parts you need, source them yourself and get an independent garage to fit them. We traded both our cars in last year and picked up a 10yr old, low mileage Focus estate. Great car (so far) Unlike BBF, I got fed up fixing my Landie and sold her on. Saved myself a fortune :o)

  5. That’ll be an SU, or maybe a Stromberg, carb…

    We were shocked to discover that instead of buying a 30quid set of bearings to sort out the floppy front wheel on the Discovery (series 2) that we had to buy a whole new hub for 250+quid. It was better apparently. Completely sealed with the ABS sensor, bearings, wheel studs/etc in one no-adjustable unit. The series 3 Disco’s went back to replaceable and adjustable bearings, because I guess/hope an awful lot of people complained at the huge expense.

  6. “maximum performance […within the guarantee period…] followed by instant obsolescence”

    I thought you were talking about the lightweight outdoor gear industry there for a minute.

    Popped the subaru in for a service last week using Blackcirlces.com. I paid £50 less than Kwik Fit quote and exactly half the price quoted by the local subaru dealership.

    As Kev says, source the part online and find an independent through something like Blackcircles

  7. The easy one to sort out is the Hearse. As suggested by others, source the parts, find out which local back street garage in your area gets all the repeat business and keep the hearse running. Only terminal rot will put it off the road and things have improved a lot there compared to the cars I used to run.
    The other bit is harder.
    Western Capitalism has failed miserably, except if you are one of the filthy rich. If you are one of them, you don’t give a toss.
    Most of the political leaders of the western Governments belong to this filthy rich club. How can rich tossers (from inherited wealth) have a clue about what is right for the country? Well they spent a few years at top universities and took part in a lot of debates all agreed amongst each other that what they agreed on was a good idea. All the cuts they have dumped on us will affect them not one little bit. They will still be filthy rich.
    Then we have those bureaucratic numpties in Brussels who are telling all the EU governments what they have to do to sort out the mess that the numpties presided over. But even the normally safe Dutch voice has rebelled against the required cuts and their government has had to resign. Do they have some parliamentarians with common sense?
    Your suggestion of a unilateral “buy nothing day” has a great deal of appeal. But it needs to be organised, to cover all countries. I have scant knowledge of social media stuff, but this would be the vehicle to get things organised on a world wide scale. Who amongst your blog readers is able to take this forward??

  8. Have to agree totally, about this, a mate has an 06 Passat, he loves them, this is his 3rd one, he runs them ragged, and up until now fixes them himself.
    This one has an electric hand brake!! What’s that all about?
    Suddenly, this electric brake which is supposed to come off when you hit the accelerator starts sticking on, turns out it’s common cost him £640 to get fixed. He also discovered you can’t change the brake pads yourself, cos you need a computer programme to tell the motors on the calipers to wind back in!!
    I’ve got a 1979 VW camper which last year, on a trip south, decided to snap the fuel pump body going down the M5. A quick phonecall found a replacement @ Bristol, 30 miles away. A bit of copper wire, a jubillee clip, and 1.5 hours later I’d bought the new one for £20 and fitted it on their car park. Back on the road!!

    I also have a neighbour who fixes cars and lets me helpon mine to keep the costs down. Like others have said, find a good garage or a good Man Who Can!

  9. “suggestion of a unilateral “buy nothing day” has a great deal of appeal. But it needs to be organised, to cover all countries. I have scant knowledge of social media stuff, but this would be the vehicle to get things organised on a world wide scale. Who amongst your blog readers is able to take this forward??”

    Me, I’ll start seeing as I can’t afford to buy anything anyway!

  10. Interesting comments folks.

    I’ve sourced much of the stuff I need for the motor and I can do a lot of it myself, it’s just the injectors I need a specialist to do, so it’s all possible.

    Buy Nothing Day? If it can be done without small independant retailers getting hurt I’m for it, facebook group just created for it (set up as secret for now) and I’ll see what happens. Not been enough controversy in my life recently.

    How many times does the phrase All Hail Satan get written in a comment box and be in context?

    It’s the post title, classic metal from ’83, all will become clear…

  11. It was in context?

    Seriously though you guys MUST know that there is an international buy nothing day. It’s been running for years and appears to have achieved nowt. It’s sad really. It’s a great idea but relies on getting through to people who don’t see a problem or who just don’t care enough.

    Still keep us posted. I’m always game for a radical statement.

  12. I think you’re missing the point here.
    Things are not obsolete because of some conspiracy but because they can make them so cheaply now.
    That’s why we consume so much.

    I remember my mother telling me about saving up to buy a cheap mechanical watch from H.Samuels. Their own branded watch cost a weeks wages in the 1950s and it was the first watch she ever owned and she was nearly 30 !
    She also owned that watch for nearly 50 years even though she could have replaced it for £20 simply because it cost her that week’s wages.
    Nowadays things are cheap and people who have a high standard of living aren’t. It used to be the opposite. Personally I would rather have it this way round.

  13. At least it lasted 50 years! I don’t think it’s a conspiracy as such but there’s no doubt that many things are deliberately not made to last or be easily fixed by companies looking to profit by any and all means. On the one hand you can’t blame them for that but on the other it’s reached a stage now where we’re often deprived of the choice and that (for me) is the point. The environment suffers and the consumer suffers (from inconvenience and having to constantly re-buy things). It’s generally a pain in the ass and more seriously people are losing all sense of value. I teach kids and their attitude towards materialism is basically sickening but it’s just not there fault – it’s ours for towing the line and chucking stuff out when there’s still life in it. Ach I’ll wheesht now. Too much righteous indignation before bedtime.

  14. It’s want versus need isn’t it.

    I had a 40-odd year old guitar refretted for what it would have cost me for a brand new, perfectly playable Korean or Chinese facsimilie.
    I’m happy with my choice, a quality item given a new lease of life by a skilled craftsman.

    That’s the world I want to live in.

  15. Exactly.

    I’ve possibly asked you about this before but who did your refret and if you don’t mind me asking how much did they charge? I’ve a 66 strat that I’ve got to get around to refretting but I’m scared of butchers!

    Also, and this is a long shot, but you’re not on the market for another V are you? John from Strung Out has got an immaculate Custom Shop 67 (I think) that’s classic rock-tastic. It’ll probably end up in the shop I guess.

    Of course we’ve just finished saying that none of us need new stuff!

  16. Gypsymac, I disagree. Take cars.
    Cars used to need servicing every 3,000 miles now they run far longer. Electronic components that are far cheaper and easier to make are frequently non repairable but they enable my 2.2 litre nearly 200bhp car give me 45+mpg in real life use which uses far less resources And at least 80% of a modern car is recyclable and mfrs are obliged to do this.
    Components for modern cars are made using less energy, transported in container ships which is an incredibly efficient way to transport goods (uses less resources than transporting by lorry much smaller distances), made from recycled materials and have unprecedented levels of reliability.
    As for the comment about watches reliability, I could buy a £1.99 digital watch and would never have to replace it or service it apart from batteries (and some run off solar cells as well).
    The simple reason is that energy and materials cost money and in today’s ultra competitive world mfrs have to be efficient to compete.
    So it is really down to us as individuals to not replace things unnecessarily which is where I agree with some of the comments above.
    So as most outdoor gear rarely wears out and is usually easily repairable we should agree to no gear purchases for the next five years :-)

  17. All good points well made.

    If you don’t mind though I won’t take cars. Never had one, never will.

    I won’t pretend I’ve thought this through to any great extent but I do maintain that we all buy an awful lot of crap we don’t need. My main concern is with folks changing attitudes. We look to buy our way out of most problems these days and the younger generation are blatantly losing basic skills. As I said above nothing has any real value attached to it and everything gets taken for granted. I’m sure our parents said the same of us but it’s all points on the same road and I can’t help feeling it’s going to end badly somehow.

    Or maybe I’m just an old git with hippie leanings. And when I say hippy I mean the good old fashioned kind – none of your modern dreadlocked rubbish thank you very much.

    I’m off now to knit my own yoghurt.

  18. Well I’m not so young myself :-)
    But it needs a different mind set.
    Back when the printing press was developed books were incredibly expensive and it would have been unthinkable to produce a newspaper and then throw it away.

    They’re developing technology to print electronic circuits in layers and will eventually be able to produce complex electrical devices as easily as printing a few pages in a book.
    Then electrical gadgets will become throwaway in the same way a newspaper is. And will be recycled the same way.
    Organic computers will use a few cells of organic material to replace thousands of computer chips.
    Genetics and the bio technology sector(which admittedly does have risks) will produce bio engineered organisms to carry out many of the functions we use mechanical devices today. Imagine a bio-engineered tree that grows into a house, will repair itself and only uses the resources of a handful of ordinary trees.
    Whatever happens it will be fascinating and we need to be prepared to think differently.

  19. Maybe we’ll get the Start Trek future where the aquisition of wealth is no longer the main priority, am badly quoting Kirk or Picard there, but I don’t know, human nature means that some folk will always want to get one over on the other guy and make a profit from it.
    The human race isn’t all evolving at the same rate unfortunately.

    Still, lets kick agaist the pricks anyway.

    Refret done on my ’69 SG Custom by Jimmy Egypt himself to an exception standard. Refret done on my ’75 Les Paul Custom in Jimmy’s shop to a lesser standard needing some work a yera later by Strung Out. If you can guarantee Jimmy does it, it’s a Win.
    V? Wait and see what happens to the hearse first… :o)

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