Can a Truck Make You Handsome?
In case the previous three posts (Appiah video, Jesus’ teaching, discipleship in 1 Peter) did not clarify the idea of “honor code,” this Chevy truck commercial surely will. They show pictures of the same exact guy, one with a truck and the other with a car. Then they ask people questions about the “two guys” in the pictures. For people young and old, their honor code is laid bare—real men drive trucks. It is fascinating to see the basis and symbols for honor in people’s minds–animals, handshakes, facial hair, etc.. Watch commercial here. People’s “honor code” governs their thoughts, without hardly any recognition of it. Of course, not everyone’s honor code is the same. Different groups have different codes of honor. Every group has its own concepts of what (and who) is honorable. Consider what American sub-cultures attribute respect to people with these vehicles. This car illustration simply illustrates the prominence and pervasiveness of an honor code in one’s perception of the world. The sentiments of honor and shame run much deeper, to the very core of human identity and cultural worldview. For this reason, transforming the honor code that steers our life is an essential part of Christian discipleship.
I’m honored to share one vehicle with my wife, a 2001 Toyota Echo. I walk home from work most evenings. This is a reflection of my Christian stewardship. Shame on those who buy into being big deal truck owners, when they don’t need trucks for the work God has given them to do.
Ant, yes it is frustrating that Chevy/GM would perpetuate such as myth of masculinity. Thanks for calling out that bluff as false.
Of course, the issue is not with the truck, or with having a truck. I grew up on a farm where a truck is indispensable, and just this weekend was looking for a truck to borrow to move furniture; trucks are wonderful. The issue is the status people attribute to the person associated with the truck, when it becomes a social symbol of worth.