Columns » Kenneth Cleaver

Kenneth Cleaver

Consumer Correspondent


Saturn Corporation

100 Saturn Parkway

P.O. Box 1500

Spring Hill, TN 37174-1500

Dear Saturn:

My college years remain a haze of attempted depravity, sycophantic self-absorption, and Foucauldian prattle. From those four years, I remember little. Yet, the utterance of a professor has lodged in my brain. An old-school commie with a penchant for golf, she told us that first-world capitalist culture no longer defines itself by what it produces, rather by what it consumes. The confluence of this idea and a Saturn SL-1 is at the heart of a once-laughable quarrel that now threatens a most important friendship.

My best friend, David, named his SL-1 Monty, after the late screen legend Montgomery Clift. The problem with David's Saturn has nothing to do with its performance, finance or comfort. Truth be told, it has nothing to do with the car at all, but with David's unyielding conviction that it is gay.

I support gay people, gay marriage, gay adoption. I supported David during a year when the mere mention of white sugar induced diatribes so apoplectic they would offend riders of the G train. But I draw the line at gay cars! Monty is a product, not a person. Marx himself could never have fathomed commodity fetishism perverting the human psyche to this extreme. My deprogramming skills are tapped; I'm at my wit's end! I need your help.

As a leading player in the auto industry, as Monty's maker, I beg you inform David that his car is no more gay than it is male, female or the Sultan of Pittsburgh. Please dispatch this note post haste, as David's grasp on the planet Earth loosens with every passing second. Just last night, he mentioned interest in professional acting.


Kenneth H. Cleaver

PS David Melito, 2627 5th St., Apt. 2, Santa Monica, CA 90405

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