When an Autoblog becomes politics

When the blog started 5 years and 5 months ago, there was a basic rule: No politics! No way ! The world has changed since then, Europe has changed. It has been a few weeks since an island decided to go back into isolation. Back then my fingers tingled and I wanted to write. About the European idea, living together in Europe and in general. I did not do it.

Saabblog and politics?
Saabblog and politics?

Just before the weekend, there was an attack in Nice. Unspeakably cowardly, with many dead. Our friends and neighbors in France are, again and again, on the target of the terrorists. In Turkey, tanks roll, jets throw bombs. Europe, and for me Turkey is considered a European country, has become an uncomfortable place.

You want to destroy our culture

What is to be achieved with incredibly cowardly attacks, where the greatest number of defenseless victims are concerned, is obvious. You want to destroy our culture and way of life. You want us to be afraid - and prepare for terror. The moment we start to change our lives, where we align ourselves after the terrorist threat, at that moment terrorism has won. If we crawl at home, don't go to concerts, don't go to football matches, think twice about going to friends, at that moment it would be time. The victory of terror over culture.

Europe has been a place of freedom for many decades. The fact that until recently you could drive through all countries without a visa and controls is part of our way of life. It goes without saying that we maintain friendships across language and national borders. It has become part of our European identity, like the self-image of being able to live and work anywhere in Europe at any time. Nice today, then Istanbul, next year Paris. Why not…

The individual freedom
Tom's back mirror
Tom's back mirror

We owe the freedom and the privilege to do this to the unity of Europe. What cannot be taken for granted and what we have to pay attention to. I am European and I am happy to be. Which is currently not modern, but I admit it.

The car is a tool for freedom. We could start now, drive via Strasbourg to France, in the direction of Grenoble via the Maritime Alps - and then be in Nice. The car gives us the freedom that people have always dreamed of. Being able to travel at any time is a democratic privilege. The car, our Saab on the doorstep, is great freedom. Especially when we're on the road with old, analog vehicles. If we don't have navigation on board, we take the good old road map instead, we pay cash at the petrol stations, don't use the main routes, then we travel to wherever we want in Europe without leaving a trace.

How banal is an autoblog?

I sometimes wonder if it is possible to continue writing an autoblog in the face of the gruesome events and acts of terrorism. Whether it's not too banal and whether there isn't something more important to do. I think the car is part of our culture, our individual freedom. And precisely that, the freedom of the individual, the European lifestyle, does not suit the terrorists. They want us to close our borders, to go back behind national barriers. They want to see us intimidated in fear. We should stay at home, no longer travel, no longer get to know foreign countries and people.

When Mark and I write about Saab cars every day, that's part of our lifestyle. It's our culture, it's politics too. What it should never have been, but has become.

Is the autoblog getting political now? It already is because the car is part of our everyday life and our culture. And because our culture is under attack, we keep writing. About cars that are tools for freedom. That give us mobility that generations dreamed of. Our way of life is in danger, but terror will only win if we live it according to it. It is the mission of every individual at this time that we do not allow ourselves to be impressed by cowardly attacks, not to be fearful and despairing.

24 thoughts on "When an Autoblog becomes politics"

  • Hello Tom
    If Europe keeps doing that and everything speaks for it, chances are it's going to get worse. The European Parliament is filled with propertied, drained politicians who have served their home countries. Here you can continue to expand your state pension. Nobody in Brussels will change anything. Otherwise they would question her. This Europe as it exists for years want the fewest people.
    Politics in general is a theater and hardly a citizen realizes this. Take a look on TV as politicians answer questions. They talk a lot but do not say anything.

  • Dear Tom!
    Thank you for finding such clear words and sharing them with us!
    I can only agree with 100%!
    Best regards from Vienna

  • Thank you especially that you do not doubt the meaning of a united Europe! More than ever, we have to stick together and a car blog helps, because it shows us every day that the joy of (Saab) driving knows no bounds. Let's work together on our Europe as a bulwark against terror and oppression:

    "United we stand, devided we fall"

  • The freedom to talk about something as trivial as SAAB is so wonderful!
    This blog also makes life more pleasant, easier, livelier.
    We shouldn't let the positive blessings in Europe be challenged! But people like to get used to positive changes ... and forget how difficult it used to be. A positive culture of remembering and describing is required so that we continue to have in mind what is worth publicly standing up for.
    FEAR of terror does not trigger with me. Concern already.
    Why are people radicalizing?
    Why is hatred going?
    As a European from the north German lowlands, I don't think that military action will solve political speechlessness in the short or long term ... 🙁
    With a quote that offers a positive outlook, my contribution ends:
    Let's appreciate what we have, change it to make it go forward, but let's not forget what Europe has achieved.

  • As banal as a blog may be, a comparison might fit here:

    My first car only had a sunroof ... I was happy. Now I have automatic air conditioning and a sunroof is forgotten if it doesn't support automatic air conditioning :).

    With Europe it is similar we have reached a status from a sunroof to automatic climate control, but you should not forget, back to the sunroof makes no sense .. even with analog cars.

    If we appreciate what we have, let's change it so that it goes forward, but let's not forget what has reached Europe. Even if it is out at the time ... also I am a European! Priority!

  • “I sometimes wonder if it is possible to continue writing an autoblog in the face of the gruesome events and acts of terrorism. Whether it's not too banal and whether there isn't something more important to do. "

    Yes, there is. But firstly, one does not have to exclude the other. And secondly, a common, apolitical passion - however banal it may be - has a highly integrative and, because coming from within, extremely stable integrative effect - if you look at how many country codes are represented at SAAB meetings, you will find this confirmed.

  • Thanks Tom!
    Last week we were in Provençe with our 9-3 Cabriolet, 1.5 hours by car from Nice. Actually I want to write a short Saab summer story….
    Just like you wrote, we drove (from Zurich, stop) over the beautiful secondary routes and enjoyed it. Even if Switzerland is not in the EU, it belongs to Europe. For me these are two different things. But even at Geneva there was no control at the border when we arrived on July 15.7. drove home! It was only on the last few kilometers of the motorway that we learned that something terrible must have happened in Nice. All the information boards showed 'Solidarité avec Nice'. And that's exactly how I feel, and you write true. We must not allow ourselves to be intimidated, our ancestors fought for a long time for these freedoms of ours, and if we now let these be taken from us, terror has won.

  • As banal as a car blog may be, but in the end it also has something very integrative.
    Saab fans from several countries, with several mother tongues, read and write here.
    Linus may be right, Greeks are not Scandinavians ...
    Common goals, ideals or even just “banal” hobbies can connect people across (national) borders.
    We can decide whether to focus on the divisive or rather on the unison. And this blog is definitely unanimous!

    Thanks Tom!


  • Actually, almost every statement is political. To have the freedom to travel anywhere.
    The blog should just be careful that it does not drift away from its thematic priorities, taking mood for or against a theme. To be generally for freedom and individual mobility, I still think it is harmless. I would not like to discuss a topic like Brexit or Turkey here, there are other blogs for that. That would ultimately harm this Autoblog.

  • ... “Europe is unfortunately no longer trendy” because, among other things, a lot of people no longer recognize the many, many positive sides and things in a “united Europe” and have long since taken them for granted (that starts with carefree travel) but often get overly excited about the (sometimes even justified) negative things!

    And that is often reinforced today, among other things, by the “social media” (or actually there only by the tendency to abuse or to knock out nasty, unsubstantiated claims and to devalue other opinions as “lies” or the like).

    I am also a convinced European!
    And the tolerance is to also accept things that don't suit you 100% ... (after all, you have to somehow find an acceptable compromise for everyone)!

  • Then it is just a long-term goal.

    And there is hope. A rethinking is not only in the form of a growing number of Eurosceptics, but also among the EU proponents.

    For example, Schäuble recently surprised me positively when, in an interview, he said in an analogous way that citizens should have more of the EU. There had to be a noticeable financial relief, which could also be achieved by, for example, Europeanizing military sovereignty tasks and thus arrive at more effective troops for less money.

    Good thought!

  • Ambition and reality - the state of the Union is not good. Maybe everything has to get worse so that there would be willingness for change in Brussels? No idea, I'm just writing a banal autoblog 😉….

    In Yugoslavia you could see how thin the facade of civilization can be. Let's hope something like that never happens in Europe again!

  • And why not just German Europeans?

    I feel like that and thus easily get my wish for European unity and the cultural peculiarities of my specific origin and character under one roof ...

    Nothing easier than that ! ! !

  • Unfortunately, Europe is no longer fashionable, it has been noticed by the islanders. This is a pity and could have dire consequences so it is important to show your flag. Also against the terror that wants to break us. Thanks for the post and keep it up!

  • Your goal honors you - unfortunately the reality is far from it.
    As an example I always remember the former Yugoslavia. Even there the idea was good in itself, but unfortunately was a despot in power. The whole thing then led to a terrible war.
    A Europe in which power remains with the states, but unity and benefits reach the people - for example in the form of a federal union, would make sense.
    Unfortunately, however, the posts in the EU are so highly endowed that no one will voluntarily give up their sinecure.

  • I am European by conviction because I was born a free Europe. The basic idea of ​​a free continent, where many different peoples live on an equal footing in a democratic system is the vision. We have to work on that.

    Unfortunately, the “staff” in Brussels doesn't make it easy to like Europe. I there the enthusiasm for Europe. Over-regulation, as you say, I would call it bureaucracy, is the monster that threatens to stifle the European idea.

  • Very well written!
    Only the many things that are not part of the mere obligation make life worth living - this can of course also include a blog and love for a car brand.

    I am German, because in my opinion the Europeans can not give according to EU guidelines, people are too different. However, this does not necessarily mean demarcation or even enmity, quite the contrary.

    The EU is suffering massively from a totally crazy over-regulation and the constant attempt at egalitarianism. This is not only fatal, but also completely unnecessary, since the versatility of the people should make the charm.
    The way of life z. B. a Greek has nothing to do with that of a Scandinavian - why should it?
    Tolerance is the adequate means to get a working community.
    Especially for this it is important to appreciate the personal preferences.

  • Great statement! My respect!

  • I could not say it better as a non-German speaker. But 100% agree with what Laurenz says here. Continue to do this beautiful blog because we do not like to accept that these people are taking away from us too. They are taking away enough and no one, even those who are right in front of them, do not know why and for what.
    Thanks Tom, hope our french friends read this too.

  • What should happen if you no longer have the so-called “banal”? That is exactly what makes life (also) worth living.

    Thanks for your statement!

  • Dear Tom, you have the answer, why you write something “banal” like an autoblog, already given in the text: because we do not want to hide away, do not want to give up our free way of life in the face of terror, because it belongs to us to occupy ourselves with beautiful things, a hobby, in addition to everyday life. And above all: because it is important to counterbalance the everyday horror reports of this world, which is getting more and more out of joint, in order not to lose one's own integrity. Thanks to you for that and the lively invitation to continue to delight us with something as “banal” as the Saab blog!

  • From me too:

  • Clear words that speak from my heart. Also a thank you from me!

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