The Myth of the Tuner Lifestyle: An Introduction

By October 1, 2005 August 26th, 2014 No Comments

Out of context, the conent below may not seem to make sense, what with me showing signs of actually following the mythical “tuner lifestyle” (action sports, multiple modified import vehicles, etc.) but that again, that was my first editorial for TPR/Tuner Performance Reports magazine, a tech-heavy publication whose readers really have no business caring about what I do in my spare time. You, on the other hand, are on my blog, where (in the name of hyperlinking everything to hell to boost my Google ratings) I can blog about just any damn thing I please. So, for all you detractors and “bullshit”-callers, I say – bite me.

As the masthead suggests, I am the new Editor-in-Chief of TPR Magazine. Demographically speaking, I also fall (just barely) into the 24-30yr old crowd, as do most of my friends. So, at first glance, one would think that I am a perfect example of the Gen X/Gen Y Tuner Lifestyle Crowd. Indeed, my household encompasses four imports, so that would qualify us in quantity alone; one of those imports happens to be a modified Acura, and that would seem to solidify our place (or at least my place) in this Gen XYZ class, no? But if we were to subscribe to the Tuner Lifestyle Theory, then any of the following could be said about me : I listen to underground hip-hop music; I have pictures of import models strewn about my house; I spend at least 1/4 of my disposable income on automotive performance parts and accessories; I like to watch action sports; I have a desire to “be noticed” for the car I drive; I have an interest in the size of any given celebrity’s chrome rims; I play driving games on game consoles when I’m not out driving my own real car; I am interested in anything and everything Japanese, simply because of its point of origin; I go to clubs and enjoy dancing; I own the very latest bleeding edge consumer-level technologies; I spend a sizable amount of money on current fashion trends; I read car lifestyle magazines to see and hear about other people like me. Simply put, none of the above apply to me. I will even go so far as to say that this whole “Tuner Lifestyle” thing doesn’t actually exist anywhere except in the minds of the advertising and marketing geniuses that thought it up, and quite possibly in the minds of a theoretical group of 12 to 14 yr olds that sit around and hope for the time to come when their lives will reflect what they see in, say, Import Tuner, Super Street, and other magazines that cater to that same nonexistent group of “auto lifestyle enthusiasts,” or whatever that focus group is being called these days. Am I now going to tell you what I do for fun, what kind of music I listen to, where and how I spend my disposable income? Actually, no – it has nothing to do with automotive performance and nothing to do with the task at hand. Sure, one could argue that I’m the new Ed and, as such, have a responsibility to let the readers know where I’m coming from. But I would contend that the Editor’s job is simply to collect the information for the magazine, distill it, and insure that the final product meets or exceeds your expectations. Subsequently, the name of my favorite band is of no consequence to anyone reading this column, and therefore will not get a mention. Additionally, TPR Magazine should not be a forum for how I wish my lifestyle to be – we’ll let the aforementioned Primedia titles do that as they seem to have that illusionary lifestyle marketing thing down pat. What it will be, as it has been and will continue to be from this point on, can be summarized in this paraphrasing of my favorite author, Jerome David Salinger. We will simply imagine what we, as automotive enthusiasts and not harbingers of lifestyle makeovers, would like to read the most. Then we’ll sit down and write it ourselves, put it between two covers, and offer it up for your perusal.