Jeremy Clarkson is many things: tall, obstinate, outrageous, British, and even, occasionally, right. But if the message in the latest Forza Motorsport 4 trailer he voices is true, he is also the harbinger of the death of driving for fun.
The video, showing an Aston Martin DB9 being used in a futile attempt to escape the congestion of a modern city commute, is depressing enough. But Clarkson's (and presumably Forza's) call to retreat from the real world into a video game as the last safe harbor for driving fun is, to us, utterly crushing.
If all we're left with is cunningly rendered simulations of the real thing, we'll just go ahead and shuffle off now. If the day should come when we actually look forward to picking up the remote and clearing a space in the living room in preparation for a "drive," rather than buckling up and gassing up, well, we hope someone puts us out of our misery.
But fortunately, for those among us who are motivated, aware, and unwilling to settle for cartoons, real life still waits. Where? At the race track, the drag strip, even your local stadium parking lot autocross. There are literally dozens of opportunities to drive like you mean it and like your car is meant to, in safe, responsible, and truly satisfying ways. All you have to do is get off your ass and get outside, in your car, and on the road. You can even be taught how to do it if you're unsure.
Please, don't just fire up Forza and call it a day. Get out there and find more of our kind. We are not an endangered species.