Yesterday, our own Patrick George texted me a picture of an Chevron ad he saw featuring Chevron’s anthropomorphic cars and now, a motorcycle, with the same basic treatment. But just one-eyed. Clyclopean. Patrick — jail-hardened Patrick — was frightened, confused, and maybe a little aroused. Was he right to be so? I’m not sure.

I’ve always respected Chevron’s series of anthropomorphized car ads because they’re firm adherents to the idea that the eyes of a car are the headlights, not in the windshield. If you believe this, then if you anthropomorphize a motorcycle, you have to accept that the resulting being will be a cyclops.

Many other attempts to give motorcycles expressive faces have tried to avoid this, and I’ve never found the results satisfactory. Look at the motorcycle gang from the 70s cartoon Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch here:

See? It just doesn’t quite work.

But that cyclopean headlight, as maybe initially jarring as it is, I think actually works fine. Even though I can’t think of a single naturally occurring form of life on earth bigger than a paramecium to have just one eye (well, I mean normally, before everyone posts that odd little deformed kitten in the comments) we somehow are able to process a one-eyed face just fine. I mean, look at Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc, or centuries of depictions of the Cyclops Polyphemus from Homer’s Odyssey. We’re actually okay with cyclopean faces.

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When I look at a motorcycle, I see a big cyclopean eye and face as it is, so I’m endorsing Chevron’s initially-jarring anthropomorphized motorcycle.

You may now all relax.


Contact the author at jason@jalopnik.com.

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