In my innocence, I always imagined that evolution was a Good Thing, in that v.2.0 would always be an improved version of v.1.9.9, and so on.  (Of course, that belief has been massively degraded by having to deal with software companies, but that’s for another time.)

I understand, therefore, that evolution is not necessarily an improvement, but by and large it has proven to be so — a 2021 Corvette is a much better car than its 1961 ancestor, at least mechanically speaking.  As for its shape?  I’ll let you decide:

Regardless of the shape change (ugh), I think we can agree that the 2021 model performs much better than the 1961 model, mechanically speaking, because let’s be honest, engine technology, materials and things like suspension- and brake technology are better now than they were sixty years ago.  And even the modern shape is no doubt far more efficient in terms of air management than the older one, so at least there’s that.

Now let’s talk about guns.  Here we have a situation where the technology has hardly changed at all, materials have improved somewhat, but (say) a .22 pistol’s operation and efficiency have stayed pretty much the same.

So sixty-odd years ago we had .22 pistols that looked like the High Standard and Beretta:


…which, I think we can all agree, did an excellent job of putting the boolet into its intended destination.  Modern pistols, of course, do just as good a job of that — pistols like the FN and SIG:


…but for all their improved technology and materials, they somehow end up looking like a dog’s ass.

To return to the cars for a moment, it’s as though the Corvette:

…somehow ended up looking like this:

I know, I can hear y’all now:  “The old fart’s lost it again, jabbering about the Good Ole Days.”

Yeah, maybe.

But I’d still rather own a Beretta 101 than any of the current crop of .22 hand-bricks.

And to wrap this whole train of thought up, I want somebody to explain how ideals of female beauty like this:

…have somehow evolved into this:

Same form, same basic functions between the two models… but ugh.  No thank you.


  1. Let us not forget that back in the day the cheesecake would usually smile and look like they wanted to be there. Along with the tats, that whole poutier than thou thing just leaves me cold.

    If I can’t have my restomodded Cord I’d settle for an MGBGT, wait, probably not going to be able to get in it anymore. Or if I can get in, (just drop in, amirite?) getting out gets problematic…

    So there’s a topic for ya, nice cars that geezers can get in and out of without the assistance of a crane, step ladder, etc.

    1. That red Corvette is my favorite model, even admitting it has a lot of front-end lift at highway speeds.

  2. Maybe guns need the automotive equivalent of a resto-mod. Just like you can fit a “classic” car with a modern engine, electronics, and other accoutrements, perhaps some day you could fit a “classic” firearm action with the equivalent of a modern drop-in Sig Fire Control Unit.

      1. I have a few Ubertis, including a top break Schofield revolver in .45LC, and I do love it. But that’s a reproduction, akin to buying the new Ford Bronco, or the new Delorean.

        A resto-mod would be taking a literal old worn-out gun and restoring it back to life with a modern action.

  3. I kinda liked the ’58 ‘vette with the Rochester mechanical FI. And the Beretta model 71 imported from Israel is one of my favorite .22s.

  4. Don’t forget that a large part of the “evolution” of any particular device is to make the design easier to manufacture, regardless of the final customer’s opinion. I’d wager that the polymer Sig .22 is cheaper, easier, and quicker to manufacture than the High Standard. If any gun company attempted to make the High Standard again, to the same quality as the old version (and same materials, etc.), it would cost 2 to 3 times any other .22 pistol on the market. Very few people are willing to shell out $1500 for a .22 plinker. (I would, but that’s because I’m both stupid and good at hiding that shit from my wife).

    I’ve heard it said that a very large reason all car manufacturers went to FWD around the same time is that they all figured out it was cheaper and easier to build them that way versus the old body-of-frame V8 RWD. They were marketed to the public as being more economical, better gas mileage, smoother riding, etc. but the driving force was the whole cheaper to build thing. I don’t know how true that is, but I wouldn’t bet against it.

    Of the two women pictured, I’m betting only one knows how to make a good meatloaf. But that’s a whole different story.

    1. I think the only talents the newer “beauty” has are striking poses for selfies and such and sitting still while getting poked with needles.


  5. You’re confusing “better” with “what Kim likes” again. Since the topic is evolution we need to remember that, evolutionarily, better means that which reproduces more successfully. In the market that translates to that which sells more.

  6. Do the hand bricks actually weigh more than the older slimmer ones?

    As for the tattooed woman, Heinlein once observed that there is no part of the female body that women will not paint and wear clothing to expose when and if fashion calls for it.

  7. When I see a nekkid woman, I expect to see her skin, not her “skin art”. I’ll overlook a small, discreet tattoo where only a lover or doctor is likely to ever see it. What she’s got in that last pic are what I call “sluttoos”.

  8. Low hanging fruit first. I’ve never seen a woman who made me think that she’d look better with lots of tattoos. None. Small and discreet can be interesting but this movement towards looking like a graffiti covered desk in a detention hall look with indiscriminate scribbling is very off putting.

    Cars: the older corvette looks unique and it is eye catching. the newer version looks indistinguishable from any number of expensive cars that can’t be enjoyed on regular roads to this layman’s eye. Is it a Bugatti, McLaren, Lambo, etc? who knows and who cares.

    In regards to pistols, you may as well have just compared a Glock with a 1911 or Browning High Power. Sure Glocks function very well and are much lower cost than a quality 1911 design or a High Power, but Glocks are aesthetically boring. The crummy part about Glocks is that they don’t come with metal sights. Maybe they do now. I dunno, I’ve never looked into them seriously. I might be coming around to more modern equalizers though since a S&W Shield gets carried more often than a 1911.


  9. All design is subject to the restraints placed on the design. Hand held firearm constraints are more restrictive than automobiles and thus a much smaller window for change. A hand held firearm needs to contain the propellant charge and still provide sufficient force to accelerate the projectile toward the target, Provide a means to stabilize the path of the projectile to allow for accurate placement on the target. Be compact and light enough for a person to hold and carry it. The other constraints are all ” nice to have’s”. Multiple cartridges, fancy aiming devices etc.

    Automobiles, although more complex devices, arguably have fewer and less restrictive design constraints. Provide a means to get one or more people from here to there faster than on a horse. All the rest are “nice to have” or styling choices.

    As to the examples provided, I’ve always been a fan of the “Cove” on the early Vettes, but my inner engineer has been waiting for the midengined version since R&T and C&D promised it in the early 70’s.

    Wymin’s “design” has been explained by Darwin, which leaves us with styling choices….. and I’m certainly glad I am not in the market for one of those circus freaks with the $ 20,000 worth of Tats and the $ 40,000 boobs.

  10. If you were to hang that past picture in an art museum, it would be titled “Woman as Doodle Pad.”

  11. Those “modern” .22’s are meant to be trainer guns for the centerfire versions of the guns they look like. There are still classic .22 autos in the old style being made by Browning, S&W, Ruger and others.

  12. We are, at the moment, in a period of absolutely terrible industrial design, from an esthetic POV. I would, however, point out that a apples-to-apples comparison of the two women at the end would have involved the stereotypical tattooed lady of the earlier era. Which, unless I’m mistaken, was actually fairly flabby and skanky.

    Yes, far too many young people have far too much ink unbearable their skin, but it isn’t universal. And the UN-tattooed ‘bathing beauties’ of today are generally fitter than the ones from, say, 1950 and earlier.

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