0 to 60 in 3h, 45m

12/9/04

PriusHummer2(bl).jpg

I mean, there are two ways of looking at the world, right?

Seriously, somebody please tell me the allure of the Hummer (not the “hummer,” whose allure is well known to me, thanks). I’m not trying to be a sensitive, kumbayah-crooning, macramé-sandaled zork, either – I just don’t get it. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

You’re really high.

But then again, so is your center of gravity, so you can’t take turns going more than 5mph. Thus, you are one bobbled french fry away from flipping the car over and killing a family of six from East Orange, NJ.

You like all the electronics stuffed in it.

But all the same electronics (DVD player, navigation system, curtain airbags, nine speakers) can be had on the car on the left, and you’ll be getting 52mpg while doing so.

You like the roomy interior.

Yes, but are you hauling lumber on your way to Park Slope? Is there a bushel of farm hogs you need to deliver to the corner of 7th Avenue and Berkeley Place? Do you need to play snooker in the back of that thing?

You like to guzzle gas because the rest of the world can fuck off.

Yep, your nine miles per gallon is teaching us all a lesson in life’s fleeting impermanence. Wait, your kids won’t be able to go outside when they grow up, because the ozone is gone? Oh well, fuck them too. Life is hard, and they’ve got to deal with disappointment.

You’re being IRONIC.

Now actually, I can get behind that.

You have sub-standard genitalia, or some other body dysmorphic disorder that requires compensation.

Oh, now THAT cliché couldn’t be true, could it? I mean, really. I’m sure you have a huge cock, the size of a baby’s arm.

You are going to buy that car because you want to, because you’re an American and free to behave any way you want without some pinko blogger taking a picture of his car and your car and making some big POINT about it.

Touché. Ya GOT me!

I foolishly take on Hummer owners so you don’t have to,

ian

29 thoughts on “0 to 60 in 3h, 45m

  1. scruggs

    Don’t worry, I’ve helped you out in that category.
    Last month, this Hummer in front of me at the bank took what seemed hours to BACK INTO!?!?!? his parking space…something like 60 stop and go adjustments. When we both were parked and got out, I asked him if it took an entire tank of gas to park that way, or just half. I’m not sure if he thought I was joking or just being an asshole. I’ll let him decide.

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  2. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    Thanks for taking on the Hummer owners! I hate Hummers, hate them, I said! In turn, allow me to take on the owners of McMansions which are springing up on former farmland everywhere. I am from rural Morris County, NJ. Everytime I visit my parents and drive around the area, I notice that yet another farmer has sold his farmland to a McMansion developer. Beautiful pastoral hillsides are now dotted with huge McMansions — often with a Hummer or two in the driveway. I hate them, HATE them, I said!
    I ask you, McMansion owner, why do you need such a big house? Exactly how much square footage does a family of two or four need? Why do you have a 3 car garage? Does your toddler or dog drive? How much debt are you willing to accumulate so that you can show off your big house? Are you addicted to conspicuous consumption? How big is your mortgage? How do you sleep at night??? Do you realize that your cookie cutter monstrosity sits on what used to be a lovely meadow???
    I don’t know how to explain it other than this: the American way seems to be all about bigger is better, my house is bigger than your’s, I drive a better car, I got more STUFF than you do. . . .I really hate it. I am a big advocate of simplicity, streamlining, and efficiency in my life. Very anti-American, apparently.

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  3. oliver

    I’ve always thought part of the appeal was the aura of rugged militarism. At least I think it is for me, because I much prefer the original military style to the “HII.” Also, its (alas for the troops) pseudo-armored look I think conveys a stronger “don’t mess with me” signal than does a Ford Explorer or any of the other smooth-sided elephants, at least for us hommies who have no idea what Crips and Bloods are driving these days. Of course, they’re also expensive, aren’t they? So on top of the notorious expense to operate that says “I’m rich,” which is a favorite subliminal slogan species-wide. Also I wouldn’t discount the possibility of something closer to raw esthetic appeal. The original Hummer I feel I like in the same way I like VW’s “Thing.” Machine guns, sword fighting, mushroom clouds and murder in general all have a certain beauty to them too. You’re just thinking about it too hard, Ian.

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  4. oliver

    Oh, and as far as overlooking the greater environmental and societal damage that one is bound doing to by driving a Hummer, you know that’s a slippery slope that we all learn not to go down. Might as well tell those Hummer drivers to bike to work, eat only rice and beans and send three fourths of their incomes to Sudan. Not that I like where these people are choosing to draw the line any more than anybody else I’d consider sensible. You keep ragging on them.

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  5. Piglet

    Maybe they’re Mormons and have a family of eight to schlep around in there.
    Or else they do their shopping at Costco and get all their groceries by the case. Costco treats its workers well and donates more money to Democrats than to Republicans. Plus, you can save a lot of money shopping there, though you do have to pay attention.
    What else? Oh, wait, I got it–they CARPOOL! LOL, no chance of THAT

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  6. Ian

    Oh my God, http://www.fuh2.com and http://www.swineopia.com are freakin’ PRICELESS. The pictures on the Hummer site are great.
    Dave – actually, the pic is my Prius. And to be honest, it was only the second or third Hummer I’d seen in our neighborhood. In Manhattan, however, those things are everywhere (and usually have Jersey plates, no offense, LaurieFMD).

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  7. Ian

    Oliver – Sure there’s a slippery slope towards some sort of guilt-ridden Spartanism, but owning a Hummer, to me, is well past the line drawn by any sensitive, aware American.
    I’d put the line of guilt at, say, 18mpg. And that’s being excruciatingly lenient. There will come a day, hopefully in the next seven years, when that kind of mileage will actually be illegal in a consumer car.

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  8. oliver

    Illegal in new cars, I agree. But I bet if someone’s passionate personal sense of style compelled them to commute by Model T or ’52 Ford Thunderbird instead of a Hummer, you’d probably sympathize today and lobby for their release from prison in the future. I know I’m sympathetic to style when I like it.

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  9. Ehren

    I was going to respond with basically the same thing that Oliver said. I like them for almost exactly the same reason that I like the old CJ-7 jeeps — they look rugged and military, and in fact they *are* rugged and military. I think it’s ridiculous to drive them on city streets, but I think they’ve become a symbol of consumption to us lefties and we pick on them like crazy. Anybody who eats shrimp or uses plastic stuff is doing more to screw up the environment than if they bought a Hummer. Not that I think buying a hummer is good to do, I just think our anger at them is a bit out of proportion.

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  10. kevin

    So.. my dad was talking to me about our Prius and he was talking about the enviromental issues of battery disposal. Is there really a green choice when it comes to automobiles?

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  11. oliver

    Yeah, “out of proportion,” or a little too fervent. There’s a grain of truth to the negative meaning of “PC,” which I think comes from scarlet A’s getting hung around things we ought not to wish people to burn in Hell for eternity over. I worry for example that not all those idiots in the Hummers will appreciate that our hyperbole is all in good fun, such that some of them might start opting for the gun mounts, and then someone could lose an eye.

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  12. Merkin

    Ian wants to ban Hummers and Laurie wants to dictate what people should do with their own property, including what kind of home they live in.
    This is just the sort of nanny state nonsense that has made the Democratic Party the success it is today.

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  13. Chris

    People in multiple glass houses…
    Anyone own/rent more than one residence? One sits empty with the heat on so the pipes won’t freeze and the refrigerator sucking electricity while you’re at the other one — or a hotel somewhere while both residences are empty but burning fossil fuels every minute of ever hour of every day. Someday will that be illegal?

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  14. Ian

    What if one residence is powered entirely by solar power? And the other is one apartment in a brownstone that burns only a pilot light (besides the energy-efficient fridge) in one’s absence?

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  15. Merkin

    Get a sense of humor, Chris. ;)
    I used to be a lot like Ian on environmental matters — conservation, recycling, advocacy… the whole bit. But after seven years of post-secondary study, and having worked several more as an environmental engineer with the US EPA (Waste, Pesticides and Toxics Division), I learned that most of the enviro-hysteria is unwarranted. Not all, but most.
    But, hey, it all makes for great movies (not to mention juicy federal grants). Personally, I liked The Day After Tomorrow, but then I like all kinds of “kablooey!” movies and don’t hold grudges over their scientific inaccuracies.
    If Ian had one of those Amazon.com links on his web site I might even buy him Michael Crichton’s new book State of Fear as a Christma–, er, “Holiday” gift… I don’t wish to offend anyone, you understand? :)

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  16. Ishtar

    Ugh, I hate those things. They just look so freaking stupid, not to mention the fact that I hate being next to them in my wonderful roller-skate sized Hyundai Accent wondering how long it will take the rescue squads to spatula me off my engine block if one hits me.
    I’m all for rugged, don’t mind it a bit, but Hummers? My boyfriend has an 84 CJ7 all nice and tricked out specifically for offroad. It has giant tires, gets horrible gas mileage, and can be uncomfortable. He is in a jeep club with people who have actual military jeeps from any decade they were around (talk about uncomfortable, by the way), and they do trail runs. He doesn’t use the jeep for driving around (the Ford Taurus gets decent gas mileage, holds six people and we can get four full sets of scuba gear in the trunk); for one thing he can’t afford the gas.
    No Hummer can go the places this jeep can go. We’ve seen a few stranded at early points on the trail where they’ve gotten stuck between trees, and the owners are working on scraping some of that thousand dollar paint job off working around things. They also seem to get hung up on rocks when they’re just out of the dealership, which is how most people drive them. The wheelbase is so frigging wide on those things that if you aren’t driving across a burning desert, they seem fairly useless.
    For that paramilitary look, get a jeep or a tank. For lots of kids, just acknowledge the horrible truth and get a minivan.
    For guys compensating for something, get a BMWZ3 or Z4. Don’t know the gas mileage, but they’re so much more fun.
    Ishie

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  17. Rich

    Merkin, it’s not about a “nanny state”. Unless you think there should be no laws whatsoever (some new extreme form of libertarianism?) you will probably agree that in a democracy we need to pass laws that protect the public and provide for the common good.
    The mileage the Hummer gets SHOULD be illegal … it’s a waste of common resources (yes, the oil and gasoline belong to everyone even if you pay for it at the pump) AND it pollutes the hell out of the air. I also live in Morris county, and like about 15 other counties in NJ, Morris failed the federal air quality standards. Again. Luckily we have until 2010 to come into compliance. Don’t hold your breath!
    Or wait, maybe you should, breathing is dangerous with all those Hummers out there.

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  18. Chris

    http://varifrank.com/archives/2005/02/changing_the_wo_1.php
    Changing the world – One cable modem at a time.
    Once while watching TV and seeing a Dodge Ram pickup commercial, my brother-in-law began to opine about the obvious fuel inefficiency of Dodge pickups and what a fool anyone would be to buy one. He offered that anyone who didn’t buy a Honda was an idiot, as only Hondas could get decent gas mileage, and thus were the only cars “good for the environment”. I then reminded him of something he knew, that I owned a Dodge pickup and that he had parked right next to it in the driveway. After he acknowledged that I then told him something he didn’t want to hear.
    “My Dakota is more efficient than your Honda”, I said.
    He laughed back and said to me in mid guffaw that there was no way that could possibly be true. The poor bastard didn’t know he was being set up…

    Reply

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