Thursday, July 31, 2008

End of the American Land Yacht...,

Earlier this summer, I posted an obituary for the soon-to-be-extinct HumVee. This morning, I came across a legendary anti-SUV rant by Mark Morford in the San Francisco Chronicle. I love few things more than a good old rip-snorting flame session, and this one is excellent. Here are some choice morsels from the column;
But really, who didn't see the SUV's collapse coming a mile away? Who didn't note the beginning of the end when, a mere five years ago, the world's worst consumer vehicle ever took its place as the king of obscene stupidity, the poster child for all that went wrong with the condescending American ethos, the oil-sucking war-drunk Bush-mauled mind-set?

Ah, the Hummer H2. Has any consumer product embodied our misguided arrogance better? The ridiculous scale, the horrible handling, the crappy build quality, the contemptible road manners, the false machismo, the Cro-Magnon design, the ability to traverse 60-degree rockslides in a hurricane even though all you ever really needed to do was run over those little concrete bumps in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Dude! Righteous!

But I have to admit, this part of the tale makes me a little bit sentimental. Honestly, I'm going to miss the Hummer (and its simply fantastic byproduct, Hummer cologne), much in the same way I'll miss Dick Cheney when the Hellmouth swallows him home next year. Dumb villains simply don't come much more glaring, much more churlish and sad than that.

But baby, it's all over now. GM is trying desperately to dump the Hummer brand (maybe on China), SUV sales are nosediving faster than Miley Cyrus' career into the land of anorexia and Olsen Twin-certified rehab.
Comedy gold. But all that snarky irony isn't really very far removed from the underlying fact that American identity did get sucked into a 20 year spiral during which personal status was conflated with unsustainable and ludicrous automotive excess. Not to mention the market-making tax credits extended to light truck owners that served to heavily subsidize this insufferable and regrettable binge. It WILL take time and ever-increasing gas prices to wean folks from the silly and gross errors of the Sport Utility Vehicle debacle....,


Mart said...

Do you really believe that because it sounds intellectually sound, or do you believe someone has ripped you off?
Even if someone did rip you off, imagine that all those heavy large vehicles stored in junk yards allowed the closing of antiquated steel mills...

CNu said...

Hmm..., the SUV, like the light water nuclear reactor - is a grotesque boondoggle. Personally, I ride the city bus.