Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hummer Hate

Today, the Globe and Mail covers the phenomenon known as ''Hummer hate''. People flip the bird at their drivers, key them, design websites to make fun of them; there's just something about the Hummer that really annoys people. Judging from the comments, the three main complaints about Hummers is that they are: 1. bad for the environment, 2. Dangerous on the roads, and 3. indicative of the penile insecurities of the drivers.

All of these complaints, valid or not, suggest to me that Hummer-haters are going out of their way to avoid discussing the real issue with Hummers- namely, they're proof positive that you can't buy class. There's something so completely new money about the Hummer, or more accurately new credit card debt, that strikes anyone with the slightest bit of taste as 100 percent gauche. It's like paying a hundred bucks for the hair stylist to give you a mullet. It's roughly akin to gold-capped teeth or a fedora with an ostrich feather. It's like wearing a tee-shirt that says ''I have more money than you.'' The Hummer is the automotive equivalent of hair metal. It's like spending a million dollars at K-Mart. It's polyester on wheels. You get the idea.

Of course, nobody says this because we don't want to seem snobbish. We like to pretend that ''everyone has their own tastes'' so that we don't sound too ''judgmental''- the ultimate slur in a society that's incapable of making judgments. But, in an era in which debutantes feel comfortable wearing pink track suits, and 20-something secretaries think that showing off a little butt crack is seductive, we could stand to be a bit judgmental. We're smothering in tastelessness of the worst kind- the kind that doesn't know it's tasteless. Kitsch on credit. Camp without the wink. The suburbanization of the soul. So, why pretend to be ''eco-friendly'' about it? If you drive a Hummer, you are making a statement: I lack all taste, and I think that I can compensate for that by spending a lot of money. Naturally people with aesthetic sense will cringe when they see you drive by.


Hiromi said...

Hummers are unapologetically obnoxious. Those things are huge. They crowd the road and take over parking lots to the point of being dangerous. It's one big FUCK YOU statement to notions of aesthetics and simple courtesy.

gregvw said...

"I live out in the boonies. Transit isn't an option out here." When these words come out of the mouth of someone who spent $100K on a vehicle it can only mean that they fucking hate people. They have rejected being a community member. I certainly don't advocate damaging peoples' property, but this guy is plainly a dick.

Then again, if we were part of the pro-Sloane juice-the-planet like a big orange so we can propel our retarded land yachts around from burbclave to cubicle to strip mall and back culture which is so prevalent, we wouldn't have sold all of our vehicles to live someplace where they are completely unnecessary.

clairev said...

the way i see it there are a few limited reasons for having a vehicle that is sizeable (not necessarily an SUV) for personal reasons:
-if you need to drive through rough terrain on a daily basis (like the example given by the woman living in the NWT)
-you shuttle your 3+ kids around/someone who requires transport and is in a wheelchair or similar device
-you, for whatever reason, require a vehicle with a large rear-axle differential to tow and/or drag things behind you (non-commercial)

i'm sure there may be a few more exceptions, but i would propose a tax on all of them--nothing unreasonable but enough to make people think twice before buying one to do the daily commute. let's recall now that i'm canadian and the tax system is diffent here.

this winter i was hit by a Ford explorer (i drive a corolla) that not only caused $10 000 worth of damage to my car, but fucked me up good. it wasn't even a bad accident as far as they go. i hate SUV's, and i REALLY hate Hummers. They not only scream pathetic bids for attention, but also of arrogance. When I read the article i just couldn't believe that some of the owners didn't understand why people hated their vehicles. Mind boggling.


Zack said...

For me, what it comes down to is this: You spend your money on something as ugly and tacky as this? Really? I've only spit on a couple of Hummers (ones with pro-bush or Jesus stickers), and they don't really piss me off; they mainly just make me laugh. It is true: You can't buy class.

Holly said...

Class? Who wants class??

These people are buying power. They are buying presence. They are buying a voice. This is just *exactly* like vandalizing public art.

The sad thing is the number of Hummer owners who undoubtedly feel that they're just exercising their right as a consumer to buy and drive whatever they like, and it just happens that they LIKE that. If they liked a Honda Civic, they'd have bought that instead, right?

Only, a Civic doesn't really address that nagging feeling that no matter how much money they acquire, they actually just aren't all that important. Not more important than anyone else, and that's just galling. No, a Civic is the car for people who buy a vehicle to get their ass, and many some other objects, from point A to point B.

The H3, on the other hand, is the vehicle for people who are desperately important. More important that you, for sure.

Rufus said...

And, you know, the thing is that all of the really rich people that Claire and I know are so fucking understated about it. They drive smart cars or things like Hondas, and they dress relatively classy, but basically like normal people. However, most of them have something that most people lack now, which is grace. They're not so insecure that they have to flaunt their wealth. The basis of elegance is grace and understatement.

But with the Hummer, it's even worse than expensive- it's a really ugly, stupid, idiotic vehicle that also happens to be really expensive. It's basically like a dumb-fuck magnet.

Anonymous said...

If i want to buy any vehicle i can, all you tree-huggers can just hold your breath because you are emitting too much CO2. People that that drive hummers make as much as people who drive porsche suv's. The only difference is that Hummer owners actually take they vehicles fishing and camping. The sophisticated porsche owners never tow or take their so-called SUV's off road.

F-u hippie said...

As a hummer owner, i agree, its a total F-You vehicle. Thats the only reason hummer owners buy them> They know that its pisses off all the global warming, liberal, metrosexual, jap car driving, hippie, peta, recycling, root chewers of the world. Boo Hoo whiners, just don't get into an accident with one, cause i know who's going to be on the losing end of that accident.

Rufus said...