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January 8, 2003 5:36 AM   Subscribe

DRIVING A SUV HELPS TEH TERRORISTS! NYT Reg. required. (-3 Troll) o<
posted by KettleBlack (187 comments total)

 
well... the aim was good... the technique however...

The only way America will use less fuel is to up the price. For fark's sake, our gas costs around $6 a gallon so only those with more money than sense drive huge cars...
posted by twine42 at 5:42 AM on January 8, 2003


Oh, and I didn't need a reg... Odd.
posted by twine42 at 5:42 AM on January 8, 2003


Hilarious! Arianna, you go, girl!
posted by alumshubby at 5:48 AM on January 8, 2003


Glad to see SOMEONE is speaking out. I was listening to NPR's Morning Edition this morning and heard an interesting commentary about celebrity and the anti-war effort. Mostly complaining about why should we listen to them...just because they're famous? But he did make a point that struck me - where's the questioning? Why is it that celebrity anti-war sentiment is making the news? Where's all the other efforts? It's people like Arianna Huffington and Michael Moore who are leading the charge.....but why aren't the concerns of the normal American being aired more publicly?
posted by bkdelong at 5:52 AM on January 8, 2003


The ad scripts.
posted by iceberg273 at 5:55 AM on January 8, 2003


bkdelong: Indymedia is hardly the voice of the normal American...
posted by PenDevil at 6:04 AM on January 8, 2003


Fire with fire! Although both ads deal in hyperbole, the drug ads are less accurate than the SUV ads.
posted by chris0495 at 6:13 AM on January 8, 2003


Ha! Sure it's silly and over the top, but you know they're pushing buttons when stations refuse to run them, why is that? It seems like the commercial is just a video version of an earlier metafilter member's project.
posted by mathowie at 6:16 AM on January 8, 2003


Another reason to be glad I don't watch TV.
posted by squidman at 6:19 AM on January 8, 2003


And I never understood this crazy logic about the wasteful use of oil helping terrosists. Economic interdependence between countries is a good thing and leads to peace. Better leverage than a big stick.
posted by squidman at 6:23 AM on January 8, 2003


... not that I think wasting resources is a good thing, its just that calling SUV's evil is hardly the best answer.
posted by squidman at 6:24 AM on January 8, 2003


The SUV trend will eventually die, and then only those folks that actually drive to the top of mountains and traverse the forest and deserts across the US will be driving them. Ironically, the death of the SUV is more likely to be sped by the unrest U.S. foreign policy is feeding in the middle east, not by celebreties.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 6:29 AM on January 8, 2003


So its OK to help terrorists a little by driving a passenger car?
posted by jsonic at 6:33 AM on January 8, 2003


More troll...

I'm not proud to live in a country where our biggest heroes are those who play games and those who play pretend.

I doubt that SUV's are going away any time soon.
posted by squidman at 6:33 AM on January 8, 2003




So its OK to help terrorists a little by driving a passenger car?
no.
posted by andrew cooke at 6:37 AM on January 8, 2003


An M1-Abrams tank uses an assload of gas.

M1 Tanks help terrorists!
posted by bondcliff at 6:45 AM on January 8, 2003


These commercials would make more sense if they said "anyone who drives a gas burning vehicle is helping terrorism". Not that I agree with that, just saying that blaming SUVs for terrorism while ignoring other internal combustion vehicles is myopic.

This would be similar to the drug commercials saying "cocaine buyers support terrorism, but its just dandy to smoke marijuana".
posted by jsonic at 6:47 AM on January 8, 2003


I think these ads are brilliant. The "drugs support terrorists" ads really upset me with their fuzzy logic, and I know these have no better logic, but the parody is right on. Really, that's the point to me: Show the ridiculousness of those first ads.

What I don't understand is the following:

But some local affiliates say they will not run them. At the ABC affiliate in New York, Art Moore, director of programming, said, "There were a lot of statements being made that were not backed up, and they're talking about hot-button issues."

And how is that different from the "drugs support terrorists" ads? I read the scripts to both ads and saw no problem with their statements.

**Insert government controlling media conspiracy rant here**
posted by fletchmuy at 6:59 AM on January 8, 2003


Sure, the logic here is pretty shaky if you extend the argument. But it seems to get the issue moving. Also the numbers here are not trivial. Because of governmental regulations classifying suvs as light trucks (which therefore exempts them from certain requirements) the Union of Concerned Scientists figures the environmental gap between trucks and cars comes to the tune of:

-an additional 1.8 million tons/year of smog-forming pollutants

-an additional 237 million tons/year of global warming gases

- an additional 8.4 billion gallons/year of gasoline use

Stats here

And with the auto industry trumpeting the fact that 20% of the American public owns suvs, the environmental impact is pretty substantial.
posted by jeremias at 7:05 AM on January 8, 2003


Blaming SUV drivers is a bit over the top but at the same time it does get people talking and THINKING about fossil fuel consumption. As a recent owner of an SUV I was already beginning to think of my responsibility of making bad people wealthy and opening places like ANWAR so I could drive my big truck around. Like most things, the perception is the reality and my guilt was simply that - MINE.

I now proudly own a little 30mpg + car that I try and leave parked as much as possible.
posted by photoslob at 7:11 AM on January 8, 2003


The "drugs support terrorists" ads really upset me with their fuzzy logic

The latest one is particularly annoying. The pro-drug character comes up with a stupid "moral loophole" why buying drugs is ok. The anti-drug character easily attacks the obviously flawed "moral loophole" and the audience is supposed to suddenly see the connection between drugs and terrorism. This commercial should be used as the perfect example of a Strawman argument.

Maybe they are on to something though, cause we all know that 62,400 repetitions make one truth.
posted by jsonic at 7:15 AM on January 8, 2003


i agree. republicans of all people ought to support gas taxes as an "user fee" should'nt all the "farkin" costs be built into a gallon of gas?

security, environmental degredation, support for crooked oil producing governments, subsidies for haliburton style organizations, etc.? let people who want SUVs pay for them at the pump.

if the next guy wants to ride his bike or the bus to work - why should he pay a dime in taxes for his escalade driving nieghbor?
posted by specialk420 at 7:19 AM on January 8, 2003


This would be similar to the drug commercials saying "cocaine buyers support terrorism, but its just dandy to smoke marijuana".

Considering how much more marijuana is "homegrown" than cocaine, this is not very far off the mark. Besides, drug money only supports terrorism because we allow drugs to be sold outside regulated markets. If we lost the moralizing and focused on the economics we could make huge strides in decreasing the harms of currently illegal drugs.
posted by botono9 at 7:19 AM on January 8, 2003


For a few years I've been driving an Explorer and loved it. Just recently my commute got longer and the truck was getting old so I bought a VW and I love it even more. The problem is that the SUV is just so handy. I can put my bike in the back and have it with me all the time. And its roomier in the back seat. And of course its great in the snow, of which we are having a lot this year in the US mid atlantic. So I haven't gotten rid of it yet.
posted by squidman at 7:21 AM on January 8, 2003


This would have been a much better thread if the various posters had to divulge the type of vehicle they drive.
posted by BentPenguin at 7:24 AM on January 8, 2003


I will admit that I never noticed the number of people inside an SUV, until I read an article simply asking readers to observe this phenomena for themselves. Sure enough, once I started watching for it, I was amazed at just how many SUV drivers had no passengers with them at all.
posted by Beholder at 7:32 AM on January 8, 2003


I can put my bike in the back and have it with me all the time. And its roomier in the back seat

Ever hear of a roof rack?
posted by themikeb at 7:32 AM on January 8, 2003


squidman, David Cross played this role much better in an early episode of Mr. Show.

"I don't own a television. Notice I said 'television,' not 'TV', because TV is a nickname and nicknames are for friends and television is no friend of mine." I'm sure he hated athletes and actors for entertaining us too.
posted by yerfatma at 7:36 AM on January 8, 2003


This would have been a much better thread if the various posters had to divulge the type of vehicle they drive.

...plus how much.

SUV drivers seem most scorn-worthy when they hit that daily trifecta: 1) the sole passenger 2) commuting many miles 3) to a non-SUV-needing office job. You're not a farmer, ChimCham; you're in business development.

[ '96 Jetta; work at home; ~8k miles a year between two people; net moral authority, C- ]
posted by merlinmann at 7:45 AM on January 8, 2003


Ridin' with Osama

got the radio on

burnin' a spliff

stoned to the bone

pedal to the metal

in my big suv

he's cared shitless

terrorized by me

(appropriate rap sounds please)
posted by nofundy at 7:45 AM on January 8, 2003


SUVs make people feel safe. The environmental and trendier terrorism angle are far too abstract to actually be a major concern when what you want is the safest possible thing to haul you are yours around town.
posted by zeoslap at 7:46 AM on January 8, 2003


[and for the car disclaimer I have an Audi TT and the wife has a Volvo Cross Country]
posted by zeoslap at 7:48 AM on January 8, 2003


My family has two main forms of transportation - a Toyota Camry and a Mazda P3. ( Don't ask about the Mazda...my wife wanted it for some reason... I guess the low profile tires coupled with the station wagon exterior made her all crazy inside) - but my vehicle of choice is still my old car from High School, a 1970 Mustang Mach 1.
I feel guilty driving it sometimes, as I know for a fact that the 351 Cleveland under the hood gets around 4 miles to the gallon. But damn it all to hell, it sure is fun to drive.
I don't drive it all that much, since It takes a full tank of gas just to get me back and forth to work these days. But on those late nights, when everyone is asleep, and the stars are out... it sure is nice to just get in, crank that monster up, and head out on some country road.
I think that's the problem with SUV's and other gas guzzlers. They're just more fun to drive, plus they give a sense of real power. After driving a Toyota all week, a ride in the Mach 1 makes me feel like a God.
In the end, it all comes down to being selfish and wasteful.

My name is Brad, and I'm a wasteful bastard.

I am ashamed.
posted by bradth27 at 7:55 AM on January 8, 2003


Just go over to LPG/Propane. It's proper gas, so the Arabs are out of the equation. What's more.. it's less than half the price of gasoline in Europe.
posted by wackybrit at 7:56 AM on January 8, 2003


I can put my bike in the back and have it with me all the time.

Y'know, I have my bike with me all the time too. But then I'm actually riding the damn thing as opposed to acting as it's taxi service. ;-)

[Dawes mountain bike. Never owned a combusting vehicle in 34 years. Yer all polluting scumbags in my eyes ;-) ]
posted by i_cola at 7:56 AM on January 8, 2003


this is great, just great. it isn't every day that someone takes head-on what passes for legitimate argument in this country. i was hoping someone would come up with a counter commercial that showed how absolutely insipid, and, let's face it, out-and-out propagandistic those anti-drug campaigns were. if nothing else, ariana's ads will serve that purpose nicely. hopefully, they get into wider distribution.

[car disclaimer: thankfully, i live in nyc, so i don't have one.]
posted by callicles at 8:01 AM on January 8, 2003


(I don't own a car)

zeoslap- SUV's are not very safe. They have a greatly increased risk of rolling, and tend to crush other objects (living or otherwise) they hit. They're a complete blight. Few things anger me more than seeing a suburban housewife driving into midtown NYC in her SUV that looks like it never left pavement.

squidman- Why are you driving your bike around in the back of your truck all the time? You do see the irony in that, don't you?
posted by mkultra at 8:01 AM on January 8, 2003


BTW, there was supposed to be a link in there: http://www.suv.org/safety.html
posted by mkultra at 8:03 AM on January 8, 2003


Driving down to LA in our new car (which seems lower than any other car we've owned), I noticed that SUVs are a lot like guys at a concert. You know the concerts where you get a seat assigned to you, show up, and everyone's sitting down before the show? Sometimes, a band (esp. an opener) doesn't really rock staight off the bat, but there's always that guy that stands up on the first guitar lick.

***braaaannngggg***

"Whooo! Yeah!!! Hitler's Moustache rocks!!! Woo! Rock!"

And if the guy or girl behind him wants to see the stage, they have to stand up. And so on, and so forth, until you're sitting in your seat listening to some craptacular opening band you can't see, wondering why everyone isn't sitting down and saving their energy for the headliner.

Sometime in 1987, a guy with a 4runner, cherokee, or bronco took a trip on a major highway and people couldn't see around it or through the back window.

And then someone bought a pathfinder so they could be high enough to see through the back window. And then someone else bought a jeep. And then eventually the explorer came out.

Driving down to LA last month, I couldn't help but feel like I was sitting in my assigned seat, wondering why I was surrounded by people standing for a crappy opening band.
posted by mathowie at 8:07 AM on January 8, 2003


SUV's are not very safe

Here is a simple hypothetical: You have entered an intersection and are about to be T-boned by a red-light runner. What do you want to be driving:

1.) Honda Civic
2.) Ford Expedition

If you actually chose the civic, then your anti-SUV ideology has blinded you to the reality of physics.

They have a greatly increased risk of rolling

True, but rolling is punishment for a mistake made by the driver of the SUV. SUVs don't necessarily protect you from yourself, but they do increase your protection from all the other bad drivers on the road.
posted by jsonic at 8:07 AM on January 8, 2003


The terrorists? Not likely. But it is all too obvious many young Americans would die in Iraq if (when, rather) the US begins the attacks just to keep those "other" Americans driving their gas-guzzling SUVs. Reminds me of those who buy a Hummer just to drive to the supermarket three blocks away from home.
posted by betobeto at 8:12 AM on January 8, 2003


i_cola, that's nice that you can ride your bike everywhere but some of us are not close enough to our jobs to be able to do that.

As for people complaining about SUVs containing only one person, perhaps what you don't see is that SUV on the weekend hauling a family around. We own a Subaru Forrester (a small SUV/Wagon type thing) and whenever we go anywhere with the kid we have a stroller, play-pen, diaper bag, what have you. The 4-wheel drive is nice in the new England snow. Sometimes, god forbid, we take it alone.

I drive a small pick-up truck. Mileage isn't very good, and yes, I drive it by myself every morning but I drive it to a train station.

Nobody should tell someone else what they should or shouldn't drive. People drive what they feel they need and that is reason enough.
posted by bondcliff at 8:18 AM on January 8, 2003


Here is (another) simple hypothetical: You have entered an intersection and are about to be T-boned by a red-light runner. What do you want that red light runner to be driving:

1.) Honda Civic
2.) Ford Expedition

My biggest issue with SUVs on the road are the people that own them that don't know how to drive.
posted by stifford at 8:19 AM on January 8, 2003


True, but rolling is punishment for a mistake made by the driver of the SUV. SUVs don't necessarily protect you from yourself, but they do increase your protection from all the other bad drivers on the road.

And that's why, when shopping for a new vehilcle in which to safely cart my family around, we chose a Buick Park Avenue Ultra. It's probably got the same weight ratio as an SUV, has more room in it than the average sedan, and Consumer Reports says it's the safest thing on the road.

Because it's a sedan, I have that Detroit tonnage close to the road, and therefore that much harder to roll. Of course, as far as mileage is concerned, I'm not too much better than those SUV folks, but I'm still better.

[ car disclaimer: That's technically my wife's car. I drive a beat-up 91 Accord that I have to refuel once a month ].
posted by thanotopsis at 8:21 AM on January 8, 2003


This would be similar to the drug commercials saying "cocaine buyers support terrorism, but its just dandy to smoke marijuana".

Actually the Taliban did indeed control a majority share of world production of the opium necessary to maufacture heroin. To say that consuming heroin during that time did help the Islamic Fundamentalists terrorists while consuming pot or cocaine did not is at least somewhat correct.

But mind you, at the time, they were friends, not terrorists. In fact, at the time, U.S. authorites were claiming that Al-Quaeda was NOT benefitting from drug trade.

SUVs make people feel safe.

At the expense of other people feeling less save ... for a reason.


Nobody should tell someone else what they should or shouldn't drive

That's the spirit. Whose business is it if the semi racing down the road has faulty brakes - it's the driver's right!

But when it comes to drugs, it is so much better to have arbitrary controls in place.
posted by magullo at 8:23 AM on January 8, 2003


My biggest issue with SUVs on the road are the people that own them that don't know how to drive.

Sounds like my dad talking about Asians. Grow up.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:23 AM on January 8, 2003


Never hear of Mr. Show and I do own a TV. I do watch videos, but for art and entertainment, not politics :). I just don't have cable or rabbit ears.

Bikes on roof racks can be stolen and create problems parking in garages. I leave the bike in there all summer long (when not riding it). I live in the DC metro area and I only ride a bike on trails. Unfortunately, riding a bike around here to actually get anywhere is dangerous.

One of the reasons I bought the Passat (which I now use to commute to my office job when its not snowing) was because I didn't feel safe in the SUV.

Did I get everyone?
posted by squidman at 8:25 AM on January 8, 2003


Exactly, stifford. jsonic, by your logic, I should be wearing body armor when I walk the streets here in NYC. You can't validate your argument with a series of hypotheticals (an accident caused by another car), when the ongoing reality (inefficient oil consumption) argues otherwise.
posted by mkultra at 8:25 AM on January 8, 2003


Brad's post drives home an important point: in America we are obsessed with the cars we drive. For many Americans the cars they drive define their personalities, dreams and passions. Car culture is hard wired into our brains. That big SUV Joe six-pack drives says he's a burly man who won't let a little dirt or snow stand in his way! Problem is he lives in an urban center surrounded by nothing but butter smooth asphalt. What's a guy to do!?

Well, in my case I bought a Honda Civic and came to grips with the fact that the original intention of my buying an SUV was absolutely preposterous. Ironically, my little hatchback holds the EXACT same amount of stuff my truck did.
posted by photoslob at 8:28 AM on January 8, 2003


HOTBUTTON POST RETRACTION:

I read this from Stifford: "My biggest issue with SUVs on the road are the people that own them that don't know how to drive."

as lacking the bolded "that" (i.e. a blanket statement that any one behind the wheel of an SUV is automatically a bad driver). Pardon my vitriol.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:28 AM on January 8, 2003


I should be wearing body armor when I walk the streets here in NYC

Sounds good to me.

You can't validate your argument with a series of hypotheticals (an accident caused by another car)

Really? Why not? 2 car accidents happen all the time. My post was in response to someone saying that SUVs are inherently unsafe when compared to passenger cars. That argument ignores physics.
posted by jsonic at 8:30 AM on January 8, 2003



My biggest issue with SUVs on the road are the people that own them that don't know how to drive.

Sounds like my dad talking about Asians. Grow up.


While the generalism fails as all generalisms do, I'd have to support it through observation in Fairfield county, CT. You see, around here, the SUV is a badge of affluence. If you don't have your Lexus SUV with the Martha's vineyard sticker on the back of it, you might as well not go to the PTO meetings.

In fact, in my time here (7 years, now), I've witnessed nearly 20-multi car accidents. In every single case the accident took place on one of those windy roads for which Connecticut is well known, in inclement weather, and involving an SUV. In one instance, I witnessed 4 SUVs fully rolled onto their tops in the snowy ditches on either side of Hwy 126 (on the border between CT and NY, by Pound Ridge).

When it snowed last week, a friend of mine got into an accident when the SUV behind him decided that a two-lane residential 25mph zone was just to slow for his tastes, and decided to pass my friend. She was pushed into the parked cars on the side of the road as he fish-tailed his way through the street in front of her...eventually coming to a stop in the middle of an intersection. She's OK, but it was yet another example of Connecticut SUV-wisdom.

So, while I'll agree that the generalism regarding SUVs and the quality of their drivers may not fit the mold nationally, my observations locally have certainly matched up.
posted by thanotopsis at 8:32 AM on January 8, 2003


stifford - well said.

I live in the country where 4*4s are worthwhile... you hit a tree, you bounce off.

My answer? Different license for different size/speed cars. We do it for motorbikes already over here.

Out of interest, how many of the Americans here have cars that will do over 40mpg?

I drive a bog standard Toyota Saloon 1.8. It does over 120mph, it does 0-60 in about 9 seconds and when I'm driving sensibly I get over 43mpg...
posted by twine42 at 8:33 AM on January 8, 2003


You see, around here, the SUV is a badge of affluence. If you don't have your Lexus SUV with the Martha's vineyard sticker on the back of it, you might as well not go to the PTO meetings.

A more obvious example of the class-hatred that is the base of anti-SUV rhetoric was never spoken.
posted by jsonic at 8:37 AM on January 8, 2003


SUVs make people feel safe.

A few weeks ago an SUV driver hit me while I was biking. It was her fault. She didn't see me when I clearly had the right of way; and she couldn't see me because she'd covered her passenger side window with an American flag decal. That's right, my life's a metaphor.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:39 AM on January 8, 2003 [2 favorites]


jsonic - Bumper Mentality, by Stephanie Mencimer

[...]SUV owners have filled the American highways with vehicles that exact a distinctly human cost, frequently killing innocent drivers who would have survived a collision with a lesser vehicle[...]

[...]The occupant death rate in SUVs is 6 percent higher than it is for cars--8 percent higher in the largest SUVs. The main reason is that SUVs carry a high risk of rollover; 62 percent of SUV deaths in 2000 occurred in rollover accidents.[...]

[...]Government researchers have found that a behemoth like the four-ton Chevy Tahoe kills 122 people for every 1 million models on the road; by comparison, the Honda Accord only kills 21.[...]

[...]The tragedy of SUVs is that highway fatalities were actually in decline before SUVs came into vogue, even though Americans were driving farther. This is true largely for one simple reason: the seatbelt. Seatbelt usage rose from 14 percent in 1984 to 73 percent in 2001. But seatbelts aren't much help if you're sideswiped by an Escalade, a prospect that looms yet more ominously as SUVs enter the used-car market. Not surprisingly, last year, for the first time in a decade, the number of highway deaths actually rose.[...]

etc.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:41 AM on January 8, 2003


My two cents on this whole thing:

1. SUVs do not drive/handle like a car... people do need to learn how to properly handle one. Much like people need/needed to learn how to brake with anti-lock brakes vs. standard brakes.

2. At least GM and Toyota seem to be doing something about the gas intake of the bigger vehicles by developing hybrids that use gas and electricity.

Another question: How much electrical power in the US is derived from oil? That mean every light we turn on, we're supporting terrorists too?
posted by MediaMan at 8:44 AM on January 8, 2003


I used to drive a Land Rover (I assume you would call that an SUV). They do make you feel powerful. They do make you feel safe.

The problem I found with them is that the brakes are terrible. It's not a Landie thing, it's that sized vehicle in general. That much weight takes a lot of slowing down. And before you say about other vehicles of the same weight, a Landie has a much higher center of gravity, so the braking will reduce the weight on the back axle, causing it to slide more easily. Oh, and you'll be unbalanced at the same time.

Ironicly, it died in a crash with a Honda Accord - nose on crash. The Accord was driven off, while the Landie ended up in a scrappers with a smashed prop. Looked fine on the outside though... *shrug*
posted by twine42 at 8:45 AM on January 8, 2003




When it snowed last week, a friend of mine got into an accident when the SUV behind him decided that a two-lane residential 25mph zone was just to slow for his tastes, and decided to pass my friend.

There is a road between my house and the grocery store (aout a mile away) that winds through a series of apartment complexes. Due to the number of pedestrians on this road (including small children), the town has seen fit to place a 25 mile per hour speed limit on the road. This does not fit the tastes of most motorists. The street is not well lit at night, and double yellow lines preclude passing.

One night, as I returned from grocery shopping, a large SUV tailgated me, frustrated that I was following the posted speed limit. Suddenly, the SUV swerved into the other lane to pass me.

We then both realized that there was a vehicle coming around one of the many curves on the road. I slammed on my brakes, the oncoming car slammed on its brakes, and the SUV swerved back into the correct lane and sped off into the night. It was only then that I realized that the oncoming car was the new Chevrolet Impala purchased by our town police department.

(I relate this story only for its amusement value and connection to the previous story, as it relates more to the dangers of passing on dark winding roads than to the dangers of owning an SUV.)
posted by iceberg273 at 8:47 AM on January 8, 2003


Mediaman

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html

of the USA's 3.613 trillion kWh production in 2000, 70% was fossil fuels.
posted by twine42 at 8:51 AM on January 8, 2003


[...]SUV owners have filled the American highways with vehicles that exact a distinctly human cost, frequently killing innocent drivers who would have survived a collision with a lesser vehicle[...]

The exact same thing can be said for normal passenger cars versus smaller vehicles. (motorcycle, bicycle, even compact cars)
posted by jsonic at 8:52 AM on January 8, 2003


My thoughts on all SUVs'
posted by SweetJesus at 8:54 AM on January 8, 2003


For the record, I wasn't saying that ALL SUV drivers don't know how to drive. I'm saying a person in an SUV that doesn't know how to drive it that well is a problem (switching between driving similar sized cars isn't as big a difference than switching up to an SUV. If I took my mom out of her Honda, and put her in an Expedition, you would not want to have your car parked in the mall that afternoon...)
posted by stifford at 9:00 AM on January 8, 2003


SweetJesus, that link rocks.

"Only in America could something like the Cadillac EXT be built. This makes you wonder why it's built in Silao, Mexico."
posted by Slothrup at 9:04 AM on January 8, 2003


The exact same thing can be said for normal passenger cars versus smaller vehicles. (motorcycle, bicycle, even compact cars)

an interesting observation, in that I would imagine the vastly superior control and manueverability of a motorcycle would be a greater ally in accident prevention than being able to afford to buy and maintain a prodigious fad-mobile.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:10 AM on January 8, 2003


A greater ally in accident prevention, maybe, but I think in the case I was actually in an accident, I would not want to be on a motorcycle at the time.
posted by stifford at 9:15 AM on January 8, 2003


octobersurprise- that's brilliant.

jsonic- A more obvious example of the class-hatred that is the base of anti-SUV rhetoric was never spoken.

Yes, there's a fair amount of class issues wrapped up in this argument, but I think you're coming at it from the wrong angle. To me, it's more a matter of obnoxious entitlement. What is it about you (and I'm not speaking about people who have a legitimate need to haul large loads on non-paved roads) that you feel entitled, much less compelled, to buy a vehicle that's too big, wasteful, and dangerous for your needs?

The exact same thing can be said for normal passenger cars versus smaller vehicles. (motorcycle, bicycle, even compact cars)

... and any vehicle versus a pedestrian. The same logic fuels arms races. What's your point? There's a legitimate case to be made for widespread use of passenger vehicles, but I have yet to hear anyone make the case for widespread adoption of SUV's, other than "I'm afraid of other drivers".
posted by mkultra at 9:17 AM on January 8, 2003


I would imagine the vastly superior control and manueverability of a motorcycle would be a greater ally in accident prevention than being able to afford to buy and maintain a prodigious fad-mobile.

Unfortunately, motorcycles don't offer physical protection against other bad drivers, as any motorcycle rider will tell you. There is that new rider-airbag system for motorcycles though that might help a little.

As usual in these SUV threads, my arguments are not necessarily pro-suv. I simply try to point out the hypocritical nature of normal car driving SUV haters and the typical falacies they use to support their hatred.
posted by jsonic at 9:20 AM on January 8, 2003


"For every one life saved by driving an SUV, five others will be taken."

Good. That makes more room for my car on the freeway.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:21 AM on January 8, 2003


I can't say that the majority of SUV owners are bad drivers, but as a motorcycle rider the majority of people who try to end my life on the road are SUV drivers. I'm all for a separate license system for vehicles over a certain size. Maybe that would cut down on the number of SUVs or least teach their owners that they aren't driving a car.
posted by Tenuki at 9:24 AM on January 8, 2003


you beat me to it, botono9. how many of you put homegrown organic gasoline in your cars? am i supporting the humboldt county terrorism scene? and even in terms of more commercial marijuana, when was the last time that a bunch of mexican nationals blew up something in the states?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:27 AM on January 8, 2003


What is it about you ... that you feel entitled, much less compelled, to buy a vehicle that's too big, wasteful, and dangerous for your needs?

I think the core of the issue is the definition of "too big" and what someone else's "needs" are. You think one thing, someone else thinks another. Why do you feel entitled, much less compelled, to force your definitions of these issues on others?
posted by jsonic at 9:27 AM on January 8, 2003 [1 favorite]


2 car accidents happen all the time. My post was in response to someone saying that SUVs are inherently unsafe when compared to passenger cars. That argument ignores physics.

Well jsonic I have a hypothetical for you too. First off let me reiterate in no uncertain terms SUV's are far more unsafe currently than passenger cars. There is one major reason for this and that is that as trucks the do not have to abide by the same higher safety standards of passenger vehicles.

Lets take your same example of a Ford Explosion vs. a Honda Civic. Which would you rather drive at 35 mph into a brick wall?

If you said the Ford you're ignoring the laws of physics.
posted by aaronscool at 9:33 AM on January 8, 2003


I think the core of the issue is the definition of "too big" and what someone else's "needs" are. You think one thing, someone else thinks another. Why do you feel entitled, much less compelled, to force your definitions of these issues on others?

As another poster has suggested, you can apply that same logic to weapons. I mean, Iraq feels like it needs nuclear, chemical and biological weapons to be safe. You say that they're too dangerous for Iraq to have, but why do feel entitled, much less compelled to force your definitions of these issues on others?
posted by Slothrup at 9:34 AM on January 8, 2003


How about a non-car owner hating an SUV? Or pretty much any car for that matter.

I won't deny that cars are absolutely essential. But when you have these huge vehicles, and one driver, and no passenger, anyone has to admit that is wasteful. The same can be said for any passenger vehicle. If you are going to buy groceries, or hauling something, that is completely different. But using a 4 person full size vehicle for commuting to and from work without carpooling, that is just wasteful.
posted by benjh at 9:39 AM on January 8, 2003


Well, I'm honestly not sure which side Slothrup is arguing, but come on, jsonic. It's not like I'm pulling terms like "big", "dangerous", and "wasteful" out of thin air. Pretty much any objective study of SUV's comes to the same conclusion.
posted by mkultra at 9:45 AM on January 8, 2003


You're not a farmer, ChimCham

*doubled over in mirth* Line of the Year! merlinmann, i hereby notify you i will be using this continually henceforth.

on to the topic...a hot one for me as this year i went back to driving a Civic after leasing a CR-V, a *mini* SUV, mind you (or as my ex-boyfriend termed it, "a What's-The-Point-U-V"), for 3 years. at the dealership they all looked at me like i was Benedict Arnold: "What? Why? Nobody goes back after the CR-V, nobody!" direct quote. i told them the truth: the Civic was cheaper and i didn't need all that space 95% of the time, though i miss the all-wheel drive. i can only imagine the crack-like addiction people must get from driving Durangoes and Expeditions...that would explain a lot about the driving habits of my fellow Massholes, too...

if these anti-SUV commercials make even one suburban dingus (sorry, i meant ChimCham!) re-examine (or i guess just examine) if/why/how much they really need this thing that lives in their driveway, then it's worth it. much as i love the "Car Talk" guys, their anti-SUV bumper sticker campaign just ain't gettin' much press. nobody ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public. if Detroit could made gold-plated zeppelins they'd create a market, but that doesn't make it right.
posted by serafinapekkala at 9:50 AM on January 8, 2003


"an individual has the right to burn as much gasoline as they want in whatever manner they choose". That is basically what i get out of what a lot of people are saying here. i guess that is true, but it doesn't make wasteful overconsumption of resources any less -- antisocial.

so drive your giant steel boxes and keep accidentally killing people in more socially responsible vehicles. they'll have to get a lot bigger before they can fuck with my ride
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:57 AM on January 8, 2003


As usual in these SUV threads, my arguments are not necessarily pro-suv. I simply try to point out the hypocritical nature of normal car driving SUV haters and the typical fallacies they use to support their hatred.

I'm sorry what were the fallacies I'm curious to know? Personally I don't like SUVs for several reasons none that I know to be false. Here's my list:

1. They are marketed to soccer mom's and families as the safer alternative to cars/station wagons/mini vans. The reality is that these drivers's inexperience with handling such a large vehicle, the lack of similar car safety standards, and their weight distribution making them prone to roll overs means these vehicles are far less safe than cars.

2. They are marketed as the go anywhere do anything vehicle yet for the majority of people who buy them they don't see a lick of dirt on them. This seems peculiarly MORE the case the BIGGER the SUV gets. I doubt a single Escalade on this Earth has ever been used for real backcountry driving...

3. This is partly some of my first point but it goes beyond the soccer moms. The people who buy these things don't know how to drive them correctly. This is unsafe to themselves and other drivers. Practically every time I've been driving up to go skiing I see one or more SUVs ditched on the side of the road because the idiot driver thought his 4x4 could "Go anywhere and Do anything".

The bottom line in my opinion is that they are both wasteful of a resource we all share and need to continue to thrive economically and unsafe to themselves and others on the road. This is not just a matter of choice but is an issue that affects the larger community.
posted by aaronscool at 10:00 AM on January 8, 2003


jsonic:

SUV's aren't particularly safe vehicles. A safe vehicle is one that deforms and collapses around the passenger compartment so that the energy of the crash is not transmitted to the passengers. A little Volvo is safe.

SUV's are just big. They create wrecks that have more harm in them, but try to deflect that harm onto the passengers of the other car. This is about as moral as having rocket launchers to blast the other cars out of the way -- instead of choosing a safe car, you're choosing to get about the same injuries that you would in a safe car *and* to have other people hurt. Yay, you.

The bleating about SUV's being safer is transparent bullshit. If you really cared about being safe in your car, you'd get a Volvo, invest a few hundred to a grand or so in a racing seat with a five point harness, and wear a helmet and cervical collar. Then you'll be as impervious to harm as possible at traffic speeds. Not doing that? Then safety really isn't as important to you as you make it out to be, is it?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:02 AM on January 8, 2003


Forgot the nomex firesuit. You want one of those too.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:05 AM on January 8, 2003


And then someone bought a pathfinder so they could be high enough to see through the back window. And then someone else bought a jeep. And then eventually the explorer came out.
(mathowie's comment way the heck up there)

Since the age of 6 I've wondered why cars don't have periscopes. Not actual periscopes with the handlebars and all but something that filters down into a rear-view-mirror type display. I've never been able to figure out why not.

So useful!

Ahh, SUV posts. Road rage in paragraph form.
posted by furiousthought at 10:08 AM on January 8, 2003


I think the core of the issue is the definition of "too big" and what someone else's "needs" are. You think one thing, someone else thinks another. Why do you feel entitled, much less compelled, to force your definitions of these issues on others?

Why do you "need" an SUV? Remember need and desire are two very different things. You NEED water. You NEED food. You WANT an SUV, you don't NEED one. You'd get by fine with a Geo Metro, although it would lack the "Hey, look at this!" aesthetic that SUV's put off.

And I tell you why I feel compelled to force my opinions on this issue at SUV drivers. Every day I drive to work in my normal-sized 4 door car (which has fit everything I have ever needed to put it in) and I have to contend with you fucking people in your monstrously large trucks (They're built on pick-up frames, which is why they can get around normal fuel efficiency standards.)

Most of the time you fucking people are driving alone, in your ivory tower, high above those of us with common sense and human decency. I'm tired of pulling up to a stop light and instead of seeing the roof of another car, I see a goddamn Ford logo and a door handle. I bet I could sit on the roof of my car and not even be eye to eye with some of you fucking people. Maybe that's what you want...

And all that safety talk is just bullshit rationalization with no real evidence to back it up. Of course if you hit a Honda Civic with a Ford Monstrosity most of the damage will be done to the Civic. You'll probably walk away fine (Unless, in the course of the accident your SUV flipped over, your legs were crushed by the awful crumple zones, or your gas tank exploded as they're known to do). But you're just fucked if you're hit with another SUV, or take a tight curve faster than 40 miles an hour.

And I'm friends with many people who drive SUVs, and never has one ever proven that they "need" an SUV. You don't need an SUV to drive in the snow an haul your bike around. You need snow tires and a bike rack.
posted by SweetJesus at 10:08 AM on January 8, 2003


Harper's ran an interesting article on SUVs, why consumers like them so much, and the potential consequences of this affinity in April 2001. It certainly sounds as if this fad's going to get even bigger before it goes away -- not that I fault Arianna for trying.
posted by herc at 10:28 AM on January 8, 2003


Commuting is the real problem. I think the argument should be extended to corporate managers everywhere, "If you don't support telecommuting, you support the terrorists!"
posted by gruchall at 10:32 AM on January 8, 2003


You'd get by fine with a Geo Metro, although it would lack the "Hey, look at this!" aesthetic that SUV's put off.

Now hold on. If you are cursing us to a world of just Geo Metros, I may have to side with the SUV tribes...lol.
posted by stifford at 10:33 AM on January 8, 2003


high above those of us with common sense and human decency.

Not enough human decency to not refer to all SUV owners as "you fucking people."

Why do you NEED a computer? Is your computer just powerful enough to do what you need it to do or do you DESIRE a bit more power? What about your apartment/house? TV? Stereo? MP3 player? I certainly hope you're not burning any more electricity than you need.

Humans need food, water, and air. We sometimes buy things that we desire, even if we don't need them, because we're allowed to buy them.

Is a Wagoneer Family Truckster driven by a single person 100% of the time wasteful? Most likely. But Unless you make your own clothes, grow your own food, and have an organic PC I don't think you're in a place to tell someone what they need and don't need, or what they should and shouldn't be allowed to own.

I ride a bike and I drive a car. I've seen just as many unsafe, obnoxious morons on bikes than I have in SUVs. A large percentage of humans are idiots. Getting behind the wheel of an SUV does not make that so.
posted by bondcliff at 10:41 AM on January 8, 2003


Damn, SweetJesus, right on cue! Heheh.

A while back there was an Escalade or some other enormous truck with a great big extended cab and a tiny tiny pickup section parked in my apartment complex's parking garage. Its cargo: a bicycle.

In order to carry said bicycle an extension cage was installed on the door of the pickup end because the pickup section was too small to carry the bike flat!

The entire assembly extended half a car length into the driving lane.

C'mon, my SUV-driving brethren, laugh with me here.
posted by furiousthought at 10:45 AM on January 8, 2003




And of course, the cover of Bill Maher's new book, which parodies a WWII propaganda poster to make the same point.

To the people who defend SUV purchases vs more appropriately scaled vehicles by asking "Which would you want to be driving when someone runs into you at an intersection?", I can only respond with

Which would you rather be hit with at an intersection?

By your logic it's an arms race, with everyone needing to get bigger and bigger cars in self-defence.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:00 AM on January 8, 2003


Not enough human decency to not refer to all SUV owners as "you fucking people."

That's because I've had it with you fucking people.

Why do you NEED a computer? Is your computer just powerful enough to do what you need it to do or do you DESIRE a bit more power? What about your apartment/house? TV? Stereo? MP3 player? I certainly hope you're not burning any more electricity than you need.

You can't even use that sort of analogy in this situation. My fast computer and my big television don't put others with slower computers or smaller televisions in mortal danger every time I use them. My big television doesn't use over twice the energy other, smaller televisions use. SUV's do.

Humans need food, water, and air. We sometimes buy things that we desire, even if we don't need them, because we're allowed to buy them.

I'm allowed to buy an assault rifle, but that doesn't mean I need to. I'm allowed to do a lot of things (except, of course, smoke pot because I'll kill children when I buy fast food, rape girls at parties, and support terrorism), but I don't. I think about my responsibility to the rest of the human race, and society as a whole. Maybe you fucking people should do that once in a while.

Is a Wagoneer Family Truckster driven by a single person 100% of the time wasteful? Most likely. But Unless you make your own clothes, grow your own food, and have an organic PC I don't think you're in a place to tell someone what they need and don't need, or what they should and shouldn't be allowed to own.

Phbt, please. Since when did telling someone that maybe their car is too fucking big require that I grow my own food, and make my own clothes. In keeping (sort of) with your analogy, if I went into a grocery store, bought more food than I needed, and then left half of it to rot in my backyard - that's wasteful. I can do it, but it doesn't mean I should.

A large percentage of humans are idiots. Getting behind the wheel of an SUV does not make that so.

But it sure helps to pick 'em out in traffic...
posted by SweetJesus at 11:02 AM on January 8, 2003


Okay, so much has been said already that I'm sure I'm repeating something, but here goes, because I happened to be thinking about this already.

The SUV trend is a huge problem, in my opinion, but the larger issue addressed by the ads in the post is gas consumption. Never mind supporting terrorists. If you want to save American lives, use less gas. Carpool, use public transportation, ride a bike. The less gas we use, the less we need to invade countries to keep oil prices low.

Patriotism isn't just about personal freedom, it's also about personal responsibility, and that responsibility involves examining your life and what you hold dear.

Can you adjust your schedule to share a ride if it means we don't go to war? Can you figure out how to get around in a station wagon instead of an SUV if it means not opening wilderness areas to drilling? Can you learn to ride your bike in the dead of winter (my personal task)?
posted by mccreath at 11:03 AM on January 8, 2003


Stop using electric lights! Candles don't support terrorists! Except the ones that do!

I love the simple answer-to-complex-geopolitical-questions set. They're so cute.

ZupanGod, you're right on.

I'm sorry, where are the liberals calling these ads what they are: blatant racism against people in the Middle East who are in nations that produce oil? Especially, as ZupanGod points out, since the SUVs are powered by non-ME sources? No liberal outcry over _that_ racism? Why not?
posted by swerdloff at 11:05 AM on January 8, 2003


What do you want that red light runner to be driving:

You don't get to choose what other people drive. You only get to choose what you drive.
posted by kindall at 11:08 AM on January 8, 2003


I don't own a car. Rather, I own several bikes that I ride, and race, the shit out of. Oddly enough, they are just as expensive to maintain as an auto, but they provide infinitely more pleasure. The energy and funds devoted to our war on drugs (and terrorism/oil) should be directed at establishing highspeed public transportation.

... riding a bike around here to actually get anywhere is dangerous.

Yeah, because of all the oblivious asswipes in their cars.
posted by rotifer at 11:08 AM on January 8, 2003


I love the simple answer-to-complex-geopolitical-questions set. They're so cute.

Yeah, and the reductio ad absurdum crowd are little hotties, too.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:15 AM on January 8, 2003


mccreath: Correct, gas consumption should lead the debate not some mindless rant that only SUV drivers contribute to gas = terrorism. It should be SUV = high gas consumption.

swerdloff: Now don't get ahead of yourself there are great deal of Liberals like myself that don't adhere to the current far left dogma that poisons Liberalism.
posted by ZupanGOD at 11:15 AM on January 8, 2003


I'm sorry, where are the liberals calling these ads what they are: blatant racism against people in the Middle East who are in nations that produce oil?

Huh? By that logic, the anti-drug ads which this ad parodies are every bit as racist. But people who use strawman arguments like this against "liberals" aren't really concerned about racism, they're just looking for ammo. Be careful of collateral damage because you'll hit your own side with this one..
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:15 AM on January 8, 2003


I'm sorry, where are the liberals calling these ads what they are: blatant racism against people in the Middle East who are in nations that produce oil?

Not to get into the whole conservative-liberal thing, but w..w..what? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the current conservative administration has been pointing the exact same finger at a number of topics. From the anti-drug and anti-pot ads (If you live in the US, most of your pot comes from Kentucky, BC, Vermont and California) of which these SUV ads are a parody of, to the INS's forced re-registration of immigrants from Islamic countries in the middle east. The conservatives do a lot Islamic-terrorist finger pointing in this country, much more so than the liberals.

And perhaps not many people are speaking out about this, because it's flying below too many people's radars. I've yet to see one of these anti-SUV ads, but I've seen a ton of anti-terrorism and anti-drug ads.
posted by SweetJesus at 11:18 AM on January 8, 2003


You don't get to choose what other people drive. You only get to choose what you drive.

I guess that contributes to why people buy the big heavy vehicles.
posted by stifford at 11:20 AM on January 8, 2003


Harper's ran an interesting article on SUVs, why consumers like them so much

That's never been hard to figure out. People want family trucksters so they can take 2 parents, 2+ kids, a dog, and associated luggage to Grandma's house in Indiana twice a year and down to Disney every spring.

Really, station wagons make the most sense for that, but those are too much like what we were driven around in as kids.

Or minivans. But those remind us of being embarrassed about driving one in 1985.

So people hit on SUV's, because they're big enough to do that and don't have the boring-soccer-mom / complete-wussburger-whipped-dad smell. Yet. Just wait until they do, and the trend will die off, and people will be as embarrassed of them then as they are of their minivans now.

I keep wondering if the next family truckster is something like the PT Cruiser -- basically a minivan, but restyled to look more like a car, and with surfer-dude subtext.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:23 AM on January 8, 2003


A lot of the problems with SUVs would be eliminated if they were subject to the same regulations as passenger cars.

1. SUVs are exempt from passenger car fuel economy standards.

2. SUVs are exempt from passenger car pollution standards.

3. SUVs are exempt from passenger car safety standards.

These exemptions reduce the cost of manufacturing and owing an SUV and amount to an economic subsidy for buying an SUV.

Originally these exemptions were put in place in the 70's to avoid a burden to the farmer's pickup truck or the delivery man's van. It was also a subsidy to US auto makers who were getting wiped out by fuel efficient Japanese cars and when the only market they could compete in was pickups. It is a real perversion of the original intent of the legislation that SUVs and mini-vans are considered trucks. Eliminate the subsidies and you eliminate much of the demand for SUVs. You can have your SUV -- but it is only fair that you play by the same rules as everyone else.
posted by JackFlash at 11:31 AM on January 8, 2003


BTW KettleBlack, you spelled your URL wrong, it's: S-L-A-S-H-D-O-T, not M-E-T-A-F-I-L-T-E-R.
posted by badstone at 11:37 AM on January 8, 2003


I would personally like to see smaller vehicles replace large ones, but I have no interest in forcing my opinion of what someone else needs on them.

To all the haters: You are only hurting your cause. Changing peoples opinions and habits on this issue cannot be accomplished through hatred and vitriol. This will only make people more set in their ways and uninterested in listening to you.

People on this website go ape if a religious group tries to force their opinions, yet they feel no compunction about doing so themselves. I guess that's because the're "right".
posted by jsonic at 11:47 AM on January 8, 2003


SweetJesus, you're absolutely right, those ads are racist too. Is anyone making a stink about them? Drugs aren't my issue, don't do 'em, don't care much about 'em. If they're portraying a bunch of minority gang bangers or the like, then yes, they're racist and should be pulled.

As to the INS, yup, that's racial profiling too. Racism. However, forcing someone into a background check when they want to enter the country voluntarily (they always have the option not to come) because within recent memory several of the people who came here committed atrocities, and others have promised to do so, well, while it is racist, it's also expedient based on the facts at hand. When a group from a specific demographic declares war, you scrutinize the larger demographic from which the war-declaration-demographic was spawned.

Condemning an entire culture because they produce oil, in a counterfactual argument that riding SUVs somehow promotes terrorism, is racism as well, but it's lost the expedience factor and just ploughs straight into racism. (see above on "counterfactual.") Especially, as pointed out above, if the Islamists win this battle, second against the wall after Americans are the current regimes of those countries.
posted by swerdloff at 11:54 AM on January 8, 2003


swerdloff, you're missing the fact that the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by Saudis (15 of the 19 anyway) who were funded at least in part by members of the Saudi royal family, whose wealth comes entirely from oil, so it's not so great a stretch.

And the whole point of this ad is to counter the admin's terribly deceitful drug ads by hitting them on their home ground with precisely the same illogic. To focus only on that illogic is to miss the point.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:12 PM on January 8, 2003


To all the haters: You are only hurting your cause. Changing peoples opinions and habits on this issue cannot be accomplished through hatred and vitriol. This will only make people more set in their ways and uninterested in listening to you.

I don't hate the player, I hate the game. I've spent years developing this hatred and vitriol for you fucking people and your fucking bastardized pickups. I'm not about to stop. If it was up to me (and it isn't), you fucking people would be the first ones against the wall when the revolution comes.

I'm not forcing my opinions on anyone, because it's nearly impossible to do so. I'm just trying to beat you fucking people about the head and neck with my opinions, so maybe some common sense will seep in though the cuts and scars. The facts about highway fatalities, rollovers, gas consumption, and environmental damage that SUV's cause are out there for all to see. They're not made up either, they're honest-to-goodness facts. Once you fucking people wake up and realize "I've paid way too much money for a car that I don't need, that isn't as safe as I thought it was, and costs me a small fortune to refuel every few days. What was I thinking?".

Once that happens, I'll shut up. I encourage everyone else to do the same.
posted by SweetJesus at 12:12 PM on January 8, 2003


People on this website go ape if a religious group tries to force their opinions, yet they feel no compunction about doing so themselves. I guess that's because the're "right".

everyone to a certain degree acts in their own self-interest, and there are acceptable and unacceptable levels of selfishness. in my opinion, when a simple fad, such as SUVs, starts to endanger the lives of everyone else on the road, then that is unacceptable. your analogy doesn't hold up because we're not talking about arbitrary things such as values or morals but the fact that the prevalence of SUVs makes the road less safe for everyone.

and besides, they are a pain in the ass to drive.
posted by mcsweetie at 12:18 PM on January 8, 2003


I've spent years developing this hatred and vitriol for you fucking people and your fucking bastardized pickups

Don't you realize that talking to someone like that will not make them agree with you? If you want people to change, then find ways to encourage and reward them.

Otherwise you're going to spend more years getting angry and will eventually explode. And that would be messy.
posted by jsonic at 12:19 PM on January 8, 2003


"The commercials are so provocative that some television stations are refusing to run them."

Call me crazy, but could this have something to do with the income that those stations derive from airing SUV ads for regional dealers?
I Know, I'm a nutty liberal who sees conspiracies everywhere...
posted by 2sheets at 12:20 PM on January 8, 2003


your analogy doesn't hold up because we're not talking about arbitrary things such as values or morals

Telling someone else what they need is forcing your values and morals on them. If you force your values and morals, then you are just as bad as the religious people you hate.
posted by jsonic at 12:21 PM on January 8, 2003


I've been meaning to make up some bumper stickers that say

Yes, that SUV does make your ass look big.

Hit the losers in their vanity if nothing else works.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:23 PM on January 8, 2003


Telling someone else what they need is forcing your values and morals on them.

that just sounds like paranoia to me. I don't think I would be out-of-line in saying to someone, "you need to be more considerate with your choices."

If you force your values and morals, then you are just as bad as the religious people you hate.

and by god, do I hate them!
posted by mcsweetie at 12:26 PM on January 8, 2003


the prevalence of SUVs makes the road less safe for everyone

So does the prevalence of normal cars. The issue here is what size is too big. One person has one opinion, someone else has another. Haters feel the need to force their opinion of what that size is on everyone else.
posted by jsonic at 12:26 PM on January 8, 2003


I'm pretty sure that the SUV fad is slowly coming to an end. Now that every soccer mom, balding mid-level executive and frat boy/sorority girl has one buyers can no longer hold on to the image of a rugged 4-wheeler going off road in Tibet. The next big thing are definitely the stationwagon/sedan/coupe hybrids like the Toyota Matrix and the PT Cruiser, and no doubt more and more people are trying to distinguish themselves from the pack with small, unique cars like the Mini.

An interesting thing I've also learned from observing my family is that women like SUVs much more than men (granted this is not a representative sample). However, both my mom and my sister love SUV's because they can sit up high. Perhaps because they're shorter than the average male, but I'm not sure what sitting high gets you besides having a car with a higher center of gravity that is harder to maneuver.
posted by gyc at 12:26 PM on January 8, 2003


I don't think I would be out-of-line in saying to someone, "you need to be more considerate with your choices."

I agree. It's the people who feel justified in hating SUV drivers that I take issue with. Especially when they drive gas vehicles themselves.
posted by jsonic at 12:28 PM on January 8, 2003


Telling someone else what they need is forcing your values and morals on them. If you force your values and morals, then you are just as bad as the religious people you hate.

Bull Pucky.

I specifically am telling other people that by making the choice to buy an SUV they are ALSO making the choice to endanger other peoples health when they drive it.

I am also saying (as the ad does in the original post) that they are most cases needlessly squandering a finite natural resource that we ALL need to share responsibility for. This is essential for our economic, political and environmental prosperity.

Neither of these are value or moral arguments. These are FACTS about the effects of SUV's on our health and welfare that are substantiated with an enormous amount of data and evidence.
posted by aaronscool at 12:32 PM on January 8, 2003


Neither of these are value or moral arguments.

Actually no. By pinning the problems of the world on SUVs only you completely ignore the fact that gas powered cars are only fractionaly better. This difference in what is acceptable to you (cars) and not acceptable (SUVs) is your own personal values.

I don't take issue with someone expressing their values, I do take issue when someone feels justified to hate because of them.
posted by jsonic at 12:36 PM on January 8, 2003


Telling someone else what they need is forcing your values and morals on them. If you force your values and morals, then you are just as bad as the religious people you hate.

Welcome to the real world! People do this all the time. It's called regulation. Without it we could drive around in Abrams tanks, own slaves, and hunt humans for sport, and no one could force their values or morals on us. But that's anarchy, and its no fun to live in anachronistic society.

So does the prevalence of normal cars. The issue here is what size is too big.

If your car can fit a Honda civic between it's wheel wells, than it's too big.
posted by SweetJesus at 12:41 PM on January 8, 2003


jsonic, you've used the word "hate" and "hater" in every post. We get the point, I think. But when turning a stereotyped liberal catchphrase around, you might consider that "hate", when characterized as an offense, refers to targeting people by their race, gender preference, or other non-voluntary characteristic which is not in itself intended to harm others.

Whereas owning and driving an SUV is a voluntary act that (IMO) indicates at best indifference to others and more commonly reflects hostility. It's not like skin color or other innocent characteristics. So give the "hate" thing a rest. Hating people who have a "fuck you" attitude towards the rest of the world is not the same as hating people who innocently exhibit a harmless innate characteristic.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:42 PM on January 8, 2003


i think that aaronscool said it well. FACTS. who is trying to force their opinions on anyone here?

that all aside, why in the course of 115+ comments has not one comment by an SUV person explained why they need to have one? no "well i'm a software developer, but i have to mend fences at my ma and pa's ranch on weekends"-type shit.

why is this made to look like attempted infringement on people's rights or some shit? do any of you (fucking)SUV owners live in drought-prone areas and wish to bravely defend your constitutional right to properly irrigated and circulated koi ponds? i would not suggest that I have the right to make ANYONE do ANYTHING, but i can tell folks about this whole "society" thing we've got goin' on and welcome them aboard.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:49 PM on January 8, 2003


We get the point

Do you? You feel justified in hating someone because they disagree with you on what size car they need.

Of all the things in the world to hate someone about, you choose car size. Please continue convincing yourself that that is OK and justified.
posted by jsonic at 12:49 PM on January 8, 2003


Haters feel the need to force their opinion of what that size is on everyone else.

*commences beating horse*

Well, several posters keep making the argument that the only, only, only way to be safe on the road is to drive an SUV. By that logic, SUVers are not only forcing their opinions on pedestrians, bikers, or drivers of smaller cars, but actually forcing them to drive larger cars themselves just to be safe. So .... you stop forcing and we'll stop forcing ... ok?

Look, you're just arguing semantics now, jsonic. As many posters have pointed out, just class SUV-sized vehicles as trucks. If people still want to drive them, then they can shoulder the costs. That sounds like a good market-oriented solution.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:52 PM on January 8, 2003


Actually no. By pinning the problems of the world on SUVs only you completely ignore the fact that gas powered cars are only fractionaly better.

when did I say all that?
posted by mcsweetie at 12:55 PM on January 8, 2003


when did I say all that?

mcsweetie: that they [SUVs] are most cases needlessly squandering a finite natural resource that we ALL need to share responsibility for. This is essential for our economic, political and environmental prosperity.
posted by jsonic at 12:58 PM on January 8, 2003


Insofar as the ads parody the anti-drug ads, I think the message is spot-on. If buying products produced in "terrorism-sponsoring" countries "supports the terrorists," then the argument is not restricted to drugs but holds equally well for oil and oil-derived products (including electricity, plastics, solvents, gasoline, etc.) or other consumables, like rice, women's coats, and gemstones. The only difference is the size of the cut the foreign government takes.

The problem isn't the source of the oil we buy or the source of the drugs or of the coats, because the world markets are hopelessly interwoven. Even if we decided to buy oil only from Canada and Venezuela, a strong price pressure would be exerted in other countries to shift their consumption toward the now-cheaper oil from the country we're restricting.

The only way to keep our money from supporting foreign governments we don't like is to reduce our consumption of the products they sell altogether—even if we aren't buying those products directly from them.

Reducing our petroleum consumption helps the "war effort" in the same way that reducing our drug consumption does. And switching from SUVs to higher-fuel-efficiency cars is one way to do that.

Of course, there are other ways to reduce our consumption of petroleum products as well. We could recycle more plastics. We could build sensible public-transportation systems in underserved areas. We could keep our tires inflated properly. We could carpool or telecommute.

My own concern with SUVs is the exemption they enjoy from fuel-efficiency and safety standards that smaller passenger vehicles are subject to. I've never understood the rationale for the exemptions. The seventies are so...30 years ago. I do also worry that if people are buying SUVs because they feel safer in them, then people are likely to drive less carefully in them. An economics professor told me once (I haven't been able to track down a study) that when seatbelts were required, passenger deaths decreased—but pedestrian deaths increased, because of the sense of safety the seatbelts impart.

There's also the externality problem, in that the full cost to society of the road mileage from automobiles isn't reflected in the price of gasoline. And the public health externality is more severe for SUVs than for smaller automobiles.
posted by dilettanti at 12:59 PM on January 8, 2003


that they [SUVs] are most cases needlessly squandering a finite natural resource that we ALL need to share responsibility for. This is essential for our economic, political and environmental prosperity.

that was aaronscool, not me.

This difference in what is acceptable to you (cars) and not acceptable (SUVs) is your own personal values.

did you not read the article I linked to?
posted by mcsweetie at 1:04 PM on January 8, 2003


Do you? You feel justified in hating someone because they disagree with you on what size car they need.

Stop using the word need, unless you really NEED an SUV (You haven't even mentioned reason one why you NEED an SUV as opposed to a hatchback or station wagon). I don't need an SUV for what I do, and I'm betting neither do you.

And it's not just that the SUV's are so big, there are other reasons. If it was just an issue of size and nothing else I'd still think you're a prick for driving one, but I wouldn't be so dogmatic about it. But size isn't everything. It's something that has come to symbolize a lot of things I don't like about our American culture - our "fuck you" attitude to other people and other cultures, our carelessness towards protecting the environment, our gluttoness and wasteful attitudes towards spending money, and above all the buy-me-buy-me-buy-me-dont-worry-about-the-consequences ideals that seem to govern our consumerist society.

So it's not just because you drive a bigger car than me. I drove a Honda Civic hatchback DX for years, and I don't hate people who drive midsize cars. It's much bigger than that, and you're doing yourself a disservice by looking at it in such simple terms.
posted by SweetJesus at 1:07 PM on January 8, 2003


jsonic, it's a huge leap to go from linking driving an SUV and ignoring its enviro/political ramfications to pinning the world's problems on it. Please.

Look, this argument has pretty much run its course. Do you have any point to make other than "I'm going to drive it because I can and you can't stop me?" I'm still waiting to hear why you really, honestly, feel the need to drive an SUV. Humor me.
posted by mkultra at 1:08 PM on January 8, 2003


that was aaronscool, not me.

You're right. Why then did you ask me what I said you said that? The comment you quoted was in reply to aaronscool.
posted by jsonic at 1:13 PM on January 8, 2003


You're right. Why then did you ask me what I said you said that?

because I love you.
posted by mcsweetie at 1:17 PM on January 8, 2003


Do you have any point to make other than "I'm going to drive it because I can and you can't stop me?"

When did I say that? All I've said is SUVs protect their drivers against other drivers. And believing you are justified in hating someone because their car is bigger than yours is pathetic.
posted by jsonic at 1:17 PM on January 8, 2003


because I love you.

I feel the love.
posted by jsonic at 1:17 PM on January 8, 2003


this buncha city-dwelling wet behind the ears know-it-alls will get my SUV when they pry it out of my cold, dead hands. fortunately, there's no way they can get thier geo metros up the trail to do that. nyah nyah.
posted by quonsar at 1:19 PM on January 8, 2003


I've had my Canyonero on back-order for months. It's completely upholstered in nice, supple baby seal. I can't wait to slap a "No War with Iraq" sticker on it!
posted by Ty Webb at 1:22 PM on January 8, 2003


If you want to download the movies directly to your hard drive, type these URLs into Netscape (or use wget/curl on Linux)...

http://realserver.ctsg.com/thedetroitproject/george.rm
http://realserver.ctsg.com/thedetroitproject/headshots.rm

...then save to disk.

They are about 800K each, very small.
posted by fishbrando at 1:25 PM on January 8, 2003


And believing you are justified in hating someone because their car is bigger than yours is pathetic.

After over 139 posts, you've still managed to miss the point in such a thoroughly complete way. That, in itself is laudable. It's no small feat to completely ignore all the facts on an issue and just claim that we're all "haters".

Congrats.
posted by SweetJesus at 1:38 PM on January 8, 2003


All I've said is SUVs protect their drivers against other drivers.

Who's going to protect us from SUV drivers? I watched as one of these monsters lost traction on a wet street (4WD tires are not notable for their traction on ordinary roads) and rear-ended a VW golf at a traffic light. Because its bumper was higher than the VWs, it crushed the entire rear of the car even though by then it wasn't going all that fast. If the guy had had kids in the back seat they'd have been strawberry jam.

Watching SUVs tear past the careful drivers (usually on the right) on slushy, icy roads because they feel invulnerable makes me physically ill; and suddenly I feel like changing my position on mandatory prison sentences.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:43 PM on January 8, 2003


I'm still waiting to hear why you really, honestly, feel the need to drive an SUV. Humor me.

My son doesn't get carsick and puke all over the place like he did in the Saturn. And, we can pull the boat with it.

1999 Chevy Tahoe, 15-18 mpg
posted by Tunnel Hair at 1:44 PM on January 8, 2003


Actually no. By pinning the problems of the world on SUVs only you completely ignore the fact that gas powered cars are only fractionally better. This difference in what is acceptable to you (cars) and not acceptable (SUVs) is your own personal values.

I'd like you point to the statement where I "pinned the problems of the world on SUVs".

What I have said is plain facts.

FACT: SUV's on average use some 30% MORE gasoline than cars on average.

FACT: In crash tests time and again SUVs have faired significantly worse than cars. So much so that most SUVs are estimated to cause significant harm to the occupant in the event of even as much as a 35 mph crash.

FACT: Additional studies show that SUVs also cause an increase in death and injury to people in other vehicles.

My point quite simply is that if people are using SUV's unnecessarily that they are in FACT contributing to additional problems that impact the community at large by a significant percentage.

On preview why does this smack of the old smoking/anti-smoking debates of the late 80's?
posted by aaronscool at 1:47 PM on January 8, 2003


"On preview why does this smack of the old smoking/anti-smoking debates of the late 80's?"

Because it's the same "I know what's best for you" argument.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:50 PM on January 8, 2003


Because it's the same "I know what's best for you" argument.

Beautiful.
posted by jsonic at 1:57 PM on January 8, 2003


Because it's the same "I know what's best for you" argument.

Not quite. Smokers mostly harm themselves. You can legally chase them out of the room now, so as far as I'm concerned problem solved. Other people are concerned about secondhand smoke and the costs in public health infrastructure and insurance, but as far as I'm concerned, smoking is just a suicidal stupidity problem, not a homicidal stupidity problem.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:58 PM on January 8, 2003


more like the same "stop ruining my health with your addiction" argument.

i'm a bicycle rider, but also a struggling-to-quit smoker...and i do know that just because I enjoy(ed) it doesn't mean i have the right to harm, perhaps kill, other people.
posted by capiscum at 1:59 PM on January 8, 2003


Using aaronscool's smoking analogy:

SUVs = unfiltered cigarette
Normal Car = filtered cigarette

So the people who smoke filtered cigarettes point at the unfiltered smokers and say "EVIL" while feeling smug and happy smoking their filters.

Fun with analogies.
posted by jsonic at 2:13 PM on January 8, 2003


The anti-SUV crowd can hide behind whatever analogies it wishes, but it's still one group of whiny people trying to control another group's behavior, and that's the plain truth.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:21 PM on January 8, 2003


I chose to live close to my workplace so I could walk to work within 10 minutes.

Ironically, I need to cross a major intersection to get there, and vehicles here can turn right on a red light. I see myself risking life and limb just to get to work and back each day.

And don't get me started with those urban cowboys who fit their SUV with bullbars.

(When I need to get to the other side of town, I use my bicycle, and if the weather's not nice, I take the bus. If I really need to haul 16 tons, I rent a car/truck.)
posted by titboy at 2:24 PM on January 8, 2003


"I chose to live close to my workplace so I could walk to work within 10 minutes."

Congratulations. I notice you chose to do this.

So, what's wrong with letting "urban cowboys" choose to put "bullbars" on their vehicles?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:27 PM on January 8, 2003


but it's still one group of whiny people trying to control another group's behavior, and that's the plain truth

Truth in the complete falsehood sense -- it's one group trying to protect itself from another group. I'd also like to get the semi trucks off of the city streets for similar reasons -- they're unsafe, massively polluting, totally unsuted for city use. Let's go back to a warehouse model where smaller trucks are used for in-town deliveries. Of course, then they'd have no excuse not to use railroads instead of semis, which would also save massive amounts of fuel as well as improving national security by supporting rail infrastructure to reduce our dependence on fragile, fuel-guzzling airliners that also make such ideal terrorist weapons.... to wander more or less completely off-topic.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:33 PM on January 8, 2003


The next big thing are definitely the stationwagon/sedan/coupe hybrids like the Toyota Matrix and the PT Cruiser

Sweet! I knew I was ahead of the curve with my used 1987 Honda Civic Wagovan! That car will be missed dearly.

The unfortunate thing is that the next fad car, whatever it is, will still have to be prepared for today's Ford Compensator SUV: by then an old, faulty tank driven by the now 16-year-old kids they used to haul to soccer practice. Beware!
posted by tss at 2:36 PM on January 8, 2003


George_Spiggott: The most enlightening part of your reply was "Let's go back..."

How about we go back to horses and buggies, since you're all misty-eyed over the past. I bet a foot of manure covering your city's streets would be a lot better than those nasty semi-trucks, huh?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:50 PM on January 8, 2003


horses and buggies

can i beat anyone to a methane argument?
posted by Big_B at 2:52 PM on January 8, 2003


"can i beat anyone to a methane argument?"

Apparently.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:55 PM on January 8, 2003


methane


second only to CO2 you know...
posted by Big_B at 2:59 PM on January 8, 2003


So, what's wrong with letting "urban cowboys" choose to put "bullbars" on their vehicles?

As a pedestrian/cyclist, getting hit by one of those would spell instant death or permanent disability for me.

Not to mention the damage increase to other vehicles hit by them.

Not to mention that bullbars for urban trucks are just a fashion statement, from the SUV owner's point of view, and as an intimidation statement from the pedestrian/cyclist's point of view.

If a majority of the urban population doesn't find bullbars objectionable, then perhaps they'll let me buy the eventual demilitarized version of the SmarTruck after the "coming soon to a news channel near you" War in Iraq (like the Hummer trend that followed Desert Storm), or some other ugly vehicle, and fit it with post-apocalyptic steel fixtures all around it, with protrusions at SUV windshield level.
posted by titboy at 3:02 PM on January 8, 2003


"As a pedestrian/cyclist, getting hit by one of those would spell instant death or permanent disability for me."

As a pedestrian/cyclist, getting hit by a bus or a dump truck or an ambulance or a Roto-Rooter van or [fill in the blank] would spell instant death or permanent disability for you.

Your third paragraph pretty much spells out how you really feel, though, doesn't it? "...bullbars for urban trucks are just a fashion statement, from the SUV owner's point of view, and as an intimidation statement from the pedestrian/cyclist's point of view."

It's a big, scary fashion statement that you don't like. Again, trying to control the choices of others.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:11 PM on January 8, 2003


The anti-SUV crowd can hide behind whatever analogies it wishes, but it's still one group of whiny people trying to control another group's behavior, and that's the plain truth.

Listen I'm not trying to get into a debate about control but our country has a long standing history of legislating from a health perspective. Smoking is one example as is driving while intoxicated, our whole slew of anti-drug laws on and on.

The whole point of law is to establish a baseline that says you can do this but you can't do this because it's not good for the community as a whole. Now if you are an advocate for anarchy I might be able to understand where you are coming from but I suspect that you are not.

Personally I'm not necessarily calling for a ban of SUVs. I am for a couple things:

1. Auto manufacturers should be forced to have SUVs comply with all passenger vehicle laws and regulations. This should include fuel efficiency, safety and crash standards.

2. That SUVs owners pay for the additional damage they do to the roads, environment and other drivers they might injury. You may not be seeing it but Cities and States are seeing an increase in road repair costs and emergency service costs as a result of rising SUV ownership. There is no corresponding tax or income to pay for the rising associated costs.
posted by aaronscool at 3:15 PM on January 8, 2003


"1. Auto manufacturers should be forced to have SUVs comply with all passenger vehicle laws and regulations. This should include fuel efficiency, safety and crash standards."

I respectfully disagree, somewhat. Auto-based SUVs (CR-V, RAV4, etc.) should be subject to CAFE regulations and crash standards, yes. Truck-based (Expedition, Excursion, Navigator, etc.), no. If it's built on a truck frame, it's a truck, and therefore subject to truck regulations.

"...Cities and States are seeing an increase in road repair costs and emergency service costs as a result of rising SUV ownership"

Cite, please?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:22 PM on January 8, 2003


If it's built on a truck frame, it's a truck, and therefore subject to truck regulations.

A person getting killed by one of these things doesn't know or care what kind of frame Detroit used to save money and skirt legislation. If it is designed and intended and used to carry passengers it's a passenger vehicle. Or are you saying that because it's built on a truck chassis, a child carried in the back seat is not a child, it's cargo? Safety is not a matter of hair-splitting, self-serving engineering distinctions, it's a human consideration.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:29 PM on January 8, 2003


"A person getting killed by one of these things doesn't know or care what kind of frame Detroit used to save money and skirt legislation."

A person getting killed by a bolt of lightning doesn't care whether it was sent from Zeus, either. What's your point?

"...are you saying that because it's built on a truck chassis, a child carried in the back seat is not a child, it's cargo?"

Wait a minute, I thought you were concerned about pedestrians, cyclists, and people in smaller cars, not SUV passengers.

My point is that a vehicle built on a truck chassis should be regulated as a truck, because that's the class of vehicles it belongs in when grouped by size and weight. I wouldn't attempt to group a Cadillac Deville in the subcompact class, so why would I call a truck-based SUV a passenger car? Seems like a simple thing to me, and I'm concerned as to why you can't grasp this distinction.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:37 PM on January 8, 2003


I'm still waiting to hear why you really, honestly, feel the need to drive an SUV. Humor me.

I'm an avid backpacker, rock climber, mountaineer and skier. For several years I tried driving a small passenger car. I split the oil pan twice! Ripped the muffler off once. And cannot begin to enumerate how many hours I spent digging out of the snow, and pushing my poor happless car through the mud. I now drive a 1999 Nissan Frontier (technically a light truck not an SUV, but close enough for I suppose). Gas mileage isn't great, but it is not terrible 18-21 mpg.

That being said, I carpool to work three days a week in a 1994 Honda Civic (~30 mpg).

And that being said, I would ride my motorcycle (~45 mpg) to work far more often if it was for all you maniacs driving cars!
posted by gruchall at 3:42 PM on January 8, 2003


I'm concerned as to why you can't grasp this distinction.

I grasp it just fine: it's an irrelevant distinction that takes advantage of a loophole, with nothing to do with what the vehicle does or how it's intended to be used. The explorer is based on a truck chassis for reasons of cost, but it's in the same weight class and serves the exact purposes of the Land Rover Discovery, which was designed as a passenger vehicle from the ground up. Absolutely irrelevant to issues of safety, just for example. If it had a wooden frame would you class it as a house, exempt it from all vehicle standards but impose zoning restrictions on it?
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:49 PM on January 8, 2003


"...nothing to do with what the vehicle does or how it's intended to be used."

Maybe in your part of the world. Here, I see SUVs towing horse trailers, camp trailers, ATVs, snowmobiles, and what-have-you. These are things that a passenger car just isn't built sturdy enough to handle.

"If it had a wooden frame would you class it as a house, exempt it from all vehicle standards but impose zoning restrictions on it?"

No, if it had a wooden frame I would classify it as a Morgan.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:56 PM on January 8, 2003


If it's built on a truck frame, it's a truck, and therefore subject to truck regulations.

Then light trucks should be subject to the same economy, emissions, and safety regulations as passenger cars, with a dispensation for those actually registered commercially.

The distinction was intended for vehicles that actually had to work for a living, not ones that are just different passenger transports.

why would I call a truck-based SUV a passenger car

Because that's what it functions as. Its primary function is to haul people from one place to another, like a Civic or a Ferrari 360 or a Taurus. Given that people are buying them as transportation, not as work vehicles, having them under a different regulatory scheme is a (further) market distortion will all the usual deadweight losses.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:58 PM on January 8, 2003


Here, I see SUVs towing horse trailers, camp trailers, ATVs, snowmobiles, and what-have-you. These are things that a passenger car just isn't built sturdy enough to handle.

Apparently I suffer a multitude of hallucinations or optical illusions, then. I've seen passenger cars quite happily pulling all of these except horse trailers. Boats too.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:00 PM on January 8, 2003


Society can hide behind whatever analogies it wishes, but it's still one group of whiny people trying to control another group's behavior, and that's the plain truth.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 4:12 PM on January 8, 2003


"I've seen passenger cars quite happily pulling all of these except horse trailers. Boats too."

ROU_Xenophobe, I used to pull a 20-foot flatbed trailer carrying an AMC Javelin race car, and I pulled it with a four-cylinder Mazda B200 pickup. It pulled it, albeit slowly, and it stopped it if there was plenty of advance notice. That doesn't mean it was designed to do so, and it certainly doesn't mean it was the best choice of towing vehicles.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:15 PM on January 8, 2003


B2000, that should be.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:16 PM on January 8, 2003


Oh, I'm sure I'll get killed for this, but I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a V8. And guess how guilty I feel about this? Zip, Zilch, Nada, etc. My choice. If you don't like it, well, tough, I personally could care less.

Now, why did I get it? Several reasons. I bought it not long after buying a house. As many of you out there who own houses realize, it's not that uncommon to have to haul stuff needed for the house. Couches, ladders, dirt, grills, etc. Now, some of these will fit in smaller cars (especially hatchbacks), but I find I tend to be cramped in small cars (I'm about 6 foot or so). I've driven a Geo metro hatchback before. Let's just say I'm in no hurry to go back.

Now, I know a big complaint a lot of people have is that people who buy these never use them for their off-road purposes. Personally, I'm not one of those (although I'll admit, it can be hard to find a good use for one in Michigan, damn flat-lands). As my wife knows all too well, I absolutely love those 4 wheel drive roads. Of course, in Michigan, quite frankly a lot of our normal roads should probably be considered 4 wheel drive only, man they suck.

Now, I'll be the first to admit, there are a lot of people that just simply don't know how to drive an SUV that own them. An SUV is not a license to drive like a nut when the roads are bad. Yes, four wheel drive can help, but they're still a lot bigger than other vehicles, and thus take time to stop. Heck, I'd favour having people driving an SUV need a different license, requiring that they can show they can drive the thing properly.

As far as polluting, well, I don't really worry about that myself. Quite frankly, compared to a lot of older vehicles out there that spew pretty noxious exhausts, my SUV is a hell of a lot better for the enviroment than those vehicles. Besides, any car I'm going to buy isn't going to do a whole lot better anyways. I refuse to drive little tiny sardine cans.

And if you don't like the fact that I drive the SUV, and you feel that my reasons aren't adequate in justifying it? Well, all I can say is tough. I'll be laughing all the way when you have to replace the batteries on your little hybrid (which should be about due to happen shortly after the warranty expires), because those aren't cheap, and certainly not very environmentally friendly.
posted by piper28 at 4:36 PM on January 8, 2003


It is legitimate to have a truck or SUV to tow heavy things, like boats. You cannot tow a large boat with a Honda Civic. That said, I concur that the light-truck loophole lets SUVs escape proper regulation despite their main use as passenger vehicles.

Until America turns around and we start caring for each other more:

1) Avoid rush hour driving.
2) Get a safe mid-size car, like a Volvo or a Camry, or the Passat.
3) Avoid dangerous weather driving.
4) Stay off the highway on New Year's Eve.

1 and 2 may require major life changes. I made them. Moved from Minneapolis to Madison, WI. Bought a Camry. Don't need to drive to work, don't need to use the highway much. I don't think people realize the serious health risk they face being in highway traffic so often.

Seriously, while we all debate this till were blue, Bush and Co, along with the automakers, don't give a shit. Its going to be a long time until these three-ton monstrosities are off the road, or reduced to commercial use.
posted by 4midori at 4:45 PM on January 8, 2003


Few things anger me more than seeing a suburban housewife driving into midtown NYC in her SUV that looks like it never left pavement.

If that is the case, then I suggest you reexamine your tether to reality.

Thanks for the excellent comments, jsonic. You are more patient with the self-righteous cranks and tyrants than I.
posted by rushmc at 5:49 PM on January 8, 2003


Bullbar link 1
Bullbar link 2
Bullbar link 3

It's a big, scary fashion statement that you don't like. Again, trying to control the choices of others.

Yea, I suppose that bullbars are just scary and are quite safe. /sarcasm
posted by titboy at 7:34 PM on January 8, 2003


"Who has been buying SUVs since automakers turned them into family vehicles? They tend to be people who are insecure and vain. They are frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often lack confidence in their driving skills. Above all, they are apt to be self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in the neighbors or communities.
That's not a cynic talking--that's the auto industry's own market researchers and executives."
- from a WBUR radio show on Keith Bradsher's "High and Mighty SUVs: The World's Most Dangerous Vehicles and How They Got that Way, "" (Bradsher was the former New York Times Detroit bureau chief)
posted by troutfishing at 8:29 PM on January 8, 2003


Oh, I'm sure I'll get killed for this, but I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a V8. And guess how guilty I feel about this? Zip, Zilch, Nada, etc. My choice. If you don't like it, well, tough, I personally could care less.

So you do care what others think. Because otherwise you would have said that you couldn't care less.

SUVs: when you're tired of arguing about religion and politics.
posted by pmurray63 at 8:36 PM on January 8, 2003


Ok, so I do. It's almost as fun to watch some of the nuts here blather about SUV's as it is to watch the liberal ranting that's also frequently common around here. It's so trivially easy for some folx here to be goaded into overreacting by people posting things. It renews my faith in humanity that there are a lot of really stupid people out there.
posted by piper28 at 8:57 PM on January 8, 2003


"As far as polluting, well, I don't really worry about that myself. Quite frankly, compared to a lot of older vehicles out there that spew pretty noxious exhausts, my SUV is a hell of a lot better for the enviroment than those vehicles. Besides, any car I'm going to buy isn't going to do a whole lot better anyways. I refuse to drive little tiny sardine cans. ....And if you don't like the fact that I drive the SUV, and you feel that my reasons aren't adequate in justifying it? Well, all I can say is tough. I'll be laughing all the way when you have to replace the batteries on your little hybrid"

And too bad about all those disappearing species......


and too bad if Sudden Climate Change obliterates industrial civilization.....
posted by troutfishing at 9:18 PM on January 8, 2003


I watched as one of these monsters lost traction on a wet street [] and rear-ended a VW golf at a traffic light. ... If the guy had had kids in the back seat they'd have been strawberry jam.

No, if the guy had had kids in the back seat, he would have been driving a minivan or an SUV.
posted by kindall at 9:35 PM on January 8, 2003


Piper28: It renews my faith in humanity that there are a lot of really stupid people out there.

That's like one of those things that Captain Kirk says to the wayward computer in the always successful attempt to fry its mother board.
posted by Dick Paris at 2:48 AM on January 9, 2003


SweetJesus - take a bow. what a performance!
not that i am advocating invective filled rants, it's just that this series was, well, funny. and just.
posted by asok at 4:04 AM on January 9, 2003


It's so trivially easy for some folx here to be goaded into overreacting by people posting things.

On FPPs on vegetarianism you'd post the hilarious "Vegetables have feelings too" answer and I await the always funny "I've bought a new sun-lounger" post welcoming global warming. Prick.
posted by niceness at 4:33 AM on January 9, 2003


Here is the Merriam-Webster definition for the word parody: 1 : a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule; 2 : a feeble or ridiculous imitation.

I think that the commercials are funny, and I agree with the impulse behind them -- which is to parody the propaganda put out by the current administration in the U.S. about how terrorists get their funding. It sparks conversation. Do SUVs really support terrorism? Obviously, they do not (directly) financially support terrorism. Neither does recreational drug use (and certainly not pot for pete's sake). But do you know who does provide funding for international terrorism? Governments -- including the governments of nations that we are closely allied with (i.e. Saudi Arabia) and, yes, the U.S. government. (See Central America for terrific examples of U.S. funded terrorism against civilians.)

This isn't really about SUVs, who drives them, who should drive them, or how wasteful they are (which, in my opinion, is usually extremely wasteful). I appreciate the sentiments of extreme annoyance when it comes to how many poorly driven SUVs are on our urban and suburban roadways; I share those sentiments. But what I can't understand is how, in a culture whose humor is so often centered on parody, sarcasm, and satire, people still fail to understand those devices -- or why they choose to take someone literally when those devices are used to spark a discussion that they disagree with.
posted by dryad at 5:42 AM on January 9, 2003


Art Moore, director of programming, said, "There were a lot of statements being made that were not backed up, and they're talking about hot-button issues."

Hmmm. Now if only they would apply these standards to every other ad they broadcast.... the whole entire business of advertising is about making claims that aren't backed up or, in many cases, are blatantly false.
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:16 AM on January 9, 2003


Piper28 raises an interesting point: 10 new SUVs might burn as much gasoline (and generate as much pollution) as 13 new cars, but 10 new SUVs generate as much pollution as 1 old clunker car. Based on informal observation, I'd speculate that the safety ratios are much the same.

I find large SUVs crass, ugly, and vaguely threatening -- but if energy, pollution, and safety are the issues, then SUVs are not top priority: taking old clunkers off the road is top priority.

(Kind of complicates the Class War™, though, since now instead of gunning for the middle class ride, you're gunning for the poor.)
posted by Hieronymous Coward at 4:27 PM on January 9, 2003


185 comments, and no one has posted a link to the f***in ads themselves.
posted by alms at 7:18 PM on January 9, 2003


"...instead of gunning for the middle class ride, you're gunning for the poor."

That's OK, the poor don't have any political clout.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:13 PM on January 9, 2003


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