FUH2
December 17, 2003 6:28 AM   Subscribe

FUH2! Flipping the bird at Hummers. Collaborative web photography just doesn't get much better than that. (With the possible exception of the Mirror Project, which, by the way, just hit 20,000. Congratulations!)
posted by brownpau (94 comments total)
 
(Oops, forgot to give credit: link via dPow)
posted by brownpau at 6:29 AM on December 17, 2003


Classic. I was on my way home from work yesterday, sitting at a major intersection, and I was completely surrounded by SUVs. It's absurd.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:37 AM on December 17, 2003


Someone at a website that cannot be named was mentioning how the bright yellow H2s look like a short bus. Heh.
posted by machaus at 6:54 AM on December 17, 2003


I Thought The Volkswagon Jetta Was The Ultimate Poseur Vehicle? Seeing As All The Yuppies I Know Own One.
posted by Dreamghost at 6:55 AM on December 17, 2003


Goes to prove that "collaborative web photography" is nothing more than raging vanity masqueraded as "funny art". Giving cars the finger. Taking pictures of yourself in the mirror. Jesus. Give the car *owners* the finger and post their reactions. Take pictures of yourself while having sex or doing something at lease vaguely interesting. Please people, you and your projects are boring me to death.
posted by falameufilho at 7:07 AM on December 17, 2003


I Thought The Volkswagon Jetta Was The Ultimate Poseur Vehicle? Seeing As All The Yuppies I Know Own One.

The Jetta is not a poseur vehicle because it's a yuppie car driven by yuppies.

The Hummer H2 is a car that pretends to be a military-grade off-road vehicle but's actually just a run-of-the-mill Chevy Tahoe that's driven by yuppies.

Say what you want about Jetta drivers, they're at least at peace with their identity. (no, I do not drive a Jetta)
posted by deanc at 7:08 AM on December 17, 2003


City buses are larger than Hummers. I got it! I'll take pics of myself flipping off buses! God, am I fucking cutting edge or what? Also what falameufilho said.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:11 AM on December 17, 2003


As much as I appreciate the sentiment, giving the finger to cars, sometimes behind some trees, sometimes hundreds of yards away, seems impotent and sad. It's like cursing the weather by screaming at the sky -- completely ineffectual.
posted by crunchland at 7:15 AM on December 17, 2003


Please people, you and your projects are boring me to death.

Dance, puppets, dance!
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:17 AM on December 17, 2003


I own two. Those who don't have make lame exuses to pour out their wrath against those who can buy what they want...gas guzzlers? sure. Why not. If I can afford it, so be it...you drive your Pinto and be a good citizen.
posted by Postroad at 7:41 AM on December 17, 2003


I was driving by a construction site in Philly one time when these things just came out. I saw a guy in a brand spankin' new H2 trying to turn into the site (the same road that the dump trucks and construction vehicles go). Apparently the turning radius on these is so bad that he had to stop & back up to make the turn; A 3 point turn to go around a 90 degree turnoff. That either says something about the truck or the type of people that buy them.
posted by password at 7:44 AM on December 17, 2003


Hummers on the road are far less offensive than people giving the finger. How about an "art" project showing photos of a bunch of these losers receiving swirlies from Hummer owners?
posted by bondcliff at 7:48 AM on December 17, 2003


When are people going start driving tanks around?
posted by LouieLoco at 7:57 AM on December 17, 2003


It's pathetic what passes for "art" these days, and I'm usually one to enjoy offbeat/unusual stuff. This is just ineffectual spite and malice, mixed in with a judicious dose of self-righteous elitism, all filtered through an attempt to justify via the "art" metaphor.

What's next? Taking digital photos of yourself as you TP the principals house? Yeah, great idea! What a wonderful way to express my rage at society! Where's my fucking federal grant?
posted by jammer at 7:59 AM on December 17, 2003


According to the brand's quite revealing "Happy Jack" commercial, the target market for these vehicles wants to cheat and generally be obnoxious as a means of being happy. By giving the car and its drivers the finger, you're giving them what they crave. So don't.
posted by raysmj at 8:11 AM on December 17, 2003


Volkswagen Jettas as poseur vehicles? A less than $20,000 car posing as a yuppie status symbol? Did I miss the memo? I thought a BMW was a yuppie status symbol. /offtopic

People can flip off whatever they want, but I agree, the site would be more compelling (less pathetic) if they did as falameufilho suggests, and photograph reactions of the owners being flipped off. Fuel efficiency aside, I don't have anything against the person who would buy such an ostentatious vehicle, as I can't pretend to know if it were feelings of sexual inadequacy that drove his/her decision to do so. But what does set my eyes rolling is when the owners, as interviewed by 60 Minutes say that "it makes them feel patriotic" to own one.
posted by psmealey at 8:13 AM on December 17, 2003


Well, it made me laugh. As did the inane complaints coming from those who didn't like it. Thanks.
posted by batboy at 8:15 AM on December 17, 2003


It's pathetic what passes for "art" these days
I'm not sure the creators are trying to pass this off as "art", any more than the folks at Sidetalkin' are.
posted by tingley at 8:17 AM on December 17, 2003


I personally think H2's are ugly and look like Tonka Trucks, but if people desire them and enjoy them, who cares what a bunch of subcompact-driving losers think? It's like those PETA scum putting paint on fur coats.

The poem is the best part about the site though.
posted by Spacelegoman at 8:19 AM on December 17, 2003


Don't forget the after market parts.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:20 AM on December 17, 2003


Re Jettas: what psmealey said.

Flipping the bird at Hummers is ineffectual and potentially dangerous, given their size, the owners' dearth of common sense, restraint, and consideration for other humans, as well as the possibility of firearms contained within the vehicle. I'd be more interested in an H2 key-scratching site.

And Postroad: "they're just jealous" is exactly the sort of argument I'd expect from a Hummer owner, unacquainted as they seem with the idea of being a reasonable member of society.
posted by stonerose at 8:21 AM on December 17, 2003


The H2 is a tax loophole. Under Bush's new tax plan,
This is not too "new": anyone taking advantage might be bright doing so. The costs maintaining one or any 4x4 is larger than a car, wheels alone are a major cost. So giving the finger is a worthless gesture. This site reads: jealousy.
PS, the yellow ones remind me of the "short bus".
posted by thomcatspike at 8:28 AM on December 17, 2003


So "reasonable members of society", ie people who agree with you, shouldn't buy the car they want even if they can afford it? Almost any desireable car won't get as good milage as a crappy one, it's just a fact of life.
posted by Spacelegoman at 8:30 AM on December 17, 2003


They're way behind these guys.
posted by Mid at 8:34 AM on December 17, 2003


Eh, you Hummer owners are just jealous of how easily us Mini Cooper owners can get in and out of parking spaces downtown. /picks paint out of mink coat.
posted by psmealey at 8:39 AM on December 17, 2003


Spacelegoman, all I'm saying is that the world would be a cleaner place if people who could afford any car would include fuel efficiency as a major criterion when deciding what car to buy. There are a lot of fairly wealthy people out there who buy things like the new VW Beetle, which is very popular and gets good mileage - especially the diesel models. Sure, some people need a 4x4, and some of them make fuel efficiency a primary criterion. Others buy two Hummers and say "fuck you" to those who question the social cost of their decision.
posted by stonerose at 8:40 AM on December 17, 2003


Reasonable members of society don't spit in the soup, because they realize that we all have to eat.
posted by alms at 8:43 AM on December 17, 2003


If you drive a Jetta TDI and get 50 mpg, does that mean you aren't evil, or... not as evil, as the SUV guy?

The myth that these people surround themselves with, I drive a hybrid/tiny car/some other eco friendly vehicle so I am somehow good, is really pathetic.

Freedom is supposed to be paramount in this country. And that includes choosing your own ride. I have owned a Tahoe in the past, and now drive a Corolla. I much prefer the 40mpg that the Corolla gives me, but do not find myself giving Tahoe/SUV drivers the finger. It is a matter of personal choice, and those that somehow have convinced themselves that big suv=evil, are ridiculously naive. Big SUV= that guy paying more in gas taxes, which of course go to who knows how many different programs sponsored by state and federal government.

So, to all the people who have declared some inane "war" on SUV's, get a life.
posted by a3matrix at 8:43 AM on December 17, 2003


More useful mockery: "I'm changing the climate, ask me how!
posted by ednopantz at 8:44 AM on December 17, 2003


*checks calendar*

Yeah, I thought another anti-SUV thread was overdue. Who's up for bashing fat people next?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:47 AM on December 17, 2003


Jealousy? There's a certain amount of narcissism that makes people assume that others want what they have.

There are plenty of cars I'd find worth being jealous of -- a BMW 850csi, for example -- and I confess that I'm kind of jealous of anyone that could afford the turbo option on their Saab 900 (which I could not at the time I bought mine). For SUVs to be jealous of, the Mercedes G500 is more likely to make me swoon than a wannabe Humvee like the H2. Look, if all you want is a car that looks like a Humvee, just buy one of these.
posted by deanc at 8:47 AM on December 17, 2003


I prefer my subversion to be a little more extreme in its message.
posted by Hankins at 8:49 AM on December 17, 2003


Spacelegoman, that's not a Tonka Truck, this is a Tonka Truck. (; (Much as I loved Tonka Trucks as a young'un, the idea of this truck is meh.)

Back to the subject at hand: ha! You think the H2 is bad? Well, here come the Hummer-branded Avalanche and the H3. Oye.
posted by sarajflemming at 8:54 AM on December 17, 2003


I consider what the H2 owners pay, in both purchase price and fuel costs, just punishment. Flipping them off, while fun, is just kind of sad.

Of course, as a small-auto driver the increasing prevalence of SUVs on the road does make me want to buy an anti-vehicle weapon for my own self-defense.
posted by moonbiter at 9:01 AM on December 17, 2003


Good lord. Just when you think someone couldn't possibly do less to support some cause, a site like this pops up.

It reminds me of the anti-war protest posters that crept into the Sims online. I believe it will be just as effective as garnering public support as well.

I'm going to launch a site where people can take a photo of themselves thumbing their noses at the sky. Take that, Mr. Sun! Oh you high and mighty clouds will be feeling mighty bad when you get a load of me! Hey stars up in the sky, eat my boogers you jerks!

Now that's gonna change the world.
posted by mathowie at 9:02 AM on December 17, 2003


Freedom is supposed to be paramount in this country. And that includes choosing your own ride.

a3matrix, time for a little elementary civics class. In order to make a society with a high degree of freedom function, there have to be some constraints on freedom. You're not free to kill people on a whim, otherwise society would get messy. You're not free to yell fire in a crowded theater, for much the same reason. Creating and maintaining a society involves negotiating compromises between freedom and other important social goods, like safety, health, equity, private property, and caring for common resources like the atmosphere, climate, and water.

What the anti-SUV folks are saying is that your freedom to buy an SUV carries too high a cost in terms of our right to a healthy environment and climate. We're arguing that the balance between freedom and other social goods is fucked up.
posted by stonerose at 9:03 AM on December 17, 2003


I'd be more interested in an H2 key-scratching site.

Riiiight. Because damaging and destroying the property of those you disagree with is a great way to demonstrate social responsibility. I'm going to come send a powersurge into your computer now; I don't like the shit you're spewing on MeFi. You won't mind, right?
posted by jammer at 9:04 AM on December 17, 2003


What the anti-SUV folks are saying is that your freedom to buy an SUV carries too high a cost in terms of our right to a healthy environment and climate. We're arguing that the balance between freedom and other social goods is fucked up.

And, again, I think that the amount of energy you're using to power your computer so you can come online and demonstrate your moral and intellectual superiority is a shameful waste, and I don't think you should be allowed to do it. For the good of society.

Why should your pet hatred get any more resolution than mine?
posted by jammer at 9:08 AM on December 17, 2003


jammer, the shit I'm spewing might irritate your conscience, but it doesn't aggravate your loved ones' asthma.
posted by stonerose at 9:08 AM on December 17, 2003


Once, when I was drunk, I hawked a loogie on a Hummer. mrs. jonmc got mad at me. I suppose I was being puerile.

Although on the upper east side of new york, I've spotted the occassional stretch hummer(scroll down), a vehicle whose purpose beyond providing free economic pornography and sheer "flossin'" I cannot fathom. Flip these people the bird, thumb your nose, and make any obscne gesture you wish at the idiots in that monstrosity.
posted by jonmc at 9:14 AM on December 17, 2003


And, again, I think that the amount of energy you're using to power your computer so you can come online and demonstrate your moral and intellectual superiority is a shameful waste, and I don't think you should be allowed to do it. For the good of society.

Why should your pet hatred get any more resolution than mine?


You really want to go there? Fine. The power usage of my computer is negligible. I use it in a responsible way (putting it to sleep, turning it off when not in use for long periods). My computer is a laptop, rather than a rack-mount server that I use only to surf the web and do email (i.e., the computing equivalent of a Hummer in an urban environment). I have chosen the most energy efficient tool for the task at hand. While I do consume energy, I advocate in public in favor of measures that make my power consumption clean (e.g., wind farms and solar).

That is why my pet hatred should get more resolution than yours. And hey: thanks for acknowledging my moral and intellectual superiority - that gave we a warm, friendly feeling deep inside.
posted by stonerose at 9:17 AM on December 17, 2003


Ah. I see. It's about asthma, is it?

I'm hoping that you never drive at all, then. Or even take public transportation. When you've killed a person, pointing at Jeffrey Dahmer and saying, "at least I didn't kill *that* many" is hardly a defense.

If you consider H2 drivers to be posing a hazard to peoples health, you'd better be doing you're damnedest to make sure you don't do the same to any degree. Anything else is hypocrisy of the purest sort.
posted by jammer at 9:18 AM on December 17, 2003


The power usage of my computer is negligible.

OK, so you are claiming defense by not being as bad as that other guy over there. It's so nice to have someone covered in shit telling me that I stink, you know that?

(It should be worth mentioning that I drive a compact economy car every day, and have no great love for SUVs myself. I just have even less love for self-righteous, busybody social nebbishes -- a role which you're doing a great job of filling today.)
posted by jammer at 9:21 AM on December 17, 2003


a3matrix, time for a little elementary civics class. In order to make a society with a high degree of freedom function, there have to be some constraints on freedom

Last time I checked, limiting ones choice of vehicles was not one of them. How come these people don't go plant some trees to offset the negative effect of the H2's? Nope, instead they drive around (in cars that have no impact on the environment?) and take pictures of flipping off automobiles? I can only imagine that they are probably really driving around smoking pot, and just happened to stumble upon what they thought was a funny idea.
posted by a3matrix at 9:22 AM on December 17, 2003


some people like cars that are reliable, safe, easy to handle, and won't break the bank at the pump.

other people like cars that are big.

draw your own conclusions about the IQs of each.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:24 AM on December 17, 2003


That's a cute little red herring you caught there, jammer. Dahmer didn't need to kill people in order to function in society. His killing was purely antisocial, as well as illegal. I need to take public transit in order to feed myself, and accomplish my social purpose. It's legal. And in doing so, I do what I can to minimize the harm I cause. I'm asking others to do their part.

Hypocrisy of the purest sort, by the way, would involve my driving a Hummer and telling others that they have to bike to work.
posted by stonerose at 9:27 AM on December 17, 2003


It should be worth mentioning that I drive a compact economy car every day, and have no great love for SUVs myself. I just have even less love for self-righteous, busybody social nebbishes -- a role which you're doing a great job of filling today.

Got it. Discourse aimed at encouraging positive social change is to be avoided. Cheers.
posted by stonerose at 9:30 AM on December 17, 2003


the amount of energy you're using to power your computer... is a shameful waste.

In the strictest sense, practically all uses of consumer or industrial energy/technology are bad for the environment. Especially when you consider emmissions from coal-fired power plants, dangers of disposing nuclear waste, ocean floor natural gas exploration, building dams, etc. The point made above, I think, was that, using fuel economy as a criterion for a personal vehicle purchase is one of the things that individual consumers can control, the rest of it is a whole lot more complicated.

It shouldn't come as much of a surpise that there are some people that get upset at the perceived "fuck it, I just want one" attitude that does seem to accompany a purchase of such and egregrious gas guzzler. Yeah, maybe some of these folks do come across a bit smug and sanctimonious, but maybe their hearts are in the right place.
posted by psmealey at 9:35 AM on December 17, 2003


some people like cars that are reliable, safe, easy to handle, and won't break the bank at the pump.

other people like cars that are big.

draw your own conclusions about the IQs of each.


A freind of mine said, that he knew a guy, who when he was next to an SUV at a light, would roll down the window, scream "Sorry about your penis!!" and haul ass away.
posted by jonmc at 9:37 AM on December 17, 2003


No red herring at all. You don't need to take public transport, assuming you have any degree of physical mobility. You could walk. You could bike. Live too far from work? Well, I'm sorry. You're chosing to work at a socially irresponsible job then. Shame, shame on you!

Got it. Discourse aimed at encouraging positive social change is to be avoided. Cheers.

Certainly, work for social change. But you'll get alot farther by pleasantly encouraging people to chose more fuel-efficient vehicles than you will by ranting about how all H2 drivers are socially irreponsible bogeyman who have a shortage of intellect and are quite likely packing heat and willing to use it on your eco-living self. And by god, don't encourage destruction of private property. That's not positive social change; that's vandalism.
posted by jammer at 9:37 AM on December 17, 2003


That is why my pet hatred should get more resolution than yours.

Wow. Sometimes I'm simply amazed at the level of self-righteousness displayed here.

I don't like Hummers, or SUVs in general, but it's hypocritical to say they should be banned because they use more gas, unless you can find a clear limit to exactly how much gas everyone should be allowed to use. If you buy a Hummer, but also buy a house right next to where you work so that you drive less, what's wrong with that?

So, no, your pet hatred is exactly that - a pet hatred. If you want to minimize fuel consumption, you should push for sensible gas pricing and taxation policies, you should encourage people to live near where they work, and so on.

And in doing so, I do what I can to minimize the harm I cause. I'm asking others to do their part.

I just bought a house five blocks from my office, after driving 40 miles each way to work for the last two weeks. I'm asking you to do the same. In fact, it's such a good idea, it should be enforced by law, don't you think?

Got it. Discourse aimed at encouraging positive social change is to be avoided. Cheers.

You can certainly argue that an H2 is an indulgence, and that it's generally better not to indulge oneself unnecessarily. But it's a stretch to say you're taking part in "discourse aimed at encouraging positive social change".
posted by me & my monkey at 9:43 AM on December 17, 2003


Yeah, maybe some of these folks do come across a bit smug and sanctimonious, but maybe their hearts are in the right place.

Yeah, their hearts are in the right place. It's a shame their heads are shoved so far up their asses they can't see. I'm all for minimizing your ecological footprint, and I try to do it as much as I can within the confines of my life and my interests. But I don't go preaching about how everyone who lives a less eco-frientdy life than I do is a knuckle-dragging brute.

Truth be told, I had little real problem with anything stonerose said. It seemed like your run-of-the-mill smug, self-righteous SUV hatred, which I usually give all the attention it deserves -- none. Then he made the remark about being more interested in a site that supported keying peoples cars just because he disagreed with their value assessment -- and that set me off the edge. Perhaps it was a mere moment of rhetorical excess, but I've seen that attitude in action, and it royally pisses me off.
posted by jammer at 9:45 AM on December 17, 2003


jonmc made me almost spit out my coffee.
posted by raysmj at 9:55 AM on December 17, 2003


It seemed like your run-of-the-mill smug, self-righteous SUV hatred

Which I suffer from too, but mostly for different reasons. It's a pain in the ass to be stuck in a herd of SUVs and not be able to see anything else on the road in my normal sized vehicle.

But I point out your comment because it's correct to categorize people like me as being a self-righteous SUV hater. I'll agree. What's funny to me is when people try to characterize my dislike of big ass road hogs as "jealousy." If someone dropped an H2 on my doorstep for free, I'd trade it in for two Jettas.

:: idly wonders what me & my monkey has to hide ::
posted by eyeballkid at 9:58 AM on December 17, 2003


I see the site as an attempt at making H2-ownership socially unacceptable, much like it is socially unacceptable for a man to wear a dress. When the Pontiac Aztec first came out, I thought it was one of the most hideous blights ever released upon the streets of our great nation, as did many other people, and we all worked together to ensure that it was socially unacceptable to buy one. What's wrong with doing the same for the H2?

(N.B. - jammer is 100% correct that keying H2s would be 100% wrong. However, as far as being sanctimonious about it goes -- I'm sanctimonious towards the ricers who bedeck their pocket rockets with 400 watt stereos, soupcan mufflers, and everything short of rhinestone rims -- does that make me a bad person?)
posted by Ptrin at 10:01 AM on December 17, 2003


The only problem I have with the H2 is the thing is god awful ugly. For the life of me I haven't figured out why anyone would want one (and I'll be honest, I'm not convinced the off-road abilities on it aren't somewhat compromised, and it looks far more topheavy than the average suv).

Now, the original hummer, that's another story. That's a far more interesting vehicle, and adds a tremendous intimidation factor when it comes barreling up behind you (although admittadly, since it tops out at something like 85 mph, around here it's unlikely to be catching up to you).

The H2 is just GM's shameless attempt to cash in on the hummer phenomenon.
posted by piper28 at 10:11 AM on December 17, 2003


On my daily commute, I am a bit more nervous when a Tahoe, H2, Escalade, etc. is riding on my Corolla's ass than when a Hyundai is doing it. The environmental argument aside, I just have a feeling that the big, heavy SUV's have a greater chance of killing me than a smaller, lighter car.

Plus, if an SUV is in front of me, I have no idea what is going on in traffic up ahead. If an SUV pulls up beside me at stop, I can't see around around them to make a safe turn. When they get behind me at night, their high headlights are blinding. I'm not smug or self righteous in my SUV hatred. I simply think they make roads more dangerous.
posted by alou73 at 10:12 AM on December 17, 2003


My comment about being more interested in a key-scratching site was intended as a glib dismissal of the link - i.e., "a key-scratching site would be useless too, but more exciting." The other comments in that paragraph (implying that SUV owners have guns, etc.) were obvious jokes.

I definitely cop to the accusations of being smug, self-righteous, and sanctimonious. These accusations are often used by folks who think that agitating for social change is something shameful, distasteful, and worthy of mockery. I can't do anything about that. I'd be more interested in counter-arguments that didn't resort to ad hominems and ridiculous dichotomies.
posted by stonerose at 10:13 AM on December 17, 2003


If you own a Hummer and drive it 100 miles a month: Is one "evil"?

The jealousy argument: If you react childishly it may be perceived as jealousy, is all I'm saying here. A better solution would educate. Don't think most know what repairs can be expected owning a 4x4 which is why my truck is 2x.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:20 AM on December 17, 2003


Bet most Hummers are leases: Will see the "finger givers" driving them used...
posted by thomcatspike at 10:25 AM on December 17, 2003


What's most egregious about this issue is that the government is actively encouraging folks to buy the gas-guzzling, road-hogging monstrosities with its $100,000 SUV Tax Loophole. More gas guzzlers on the road mean more $$$ in Bush and Cheney's oil business buddies' pockets. This is while the hybrid vehicle tax incentive is being fazed out. Is this not backwards as hell? Shouldn't we be seeking ways to lessen our energy independence on the Middle East? Shouldn't we be trying to reduce air pollution? Just like so much else going on these days, down is up.

Meanwhile, technology exists right now that would improve gas mileage in SUV's by as much as 35 percent.
posted by wsg at 10:39 AM on December 17, 2003


On a technical tax matter, while the loophole that allows larger vehicles (those with gross loaded vehicle weights above 6000 pounds) to not be subject to the luxury automobile depreciation limitations has been around for a long time, the 2003 tax act raised the ยง179 limitation from 24,000 to 100,000. What this means is that prior to 2003, you could buy a really expensive giant SUV and expense some or most but not all of it in the same year that you bought it. After the 2003 tax act, you can expense a vehicle costing up to 100,000.

If anyone doubts that this change has had a substantial effect, they should look at my client base. Almost every small business client I have has talked to me about buying a giant SUV to reduce their taxable income for 2003. From a tax standpoint, it's a great planning device, but I'm not sure from a social point of view it makes sense to give someone who's buying a Hummer more generous tax treatment than someone who's buying a Jetta.
posted by anapestic at 10:41 AM on December 17, 2003


Tax breaks should be there for goods that provide society a benefit as a whole. For example, if you want to encourage people to marry, you might give tax breaks to married couples. For vehicles, you may want to reward low emissions or safety.

On the other hand, you want to put extra taxes on goods that have a negative impact on society. Many smokers end up costing the society a lot of money, so we put an extra tax on cigarettes.

My reading of the Economist magazine leads me to believe that most economists think that:
1. SUVs don't provide extra benefits to society as a whole compared to other vehicles. In fact, heavier vehicles tear up our roads faster. The tax breaks for SUVs should be eliminated.
2. The gasoline and vehicle taxes don't cover the costs of pollution, the highway system, treating accident victims, etc. These taxes need to be raised.

If we implement these two measures, my tax dollars would not pay for other people's SUVs, and I would have no problem with people who own them.
posted by Triplanetary at 10:41 AM on December 17, 2003


Have car insurance companies caught up with the fact that in an accident, SUVs carry a much higher risk of liabiliy?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:45 AM on December 17, 2003


Okay, so this site's "critique" of Hummers is a little half-assed. Still doesn't budge me from the visceral reaction of complete disgust for the owners of them that I have every time I see one on the road, a reaction which is in the same county as jonmc's pal commiserating with Hummer drivers about their inadequate penis size.

Hummers are the automotive equivalent of a "No Fat Chicks" t-shirt. There is no better way to broadcast your complete contempt for the rest of humanity when you're driving around town. You look, to these eyes, like an ignorant, arrogant, self-righteous, insecure jerk. Note I said "look" - I'm not saying Hummer drivers are all of these things, just that that's what the fashion statement made by their choice of vehicle.

Turns out that the auto industry's own market research more or less confirms my prejudice, as reported in Keith Bradshear's High and Mighty.

A summary:

According to market research conducted by the country's leading automakers, Bradsher reports, SUV buyers tend to be "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 their neighbors and communities. They are more restless, more sybaritic, and less social than most Americans are. They tend to like fine restaurants a lot more than off-road driving, seldom go to church and have limited interest in doing volunteer work to help others."
posted by gompa at 10:47 AM on December 17, 2003


Bradshear = Bradsher. Oops.
posted by gompa at 10:50 AM on December 17, 2003


SUVs carry a much higher risk of liabiliy? 4x4 trucks have higher insurance than a 2x
posted by thomcatspike at 10:50 AM on December 17, 2003


..in my normal sized vehicle

When I drive home from work, the average size of a vehicle around me seems to be a minivan. I'm usually surrounded by SUVs, minivans, cargo vans, and pickups. This isn't the urban center of a city, but I'm not in an industrial area either.

As far as I can tell, there are people with cars of all sizes drive irresponsibly. The problem is that when a larger car hits a smaller one, the smaller one is definitely in trouble, whereas the alternative isn't true. So if you're going to drive like a jackass, be aware that driving a SUV will only call attention to this characteristic, not give you a license to your behavior.
posted by mikeh at 11:19 AM on December 17, 2003


I've spotted the occassional stretch hummer(scroll down), a vehicle whose purpose beyond providing free economic pornography and sheer "flossin'" I cannot fathom.

Stretch hummers are hilarious. The yellow ones especially; they look like school buses. And I ask you: what is less economically pornographic than a school bus? A Pinto? A garbage truck? I'm not convinced.

I don't care about SUVs any more, but as for "insecure and vain. They are frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often lack confidence in their driving skills":

This seems sorta true. Remember though that the ones who have confidence in their driving skills are the scary ones. I've decided that scary drivers are more likely to be in big shiny red pickups or good ol' fashioned sports cars. So... I still resent SUVs a little, but my crusade has ended. Once people realize a lot of SUVs aren't really very roomy at all, and that their advantage in view has been neutralized by their prevalence, they'll decide they're silly and pick better cars.
posted by furiousthought at 11:22 AM on December 17, 2003


buyers tend to be "insecure and vain.

Saw a report on SUV owners which suggested the reason they are popular: "you are ready for anything".
What would cause you to be ready for "anything", maybe fear. So as a society are we being more prepared or reacting out of our fears. Example owning a SUV where it may snow: hey it's Winter whom needs the weather report, "bring it on". This seem irresponsible if you own an SUV where it rarely snows or ices and your sole reason buying one is an "if". As our society is becomes faster pace this will cause this.

For me checking your driving weather conditions is being responsible as you know you're prepared for them, thus using your wisdom. How will you gain wisdom and grow wiser if it is done for you? Hope this is not a peak at our future's window: becoming a society w/o responsibilities, buy an SUV it does it all. These vehicles are already looked upon in society being environmentally irresponsible. Is society taking the easy route by buying SUVs so they don't have to think responsibly for their driving conditions?

Anybody have "snow days" at work; how would you explain not making it to work owning a Hummer?
posted by thomcatspike at 11:30 AM on December 17, 2003


When the Pontiac Aztec first came out, I thought it was one of the most hideous blights ever released upon the streets of our great nation, as did many other people, and we all worked together to ensure that it was socially unacceptable to buy one.

You think people aren't buying Azteks because it's socially unacceptable? Wow. Here I figured it was because they are much less appealing than their competitors.
posted by kindall at 11:53 AM on December 17, 2003


Last time I checked, limiting ones choice of vehicles was not one of them.

No one said Hummer owners should be limited in their choices of vehicles. We're merely saying that Hummer owners are assholes. Many people are content with being rude jerks -- consider the popularity of those obnoxious push-to-talk cellphone/walkie-talkies. We say you have the right to choose your discourteous, loathsome technology, and we have the right to point out that you're an asshole for using it. If you dislike the opprobrium, then change.

It sure is fun to see the defensiveness here. I'll bet Hummer owners are disproportionately likely to use those push-to-talk phones. It's all part of their fuck-you-I'll-do-what-I-wanna-do mindset.

I own a Jetta TDI. If you call me a yuppie or some other term at me, I'll shrug it off. But when you flip the bird, physically or verbally, at a Hummer owner, it stings him, because he knows that there's some truth to it. Hence the defensiveness you see here.
posted by Holden at 11:55 AM on December 17, 2003


Hands down the worst driver I've seen in the last year was driving a Hummer and he was driving it like it was a little sports car. I kept hoping he'd flip the stupid monstrosity over a guard rail and into a ravine where he'd burn up in his overpriced penis extension.

Anyone who thinks they NEED a Hummer should reconsider what their need is. Do you need people to gawk at you? Or do you need to move alot of equipment all the time?

Hummers are stupid and Hummer drivers are dumb shit fools with warped world views and superiority complexes because they bought the most stupidly oversized hunk of shit available.

If they build a bigger Hummer than tiny brained idiots will buy that as well.

The best is when the numbnuts try to park these rolling tanks in a compact parking space and get huffy about it.
posted by fenriq at 12:09 PM on December 17, 2003


> "I'm changing the climate, ask me how!

I don't have an SUV but that bumper sticker makes me want one real bad. Worth any number of fingers.


> Hummers are stupid and Hummer drivers are dumb shit fools with warped
> world views and superiority complexes because they bought the most
> stupidly oversized hunk of shit available.

That's what I come to Metafilter for. The voice of tolerance and sweet reason, a blessed refuge in a howling wilderness of road rage.
posted by jfuller at 12:23 PM on December 17, 2003


If it were all about fuel economy then we'd be on scooters.

A major issue with the Hummer is that its decidedly MORE dangerous to other drivers than even other SUV's. With its raised bumpers and elevated ride height they stand a much better chance of shearing off passenger car cockpits in an accident.

I'm a biker and I can't stand the fact there are more SUV's on the road than cars. The fact (yes, this is a fact) that SUV drivers tend to go faster because they're farther from the road increases the likelihood of more deadly accidents.

I hate the Hummer because its the most visibly oversized and unpractical SUV on the road but I pretty much hate the trend towards ever bigger vehicles on the roads. They're more dangerous, they guzzle gas and people drive them like idiots.

You want speed? Get a sport bike. But be prepared for riding in the canyons created by the oversized trucks that people feel they have to have in order to compensate for whatever shortcoming they might have.

All that said, flipping the bird at a car that can't see you really is kind of pathetic. Better to follow them and beat them to death when they have to stop for more gas.
posted by fenriq at 12:24 PM on December 17, 2003


kindall: there were people who thought the Aztec was only a little bit ugly. The rest of us made sure they knew they were wrong :)
posted by Ptrin at 12:37 PM on December 17, 2003


Anyone who thinks they NEED a Hummer should reconsider what their need is?
his overpriced penis extension
he hee as Arnold would say: need plo chop...need a "hummer" as the extension lessons the sexuality of it, poor guy.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:43 PM on December 17, 2003


But be prepared for riding in the canyons created by the oversized trucks that people feel they have to have in order to compensate
Not all too true: see a lot of muddied trucks in Dallas yet not seen a muddied Hummer.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:46 PM on December 17, 2003


Hummers are the automotive equivalent of a "No Fat Chicks" t-shirt. There is no better way to broadcast your complete contempt for the rest of humanity when you're driving around town.

Amen to that. If I could afford one, I would drive a HMMV, a real one though. Give me one of the military ones. They kick major ass. Of course, I am a bit pragmatic, and with my drive the Golf or Jetta TDI is most definately in my future.
H2's are, as stated above, GM cashing in.

We're merely saying that Hummer owners are assholes

I don't disagree with that at all, when we refer to the H2. HEHEHE Read the rest of your post Holden, I hate the push-to-talk phones as well.
posted by a3matrix at 12:54 PM on December 17, 2003


A freind of mine said, that he knew a guy, who when he was next to an SUV at a light, would roll down the window, scream "Sorry about your penis!!" and haul ass away.

hmm! I know what I'm doing this weekend.
posted by mcsweetie at 1:31 PM on December 17, 2003


thomcatspike, I've no issue at all with people who use their trucks like trucks. Either for work or for play.

Its the people who get a shiny truck that will never see a dirt road much less mud that bother me. They are also, inevitably, occupied by one person 99% of the time and the cargo area is empty.
posted by fenriq at 1:42 PM on December 17, 2003


That's what I come to Metafilter for. The voice of tolerance and sweet reason, a blessed refuge in a howling wilderness of road rage.

I'm prejudiced against all assholes.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:45 PM on December 17, 2003


I think the Car Talk guys had a nice perspective on this one time. Unless you are towing a boat, driving on gravel roads every day, have to drive unplowed roads for chunks of the winter, or haul around large heavy items, you would save money and be safer buying a mini-van.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:59 PM on December 17, 2003


I can understand the sentiment of the post. I don't consider myself (consciously) prejudiced, but the H2s elicit a response in me of such exaggerated contempt that I literally have to remind myself not to hate the drivers.

Last week I witnessed a double parked H2 backing up traffic in a neighborhood in San Francisco. Cars were honking. People were frustrated. The driver was either retarded or oblivious or inconsiderate. I wonder if this "military vehicle" has been safety tested with the receiving end of a rocket launcher?
posted by quadog at 3:17 PM on December 17, 2003


Best Car Review Ever (re: the Cadillac Ascalanche)
posted by five fresh fish at 3:37 PM on December 17, 2003


Its the people who get a shiny truck that will never see a dirt road much less mud that bother me. They are also, inevitably, occupied by one person 99% of the time and the cargo area is empty.

Yeah, that's one of the things that bothers me too. So many people with so much extra space and nothing to do with it.

In the meantime, I am stuck looking at a wall when I am behind or to the side of one of these monsta trux. I can't pull out safely left into traffic unless big mo' SUV pulls out first so I can see to my right. I can't see safely ahead of the vehicle in front of me to anticipate stops. And if one of them hits me in an accident, his bumper rides over me and into my passenger compartment.

A few years ago I had a rear-end collision with a big SUV, with a 30-something mile an hour speed difference. The accident didn't set off my airbags, because instead of hitting his bumper I slid up under his wheel well. The lack of hard impact was the culprit -- my bumper just rode up his tire and slowed down (relatively) gradually -- although I still needed over $3k of bodywork done to my front end.

And now, the banks in my area are now refitting their ATMs for these monster machines. Screens and keypads are now about a foot higher than they were. Fortunately I am a tall man with long arms, but several of my friends now have to get out of their normal-sized vehicles to use the machines.

Still, for a lot of reasons I can't help but pity SUV owners (besides those with genuine pragmatic reasons for ownership). Everything about such a purchase reeks, to me, of some combination of mindless consumerism, lack of courtesy, fiscal ignorance, fearfulness, and folly.
posted by moonbiter at 4:03 PM on December 17, 2003


occupied by one person 99% of the time and the cargo area is empty.
So true fenriq.

but several of my friends now have to get out of their normal-sized vehicles to use the machines.
Arrr...Have trouble with regular ones now, not that short my other car is a two seater spyder; if the Hummer gets any higher, I'll "center lane" them by way of underneath...
posted by thomcatspike at 4:51 PM on December 17, 2003


And now, the banks in my area are now refitting their ATMs for these monster machines. Screens and keypads are now about a foot higher than they were.

This is happening here too. Yet another reason to hate SUVs.
posted by beth at 4:51 PM on December 17, 2003


... several of my friends now have to get out of their normal-sized vehicles to use the machines.
They have to actually get out of their car to use an ATM? Oh, the senseless brutality that we inflict on one another.
posted by dg at 5:37 PM on December 17, 2003


On my daily commute, I am a bit more nervous when a Tahoe, H2, Escalade, etc. is riding on my Corolla's ass than when a Hyundai is doing it.

alou73, no disrespect to you or your car, but... what is it with the typical Toyota Corolla driver? It's the one car that you never want to get behind. Now, I've driven Toyota Corollas, they're very nice cars, and not slow, but they seem to attract the s l o w e s t drivers on earth. Contrast to the average Honda Civic driver...

The Hummer is an automotive piece of shit. Everybody knows it's a Chevy, other than a few elementary school boys, you are not impressing anybody. And if you really want to go offroad (not a very high priority for the average h2 owner, I'm thinking) you could buy a couple of tricked-out 4wd pickups for the price.

As for me, I drove V-dubs and other 4-bangers when my friends were driving Camaros and Firebirds. I've done my time in econobox hell, so in my dotage I've purchased a Toyota pickup with a V8. It gets crappy mileage, but it goes like a bat out of hell and I can haul 7000lbs of whatever I want.
posted by groundhog at 9:05 PM on December 17, 2003


I have to add my own little rendition of Boy George's Karma Chameleon, Humma Humvee.

Is there no clutch 'cause it gets in your way?
If I said I like stick, would I be gay?
I'm a man without good suspension
I'm a man never off-road
Your tires explode
Your tires explode

Humma Humma Humma Humma Humma Humvee
Your tires explode
Your tires explode
Pentagonal rim nuts
Fulfill my Darwinian views
Red, white and blue
Red, white and blue

Don't care how much gas I burn every day
Silly commie it's the American way
Love of size our sweet addiction
When we drive you hear this song
Blasting on the Monsoon system
You sing along
You sing along

Humma Humma Humma Humma Humma Humvee
Your tires explode
Your tires explode
Pentagonal rim nuts
Fulfill my Darwinian views
Red, white and blue
Red, white and blue

Every option is so vital
You just roll over your rival
Every option is so vital
You just roll over your rival

I'm a man without good suspension
I'm a man never off-road
Now I live a contradiction
Your tires explode
Your tires explode

Humma Humma Humma Humma Humma Humvee
Your tires explode
Your tires explode
Pentagonal rim nuts
Fulfill my Darwinian views
Red, white and blue
Red, white and blue

Here's the source links on pentagonal rim nuts and exploding wheels and the Monsoon Sound System w/ CD changer.
posted by john at 9:24 PM on December 17, 2003


I don't own an H2, but if I did I won't give a f**k what some self-righteous a**hole thought about what I drove.

And +1 for what a3matrix, jammer and Matt said.
posted by trillion at 10:46 AM on December 18, 2003


SUV buyers tend to be "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 their neighbors and communities. They are more restless, more sybaritic, and less social than most Americans are. They tend to like fine restaurants a lot more than off-road driving, seldom go to church and have limited interest in doing volunteer work to help others."

As an SUV owner, here's my reaction to that. I'm not nervous about my marriage, but I definitely have no interest in kids. I definitely don't lack confidence in my driving skills, and unlike a lot of people driving SUVs I actually know how to drive one properly. I'm guilty of not being terribly interested in my neighbors and community. I'm definitely somewhat restless and not terribly social. Fine restaurants have no appeal to me because I can't stand the food, while I love off-road driving (you haven't seen a place like death valley if you stay on the paved roads). I never go to church, and really don't have any interest in volunteering.

I also feel that there should be different licensing requirements for people to own an SUV, because they don't drive like cars and there are indeed a lot of people out there that drive like complete idiots in them. Then again, driving like complete idiots is not restricted to the SUV drivers, which is readily apparent after a little time spent driving around here.
posted by piper28 at 11:15 AM on December 18, 2003


Me: Your lifestyle is selfish and endangers the environment and safety of your neighbors.

Neolibertarian: This is a free country!

Me: I didn't suggest a government ban. I was pointing out that you're hurting your community and should stop it for everyone's sake, including your own.

Neolibertarian: This is a free country! Shut the fuck up!

Me [fed up, snarky]: Yes, I have freedom of speech. It's written in the Constitution. Can you point to the article of the Constitution that says you have a right to drive anything you want on public streets?

Neolibertarian: This is a free country! Shut the fuck up! You're jealous!
posted by Skwirl at 12:22 AM on December 19, 2003


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