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"Make obstacles obsolete"....
June 21, 2001 10:29 AM   Subscribe

"Make obstacles obsolete".... OK, I know that SUV-bashing has been done to death on Mefi, but has anyone seen the most recent TV commercial for the Cadillac Escalade? In a long video-game like sequence, the Escalade hurtles through a blade runner-esque cityscape, defeating missiles and a computer-generated robot. The voiceover chimes in to announce the brand and drop the tagline "Make obstacles obsolete."

That really sums it up, doesn't it? Driving an SUV is all about making obstacles obsolete - people, bicyclists, other cars....i'd like to see gas prices hit about US $5 a gallon this summer so that the Escalade would become obsolete...
posted by preguicoso (49 comments total)

 
This thread seems like a really bad idea.
posted by daveadams at 10:36 AM on June 21, 2001


Just to antagonize things abit, I'd love to own an Escalade.
posted by howa2396 at 10:38 AM on June 21, 2001


When driving large vehicles I feel too bloated, on the narrow city streets, it really feels like it just doens't belong. It's much less stressfull to drive a honda, unless of course an Escalade smacks you.
posted by corpse at 10:41 AM on June 21, 2001


"Driving an SUV is all about making obstacles obsolete - people, bicyclists, other cars."

I think you have issues. Where does this anger at SUV drivers come from? Sure they get worse gas mileage than the Honda Insight I'm sure you're driving, but why do you have to accuse these folks of being bloodthirsty, destructive, zealots?

I'm not getting the connection. Silly commercial = SUV drivers hate cyclists.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:43 AM on June 21, 2001


Hey, everybody, c'mon in! Let's hear how you feel about SUVs! 'Cause we all care, and lots of minds will be changed by all the heated rhetoric!

Preguicoso, I'm sorry to hear your cat died.
posted by anildash at 10:46 AM on June 21, 2001


Yesterday on the local news I saw the results of a SUV-bus collision. The SUV smashed up just about as well as any other car would.
posted by darukaru at 10:49 AM on June 21, 2001


And we will be judged harshly by the future historians looking back at the 90's for our use of Suv's...
posted by brucec at 10:50 AM on June 21, 2001


though i'd cringe if forced to use an SUV nowadays, if i were to ever become a rapper, i'd most likely add an escalade to the pretty things i'd own.
posted by lotsofno at 10:55 AM on June 21, 2001


SUV or not, I hate idiot cyclists who weave in and out of the road...
posted by owillis at 10:56 AM on June 21, 2001


Ok, ok, bad thread - but have you seen the commercial??
posted by preguicoso at 11:02 AM on June 21, 2001


I've driven an Escalade. Nice interior, good amount of power, elevated view of traffic. Predictable handling. Plus, it's a Cadillac!
posted by Jeremy at 11:02 AM on June 21, 2001


This is a job for Law and Order SUV. (thanks Brad!)
posted by rodii at 11:04 AM on June 21, 2001


There are an inordinate number of things that I dislike.
posted by iceberg273 at 11:07 AM on June 21, 2001


Mr. Leland would be proud.
posted by clavdivs at 11:08 AM on June 21, 2001


While I will admit that I have NO problem with large vehicles (hell, I own a 1979 Lincoln Mark V, and I'm getting ready to purchase a HumVee), I will agree with preguicoso - the Escalade commercial is very, very stupid.

Yes, the HV will actually be used in 4WD mode, off-road. I can appreciate the cognitive dissonance we get when you view the SUV that quite obviously is used as a tall minivan. Why not just get a minivan?

However, wishing that gas prices go up to $5 a gallon so that SUV's will "go away" is silly. I'll just do what I've always done - I'll just find a way to make more money.
posted by hadashi at 11:09 AM on June 21, 2001


> and we will be judged harshly by the future historians
> looking back at the 90's for our use of Suv's...

I haven't run across many archaeologists who look down on the Greeks, the Celts or the Egyptians for driving chariots pulled by warhorses, even over peasants. Historians are a tolerant lot.
posted by jfuller at 11:16 AM on June 21, 2001


you're getting a humvee? what do you do for a living?
posted by starduck at 11:18 AM on June 21, 2001


One SUV: 44,000.00 and change.
Gas: 1.50 - 3.00 a gallon, depending, watch this space for updates.
Tweaking people who get pissed off at those of us who own SUV's: Priceless.

(admittedly tongue in cheek, from an SUV owner)

hadashi: A Humvee? I can feel my penis shrinking already. :)
posted by ebarker at 11:25 AM on June 21, 2001


Uniting threads—I heard a VERY funny spot about SUVs masquerading as hybrids on the Hendrie show from 6/15. Good stuff.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:26 AM on June 21, 2001


Ok, I feel a minor need to explain (since the HumVee has such a strange reputation).

I tend to drive into the Nevada desert a lot - I have part ownership of a mine, and there are no paved roads leading to it.

I also tend to carry a LOT of equipment, and I needed something that can do that.

I can't afford to get stuck, and HV's don't do that if you are smart about driving it. Finally, it has the capability of driving out even if you have a flat; a feature that I wish I'd had with the Ford 1/2 ton pickup truck. (Sidewall hit a rock; changed to spare. Same happened to another tire - dead truck. Luckily, I had someone else following in another vehicle.)

Is this thing a daily driver? No. Where would you park a HV in the San Francisco Bay area? For normal roads I drive a normal car - a Dodge Intrepid or a little Mercury station wagon. The right tool for the right job, I always say. :)
posted by hadashi at 11:43 AM on June 21, 2001


A miner? CRUCIFY HIM!!

A minor? Wanna cyber?

History looking askance at us? If the Egyptians had nuclear power we'd still be dealing with their waste. Chew on that.
posted by norm at 11:56 AM on June 21, 2001


>However, wishing that gas prices go up to $5 a gallon so that SUV's will "go away" is silly. I'll just do what I've >always done - I'll just find a way to make more money.

That's right, money solves it all. People with more money deserve more of the earth's limited resources, more safety and more space than the rest of us.

(at least $5/gallon, I say.)
posted by eileen at 12:01 PM on June 21, 2001


Re: Egytpian waste. Didja see "The Mummy Returns"? I believe it qualifies. :-)

And we LOVE our SUV - no apologies.
posted by davidmsc at 12:03 PM on June 21, 2001


Say, eileen, I'd like to echo your sentiment (That's right, money solves it all. People with more money deserve more of the earth's limited resources, more safety and more space than the rest of us.) - with no sarcasm. Well, maybe a 95% reduction in sarcasm.

Else why work hard to *earn* money, if not to afford more resources (of any type - safer vehicle, faster computer, new carpet, medical care, whatever), more safety (for self, family), and more space (larger home, acreage in the country). Even if you disagree and believe that this is wrong for some reason, it is, in fact, REALITY.
posted by davidmsc at 12:09 PM on June 21, 2001


..."Or Hector spattering wheel-rims...Nor the companions of the muses/will keep their collective nose in my books,/And weary with historical data, they will turn to my/dance tune.

-ezra pound, 1917.
posted by clavdivs at 12:20 PM on June 21, 2001


Why can't we also have a positive impact upon FUTURE REALITIES davidmsc? Despite the very strong logic behind your statement (and other's), I think it becoming quite irresponsible to keep this reality going. Resources dry up -- and in this instance, can damage the environment through exhaust fumes, etc.

I drive seldom, ride my bike as often as possible, and use public transportation to go to work, shop, etc. One of the reasons I recently moved to Boston was to take advantage of this reality -- I am not kidding!

Yes, I am 24 and child-less, so I have no idea how difficult it must be to corral the kids into a non-SUV.
posted by kphaley454 at 12:22 PM on June 21, 2001


When gas prices rise to five or six bucks per gallon, the poorer people driving old cars that get crummy gas mileage and who can not possibly afford to get a new car or even a better used car will be off the roads entirely. But I suppose this is acceptable if you hate SUVs enough.
posted by bargle at 12:52 PM on June 21, 2001


I'll just do what I've always done - I'll just find a way to make more money.


It's been very interesting to see some of the diversity of responses on mefi lately - yesterday I was shocked when, in response to my post looking for streaming music along the lines of The Wire, I got suggestions for "margaritaville" and "phish" stations. I'm even more surprised today to see a similar kind of mainstream U.S. lowest common denominator moron attitude in response to my SUV post.

I suppose a diverse group will make for a more interesting MeFi, but this wasn't what I was expecting...
posted by preguicoso at 1:16 PM on June 21, 2001


Damnit! Don't you just hate it when the grownups come along and stomp all over your fun?
posted by m.polo at 1:22 PM on June 21, 2001


m.polo -

yes. I wish they'd stay on plastic.com
posted by preguicoso at 1:26 PM on June 21, 2001


my next door neighbor just bought one of these monsters (note he has no family, no construction company, and therefore no reason to own something so huge) and let me drive it. i felt like i was driving a building. incredibly hard to maneuver.

i'll keep my little honda civic (codename : the roller disco) which gets wondeful mileage, has never had to go to the shop in five years and needs only a single parking space.
posted by patricking at 1:30 PM on June 21, 2001


Funny, some of the more mature, intelligent members of the MeFi cabal were just voting on whether to permanently redirect requests from your browser back to /.
posted by m.polo at 1:35 PM on June 21, 2001


I've driven an Escalade and--let me tell you--that is luxury!

Individually heated leather seats are highly underrated.
posted by fooljay at 1:39 PM on June 21, 2001


Haven't seen the commercial. About SUVs though... If it's the classification of SUVs as commercial class with lower emissions standards that pisses a person off, why not focus on getting SUVs reclassified? If it's the powerful engines that use a lot of gas that pisses you off, then why not focus on powerful hybrid or fuel-cell engines? (I think Toyota's working on a hybrid SUV - don't quote me though.) If it's the silliness of an urbanite driving an Escalade, then LAUGH. I know that *I* do most of my complaining when I feel powerless to change something I see as 'not desired'... so to project that to everyone ELSE *grin*... when we say, "Look at that - it SUCKS" we're so busy pointing at what we hate and feeling helpless (and perhaps bonding with others over it) that we never move beyond it to something else. Things ARE changing - and we can facilitate the general awareness of that by pointing out the changes as we go. Sure, sometimes getting pissed helps at first, but STAYING pissed (and self-righteousness) just gets boring to feel after a while (IMO).

About the commercial though - I do think its really funny watching ads - seeing how marketing/media packages the way we're supposed to think about things. It usually has nothing to do with my own reasons for owning or not-owning something. Glad to see many people here buy (or don't buy) SUVs for their own reasons - and they all sound like 'good' reasons to me, even if they are not mine.
posted by thunder at 1:43 PM on June 21, 2001


If the Egyptians had nuclear power we'd still be dealing with their waste.

If the Egyptians had had nuclear power, we'd have left this planet behind centuries ago.
posted by kindall at 2:09 PM on June 21, 2001


I traded in my Tahoe on a 98 Honda Accord 2 weeks ago. Never will I own another GM car, or rent one for that matter. What an absolute hunk of shit. The recent gas price situation is what finally pushed me over the edge too. I am rid of it and glad. I still try to ride my motorcycle as much as possible though, even better gas mileage than the Accord and Corolla that my wife and I have.

As for the Escalade? Huge POS. I know a guy with one. The entire quality control dept. must have had the day off when that thing rolled off the line.

They are shutting down Oldsmobile in a couple of years. Good start, now finish up and get rid of Pontiac, Buick......

And to think GM owns Saturn. I wonder if Saturn lets any GM execs in their facilities? Or if they hit them with a firehose to make them go away.
posted by a3matrix at 2:11 PM on June 21, 2001


watch it.
posted by clavdivs at 2:17 PM on June 21, 2001


Whatever they did to GM execs, it sure didn't keep my Saturn from prematurely falling apart.
posted by trox at 2:22 PM on June 21, 2001


sometimes I see SUVs on the road occupied solely by it's driver and little or no cargo (sometimes this sole occupant is on a cell phone). given the notoriously bad mileage of the SUV, and the inflated summer gas prices, this is when I become to inclined to think that maybe some SUV owners are phenomenally stupid.
posted by mcsweetie at 2:26 PM on June 21, 2001


precuigoso writes:

I'm even more surprised today to see a similar kind of mainstream U.S. lowest common denominator moron attitude in response to my SUV post.

That's right, folks; if you don't agree with everything the poster says - or, at the very least, feel guilty about the way that you Consume Precious Natural Resources (note the studly caps) - then you are a lowlife, slope-browed, consumer-moron.

Really, now. Even running my '79 Lincoln for a year doesn't put nearly as many hydrocarbons into the atmosphere as even the smallest volcano. Oil will run out, true - but the secret is you can make more. Or, better yet, convert to some other form of energy. I'd happily put a fuel cell/electric motor in all of my vehicles if it will give me the same performance. Just make the damn thing work - gasoline is smelly and dirty.

However, if your goal is to "save the earth" - believe me, it doesn't need saving, and the sky isn't falling no matter how many time Dan Blather says it is - I suggest you disconnect from the grid, eschew buying anything, move to the woods and live off the land. Please, be an example for the rest of us. At least we won't have listen to your bleating on MeFi.

And while you are doing that we're going to continue driving our cars and living our lives. Don't like that? Tough. Get used to it.
posted by hadashi at 6:24 PM on June 21, 2001


it doesn't need saving, and the sky isn't falling no matter how many time Dan Blather says it is - I suggest you disconnect from the grid, eschew buying anything, move to the woods and live off the land. Please, be an example for the rest of us. At least we won't have listen to your bleating on MeFi.

As a citizen of the fine state of Montana I can honestly say: Fuck you. Move to the woods and live off the land, my ass. Most of California has a mass transit system. We have to drive 140 miles to get to our closest large neighbor. I agree that the Earth will go on no matter what we do to it. But I have an enormously hard time with the people who think that if you move to the unpopulated areas you'll have it so much better. We produce an innordinate amount of energy (especially considering this years drought) and we have to consume gasoline even to travel to work. You probably (I hope) can't believe how tired I get of the people who suggest that:
a) We move to less consumptive places (read Bullshit) or
b) suggest (those were your words) that people move to areas where they will be MORE likely to consume energy.

Most of this state doesn't have DSL or webTV. Most of this state has to put up with PPL trying to convince us that, even though we produce an enormous ammount of energy for the west, we have to pay rates as set by CALIFORNIA. I personally have disabled my Airconditioner for the energy boycott (oh wait, I don't have one) in honor of of this occasion. I have to drive through up to 12 (sometimes 24) inches of snow to get to work. Don't tell me or anyone else in this state how we should feel about energy consumption. You're a wanker akin to the guy I saw yesterday with "kill the Sierra club" painted on the side of his SUV.
You want to tell somebody to live in the woods? Move here yourself. Don't like that? Tough. Get used to it.
posted by Wulfgar! at 7:44 PM on June 21, 2001


I've driven an Escalade and--let me tell you--that is luxury!

Individually heated leather seats are highly underrated.


Yeah, so? I have those in my VW Golf, and I also get 36 miles to the gallon. I don't need to spend a years pay on a car I could park my Golf in to get those.

Keep going, preguicoso ... some of us are with you.
posted by anastasiav at 8:23 PM on June 21, 2001


believe me, it doesn't need saving, and the sky isn't falling

Why should we 'believe' some anonymous dipshit on MeFi on this?
posted by rodii at 8:28 PM on June 21, 2001


Uh-oh, somebody's been listening to a certain conservative talk show host when he's traipsing through the Nevada desert. Throw a cigarette butt out the window. Shit the desert's so huge. In fact, save up all the cigarette butts from Binion's Horseshoe over a year, tow it up there in your Hum Vee, making multiple trips if you must, dump 'em in the desert, and still nobody, I doubt, would notice. Shit the desert's just so damn huge, empty and minable (No problem with your mining BTW). Though it is the home of the Shoshone (the only American Indians who scraped away without being interned in reservations--which is not my point).

Point:

The sky is not falling--you're right. It's made of molecules in their gaseous state.

Really, now. Even running my '79 Lincoln for a year doesn't put nearly as many hydrocarbons into the atmosphere as even the smallest volcano.

Limbaugh would not be proud at how you've exposed yourself on this zingzangzingydoo. When volcanoes erupt in huge emissions of sulfur dioxide and pyroclastic flows we might consider that disaster not only absolute in close proximity to the event, but also substantial throughout the world. If volcanoes emit gas, which they do, that is considered geothermal normality. If many volcanoes all at once emitted sulfur dioxide at quantities approaching that which human activity has produced since the beginning of industry, it would be certain that we would see many fields of science studying such natural implications. However, it is idiotic to compare what industry does to pollute the Earth with the symbiosis of that which nature has evolved to survive should nonanthropomorphic calamity arise and then use your own ignorance as an excuse for your own ignorance.

We, as a species have our hands in many baskets at once. Not only does civilization as we know it necessarily pollute, but it also simultaneously decimates the natural filters and mechanisms which allow the flora and fauna to survive. Therefore, I opine that you first defer to science before you jump to such boorish, farcical anecdotal evidence. You said you own a mine. Surely you defer to your engineers at least half of the time. Why not do the same with things that don't appear to directly affect you deep in the desolate Nevada desert?
posted by crasspastor at 8:28 PM on June 21, 2001


hadashi, I'm sorry. I was just feeling a little tense.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:29 PM on June 21, 2001


Okay, may be you deserved my "Fuck you".
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:56 PM on June 21, 2001


I'm not sure if anyone actually reads threads that are this old, but what the heck:

Not only does civilization as we know it necessarily pollute, but it also simultaneously decimates the natural filters and mechanisms which allow the flora and fauna to survive.


Agreed! Mind you, in no way am I in favor of paving over that which is green (unless you have to), nor am I in favor of "flashy consumption". I don't need to show off to others; generally, I don't care what they think.

However, I have yet to see definitive evidence (one exception, see below) that any of this is more than a normal, cyclic pattern of the earth. The weather patterns in the late 1800's were far more violent that what we see now; was that because of steam engines?

The exception: The mass die-off of frogs and toads. I know this first-hand; they were everywhere when I was kid growing up in Indiana. I have family and friends that I visit in Indiana, and I haven't seen a frog or toad in years.

Despite my bluster, I'm a logical and - I like to think - reasonable person. I usually admit my mistakes, and I even apologize when needed. So, please, show me the evidence! I see a lot of supposition by the very people who get funding for finding "end of the world" scenerios, and that makes me a little suspicious. Also, a number of well respected atmospheric scientists do not agree that our CO2 output could begin to have this effect; nor do they all agree that Freon was a primary cause of the so-called ozone hole.

Tell me to wear my seatbelt "because it is good for me" and I won't do it. I didn't, for years. Show me why it is a good thing and I will wear it - and I do, now.

But try bully or harrass me into a particular behaviour without good evidence is certain to make me go the other way. And I'm guessing about 50% of the US feels the same way - we're not sheep, and we don't appreciate being told what to do like we are misbehaving schoolchildren. If you want to alter our behaviour then you're going to have to come up with good, hard facts to back it up. So far, I've seen none of that from the Chicken Little crowd.

As to the claim that I'm a devotee of Mr. Limbaugh, well, I'm not sure. If I've listened to his show once in the last three months, does that count? The point is still the same - the amount we humans put out is quite small in comparison, and no amount of fifty-cent words and "Look how superior I am" attitude can dispute that fact. I notice that you did not actually address that fact. Instead, you hinted that I was somehow a Limbaugh drone and was not thinking. Nice tactic, but it won't work here.

Ah, this post has become way too long. Anyway, I'm serious about the "show me the evidence" claim. I'll ignore the rude and angry, but serious posts (or e-mail) pointing me to studies, evidence, etc. will be read and appreciated.
posted by hadashi at 10:15 PM on June 22, 2001


if it counts for anything, i read the older threads... agreed on the whole "show me" deal.
posted by lotsofno at 10:58 PM on June 22, 2001


I'm assuming we all have access to the internet. . .
; ) Therefore, I'd imagine individual research is easily at hand.

I don't quite understand how "showing" you will help.

I offer up this, some recent and pressing news here in the Pacific Northwest.

If you read the link, you'll find that the non-maliciousness of making electrical equipment with PCBs before the 70's has been known to collect in the fat of killer whales. Who could have known way back then?

Under that caveat we find that there may be a causal link between the harmless act of logging forests, building benign dams to fuel our burgeouning industries and the declining populations of salmon and how that affects the Orca.

Then of course there is the reason any and all conservative would rather lay all blame:
Some whale observers speculate that the "L" pod, on its ocean-going travels, may be victim of transient or offshore orcas.

Keep in mind though the inordinately high levels of PCBs in the whales' systems. Kinda like the volcanoes I guess. Earth kills off her own anyway, why should we change even though we know that our meddling has affected Earth's entire ecosystem and almost exclusively deleteriously.

Example here.
posted by crasspastor at 11:44 PM on June 22, 2001


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