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hilarious SUV rant(56 posts)

hilarious SUV rantMJ
Jan 17, 2003 5:20 AM
I'm a bad person and ignorant besides...TJeanloz
Jan 17, 2003 5:56 AM
There are a few interesting facts about SUV bashers:

(a) They are in the minority.
(b) They use nasty rhetoric and single, isolated events to "prove" their point.
(c) They are better people than the rest of us, because even if they drive 50,000 miles a year in their Honda Civic, and I drive 10 miles in my Hummer, they are making us less dependent on foreign oil.

I'm not a big fan of ridiculous SUVs, and I think that their owners are big jackasses, but I don't feel the need to jump on the bandwagon and ridicule people for their personal choices. I'm not that insecure.
I know you're a bad personMJ
Jan 17, 2003 7:38 AM
you gotta admit the Hummer is ridiculous and that was a funny article

when does a personal choice cease to be a personal choice?
I freely admit that the Hummer is ridiculousTJeanloz
Jan 17, 2003 7:51 AM
I've seen the new (and old) Hummer around, and even if it wasn't capable of 4WD mayhem and low fuel economy, I'd still think it was a stupid car. Just like the Pontiac Aztec, what a retarded hunk of metal that one is. Now that they are less unique (due to the lower price point of the H2), it's even more stupid- because I can understand the desire to drive a unique vehicle.

On the issue of personal choice, it's a tricky subject, but I think that a choice becomes societal when it has a clear, present, and major negative impact above and beyond the alternatives. Ownership of a Hummer does NOT reach this threshold. What if I wanted to purchase one to store in my museum of stupid vehicles. I was never going to drive it, because it would make me look retarded, but I wanted to record the idiocy for posterity. It seems fair that I should be able to purchase this vehicle. The safety arguments of the anti-SUV crowd don't hold much weight, as far as I'm concerned, because the SUV itself is not inherently dangerous, it's the accident that kills people(along the lines of the "guns don't kill people" argument). I understand that some people are willing to quash personal freedoms for the "betterment" of society, but until a Hummer poses a real threat to my life or health, I'm just going to laugh at the people who drive them.
that's hilarious tooMJ
Jan 17, 2003 8:00 AM
the accident that kills people - you most be trolling

we should get rid of seatbelts in all cars and insert large spikes in the steering wheel - that'll certainly result in a reduction of traffic fatalities - after all it won;t be the spike in the steering wheel that kills people it'll be the accident


you'll feel different about hummer harm when it's bearing down on you or misses you in its blind spot

I would visit a stupid car museum - I've only ever been to the car museum in (Brig ?) Switzerland (further down from Aigle) and it was, as the Swiss always are, sehr ernst - oh also been to the Daimler Benz and Porsche museums in SW Germany (used to be a Euro tour guide)
I can think of better ways of reducing traffic fatalities,TJeanloz
Jan 17, 2003 8:11 AM
Fatal accidents are almost always the result of unlawful conduct. It is relatively rare that there's a "just driving along" fatal accident. I'm personally not a fan of seatbelt laws, despite the fact that they "save" lives. Better enforcment of traffic laws and higher licensing standards could do a lot more than eliminating vehicles from the road. You're right, I would feel differently if I were in a Hummer's blind spot - but I'm not stupid enough to sit in a Hummer's blind spot all day at 85mph. People on both sides need to learn how to drive defensively, that would reduce traffic fatalities.
I can think of better ways of reducing traffic fatalities,MJ
Jan 17, 2003 8:18 AM
you seem as if you're sceptical as to seat belts 'saving' lives - is that so?

your approach has a logical conclusion in big dashboard spikes

I agree unlawful conduct is to blame - so why are the design specs for most cars along way from legal intent?

blaming things on a lack of enforcement is a "cop out"
I'm not skeptical, but it's my life thank you very much,TJeanloz
Jan 17, 2003 8:35 AM
My approach does have the logical conclusion in big dashboard spikes. If I want to drive a car with big dashboard spikes, who's to say that I shouldn't. It's stupid, it may cause my death, but that's a risk I take when I wake up in the morning. I don't need, or want, the government to legislate my behavior which does not directly effect others. I believe that all cars should have seatbelts, but their use should be optional. If I want to forgoe whatever discomfort a seatbelt causes, at the added risk of potential death, I should be able to make that decision myself.
Jan 17, 2003 9:01 AM
is that society often has to pay for the stupid choices of people who are injured and injure others with dashboard mounted spike rationalisations - whether directly through taxes etc. or indirectly through premium increases etc. we all get to pay

the idea that you can do what you want if you can afford or choose to is outdated
we all drive with dashboard spikesDougSloan
Jan 17, 2003 9:05 AM
Compared to the safety we could have, we all are driving with dashboard spikes. Cars would be vastly safer with roll cages, fire suppression systems, and with us wearing 5 point harnesses, fire suits, and full face helmets. Put all of that in a Mercedes S class and I'd bet you couldn't kill yourself if you wanted to.

Safety is always relative to what you could be doing to be safer, and what inconvenience and cost you are willing to bear. Make cars incapable of exceeding 20 mph and they will be much safer, too.

Thoughts about safety change drastically over time, too. I clearly recall riding around standing in the front seat of my great aunt's 1965 Ford Falcon, no belts, and with a steel dashboard. She never even thought it was unsafe. Today, she'd be thrown in jail.

and times are changing for SUV'sMJ
Jan 17, 2003 9:09 AM
people will look back and shake their heads wondering what we were thinking
I doubt itDougSloan
Jan 17, 2003 9:18 AM
What about tiny cars and motorcycles? They are vastly more dangerous than SUV's. I spent a lot of time in/on both. I had a 1985 Chevy Sprint for 4 years; that thing had sheet metal so thin it dented when you waxed it. I think it's more likely we'll look back and shake our heads about small cars and motorcycles.

If we were really concerned about safety, we'd all be driving tanks or Winston Cup cars (detuned, of course).

we all drive with dashboard spikesAlpedhuez55
Jan 17, 2003 9:12 AM
You are right Doug, for most people over 30, the closest they came to a child car seat was sitting on their mother's lap when they were a baby. Now a baby cannot leave the hospital without one. I think that is a good thing though.

Mike Y.
a good thing...Matno
Jan 18, 2003 10:59 AM
...but it's sad that we have to legislate something like that. I'm fully aware of the idea that society has to pay when people aren't safe, even if they're only endangering themselves, but I still think that laws that force us to protect ourselves (or our kids) are a bit too intrusive. They are mostly the result of the "there ought to be a law" mentality, which makes me more uncomfortable than just about anything (and is the reason why this country has more restrictions based on safety than anywhere else!)

Anyone remember when Canada repealed seatbelt laws - and refunded all the money that had been collected in fines! Granted, that was based on the law being unconstitutional under Canada's constitution, but I would argue that you could find the same thing under our constitution if you interpreted it that way...
Remember the movie Killdozer?ColnagoFE
Jan 17, 2003 6:33 AM
That's the picture I get when I hear how this article describes'd think there were roving gangs of SUVs (driverless and demon possessed) roaming the neighborhoods, killing and maiming all in their way.
Kill Dozer, or Christine nmDougSloan
Jan 17, 2003 7:17 AM
so whacky it makes me want a HummerDougSloan
Jan 17, 2003 7:25 AM
People writing such whacked out pieces like this make me really want to implement my "the world is my prison bitch" mentality and run out and buy one, then speed around San Francisco gunning the motor and running over any car under 4 feet tall.

Of course, I wouldn't, but obnoxious, unsubstantiated, whacko articles like this make me want to. I can't be the only one, either.

Gee, The article is from a very un-biased neutral source nmDave Hickey
Jan 17, 2003 7:29 AM
Since we're on SUV'scarnageasada
Jan 17, 2003 7:32 AM
I keep wondering how the marketers and auto companies created such a large need for them. I'd say over seventy percent of the mom's at my son's daycare have one. They don't seem that useful compared to a mini-van or a truck and aren't they a little more expensive to buy than most other cars? I mean keep whatever cash you might save and put some money away for jr's college.
But at the same time I'm not sure I buy the SUV owner's are shallow, show-off people argument because alot of the people who I know that have them seem more stable, secure and other-oriented than my mini-van and Ford taurus driving self.
I'll admit it..........Dave Hickey
Jan 17, 2003 7:38 AM
I don't like mini-vans so I drive an SUV. I have two boys in travel hockey. When we go out of town, we have two hockey bags, suitcases, my bike, and 4 people. Try fitting that in a Civic.
plus SUVs do have some advantages over minivansColnagoFE
Jan 17, 2003 8:24 AM
Let's face it...minivans CANT do all that a SUV or Pickup can do. If you want to go off road forget the minivan. If you want to haul a boat or trailer...again most minivans aren't gonna work. And I'll admit it. I hate the look of minivans. They are really ugly. Most get very similar (bad) gas mileage compared to a SUV.
I think you hit on somethingcarnageasada
Jan 17, 2003 8:30 AM
The mini-van and station wagon being the only other alternatives to a big family car you can hardly blame people for plopping down extra cash not to be seen driving them.

It's odd and I don't understand it but I will admit at times I feel like less of a man for driving a mini-van, which makes me wonder if some women feel less like a woman for driving one too.

Maybe what we need to do is chip in and hire the marketers that made SUV's hip and see if we can't convince the masses that safe bike paths to schools and jobs and stores are worth everyone dropping a few thousand dollars on.
Jan 17, 2003 9:23 AM
I don't think marketers made SUV's hip. I think we drivers/purchasers made SUV's hip. We aren't a bunch of Pavlovian dogs responding to puppeteers' stimuli (sorry for mixed metaphor). The cars fit needs, so people buy them.

I do think their popularity is largely the result of cheap gas, though. If gas were $5 a gallon, I'd bet most of them would disappear.

I'll settle for Hegel on this onecarnageasada
Jan 17, 2003 1:30 PM
Probably there's the classic reciprocal relationship between marketers portraying SUV's as hip and then hip people buying them and making them more hip. But I think you're right. It's not fair to blame it all on marketers.

I've often had the same thought about rising gas costs eliminating SUV's. But I fear it may not be true. It seemed like after the oil fiascos of the 70's some automakers worked hard to develop efficient vehicles but on the same token whenever I travel down to Latin America, as opposed to Europe, I'm always surprised to see so many SUV's. I don't know if gas is as much as $5 a gallon down there because they measure it in litres and I'm metrically challenged but it seems about two or three times what it is here.
Jan 17, 2003 2:00 PM
When gas hit $2 a gallon here a couple of years ago, I sold the Suburban and got something half the size. I can't be the only one.

In Latin America it probably works because they are hauling around 15 people in one vehicle. That's pretty good mileage per person.
Completely wrongcarnageasada
Jan 17, 2003 3:25 PM
No self respecting Suburban entrepeneur in Latin America would haul 15 people. I've seen well over twenty people people, we're including roof space, in a Suburban outside of Intibuca, Honduras. I know because 1/3 of my body was hanging out the window. Arriba! Sube! Sube!

Have a good week-end.
This guy has some opinions, did you read his other articles?rwbadley
Jan 17, 2003 7:34 AM
Whether or not you agree with his message, I think you have to admit he sure knows how to use words to paint a mental picture!
you either agreeMJ
Jan 17, 2003 7:46 AM
and think it's funny

or don't and will probably dismiss it entirely
what about Lear jets, big houses, and pickups?DougSloan
Jan 17, 2003 8:10 AM
Where is the freaking consistency with the anti-SUV crowd? Why aren't they bashing:

*private jets -- we're talking huge wastes of fuel here; you just don't see them all that often

*15,000 square foot houses for big shot movie stars; wouldn't you like to see the power bill for one of those? it's probably more in one month than an SUV fuel bill for a whole year.

*people who simply drive too much, or far more than average; more gas is more gas.

*expensive, high powered sports cars - per passenger, they get grossly worse fuel mileage, and who needs a car capable of over 180 mph (like who needs an off-road capable SUV)?

*what about big, high powered boats? who needs one of those cigarette things or some 90 foot yacht?

*what about pickup trucks? they are the same damn vehicles, with the rear uncovered! It's perfectly ok to drive a 7 liter, crew cab dually, but not a Suburban. Which is really worse, in every single category of SUV complaint?

I just don't understand the inconsistency, hypocrisy, and focus on this one segment of products. I don't think anyone has really addressed the true motivation behind the contempt for SUV's, yet.

I'm starting to think it's not class envy, not "supporting terrorism", not the environment, but fear. Fear that the little Honda owner is going to be intimidated by or crushed by the cell-phone talking soccer mom in the big bad SUV. If that's really it, then let's talk on those terms.

New York - LA; Should we drive, or take the Gulfstream?TJeanloz
Jan 17, 2003 8:32 AM
Doing the back-of-the-envelope calculations, taking a Gulfstream V from New York to Los Angeles (assuming normal cruise speeds) would take 4.4 hours, and burn 2089 gallons of Jet-A fuel (effectively diesel). Driving a Hummer H2 would take considerably longer, and burn about 348 gallons of unleaded gasoline. I definitely see why driving an SUV is worse.

But to make the analysis fair, because you say you can't be inconvenienced to drive for three days when you could fly in five hours. On the same journey, a Boeing 777 would burn roughly 8,387 gallons, but hold 235 passengers. Assuming the plane is full (and since the airlines cut back, they're all full), that's 35.6 gallons per passenger. The Gulfstream? 149 gallons per passenger (assuming 14 passenger "VIP" configuration, also full). So you could fly 1st class in a Boeing 777, and use less than 1/4th the fuel, or take your private jet. Who's supporting terrorism now?
Hey, TJeanloz, where did you learn aircraft fuel burns? nmDave Hickey
Jan 17, 2003 8:47 AM
I know them off the top of my head, or Google...TJeanloz
Jan 17, 2003 9:28 AM
Considering that fuel burn is a major operating cost for any aircraft, it is pretty widely available information. For the GV, I got it from Gulfstream; the 777 came from British Airways.
...and Travolta pilots his own 707 nmDougSloan
Jan 17, 2003 9:39 AM
That's moderately different,TJeanloz
Jan 17, 2003 9:59 AM
There's no question that driving a 707 isn't the best way to conserve fuel. But flying big planes is a Travolta hobby, and I haven't heard him come out in favor of mitigating fuel consumption. We will know that the apocolyspe has struck when Jay Leno speaks out against high-fueld consumption vehicles...
hobby? Not even for transportation?DougSloan
Jan 17, 2003 10:01 AM
I thought he was mentioned as being on a board of one of the anti-SUV groups. I could be wrong.
Further analysis, you can give up your SUV,TJeanloz
Jan 17, 2003 9:44 AM
So, Mr. and Ms. Hollywood Star can give up their SUV and their private jet. But what about the vehicle that is ubiquitous with their very existence: the stretch limousine? The Cadillac stretch, among the most common, and (I believe) the only car built as a stretch by the factory (all others are customized, and thus, not monitored by the EPA), gets 14mpg in the city. That's worse than most, but not all, SUVs. And that's for the standard, one size bigger stretch- not the 40' jobs that seat dozens. And I haven't noticed much carpooling to the Oscars- wouldn't that be a statement, if a Toyota Prius showed up to the Oscars, and four actors got out of it? Do as I say, not as I do...
Car pooling to the Oscars. LOL...... nmDave Hickey
Jan 17, 2003 9:49 AM
I can't waitDougSloan
Jan 17, 2003 10:03 AM
I can't wait for one of the stars to justify their SUV on the basis that it's "safer." I just know someone's going to slip.

Also, I'd love to see a website full of photos of stars exiting or riding in these SUV's or limos, or better yet, private planes.

If it's gas you are worried about, get a Hummer...mohair_chair
Jan 17, 2003 10:18 AM
Hummers are diesel, and diesel engines can run on straight vegetable oil, believe it or not. No gas required, and 93% reduction in harmful emissions. Buy that Hummer! Buy that big Mercedes! Biodiesel is the future. Now all we need to do is get Gwyneth to drive one.
Actually not,TJeanloz
Jan 17, 2003 10:42 AM
The new Hummer runs on unleaded. The old version was diesel. I've been looking into getting a diesel Volkswagen to run on biodiesel, but have yet to pull the trigger on it.
H1 still for sale, thoughDougSloan
Jan 17, 2003 10:55 AM
The H1, at $120,000, is still sold, in addition to the H2. The H2 is really nothing more than a tricked out Suburban.

GM has an H3 coming in 05.Dave Hickey
Jan 17, 2003 11:41 AM
It's based on the S-10 Jimmy platform.
what about Lear jets, big houses, and pickups?El Guapo
Jan 18, 2003 3:51 PM
My BIGGEST concern with MOST, in not ALL, oversize SUV's and Pickups is that their bumpers will not in ANY situation meet with any cars' bumpers. Picture this ... I'm with my family in my '03 Accord when an H2 driven by someone messing with their GPS Unit rams into the rear of my car. The H2 would theoretically make contact only once it's front wheels strike my bumper. By that point, it's bumper is in my back windshield. Once the wheels hit, it would ride up slightly. This would mean that my children would be crushed by the bumper and entire front end of the H2. My wife any I would probably be pinned against the dash by the bodies of our children and our own seats. The H2 driver would simply get out and marvel that they could survive. They would then probably tell the person they were talking to on the phone that they would have to let them go. Here's a little math ... 6400 lbs (not "local bike shops")at 40 mph vs. 3600 lbs at a standstill. Add to this ... the 6400 lb. vehicle has bumpers higher than the rear bodywork of the 3600 lb. vehicle. People need to wake up and realize that this isn't a "using too much petrol" issue. It is, instead, an issue of an inherent lack of safety. Manufacturers have simply chosen to "overlook" these issues for the sake of the old sawbuck. Please don't assume I am some sort of "conspiracy theorist." Maybe if EVERYONE chose to own oversize SUV's, we'd all be on a LEVEL playing field. Those who purchase these vehicles should be required to take a special certification course on driving these vehicles. I mean, we require motorcyclists to take safety courses.
good safety stuffDuane Gran
Jan 17, 2003 8:12 AM
I think the guy really hurt his cause by making personal attacks on the character of people who own an SUV, but I do appreciate him bringing up the safety issue. I believe SUV opponents (like myself) can make a difference by highlighting the safety advantages of other automobiles.
But nowhere is any hard data sitedKristin
Jan 17, 2003 9:25 AM
Can you trust the safety info he gives? What's it based on? Something he heard while pumping gas or watching the news?
some more infoDuane Gran
Jan 21, 2003 7:14 AM
One of the links in the article gave more details:

This is also a summary (couldn't find original source), but many of the arguments are compelling. Again, the emphasis on the psychology of SUV drivers doesn't help matters at all.

One thing jumped out at me though. The article cites that SUV drivers are less likely to wear seatbelts. This might be more significant than the inherent safety value of an SUV.
When it was discovered that Chevy Case had an SUV..Dave Hickey
Jan 17, 2003 8:58 AM
His spokesman said "He only used it to haul things or if he has to carry a lot of people". Isn't that why most people own SUV's? The hypocrisy of the hollywood elite just amaze me.
Fletch - nmMJ
Jan 17, 2003 9:02 AM
Same happened with Robert RedfordAlpedhuez55
Jan 17, 2003 9:07 AM
He bragged about how he used to own more but is now down to one. And he only uses that one when he is in Utah.

Mike Y.
ah, the "Utah exemption" nmDougSloan
Jan 17, 2003 9:25 AM
Jan 17, 2003 9:38 AM

Selected portions:

A Hollywood celebrity-backed television ad campaign that claims SUV owners are aiding terrorists has prompted the question, "What do the stars drive?"

Huffington says she has turned in her 13-mile-per-gallon Lincoln Navigator SUV for a hybrid gas and electric Toyota Prius that gets 52 miles per gallon, but she still makes her home in a 9,000-square-foot estate in the elite Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles.

She admitted to radio talk show host Sean Hannity on Tuesday that she travels in private jets, though she does it at the "sacrifice" of frequent flier miles.

As of last year, Bing was known to drive a luxury Lincoln Town Car.

Lear's neighbors in the Brentwood Hills area of Los Angeles are well aware of the famous TV producer's 21-car garage, which became the object of a legal battle in the 1990s when Lear wanted to build a tennis court on its roof.

A neighbor who spoke with WND on condition of anonymity said he does not know Lear's mode of travel, but notes that consumption of oil-based products at the celebrity's gated, 13,000-square-foot estate is conspicuous.

"If you come across any estate here in Brentwood, you will see 10 to 40 trash cans outside made of plastic, and also filled with plastic items, while a normal household puts out one trash can a week," he said.

Lear's inventory of plastic garbage containers is no exception.

"He has an incredible lineup," the neighbor said. "My thought as I drive by is always, 'How does his staff move the cans a quarter of a mile out to the street?'"

In addition to his Los Angeles residence, Lear owns a "multi-building estate on a hillside in southern Vermont" that includes "offices, a gym, a screening room, as well as spacious living quarters".

Lear's Brentwood neighbor, whose 3,000 square-foot home is modest by comparison, said the anti-SUV campaign makes a valid argument for conservation but smacks of hypocrisy.

"For people of their income category, it's the pot calling the kettle black in terms of consumption," he said.

SUV limos for the stars

Among board members of the environmental group are Disney CEO Michael Eisner, actress Jane Fonda and actor John Travolta, who pilots his own luxury Boeing 707.

Eisner and Fonda also are clients of a company in Los Angeles that converts SUVs and other heavy-duty "low-profile" vehicles, such as Chevy Suburbans and Ford Excursions, into "original-length, non-stretch, executive limousines."

Howard Becker of Becker Automotive Design, Inc., told WorldNetDaily that, to no one's surprise, Hollywood celebrities, including some leading environmental activists, are inclined toward vehicles with "more powerful engines."

Celebrities who have ordered custom-built SUV or truck-based limousines along with Fonda and Eisner are Barbra Streisand, Whoopi Goldberg, Elizabeth Taylor, Jerry Seinfeld, Charlie Sheen, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Cher, Sylvester Stallone, Ben Affleck, Adam Sandler, Michael Jackson, Michael Douglas and Eddie Murphy.

Streisand's publicist was unavailable for comment, but the actress and political activist has been known, at least in the past, to travel about town in a 45-foot, fully equipped motor home that gets about six to eight miles per gallon. She has told people close to her that the massive vehicle is necessary, even for short trips, in order to avoid germs at public restrooms.

Goldberg and Affleck are among the "legions of Hollywood celebrities" who have "hopped into the truck du jour," the Cadillac Escalade, the Los Angeles Times said Nov. 24, helping "rekindle interest in a luxury brand that has lost its luster in recent years."
Nipped by just a few minutes! Kudos, Doug, that's the one. nmRhodyRider
Jan 17, 2003 9:46 AM
the rest of the time he's in the limo nmDougSloan
Jan 17, 2003 9:12 AM
Also heard just this week about Norman Lear (I think),RhodyRider
Jan 17, 2003 9:42 AM
speaking out in condemnation of SUVs...from the sanctimonious location of his Hollywood mansion THAT HAS A 21-CAR GARAGE.
No report on how many (or what type) of vehicles may have been contained within, however.
Ah, the good old U.S. of A.
When it was discovered that Chevy Case had an SUV..Dave Hickey
Jan 17, 2003 9:44 AM
His spokesman said "He only used it to haul things or if he has to carry a lot of people". Isn't that why most people own SUV's? The hypocrisy of the hollywood elite just amaze me.
Only in Americacyclopath
Jan 21, 2003 7:05 AM
could this ludicrous discussion take place.

India is one of the best hockey playing nations on the face of the planet. And guess what - they manage to run a few families that play hockey without everyone having a SUV. Amazing isn't it?

That just about sums up what's wrong with this country. Hell, it's only the future of the planet we're ruining for everyone - but my need to drive to the ball game in 2 tonnes of V8 powered cr@p is far more important than that - so to hell with them.

Jeez, sometimes it's just plain embarrassing...