Monday, June 27, 2005

Hummer - The Urban Assault Vehicle

Outta My Way Punk!

First there was the H1, built for the military. Then there came the H2, built on a GM truck chassis, but made to 'look' utilitarian. Now comes the H3, boxy but smaller. Say hello to the Hummer Family. Another really good reason why the rest of the planet thinks we are friggin nuts.

Never mind the fact that you could build and staff a school in central Zimbabawe for the cost of one of these things. Not to mention feed a whole town in Uganda for a year based on what these things guzzle in gas every year. In a time of diminishing fuel sources, global warming and ozone depletion, this monster gets 9 miles per gallon!

Every time I see one of these things, with their bling-bling alloy wheels, garish chrome and 'thumper' sound systems I have to wonder what sort of statement the driver is trying to make:

"I am filthy rich and you aren't!"

"My Oscar Meyer Weiner is really a Vienna Sausage!"

"I got beat up on the playground as a child....BUT NEVER AGAIN!"

"I just turned 55, got a toupe and all my divorced buddies have Corvettes!"

"Someday, I'll be brave enough to drive down a dirt road!"

"I am paranoid as all hell and live in fear of being hit by a bus!"

They have become and icon of our times. Excess consumerism in a world of shrinking enconomies and limited resources. Are they sort of the prize we have given to ourselves for winning the cold war? The Navy has nuclear powered aircraft carriers, the Air Force has stealth bombers, the Army has M1 Abrams tanks, and the American civilian has their Hummer. Gives a new slant on the concept of an Army of One.

I think deep down, this vehicle just represents another step in the downward spiral of our self isolationism. I mean look at this thing. Could it look more unfriendly? It is the 'bank vault' that we drive around town. No one can touch us in one of these things. In here the rest of the world can't touch me. And if they try, I will just drive right over them.

I miss my Yugo...