Wednesday, March 30, 2005

... or is ridicule the best way to neuter america's love for the suv? (and remember that SUV is rhymed with luv just as GOP is rhymed with flop)

Stumbled upon this interesting and heartening bit in Common Dreams today: "Unlikely Bedfellows Lobby Against U.S. Gas-Guzzlers." It's great to see the right-wing security concerns of a Robert McFarlane and friends coinciding with the left's traditional ecological concerns. Of course it makes sense for everyone, and the earth we live on, that -- if we insist on driving private vehicles -- we drive smaller, more-fuel-efficient, less-polluting private vehicles.

Do SUVs have any advantage other than their large profit margins for General Motors and Ford?
Safety? How many people now claim to be driving SUVs only to protect their children from other SUVs that are threatening to tip and roll across the highway toward them. It may be, like the foreign policy of the Bush Administration, a false sense of security, but we love our security blankets as much as Linus loved his.
Space? We have too much shit already. Our houses are too big. Our vehicles are too big. And we've grown fat to fill our spaces. You may not be able to bring home the bargain vats of Spaghettios from Wal-Mart in the trunk of a Mini or a Prius, but that may not be a bad thing. (Tall people have no excuses to drive oversized vehicles either -- I'm 6'3" and the biggest car I ever owned was a 1972 Datsun 510 wagon.)
Style? No. They are boxes.
Speed? No. They are big boxes.
Handling? Ha. Big top-heavy boxes.

As much as people remember the Gas Crisis of the seventies as the sole cause for the temporary death of full-sized sedans and station wagons of that era, I remember another cause -- Ridicule. I was in high school and college at the time, and NO ONE I know would have been caught dead driving a full-size vehicle of ANY kind. If you did, you were old, you were impotent, you were a family man or driving your grandfather's car. Let's make it clear that despite the ads featuring Kayaking and Cliff-Diving Youngsters, that SUVs are cars for soccer moms, that no real man or independent woman would EVER be caught dead driving that symbol of domesticity, whether it has a "Hemi" or not.

Small is beautiful.
Full-Size is for hearses.
True Blue Liberal

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