Best Book of 2008 San Antonio Express
Monday, February 16, 2009
Hummers and the Fashion of Frugality
They say Hummers are toast. No more. Arnold Schwarzenegger's fifty thousand dollar toy has hit the ash heap of conspicuous consumption as another relic of our old economy. Soccer moms pasting on eye liner up in their dark command vehicle will not be the defining image of the Obama era. Excess is out. Ring the bells. Even if you can afford it you don't want to be tooling around anymore in your Porche or your monstrous SUV. These gas guzzlers are dinosaurs of our age gone by. Move over for bug like electric cars and lots of Hyundai's. The Hummer craze was our age at it's most disgusting. Middle class people tooling around in a billboards that said I got it all...top of the Mountain baby. You could not ignore those black military vehicles that took up all of their lane and some of yours. They literally could push your car out of the way. The people inside said it all, staring out of tinted windows at the poor middle class hordes who could not afford bulletproof luxury. This was crass consumerism at it's worst. They even came out with a middle class Hummer that kept the tag around a cool fifty thousand and didn't' hit the seventy K price tag of those early beasts that were the domain of rock stars and action heroes. But they have quit making them. You can see them in the car lots now. The Hummers broke from basic black with a yellow Hummer, a red Hummer, a Hummer for every family in America. Can there be any bigger statement as to what went wrong with the American Dream when the signpost of material success was a military vehicle designed for desert climates? Little Johnny and Susie will no longer spill out from combat ready command ships, ready to secure the perimeter of the schoolyard. I hear tell there is a new station wagon on the drawing boards of not a few companies. The new fashion in middle class transportation will be green and if you can't afford green then it will be modest. Station wagons could be the new benchmark in the rush to be just middle class again. The Hummer will go back to being a military vehicle as the roads fill with Girly men driving cars they can afford. RIP Arnie.