Friday, 22 February 2008

Dumb and Hummers

I'm sure my blogs contain all kinds of sweeping generalisations but most of these will be out of ignorance. I try my best, but some always slip through. I don't know why, but this time, I've decided to indulge myself with a generalisation-based blog.

Hummers, and drivers of Hummers, are some of the least appealing things/people in the world.

Lots of people have discussed the phenomenon of mothers taking their kids to school in a Land Rover Discovery - but I don't want to duplicate this. It's Hummers, in particular, that got me thinking.

In certain theatres of war, there may be a reason for Hummers. On certain UN missions, there may be a use for them. In certain parts of the United States, they may be the perfect all terrain vehicle. But Jeeeeeesus, do we need them in Manchester?

Although this isn't one of the Freedom Series of blogs, the Hummer thing is partly about freedom of choice. Freedom of choice is important. I believe that. But when a system like ours provides so much choice, I mean a bewildering array of options for almost every item in our lives, these choices morph into modes of self-expression.

There's something about Hummers that epitomise US foreign policy. Hummers go anywhere in the world, they're big, they're ugly, they are energy inefficient, they leave a massive footprint and drive over anything. So where does this fit into the UK car buyer's mentality?

Most things are chosen because the buyer identifies with 'characteristics' of the thing. Good natured people own good natured dogs. Flashy people buy flashy phones. Idiots like Jeremy Clarkson drive idiotic cars.

So what drives a person in the UK to choose a Hummer? What Hummer characteristic does the owner identify with? It's size? It's weight? It's horrible, clunky, boxy design? What does a Hummer owner feel when s/he climbs up to the steering wheel?

I don't understand it.

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