Seth Stevenson, I hope tongue-in-cheek, assails the Hummer H2 ad campaign for promoting poor ethics:

1. The Hummer kid cheats. Yes, the company’s Web site offers “thinking outside the box” justifications, pointing out that the race rules are just “First one down wins.” But I don’t buy it. He fails to stay on a clearly demarcated course. In my book, that’s an automatic DQ. Anyway, the off-road driving didn’t even look that treacherous–I bet the regular cars could have handled it, too, if their drivers were little cheating brats. Were I the other kids, I would have ripped the wheels off the soapbox Hummer and beat the cheater about the head with them.

2. He endangers other racers. His car is much bigger and heavier, with a higher center of gravity. At one point, only minimally in control of his vehicle, drunk on the overconfidence he draws from his outsized deathmobile, the Hummer kid hurtles across the road right as the rest of the pack is passing. He just barely misses crushing another kid’s car, and possibly spine.

3. What about the poor dog? We see it left abandoned in its now-useless doghouse, peering sadly through gaping holes where the slats the kid stole used to be. Conclusion: The Hummer kid hoards earth’s precious resources, sating his own vanity at the expense of less fortunate, voiceless members of society.

Of course, some will love the shameless Hummer kid and his take-no-prisoners, win-at-all-costs individualism. Not coincidentally, these are the sort of people who buy Hummers. It would make no sense for the company to aim this spot at folks craving a quiet, go-along-get-along image, because those people aren’t buying 40-ton cars. The Hummer kid is a me-first kid, and the Hummer is without doubt a me-first vehicle.

Plus, if you drive one, you might grow up to be governor of California.

Oh, and what’s up with calling “Happy Jack” a “kick-ass song”? I like The Who. I even find the song amusing, in much the same way as “Mama’s Got a Sqeeze Box.” But “kick-ass”? It’s a fairly wussy song by Who standards.

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. djspicerack says:

    but he gets the girl, right? j/k

  2. Tiger says:

    I don’t like the one with the asteroids game either, like if the ship can blow apart asteroids, it should have the capacity to blow the cr*p (not my blog) outta that Hummer.

  3. Teri Lester says:

    Thank you. I’ve been saying the same things since I first saw that stupid ad. What are they thinking?

    Oh well. Hell in a handbasket.

  4. Rodney Dill says:

    The down hill race is a great ad. All the whining about it by Seth, makes him sound like a tree hugging wienie. Sounds like Sore/Loserman 2000 all over again.

  5. Ross Judson says:

    Maybe we should have a $1000 surcharge per Hummer, and direct the funding to our boys in Iraq, who are on the front lines of Hummer production.

    Yeah, yeah, it’s not about oil. It _is_ about stability in the oil-producing regions of the world, because we’re so dependent on this crap.

    Rev the Hummer’s engine as you drive by a soldier’s funeral, patriot!

    OK I am being a little harsh. But really, man…there is a connection between how we live our lives and what’s going on in the wider world. Is it going to kill us to _try_ a few things?

  6. Ross Judson says:

    p.s. Some days I am a joyless bastard.

    p.p.s. One of the previous Hummer commercial got me back into Filter. Filter rocks.