I WANNA HUMMER
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.