poo poo kitty farts
Interesting but difficult to read on the English side of things.
--Mr.. Lex Tue Mar 15 14:43:23 2005
What, the cat fart story?
--Kirk Tue Mar 15 14:53:46 2005
While SUV-hating is not rare, I have to admit that in most social circles the ratio of people that would like to have one vs. those who hate them would be a large one.  To quote a passenger, sitting on one of my large heated leather seats as we drove through the snow, "I used to hate SUV's but now I'm reconsidering." The anger expressed towards them seems jealous and passe at this point, like those who think someone with a sportscar is compensating (but someone with a trendy prius isn't), but maybe that's just my chevy-tahoe-driving viewpoint.
--Eric Tue Mar 15 18:05:47 2005
Well, in the hopes of provoking a lively but not impolite discussion:

"Some kinds of waste really are disgusting. SUVs, for example, would arguably be gross even if they ran on a fuel which would never run out and generated no pollution. SUVs are gross because they're the solution to a gross problem. (How to make minivans look more masculine.)"
--Paul Graham

I'm not against them for eco reasons, but they do seem gratuitous in a lot of the cases. Unnecesarily dangerous to other cars around them (of the school that it's better to cocoon in metal to prepare for accidents rather than try to be nimble and avoid them)

I think the only thing I'm jealous of about SUVs is that there aren't many small 4WD vehicls around, though my Scion is a decent little snow car.
--Kirk Tue Mar 15 18:31:32 2005
It sounds like Mr. Graham has some underlying issues if he thinks minivans are intrinsically feminine and that SUVs are masculine* I used to have a minivan, and a couple station wagons. I might still have one if anyone made a decent wagon and if minivans were made better.

Why are they unecessarily dangerous to other cars? Just becase I want to walk barefoot it doesn't mean that its someone else's responsibility to pick up all the pebbles on the beach. The risks of driving a small car are well-known, and even if every SUV disappeared there would still be many pickup trucks and 18-wheelers out there.I doubt that 95% of people will ever handle a car to its limits, so the nimbleness is probably a non-issue. And if it is mine has ABS, stability control, tire pressure monitoring, all wheel drive, and fog lamps. Is that less safe than my sister's barebones saturn that has none of that? Not to mention I have a much better view of the road so I will hopefully not even have to use any of that technology to avoid an accident.

As far as being gratuitous, I would suggest redirecting those comments to people with pickup trucks and beds they never intend to use, which I would say covers the majority of them. In fact, almost every criticism of SUVs can be more effectively made of pickup trucks, but I don't see anyone complaining about a 10mpg 2-passenger car that is less controllable and safe than any other design.

As far as small 4wd cars go, what about subaru, audi, volkswagon,etc?

*Hummers excluded, I have to admit that driving in an H1 does seem to raise the testosterone a bit. Hoo-rah!
--Eric Tue Mar 15 19:45:18 2005
You make an ok case but I still disagree with you on most of the particulars.

Minivans might be thought of as feminine because they are very family oriented, and in this culture rightly or wrongly there's a strong association with femininity and familyhood... minivans are the canonical Soccer Mom vehicle, at least were 'til SUVs came around.

They *are* more dangerous to other cars, and the unecessary aspect comes from it being odd to haul that much metal around on a daily commuting basis. Small cars are getting better, much more crashworthy designs than the econoboxes of old, but that's counterbalanced by all the people shoving tons of metal around just for somewhat sketchy reasons.

Non-SUVers also really resent the double standard tax games big-SUV owners play, purposefully going for heavier "light truck" weights for the tax break...in California, they shouldn't even be driving those vehicles to their homes, because most residential areas aren't supposed to have vehicles that size. THAT'S the kind of crap that builds legitimate resentment.

Pickups don't receive the same criticism, at least in these parts, because there aren't so many of them, and demographically appeal to a different group.

As for small 4WD cars...eh, nothing seems that great or that small. I like that old 4WD Subaru hatchback I saw in "Cannonball Run" recently. 

H1 Hummers I have a grudging respect for, though of course still silly and pretentoious when used as a city vehicle. H2s I got no respect for, just a wanna-be that's dumb as an urban vehicle and not as good as a rural one.
--Kirk Wed Mar 16 11:16:38 2005
Wow. . .I never really thought about the culture behind SUVs and such except that they seemed more of a status symbol than a practical car, especially when someone drives them in the city (ahem. . .Hummers!). . .but during the winter, I can see the point somewhat, but again, that's probably mainly because regular small cars don't have 4WD.

At least with the mini-van, I can see the practicality of it, hauling kids around (yours and others), going on long trips, etc. etc.

I fear the day I have children, and I also fear that it probably will come relatively soon. . .eep!
--Mr. Lex Wed Mar 16 16:03:45 2005

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