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The Fate of the SUV and the Lower Classes

November 25, 2008
Now that gas prices are falling, I am seeing more new SUVs and trucks on the road, not as many as two years ago, but a renewed surge nevertheless, especially after what appeared as the beginning of a slow abandonment. Moreover, I see that a few American SUVs and trucks are appearing on commercials again, deflating the hope I had when I saw the one commercial during the peak of high gas prices, that demonstrated how a consumer (previous SUV owner) realised she (we all know it should have been a he as a true face) did not do as much river forging as she believed she would be doing when she bought her first SUV. Too bad that commercial was not the representative of things to come. It would be nice to see all the SUVs go to graveyards, buried until future archaeologists are prompted to excavate the remains, thus triggering an academic torment in pursuit of the answer to why.

Nothing viscerally repulses me more than driving behind or beside an SUV. There are no words to describe my disdain, maybe, —- vile, disgust, morally bankrupted, character disorder, and most of all, hegemonic. A person not in an SUV or big truck is forced to participate in this sadomasochistic setup. Unlike most cars, one cannot see around an SUV or big truck unless you are driving an SUV or big truck. If an SUV driver decides to compromise your two seconds, you are forced to fall back or go around, which usually just means changing tyrants, because there is always another menacing SUV driver waiting in the other lanes to obstruct your line of sight, your driving choices. When an SUV is impeding your vision, hence, your reaction time and decisions, you are at his mercy. You are forced to trust his judgment. If he does not foresee a problem, you will be denied that ability; you have nothing to look out for or respond to, but his brake lights, his reaction. You are not privy to knowing if he is driving at the speed he is because there is something slower in front of him, if there is traffic, or if there is debris in the road, nothing. And, as I already said, there is another one, another one, and another one if you try to get away from him. Their compulsory dominance is your compulsory submission. Opting out is not an option. One has to go out for work, buy groceries, live socially in an environment that will not allow an island an undisturbed existence, or at the very least, left alone to choose when to interact with the mainlanders.

It is not just other drivers of cars that must deal with these SUV drivers, often bicyclists and pedestrians are at their mercy too. We leave the house around the same time each morning and see many of the same drivers. There is one large red Dodge truck that we are stuck behind if we leave at 7:32 instead of 7:31, and many mornings he swerves into the bicycle lane, due to what appears an inability to put the mobile down while driving. A hands free device law has been passed, undoubtedly it has been interpreted by many to not be hands free, as in literally using no hands, but just no hands holding the mobile up to their ears, therefore, still using one hand to hold the phone close to their mouths so they can use the speaker feature is okay. One swerve is all it takes to end the life of a bicyclist or pedestrian.

When it comes time for the SUV owner/driver to get rid of his hunk of encumbrance, be it because society has shamed him into getting something more modest; during a recession (possibly a depression) owning such a beast will not only appear stupid (regardless of the price of gas), it will symbolically scream overindulged decadence, or simply because an SUV will no longer satisfy the middle class’s image, or, gawd bless his precious soul, he realises it is his civic duty to look like he cares about the environment, there will be no concerns for anything or anyone else. The SUV owner will not care one iota what happens to that SUV,–all of those SUVs. In his pretentious must-have mad dash to get the first Smart Fortwo, Mini Cooper, or Prius, he will think about that unwanted SUV as much as he thinks about what happens to his shit when he flushes the toilet, as much as an Elizabethan gentleman thought about the guttersnipe when he positioned a portable basin on an opened window and let it rip. He will not think, will not care. All he will care about is getting the shit away from him and removing the stink from his nose. It will be at this juncture that the lower classes will be expected to do their duty for the recession and buy the used SUVs. No, they cannot demand access to Mini Coopers and Fortwos too, those are reserved for the deserving.

As the economy becomes scarier, credit will be harder to come by. Without available credit, the lower classes will be forced to find transportation from other than new car lots. Similar to the early Reagan years, “Your Job Is Your Credit” used car lots will flourish, along with seedy finance companies that can legally charge 26.99% APR for used cars and require payments be made weekly or bi-weekly to accommodate the clause that a car can be repossessed after two missed payments. Thus, after a repossession, the used car dealer will have the one person’s down payment and few weeks (maybe even months) of payments and have the car back to sell again, and again. The bulk of those used cars will be SUVs because it will be the bulk of what new car lots are sending down stream from the upper classes’ trade-ins.

After enough time has passed for most of the bourgeois to get new fuel efficient and environmentally appeasing cars, every poor man and woman who had to deal with the used lots (The denial letter will declare: “inadequate income,” or “imbalance debt to income ratio,” or “you are just not getting it, now move along.”) will be riding around in old space hogging and gas guzzling SUVs. It will be then, when the middle classes will turn their noses up and blame the continuation of global warming on those selfish and ignorant lower classes that do not demonstrate enough reverence and consideration for other people or the environment. If those lower classes were just not so morally bankrupted, then they too, would buy a Smart Fortwo, as the bourgeois did.

  1. Anna permalink
    November 25, 2008 10:08 pm

    I personally vow to haunt from the grave any driver of an SUV or a driver with a cel phone who dares to kill me in a car accident.

    Great post, Kitty. I share your loathing of the monstrosities. During the “gas crisis” I got so tired of SUV owners whining about how much it cost to fill their tanks – tanks attached to vehicles only the well-off can afford to buy in the first place. Selfish American greed leathaly on display.

    I generally had little sympathy.

  2. The Fabulous Kitty Glendower permalink
    November 25, 2008 11:41 pm

    Yeah, I will haunt them too.

    Yeah boo hoo. What do they want? “I was too stupid to think how there is not an endless supply of oil in the ground, and now that supply costs more money than I have (or want to pay or think I should have to pay), you should feel sorry for me. But wink wink, my ride is sweet and I can like see over everyone and block other cars!”

  3. MargaretJamison permalink
    November 26, 2008 12:50 pm

    Dang, Kitty, I wish there was a way for you to take this prediction of yours to the bank. Everything is going to happen exactly the way you say it will. Everything poor people do will be reviled, just because they are poor. Their actual culture and preferences have nothing to do with it.

  4. CountryDew permalink
    November 27, 2008 5:07 pm

    I really appreciate your perspective on things. I think you are spoton as to how this will play out. Too bad the country’s leaders don’t have your foresight.

  5. Renee permalink
    November 28, 2008 7:25 am

    I have always referred to SUV’s as earth killers. the link you make between SuV’s and class is bang on. The unhusband and I had the same conversation about who would be driving SUV’s in a few years. You are right, they will be the vehicle of the poor and they will be looked down upon for doing what the middle class did with joy.

  6. Natasha permalink
    December 4, 2008 8:00 am

    Dead on right about the whole poor being forced eventually to purchase used SUVs on lots, remember when it was the big muscle cars on used lots when everyone else was driving the smaller compact models,

    I had one of those big green lima bean cars, LOL, still remember that horrible ugly gas hog but,

    it was cheap, and could hook up a home stereo speaker [rigged] to the car and had awesome sound, back in the day. Of course I paid far more than it was worth and it lasted before a rod blew for about six months,

    but in a place where bus service is non-existent it was either that or starve, slowly [Southern mid-size city].

    Now where I live there is bus service [except in poor districts then there is bus service if you like waiting two hours to get someplace that takes ten minutes in a car] And it costs more believe it or not than it would if taking a car,

    if one is paying for one’s self And kids fare,

    so for those who have no choice the bus while environmentally great, can mean not eating for a week where a small compact car, even With gas prices as they are,

    would actually cost less, excluding of course the tags and insurance with of course the penalties for Being low income will cost triple. [insurances charge more for those with poor-bad credit]

    So, not only will the poor be driving those used SUVs but driving them, more than likely without insurance and blamed double,

    but this alas is nothing new, I remember still back in the college day when I was naive and establishing my lifehood of slavery to government or collector USURY EXTORTION, LOL,

    I took environmental sciences [several] as part of my minor and it was ALWAYS the POOR, GLOBAL POOR, who were to blame for

    global warming, due to burning woods to heat/cook on, especially those poor women in parts of Africa because you know their burning fossil fuels/woods was the reason for air degradation and of course,

    they had All those kids, which gets even More interesting when you see the Neo-Nazi Eugenics which are still quite strong in political plans for global ‘fixing’ of global problems,

    environmental degradation blamed on overpopulation, of course now,

    we’re talking those poor dark savages in those Other countries because you see, for the white yuppie who has fertility drugs and has seven children at once with the SUV well,

    they need not apply for the global demise guilt card because you see, they are of course, responsible and only shop Green and pay good prices for those global fair trade bracelets and of course, those beautiful recycled plastic bags at high priced whole food stores,

    while the rest of the dumb poor backwards world, well they just keep pumping out those children and burning those woods and in addition,

    driving those damn big cars because they were just too irresponsible to pay their bills and why they Had kids [too many] and unlike the smart fellow they took on too much and drank too much and smoked too much and partied too much and squandered too much and didn’t do it ‘right’ and buy those compact cars/or environmentally conservation cars and buy the right clothes and the right Condos and appliances and they too,

    those horrid poor people, those undesirables with their no morals, are ruining the environment,

    but of course, every now and then the wise and noble will take pity upon those of us poor [or the other poor] who, just don’t know any better in their backwardness,

    LOL, of course now, don’t be caught with a cigarette in your mouth because Geesh ya know that causes all this pollution,

    funny how those who threw the biggest stink about smokers where I live were the SUV yuppie burkenstock dreadlock oh so progressive liberals,

    back in the South it was those big ole pick up trucks, in the Mountain states/MidWest its the big ole SUVs,

    you know because of the weather, why I still remember that if one didn’t own an SUV and couldn’t make it to work on a winter freeze why its because they were losers and just too dumb to be able to afford a big car with those big wheels with great traction,

    its funny how it all changes just within a matter of years, not even ten years,

    now its all reversed. But oddly,

    those poor who still take the buses are still looked down upon, for those who you can tell are Not poor, well, its a token gesture of environmental conscious if they take the bus,

    a sacrifice for the greater good,

    but for the countless folks who take the bus because its a have to situ,

    even today, still, they are looked down upon as less than.

    Including even, those who ride bikes,

    its not hard to tell those with the high dollar bikes with the fancy gear and helmets compared to the man in denim with holes in the knees who is riding because its an

    alternative transportation and those who ride because they’ve either lost their license [for various reasons including driving without insurance] OR who simply can’t afford a car,

    for those who bike out of necessity, even in a very strong environmental social rah rah state like the one I live in,

    they are deemed a public eyesore, to hell with the environment, it don’t matter…just the appearance of some hobo looking dude on a bike just makes society plus the city municipalities including Cops cringe, why those nasty folk taking up the beautiful bike paths,

    LOL, [believe me laughter with sarcasm], and those poor who take up the bus and especially those women with those bratty loud kids,


    they bother the peace and tranquility of those few minutes for those who opted to take the bus to show their co-workers just how altruistic towards Mother Earth they are [of course now their seven bedroom homes all lit up, why thats necessity],

    I guess my point here Kitty is that we see this ALL the time in one of the most environmental rah rah we’re so conscious states there is, and yet,

    so damn much hypocrisy because the Poor have been recycling, using alternative transportation, using fewer resources even WITH a lot of kids in the family,

    because they’ve had no damn choice. And yet,

    they are to society, especially those who tout their global concern the most [including those population control zealots that surprisingly if you really peel away the true Malthusian agenda behind that UN plan is sheer Neo-Nazi white eugenics for a pure Race society, no joke there…which has caused a huge backlash among some of the more patriarchal and extremely misogynist societies [and Nationalist to the core] to push more populations to combat what they deem as the Western threat and not all of their concerns are not without validity I’m afraid],

    but anyway, point being, the so called Environmental Politics will be the Genocidal tool no matter tragically how well intended it Might be towards the environment,

    to carry out the Final Solution to the Global Problem of Unwanteds.

    And while realizing this sounds like one Hell of a conspiracy theory, it truly is not that far fetched, though I wish it were,

    because years ago I saw it unfolding just in the indoctrination being spewed at the University,

    all the global problems were due to the nasty Joos [Israel/water resources], those nasty African and those women bearing all those kids and of course, the Southern Cone [South America and Mexico],

    those Chinese with their coal and last but not least,

    the stupid amoral poor in America with their wastefulness and buying up outdated materials and so forth, but of course those with $$$$ while they may have had the big homes [that take up wood from rain forests and those beautiful mahagony ? woods} were somewhat to blame they could buy, emphasis on BUY some relief because

    they were always coming up with new innovative ways to lesson the certain materials and expensive ways to buy more environmentally conscious…and now they have a whole market geared just, Just for that,

    why you can be rich and elite and be environmentally conscious and work to rid the world of the ‘consumers’ at the same time,

    consumers meaning, those who consume

    air, water and food from land.

    And of course, control their nasty populations of Parasites [believe me Thats the philosophy behind the new Environmental Eugenics],

    and not have to sacrifice glamour OR comfort levels and still look good while doing it.

    Well anyway…its far more extensive, the ‘agenda’ behind so much of it, and you are correct, they WILL demonize those poor who buy those SUVs on those used lots with the high interest rates,

    those who take those top loading thrown out washing machines and still use the old appliances and air/heating systems, usually rigged to work,

    because Thats all they can afford working for slave labor wages.

    As for the parts in reference to blaming other races [global racism] for the state of environmental demise, I learned about That eugenics agenda at a conference sponsored by Zero Population Growth, [they have a book too] and it was like reading Mein Kampf,

    it really was, at That time, shocking, to see Just how deep the prejudices go, and that was in some of the best texts on environmental sciences, but make no mistake about it,

    the agenda, of just how the program of social engineering to Save the Environment will play out, there was no missing it [unless one is just very naive of theory and history],

    and it was down right eery.

    There is a really good movie, saw it not too long ago, can’t recall the name but it was made I believe in the sixties, I could look it up,

    it is shown on TCM, but it was about the population and food shortages and well, make a long story short,

    the gov was killing undesirables and mincing humans up to give out as food for the rest of the humans, and one man found out,

    I didn’t see the entire film but I saw enough…that film is So damn prophetic its NOT even funny,

    and I could see it as a very strong possibility.

    Anyway–its Interesting too, Marx himself, predicted it…and its very few who remember that aspect to Marx’s philosophic theory [and Engels] but he brings it up when talking about Malthus and the scope of class warfare–genocide,

    not just to cure the ills of excess labor but the ills caused by the greed and hoarding of the wealthy few,

    and by golly, he missed the mark on many things, but on THAT,

    Marx was dead on correct…and it Is coming to pass. Which is why, I don’t put a lot of faith in the bourgeois’s liberal progressive agendas,

    it wreaks of corporatism and eugenics, under the surface, but its there all the same.


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