The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'suvs'


The latest threat to the environment: the fumes from all those burning SUVs, as Americans who have gone into debt on buying personal monster trucks find themselves hit with rising fuel prices and torch them to claim insurance money and buy something smaller.

Vehicle arson has had a long and occasionally humorous track record over the years. In Texas, a car salesman was arrested after offering his customers what he called a "rotisserie program." He would have their cars torched; then, after they collected on the insurance, he sold them a new car. In another part of the state, two students were arrested after they torched their high school teacher's car in exchange for passing grades.

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An Australian study has found that drivers of four-wheel-drives (SUVs) are often obese, reactionary, intolerant and aggressive, and have crew-cuts and rottweilers named Winner:

A new study has found that city owners of large four-wheel-drive vehicles are less community minded than other drivers, less charitable, more likely to be homophobic and have a low opinion of indigenous culture.
The Australia Institute study has also found they are more likely to use force to get their way.
Two thirds of their drivers in the city are overweight or obese. They also had a lower regard for the welfare system than the general population.
In other words, 4WD drivers are model members of John Howard's Relaxed and Comfortable Australia. One could almost say that not owning a 4WD is un-Australian.

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In parts of California, cities are reserving parking spaces for SUVs, and ticketing drivers of un-American small cars who attempt to use these spaces. Mind you, anybody who so obviously disdains large cars, that unifying sacrament of contemporary America, is probably a French sympathiser or something, and thus to be regarded with suspicion.

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The latest escalation of the really-big-vehicle arms race: the extreme passenger truck, for people who want a vehicle that can intimidate SUV drivers. It's modelled on commercial haulage trucks but with consumer comforts, and as FmH suggested, we'll probably see rappers driving chrome-rimmed, blinged-out versions of these soon enough.

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An interview with the designer of the world's biggest truck; larger than a family home and capable of transporting 400 tonnes of whatever it is you want to transport at 60km/hour:

The first time I was in it at a mine, the driver started to drive away and actually ran into the back of a service truck. It seems we mashed it down to the ground. I saw someone yelling, but we didn't feel a thing.
A blow-out can damage vehicles close-by because the tyre is holding so much air and just the force of that... Drivers have actually been killed by tyre explosions, but not on our trucks, thank goodness.

I wonder how long until the technology makes it to the domestic market. Already, in the US, there is a trend towards SUVs one can use the word "palatial" to describe: womb-like cocoons with all the comforts of home for people who spend an increasingly large part of their lives in their cars (partly due to ever-lengthening commutes due to more cars on the road). Surely the ultimate extension would be to make the family home into a super-SUV.

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Climate-change disaster flick The Day After Tomorrow, lauded by environmentally-conscious types across the US, has yet to be released here in Australia, but Ford are already running a Day After Tomorrow-inspired ad campaign to sell SUVs:

The message of the billboard seems to be that, when the Greenhouse Apocalypse comes and the cities are covered with snow, you can hop in your Ford Territory and go skiing.

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Two manifestations of the American Dream? The "What Would Jesus Eat?" weight-loss programme and the rising popularity of SUVs with built-in home theatre systems.

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Rant about the Ford Excursion, the personal monster-truck that's selling like hotcakes in America.

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