Monday, December 24, 2001

NEW POSTREL: Virginia takes on SUVs, calls attention to advances in diaper design, and writes the latest chapter in Our Friends The Saudis. She introduces me, anyway, to Ginger Stampley's blog and to this post in particular. Read the whole thing; here's an excerpt:

I will hate SUVs (and pickups, and vans, and other large light-truck class vehicles) as long as they are big, because their drivers are collectively rude and inconsiderate. Most SUV drivers treat their vehicles like they're little sports cars, and they're not. Their size means they require a greater clearance to be safe to change lanes and follow, and other drivers need consideration from them.

Plus they think they can park the stupid things anywhere, as this guy did this weekend at the liquor store (I was looking for the Anchor Steam Chistmas beer) --just left his giant Cadillac whatever-it-is in a non-parking space in front of the store. So I had to figure out why the hell he was stopping and then pull around him, cursing him silently in the cold vacuum of my brother's car (a giant Olds Cutlass.) I am reminded of this old Camille Paglia Salon entry:

My quarrel with the SUV is that 75 percent of East Coast owners don't know how the hell to drive it. I go white with fear a dozen times a week as some white, middle-class soccer mom in a trance rockets past in an SUV with one hand on the wheel and the other on a cell phone pressed to her ear: She can neither signal nor safely steer through turns, which the massive, high-held weight of the SUV makes especially tricky.

Monica Lewinsky's embarrassing wipeout on a California highway last year shows that the problem is not the SUV; it's ditzy owners of both sexes who need primers on how to handle a quasi-military vehicle. I blame auto companies not for making and selling the SUV but for their failure to educate the public about the difficulties and dangers of driving an armored tank on the open road.

I've always dug Paglia, by the way, but she gets additional props from me for introducing me to Reason and Virgina Postrel in the first place, who, in turn, turned me on to Glenn Reynolds and the whole bloggerverse. Links really are the lifelines of the Internet.

No comments: