No offense, but cars really look like shit these days. My own janked-up Jetta is a prime example, though I’m talking about design as well. You basically have two choices when buying a set of wheels: regular and boring or distinctive and ugly. Elon Musk unironically trumpeted the debut of a Tesla Cybertruck that appears to be from a Minecraft version of Logan’s Run, so that’s the kind of aesthetic nadir we’re in right now. It’s awesome.
It is also, I now realize, exactly the time for GM to revive the Hummer. Or try, at least.
If your pre-2010 memory is hazy, here’s the deal with the Hummer: It’s a take on the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or Humvee, a rugged truck used by the military. That such an unnecessary abomination ever came to market is the fault of one man — Arnold Schwarzenegger, who “went ape” for Humvees after seeing an Army convoy while shooting Kindergarten Cop and subsequently lobbied for a civilian version. That we would allow our car culture to be dictated by a steroidal Austrian action star’s fetish for industrial brawn tells you pretty much everything about American culture.
Anyway, the Hummer sucked ass in at least two major ways. For one, it was so girth-y as to be a ludicrous blight on city and suburban streets. Two, it got pitiful mileage, and a full tank of gas would run you like $100. As such, the behemoth appealed only to guys with overwhelming tiny dick energy. Owners included midlife crisis dads who found sports cars too effeminate, valor-stealing chunkheads who wanted to LARP the Gulf War while in line at the Burger King drive-thru and the spoiled teen sons of loaded families. I remember a high school classmate had a bright yellow one, widely mocked as both an environmental menace and plain old tryhard uncool; the thing got egged or toilet-papered in the parking lot about once a month. It radiated sheer loserdom.
Now, after a decade of defunct status — a silver lining to the Great Recession — the Hummer could roll back into our lives as an electric monstrosity that A) isn’t going to reduce climate impact in any way; and B) completely misses why man-babies bought them in the first place. The type of weenie to want a Hummer also regards battery-powered vehicles as inherently “gay,” and the model’s mid-aughts high watermark coincided with the neoconservative rapture at the U.S. invasion of Iraq vis-à-vis the national thirst for fossil fuel. To have a Hummer was, on some level, to announce your jingoistic thrill at the prospect of bombing the Middle East and seizing the region’s oil to power your luxury imperialist toy. What’s the point if you’re not spewing fumes?
Except, who knows. Maybe times have changed, and alpha-mindset MAGA goons will love tooling around in this new edition, shouting at anyone with a tan to go back to their own country. We’ll have no doubt of their insecurity. But we won’t have the last laugh till they get stuck in a toll booth. Unless you happen to keep eggs and toilet paper handy…