Big Plastic Balls

Big balls, made of plasticIt’s easy for the global warming skeptics to point their fingers at one storm and say, ‘You can’t show a trend with one incident. Storms happen, and variability is part of nature.’ And they would be correct. But you can show a trend in the frequency of extreme weather events over the last few decades, and with several hurricanes pummeling the Americas this year, combined with more rain some parts of the US have ever seen in the month of October since good record keeping began, you might want to pay attention.

And gas prices are up too, so you would think that it is common sense: Why not switch to cleaner fuels now (that is, fuels which both offer less particulate pollution and less greenhouse emissions such as CO2 and Methane) ? Hybrid technologies exist, but many Americans (though, not just) would rather drive around in their Bling Bling Hummers or their SUVs because it makes them think they have bigger balls. Seriously, we’ve been brainwashed to think that a bigger truck makes us manlier men. Chevy, Ford, and Dodge know this best, that’s why they often use symbols of large game animals, bulls and rams, or such suggestive names as “trailblazer” and “expedition” and “explorer.” And hybrid-SUVs? Mere lip service to the environmentalists. It’s like having a bacon cheesburger with a diet coke. “But we’re not eating all that sugar!”

Who gives a rat’s ass for the environment when you can have big balls? And big balls leads to more ladies and respect among your homies, because according to Cosmo, a man is defined by “the money he makes, the car he drives, and the job he has.” And women aren’t immune from this usurping of beliefs either. If they’re not convinced by the endless car commercials or the salesperson that their SUV is safer in an accident, they might at least look at their husband and believe he has bigger balls because they subcosciously associate him with the rough and rugged image of an SUV driver they’ve seen countless times on TV.

“I need it for work,” says one excuse.

“I’m tall, and I can’t fit into a small car,” says another.

“It’s safer,” says yet another.

“I’ve worked hard in my life, and I deserve a reward,” says yet one more.

Okay, but there are 500,000,000 (five hundred million) cars on the road. Read that number again:

500,000,000.

So here’s the kicker homies with big plastic cojones:

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT YOU.

5 Replies to “Big Plastic Balls”

  1. Bravo! Your Kresselian Indignation is warranted.

    I’m always amazed by the current torrent of TV commercials for SUVs. In fact, it’s rare these days to see a commercial for a regular gas-guzzling car. Does the average driver really need to drive to the summit of a boulder-filled hill??

    E.D.

  2. While I agree that alternate fuels, forcing industrial corporations to clean up after themselves, and all that is a great idea, I have to say I believe it’s a HUGE mistake to point at the storms this year and wag the “global warming” finger at them.

    Weather goes through cycles, about every 20-30 years, as has been documented. Read up about the horrendous storms that ravaged the Gulf coast, wiped Austin, TX off of the map, etc., and you’ll see that what is happening this year isn’t unheard of. Actually, the storms this year have been moderate compared to those old ones.

    If you base your arguments for global warming on the weather activity of this hurricane season, it’s far too easy for the skeptics to shoot those arguments down with a simple history lesson. Not that what we’re doing to the planet isn’t helping along the process of these storms, but to say it’s the only thing at work is just plain wrong, and hurts the overall argument.

    Just my “up too late on a Tuesday night after a writer’s meeting” logic.

    -Devin

  3. Devin: I agree that using the current weather events as indication of global warming is a no no. But there have been dozens of studies showing a trend and an increase in storm severity over the years, and one study that the frequency of hurricanes has increased as a direct result of the warming of the oceans. One data point does not make a statistic, but a thousand points does. I’ll try to find the specific article for you.

  4. No, it’s not just about “you,” Matt. It’s about “me!”

    My favorite SUV ad is the one where the little boy is scared to go to his brand new school because he’s afraid the other kids will tease him, but when he shows up in his Mom’s great big SUV all the other kids treat him with respect .

    Not subtle subtext: SUV’s are for wussy little Mama’s boys who need butching up.

  5. True…

    Check out the dialogue on xtcian.com from 3-4 days ago…he’s a fun writer, but once in a while he gets serious. He wrote about this topic and got 75 hits. (He’s also the one who invented ‘Coastopia’ after last year’s election debacle.)

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