You might guess that an op-ed that refers to “raving grease-monkey CPAs” is not persuasive, and you’d be right. Yglesias marvels at the uselessness of the Post op-ed pages that DeBord’s piece exemplifies, though he should remember that this is an outfit run by Fred Hiatt, and reaction to the idiotic lament for the Hummer has been appropriately severe and caustic. As an icon of the fantasy of “endless abundance,” the Hummer fulfills far more than the fantasies of insecure men–it perpetuates the myth that technology and progress will triumph over all things, there are no limits, resources are practically infinite, and a standard of living that has now become prohibitively expensive is within the reach of all. In other words, it is an invitation to insanity.
Worst of all, DeBord slipped up and acknowledged just how absurd the entire Hummer phenomenon he is praising really is:
If this all sounds like caricature, that’s because it is.
If Mr. Bush has himself long ago reached self-caricaturing status, epitomised by his reported remarks at the G-8 summit, DeBord reminds us that there is still a constituency for ridiculous bluster and defining American identity according to how much we can consume and destroy.