Bad karma.Remember this phenomenon--Americans proudly driving Hummers to show solidarity with US troops in Iraq? (Rick Schmidt of the International Hummer Owners Group, IHOG, described the fuel-inefficient armored toaster on wheels as "a symbol of what we all hold so dearly above all else, the fact we have the freedom of choice, the freedom of happiness, the freedom of adventure and discovery, and the ultimate freedom of expression... Those who deface a Hummer in words or deed, deface the American flag and what it stands for.") As it turns out, Hummers are getting our guys killed in Iraq. These vehicles are too lightweight, don't have room to allow machine gunners to return fire, and have body panels of aluminum and fiberglass--far too thin to protect against the improvised bombs being set along Iraq's roadways. Realizing this GIs have begun retrofitting Humvees with cardboard and metal reinforcement and sand bags.
An autocentric new ad, as described by the travel blog World Hum: Travel Dispatches from a Shrinking Planet:
I was jazzed to see what appeared to be a Southeast Asian village on my TV last night during a series of commercials. Images of a colorful foot procession down a narrow street and locals in ornate headdresses filled the screen. The pictures took me right back to my trip to the region a couple of years ago. At the center of the procession was a woman being carried on a pedestal, her face obscured behind silky curtains. But the woman and the villagers weren't the stars of the commercial. A shiny new Range Rover SUV suddenly appeared, rolling into the middle of the procession, then stopping in its tracks. The camera studied the locals, then the truck's plush leather interior. The natives, who undoubtedly wouldn't make enough money in an entire lifetime to buy one of the gas-guzzling trucks, stared at it in awe. Finally, the woman on the pedestal waved the car through with a roll of her fingers. The kicker? "Respect. Range Rover. Land Rover. The most well-traveled vehicles on earth." The entire commercial is featured here.