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Hummer Lacks Humility

August 11, 2011 – 10:56 pm62 Comments

Dear Izzy,

I gave up my intention to write about this, but then the site of a stretched pink hummer outside Caulfield shul on a Sunday afternoon some weeks ago (nothing says kiddushin like a stretched pink hummer), and then a more recent sighting of a similar vehicle spurred me to write. A couple of months ago I was walking down Balaclava Rd when I saw one of the more offensive vehicles on the road. I speak of course of the Hummer super stretched limousine.  I thought to myself, we must have some self-styled ‘gangster-rapper’ visiting Melbourne who was hit by a sudden craving for bagels.  However, as I continued my walk, I discovered that the vehicle was part of the Lag b’Omer parade put on by Chabad, with its focal point at Yeshiva College.

I found this both objectionable and disappointing.  There is probably no other vehicle on the road today that more greatly symbolises excessive and unnecessary consumption of oil than the Hummer super stretched limo.

Firstly, in this period of environmental awareness, it is an embarrassment to the community that the Lag b’Omer parade uses the most fuel thirsty car on the road.  Excessive and unnecessary use of oil is all the more shameful when we consider where most of the oil comes from, and what it is used to fund. If we want to help the security of Israel, then we ought to be striving to reduce demand for oil.

Apart from excessive oil consumption, the stretched Hummer is also strongly associated with lavish and conspicuous spending, as well as the rather non-tznius lifestyles of the gangster-rappers.

Tznius/Tzniut (modesty) is also a concept that needs to applied to more than just the way we dress.

What kind of message does this send to our children when our religious leaders embrace products with this type of obvious symbolism?

As you are one of our community elders, I’d like to hear your opinion on the matter.

Concerned Jew,

East St Kilda.

Izzy

Izzy: One thing’s for sure, I would never buy another American car. Many years ago, I owned a Dodge.  What a load of rubbish that was. At the time, I thought I was getting quite a good deal, but it ended up costing me a fortune in servicing and repairs. Eventually, my wife persuaded me to get rid of it. I bought a Ford to replace it. Let me tell you, when you drive a Ford, you feel like a king!  Well, I hope that has answered your question about vehicle choice.

 

As for being tznius, far vos, what for? I gave that away when I came to Australia. When I was younger, I liked nothing more than taking my shirt off on a sunny day at the beach, so that all the women could admire my physique.

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62 Comments »

  • Larry Stillman says:

    Chabad and Chummer go together–part of a new merkavah campaign for Tzivos ha-Shem I suppose. Manhattan, Orange County, all over Florida, and elsewhere.

    It must be an order from HQ at 777.

  • Marky says:

    “777”

    770, unless you’re talking about the boeing..

  • Sam says:

    Izzy

    Maybe it was for a khasene (wedding) or even a double, for close friends or twins; you can fit a lot of people in one one of those things, not to mention a cinema and a full bar.

    I am bit upset that you drove a Ford and loved it! Wasn’t that man Henry Ford a bit of an anti-semite?
    Hey was it one of those super cool Customlines? My uncle had one and when I asked him how much fuel does it use, he just said to me that when you can afford one of those you you don’t care how much petrol costs.

  • ock says:

    i think that concerned jew should sell his or her’s car, which will save alot more petrol that the excess that a few hours spent driving a hummer would produce.

    a better suggestions would be that chabad cancel the entire parade. Do you know how many trucks were required to carry the floats? Do you know how many people drove to hotham st to watch the parade and if that wasn’t enough they then drove AGAIN to the carnival?

    if chabad is stubborn enough to stick to its parade, I propose that it be a marching parade only. no trucks, no driving to parade, no driving to carnival, walk walk and walk.

    besides the huge loss that the arab states will incur due to lack of petrol sales, this will have a huge impact on the current obesity crisis and could potentially save many lives.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    sorry, 770, I was thinking of the mossiah now jet…

  • ock – for the first time ever this year there was a Yeshivah school marching band as part of the Lag Ba’omer parade.

  • ock says:

    thanks david, my comment was sarcastic

  • Alef Beit says:

    This article reeks of class envy. If someone can afford it, why should a anyone care unless they are jealous. It is his money and he has the right and the freedom to do what he wants with it regardless of anyone else’s opinion. And all this greenie nonsense is just that. The government and the lefties use all these greenie myths and scare tactics as a guise for fostering class envy and to enable the government to have more control and lessen our freedoms. I love the pink hummer, wish I could afford one too and maybe one day I will!

  • Wolf says:

    To Alef Beit,

    Too right, Amen!

  • Reality Check says:

    Alef Beit and Wolf, I can’t tell you how to think or feel, but to me a scretch Hummer, while the east coast of Africa is starving, is a bit obscene. But your values are yours and you have to live with them.

  • Wolf says:

    Reality Check,

    It’s a free country. If someone works hard, and makes good money, then they can elect to spend it as they see fit. I certainly wouldn’t waste my hard earned on a pink stretch hummer, but I surely wouldn’t just so harshly anyone that did. I think a lot of people are just very jealous, and the reality is that this jealousy is your problem, and shouldn’t be anybody else’s.

    Telling someone not to enjoy their hard earned because it makes you jealous is akin to telling someone not to smoke because you’re trying to quit. It shouldn’t be anybody else’s problem, think about it mate.

  • Wolf says:

    should say ‘judge’ where it says ‘just’

  • ock – I figured as much – just was so impressed by the marching band

    AB, Wolf & RC – an interesting discussion, and perhaps the basis for another article (editors?). This is more than capitalist vs socialist – is there a Jewish approach to spending your hard earned only in a socially responsible way?

  • Reality Check says:

    Wolf, it has absolutely nothing to do with jealousy. But you making that point says alot about your motives in flaunting your wealth. A stretch “anything” has never made me jealous. A wealthy person who is generous and gives to those less fortunate, has.

  • Wolf says:

    Reality check,

    I am not a particularly wealthy person (unfortunately), I’m just not a jealous person, and yes I believe that for most people, most of the time, this is their true issue when they get all huffy that somebody else has worked hard, succeeded and made some dough.

  • Alef Beit says:

    “but to me a scretch Hummer, while the east coast of Africa is starving, is a bit obscene. But your values are yours and you have to live with them.”

    a ridiculous untrue statement. A Jews in Caulfield’s wealth does not equate into poverty in Africa. You need to learn basic economics.

    Notice the attempt at making me feel guilty as if my values are contributing to starvation in the world. Notice the self indignant self righteous moral superiority of Reality Check.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    Alef Beit, do your views imply that only mugs pay taxes or donate to charity as well?

    A person’s wealth in one place can in fact be based upon the poverty or exploitation of another and as well, your consumer choices can show an awareness of how you think scarce resources (metal, petrol) should be disbursed.

    To pretend that you can live in isolation is to be in a moral vacuum. It’s the stuff of Victorian England, or worse.

    And if anything, you could give out of the principle of love of humanity. Relatively speaking for a wealthy or even middle class person to give $1000 to help relieve poverty is no burden. It may even change someone’s life.

    Peter Singer who I am sure is a bete noire to many people, wrote a classic essay nearly 40 years on the power of donations— http://www.utilitarian.net/singer/by/1972—-.htm

  • Sam says:

    I think that David made an excellent point in saying:

    – “is there a Jewish approach to spending your hard earned only in a socially responsible way?”

    The comments have started to turn a bit ugly on what was a originally a tongue in cheek article, albeit with a serious underlying message that had nothing at all to do with jealosy.

    And now we have people accusing others of being jealous of anyone else owning a stretch Hummer. Just think how ridiculous this sounds.

    Beware of the Psychological Projection theory!

  • Alef Beit says:

    Karl Marx was proven wrong yet some of you still spout his stupid delusions as gospel.

  • Alef Beit says:

    The fruits of the socialist welfare state are on full display in England. But some people will just refuse to learn.

  • frosh says:

    To those who are fans of the Hummer (Aleph Beit and Wolf), ok, so you think
    -Conspicuous spending and other attitudes espoused by the West Coast gangster rap scene is cool.
    -You also think extra pollution is not undesirable. I guess you disregard Jewish notions that we should care for our environment and give tzedakah.

    However, I’d like to hear what you think of Concerned Jew’s points that when we spend extra on petrol, this money goes to Israel’s enemies.

  • Alef Beit says:

    I am not joining the lefty lemmings assault on capitalism. Capitalism is not about scarcity and need, that is what socialism is all about. Capitalism is about creating abundance and wealth. It’s about creating freedom and opportunity for individuals to grow, not about creating class envy and increasing government domination and control. Ironically, the same lefties who are so concerned about petrol consumption empowering the Arabs are the very same people who are in full support of all the lefty political policies that give the Arabs more and more power to destroy Israel. Those same policies resulted in giving away the oil rich Sinai.

  • Reality Check says:

    Alef Beit, why wasn’t I told that England had a socialist revolution, and what are those people in the red Arab outfits doing under my bed?

  • frosh says:

    AlefBeit,
    So any correspondent who thinks that a stretched hummer is vulgar is a radical communist?

    Is that really the best you can do to respond a fellow Jew’s concerns?

  • Wolf says:

    frosh,

    I don’t get it? Why do you make such ridiculous pre-suppositions? Every sentence you begin with something like “so you think”!; or you make the same comment in the form of a rhetorical question like your last comment.

    Spend thirty seconds to actually READ what other people are saying, don’t put your words in other peoples mouths, and don’t intentially mis-interpret what others say, it’s just anti-intellectual!

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Alef Beit – on creating abundance…

    we can argue about whether or not capitalism creates wealth but what’s to argue about the fact that a hummer uses an excessive amount of a finite resource.

    Theres no Planet B.

  • Wolf says:

    Mandi Katz,

    Do you take issue with the amount of “excessive amount of a finite resource” a Hummer specifically uses and that’s your quip? Is that what you’re hiding behind to conceal what is actually just plain jealousy?

    Don’t get me wrong, I think environmental issues are very serious, and IF you really believe this car shouldn’t be driven soley for environmental reasons, then kol hakavod, respect.

    However, I believe most people that seem to object to this (including the author of the article) seem to be just narrowly concealing their jealousy for not being able to drive such a lavish automobile.

  • frosh says:

    Wolf, what are you basing this belief on that people crave Hummers.
    I think you are falling victim to what in psychology we call the false consensus effect.
    That is, you are over-estimating how prevalent your own attitudes (and those of the people you associate with) are in the wider community.

    In the crowds I mix in, particularly the people I am friends with from the shul I go to, no one craves a Hummer, and most people are concerned about the environment, and they consider the unnecessary consumption of excess oil to be undesirable.

    So, to restate my question, do you have any evidence at all that “Concerned Jew” or any of the other commenters here are writing out of jealousy?

  • Larry Stillman says:

    A query: are we dealing with a Jewish version of the (fundamentalist) prosperity gospel, and that as long as you give to charity, the pursuit of wealth is justifiable (and the social consequences are ignored)?

  • Rachel SD says:

    Larry,
    I haven’t seen anything come up about charity from those who are on the very capalistic side of this argument.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    Rach — ‘those’ meaning those who post here, or generally thinking?

    Generally, I’ve notice in the justifications of corporate and other piracy and the accumulation of wealth from various (to remain nameless) groups in the Jewish community in the US, an appeal to the ‘charity’ of a person as somehow justifying their acts, ignoring the felonies…the charity is often just restricted to their own particular community as well.

  • Rachel SD says:

    Hi Larry,

    I meant in this conversation here.

    By the way, I didn’t mean to imply that I thought that there was anything wrong with being wealthy or becoming wealthy. In general, I don’t attribute any moral qualities to being poor or wealthy, although of course that is assuming that the money was acquired in an ethical way.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Wolf, you seem to find it hard to believe that many people genuinely don’t want the shiny prizes of financial success like hummers (?!), as opposed to what (they would see as) its truly valuable rewards – independence, time for meaningful and rewarding pursuits, and the means to give more.

  • Wolf says:

    Mandi Katz,

    One isn’t necessarily a trade off for the other

  • Reallity Check says:

    Wolfie, can I call you Wolfie? I must say that I am jealous of you and alpha beta ; that a Hummar satisfies your needs. That’s great. I guess I want too much out of life.

  • Alef Beit says:

    It’s no one’s business if a Hummer gives them satisfaction or not. That is called freedom. It is no one’s business to say having a Hummer makes them immoral. That is a prejudiced judgmental perception based on lefty ideology and that ideology has heaps of contradictions and immorality associated with it. Jews must give tzedakah, and always been abundantly generous, unlike hypocrites like lefty greenie Al Gore who was shown to give a tiny amount.

  • Reality Check says:

    A B you break me up with your, what did you call it? Oh yes,”prejudical judgmental perception…” of anything that is slightly “lefty greenie” of your Big is Beautiful, and that includes your Hummer, ideology.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Alef Beit – can you please explain why it’s not appropriate for the writer of this piece to comment on the morality (as he sees it) of driving a Hummer in a communal Lag b’Omer parade, but it is appropriate for you to comment on the morality (as you see it) of how much or little charity Al Gore gives.

  • Alef Beit says:

    Driving a Prius does not make one moral especially if they don’t give charity. The whole carbon footprint and carbon emissions is causing global warming stuff is a myth created for gullible people.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    OK I understand (I think) – it’s not that you think it’s unacceptable to express an opinion on the morality or otherwise of driving Hummers; it’s just that you disagree with the opinion being expressed.

    The difficulty may be that you haven’t actually responded to the opinion expressed.Concerned Jew and others commenting have focussed on the consumption a finite resource, not on the impact of carbon emissions.

  • Alef Beit says:

    There are those who have a scarcity mentality and are always spreading fear. The media colludes with them to keep the gullible masses in a constant state of hysteria. In the 1970’s the trend was to predict that by the year 2000 we would be out of everything and starving to death. That never happened. Another trend was that the world would be frozen over by now and that never happened either. Many of us are sick and tired of the manufactured hysteria and of being told that what we have to consume or not consume. The Big Brother green cops will soon be knocking on our doors and underlying all this high minded rubbish about scarcity and exploitation it is really about more and more government control over our lives. All of you who buy all this and swallow it whole without any critical thinking are just the ‘useful idiots’ Lenin talked about. These people will uncritically accept any and all green propaganda,the most horrifying the better.

  • Alef Beit says:

    So yeah, I love the Pink Hummer, and anything else I can afford to consume, I will enjoy it all guilt free in your gullible greenie face, so what you gonna do about it?.

  • Reality Check says:

    I had no idea you were a climate change denier Alpha Beta. I suspect that you also believe the World is some 6000 years old, planet earth is flat and smoking isn’t all that bad for you; after all, what do scientists know when you have such well informed and knowledgeable people like Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt to keep you abreast with what is really going on, ay AB?

  • Alef Beit says:

    Not a denier at all. The climate is changing naturally. Human activity has negligible affect on that change.

    There is no point in arguing back and forth we will not change each other’s minds.

    These apocalyptic greenies are some of the most depressing and depressed people one could meet. They have the most negative outlook and their self importance moralism is totally boring. YAWN I want to tell them to simply GET A LIFE!

  • Alef Beit says:

    Reality Check is so behind the times. For some old news click here: http://www.tulsabeacon.com/?p=462

    where have you been hiding? Behind a green rock?

  • Reality Check says:

    AB could you please find something in journals like Nature or Science, or even New Scientist that agree with you otherwise don’t waste my time.

  • Sam says:

    Alef Beit

    You are refusing to argue the actual point of this thread. And it has been pointed out to you more than once! Could it be that you can’t find a valid argument to refute that petrochemicals are a finite resource? And the way we are going, the end of readily accesible oil is in sight, probably within the lifetime of our children, or earlier even depending upon your age.
    And in case you think that the problem will be solved by using electric cars etc. I suggest that you might also consider the hundreds of other uses for oil derivatives including the synthesis of the bulk of the lifesaving medicines that we now take for granted.

  • Reality Check says:

    Sam you’re wasting your time. AB thinks that some right-wing fundamentalist US magazine, to which the Tea party most likely subscribes, is a scientific journal.

  • Wolf says:

    @ all those judgemental people who despise man with pink hummer,

    Learn to live and let live. If someone works hard, has the money, and wants to buy a pink hummer, then he should enjoy it gizenter-heit, I hope the fellow enjoys his pink hummer!

    Why are so many people so judgemental?… unless of course, as I’ve previously speculated, they are jealous!

  • Sam says:

    Wolf

    You, just the same as AB simply don’t get it. No one is jealous, even if you were to buy one. The point is, leave it at home, polish it weekly, take lunch in it on weekends with a big bunch of friends. What is objectionable to many, is filling the monstrous petrol tank, and driving around burning obscene amounts of a dwindling resource.
    Do you get it now?

  • Wolf says:

    Sam,

    Let me see if I understand you correctly. It is objectionable for this person to drive a pink hummer for ‘environmental reasons’… but it’s cool for mothers to drive their kids to Bialik/Scopus/Yeshiva/Addass/Yesodei etc etc ad finitum in massive off-road 4wds?

    Be realistic, environment is clearly NOT the major issue here, nor is it alluded to in this article.

  • Sam says:

    Wolf

    Seeing that you are pedantic in arguing only the exact agenda that you have selected (which is not on topic anyway), I will also be very fussy, but unlike you, consistent to the topic.
    You say that I have claimed that I dislike pink Hummers for “environmental reasons”. That is an extremely broad category, and I have said something quite different… Oil is a dwindling resource and we should conserve what we have left. Nor have I said or implied that I approve of the use of massive off-roaders to drive kids to the local school, and it is one of my pet hates for a number of reasons, not limited only to high fuel use. You said, quoting…

    “but it’s cool for mothers to drive their kids to Bialik/Scopus/Yeshiva/Addass/Yesodei etc etc ad finitum in massive off-road 4wds”

    Maybe you like the idea and approve of it as you have said above.

    Wolf I am signing off from this discussion now.

  • Wolf says:

    Maybe you should eat your own words and stick to the issue yourself, the article says in reference to the Hummer, and I qoute: “associated with lavish and conspicuous spending, as well as the rather non-tznius ”

    Sam, please stick to the issue

  • frosh says:

    Wolf, here’s another quote from the original letter:

    “There is probably no other vehicle on the road today that more greatly symbolises excessive and unnecessary consumption of oil than the Hummer super stretched limo.”

  • Reality Check says:

    Not to mention, frosh, grandiose opulence and the small minded mentality of look at me, look at me.

  • Andrew K. says:

    A Jewish philanthropist was the original manufacturer of this vehicle. Clearly, one must have been donated to Chabad. A pink one that couldn’t sell :)

  • Reality Check says:

    Andrew K. Big deal all rich Jews are philanthropist; I want to be a philanthropist.

  • Leonie says:

    A brilliant marketing ploy. I must remember this for next year. Think about all of the publicity that businesses could get out of the Lag B’Omer parade. It could even generate a significant income stream for Chabad. Just imagine: The Glick’s delivery van heading the parade, followed by Optus and Emirates for a cool million dollars each and maybe even Phillip Morris might be prepared to fund a new Yeshiva building if they could join the parade!

  • Leonie – I wanted them to have an array of Toyota Taragos (e.g. 3 across and 4 deep) with a big thank you to the Jewish community for their continued support.

    Or how about Shabbat services sponsored by http://www.nicabate.com.au/?

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