Aug 23, 2003

Ecoterrorism and Trader Joes

Ecoterrorism and Trader Joes

So I guess there is this ecoterrorist group out there wreaking havoc on big businesses that threaten the environment. This morning they torched a Humvee dealership out in Ontario. I thought it was just a bunch of vigilante Jetta drivers.

I really am glad they torched that Humvee dealership. Because I am sick of simulating a heart attack every time I look in the rearview and see some suburban tank barreling up behind me, or around me, or speeding past me at 60 MPH in the parking lane, just to get one car length ahead of me at the next light.

There is no reason for the Humvee to exist in society, unless you live in Baghdad. In fact, we need to reconsider the necessity of BMW and Mercedes SUV's because the people who buy them don't drive responsibly. We should also reconsider the new Cadillac SUV, because it threatens to destroy all that is still good and pure in the world of industrial design. It looks like a cross between a Disneyland tram and a combat robot.

They recently published statistics that people in SUV's drive badly. Now we know. They surmised it was because the vehicle gives the illusion of protecting one from danger and injury. Sure, if it's your BMW tank v. a Mini Cooper. But I don't think it's the fact they feel protected. I think it's a breed of people who would pick such a vehicle to drive.

You know them. They're not angry young men. Those guys drive Dodge Rams. The luxury SUV driver is an entertainment exec, or married to an entertainment exec, or they sold a house to an entertainment exec. They send their Ritalin kids to Crossroads and Harvard Westlake and they shop and Trader Joes. More on that later.

It used to be that the only people who drove Humvees were Hollywood stars. Arnold Schwarzenegger was the first one I know to have one. God what is in store for the upcoming campaign. But then B List stars started driving Humvees. I used to see this actor at the Santa Monica stairs in a Hummer. He was a regular on some afternoon sci-fi Greek myth series, like Hercules or Stargate or Deep Six. I think his name was Hans. He drove up to the stairs, got out and walked around with his Weimeraner. I don't think he ever did the stairs. He just drove up in his Humvee. Which I could never understand. I also never figure out why he was so tan, driving around in what looked like a windowless Brinks truck.

Now about Trader Joes. I love everything about TJ's, except the people who shop there. Which I guess means me. But I'd like to think I shop at TJ's for the right reasons. For one, I have been shopping at TJ's since it was only one or two stores in Pasadena. Secondly I'm not there as a groupie. I'm just there to get the healthy food. The protein bars and the wheat free muffins, Okay and the shelled edamame. And good coffee. But I don’t buy the expensive stuff. And I grind it there.

Meanwhile everyone else there is there because they're rich and bored. And they just don’t have good manners. They stand at the demo booth eating the samples so they don't have to buy lunch. They're almost always in bad mood or in a hurry. Maybe it's because I'm standing between them and a case of Charles Shaw cabernet. Rich people with good taste and tight pocketbooks are probably the worst people to be around, especially if they've got a metal shopping cart.

The only group worse is the organic coop shoppers. Not only are they cranky, they smell like wheat grass and BO. You'd think all that yoga would mellow them out. But no. Co-op shoppers are some of the most miserable around. I think it's because they've done all those things they were supposed to do to reach enlightenment, like Kabala and soy isoflavanoids. And they're still miserable. What a wake up call to find you've been to the mountain and nothing is there. You just smell like wheat grass and BO. So the only thing left to do is torch a Humvee dealership in Ontario.

Reminds me of this PETA activist I saw on the streets of New York. It was winter, she had her folding table and protest materials set up outside Bergdorf Goodman. Every time someone went by wearing fur, she would scream, "BIMBO IN A FUR! BIMBO IN A FUR!" The thing was, she was wearing plastic sandals, probably manufactured in Mexico where the factory runoff spoiled the water supply and the brown peasant who assembled them got one peso a week.

So you can't win. And if you're protesting too hard at something, it's probably because you've placed the problems of the world squarely on someone else's shoulders. Like the OTHER people who shop at Trader Joes.

But to get the focus off of myself and onto my original point: while I applaud the torching of a Humvee dealership in Ontario, I fear that this act of violence will not decrease the sale of Humvees, rather it will lift them to martyr status and drive up sales at other dealerships. Like the dealer near my house. Soon we may have more high-end SUV drivers than idiots who drive while talking on their cell phones and reaching into their bag of Trader Joes reduced fat cheetos.

And you thought it was drunk drivers who caused the problems.

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