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Sharon Waxman of the NY Times, linked from AOL News

LOS ANGELES - It was very early Monday morning by the time Tim Robbins lurched out of the Vanity Fair Oscar party at Mortons restaurant and toward the valet line, with his wife, Susan Sarandon, two children and his golden statue for best supporting actor, in "Mystic River."

The driver pulled up, not in a limousine, but in the diminutive Prius, the hybrid gas-electric car that Hollywood — part of it, anyway — so adores.

Meanwhile, down the street a stretch Hummer limousine was parked at the corner of Melrose and San Vicente, having deposited a group of younger, less famous, "après nous le déluge" type partygoers to the very same Vanity Fair bacchanal.

As Mr. Robbins folded his six-foot-five frame into the front passenger seat, and the rest of his family curled themselves into the back seat, Ms. Sarandon was heard to remark that the fans behind the barriers were screaming in their direction "because they're trying to figure out why we're in this crazy little car," a loaner.

Why, indeed? The culture wars roll on in Hollywood, this time on wheels, and nothing divides people like that nine-mile-a-gallon former military truck or the tiny Japanese-made sedan with dual engines under the hood. It's Hummer versus hybrid, Hollywood hedonism versus holier-than-thou Hollywood political correctness.

Both cars have been on the streets for some time, in the Hummer's case more than a decade. But with the Hummer's most ardent celebrity fan, Arnold Schwarzenegger (he owns seven), elected governor last year, just in time for a large-scale H2 promotional campaign, the car-culture wars have been reignited with a vengeance.

The environmental campaigner Laurie David, the wife of Larry David of the HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm, worked herself into a lather not long ago over a Hummer-driving mother in the parking lot of the Crossroads School in Los Angeles. She rolled down her Prius window to share her displeasure. "I said," Mrs. David recalled, " `Are you crazy to bring this car into this parking lot? Do you understand how dangerous it is to the kids you can't see?' She stared at me blankly."

Nowadays the divide is more than cultural. It is also political. It is class- and age-oriented, too. Really.

New money is very Hummer.

Old money (dating, say, from the 1980's), very Prius.

Entertainment industry executives like Jim Wiatt, the president of the William Morris Agency, who used to be seen in a big fancy Mercedes-Benz, drove to the Vanity Fair party in a hybrid. Tom Hanks just bought the redesigned 2004 Prius, the second generation of the car Toyota first introduced in 2000. It is the movie people who can afford mansions who are driving the $20,000 hybrids. And it is the rappers who just made their first couple of million dollars who are buying the $50,000 Hummer. It is the kids of entertainment industry executives who rent Hummer limos for their proms and big nights out.

In the rap world, Tupac Shakur helped popularize the Hummer. His H1, unused since his death in 1996, was offered on eBay for a starting bid of $500,000, but did not sell.

Celebrity Hummer owners include the actor Adrien Brody and the director James Cameron, who made the macho "Titanic." Hugh Hefner has been seen in a Hummer. And Steven Soderbergh's agent, Pat Dollard, says he loves the "sheer excess" of the truck, which he owns.

Remainder of Article Here:
That Crazy Remainder of Article
 

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"...So some Oscar-night hybrid flaunters were merely driving loaners. Evidently, they had not put their money where their green principles are. It is a good bet that more than one flies by private studio jet, burning hydrocarbons as wastefully as the Daytona 500.

...Drake recalled. "I asked where she lived. She said Beverly Hills. I said, `Out of curiosity: How big is your house?'

"She said: `What does that matter? It's 20,000 square feet.' "

He said he replied: "I don't know what's less correct. Having three people live in a 20,000-square-foot house, with a pool and heaters and air-conditioners. Or me driving my Hummer 500 miles a month."


Not that I'm feeling too ornery this morning, but the above quotes from the article pretty much sum up the hypocrisy of the environmental crowd for me.

And I love to see Sierra Club members featured in articles preaching their "holier-than-thou" viewpoint on the environment and how vehicles like the 2004 Excursion pollute the environment to a sickening degree. But, the SC member then drives away in a mid-80's Toyota Corrolla, with a big cloud of smoke trailing behind, polluting the environment with excess nitrous and carbonous exhausts in a way that no Excursion could possibly achieve - but it gets 30 mpg!

Do I agree we should be driving vehicles that get 11-12 mpg? Nope, but high gas mileage is not the only answer, either. The answer's a little more complex than that.
 

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Originally posted by tgagneguam@Mar 7 2004, 08:51 AM
"...So some Oscar-night hybrid flaunters were merely driving loaners. Evidently, they had not put their money where their green principles are. It is a good bet that more than one flies by private studio jet, burning hydrocarbons as wastefully as the Daytona 500.

...Drake recalled. "I asked where she lived. She said Beverly Hills. I said, `Out of curiosity: How big is your house?'

"She said: `What does that matter? It's 20,000 square feet.' "

He said he replied: "I don't know what's less correct. Having three people live in a 20,000-square-foot house, with a pool and heaters and air-conditioners. Or me driving my Hummer 500 miles a month."


Not that I'm feeling too ornery this morning, but the above quotes from the article pretty much sum up the hypocrisy of the environmental crowd for me.

And I love to see Sierra Club members featured in articles preaching their "holier-than-thou" viewpoint on the environment and how vehicles like the 2004 Excursion pollute the environment to a sickening degree. But, the SC member then drives away in a mid-80's Toyota Corrolla, with a big cloud of smoke trailing behind, polluting the environment with excess nitrous and carbonous exhausts in a way that no Excursion could possibly achieve - but it gets 30 mpg!

Do I agree we should be driving vehicles that get 11-12 mpg? Nope, but high gas mileage is not the only answer, either. The answer's a little more complex than that.
I agree. Just because a vehicle gets poor gas mileage doesn't mean it's a horrible polluting disaster. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the Hummer produces cleaner emissions than my 1989 Audi (maybe that's a stretch, but it's not far off).

As my sister-in-law once pointed out, you do more damage to the environment when you support Walmart or other large chain stores, because they burn a lot more fuel shipping the stuff to you than you would do driving to a more distant, but locally-supported store in a Hummer. You also burn more fuel heating and cooling a typical Hollywood mansion than you could ever hope to conserve by driving a Prius (or even a pure electric vehicle).

You want me to listen to you about environmental issues? Then prove that you care, that you're willing to sacrifice anything to make the enviroment less poluted - stop breathing. Please?
 

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Originally posted by tgagneguam@Mar 7 2004, 01:51 PM
"...So some Oscar-night hybrid flaunters were merely driving loaners. Evidently, they had not put their money where their green principles are. It is a good bet that more than one flies by private studio jet, burning hydrocarbons as wastefully as the Daytona 500.

...Drake recalled. "I asked where she lived. She said Beverly Hills. I said, `Out of curiosity: How big is your house?'

"She said: `What does that matter? It's 20,000 square feet.' "

He said he replied: "I don't know what's less correct. Having three people live in a 20,000-square-foot house, with a pool and heaters and air-conditioners. Or me driving my Hummer 500 miles a month."


Not that I'm feeling too ornery this morning, but the above quotes from the article pretty much sum up the hypocrisy of the environmental crowd for me.

And I love to see Sierra Club members featured in articles preaching their "holier-than-thou" viewpoint on the environment and how vehicles like the 2004 Excursion pollute the environment to a sickening degree. But, the SC member then drives away in a mid-80's Toyota Corrolla, with a big cloud of smoke trailing behind, polluting the environment with excess nitrous and carbonous exhausts in a way that no Excursion could possibly achieve - but it gets 30 mpg!

Do I agree we should be driving vehicles that get 11-12 mpg? Nope, but high gas mileage is not the only answer, either. The answer's a little more complex than that.
I agree with you 100%. Amen
 

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It seems like celebraties just like to use venues like the oscars to make political statments. I mean screw the award - their repressed voices need to be heard and the oscars are a big enough soapbox for them to stand on.

The only catch is that you have to actually be a good actor - it's only then that you get noinated. You sit in the auidence - waiting to be called upon so you can get up on stage and deliver your anti-dubya speach to the world (it isn't like there's a shortage of anti-Bush stuff from hollywood).


and now actors are dragging the auto-industry into the mess. <_<

"Make a statement as you arrive - then again on stage!"
 
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