Regulation

Penn Jillette on the Passing of the Hummer

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Excellent piece by Penn Jillette (who drives a Mini!) lamenting the path to extinction for the Hummer:

Hummers are stupid and wasteful and if they go away because no one wants to buy one, that'll be just a little sad. It's always a little sad to lose some stupid. I love people doing stupid things that I'd never do—different stupid things than all the stupid things I do. It reminds me that although all over the world we humans have so much in common, so much love, and need, and desire, and compassion and loneliness, some of us still want to do things that the rest of us think are bug-nutty. Some of us want to drive a Hummer, some of us want to eat sheep's heart, liver and lungs simmered in an animal's stomach for three hours, some us want to play poker with professionals and some of us want a Broadway musical based on the music of ABBA. I love people doing things I can't understand. It's heartbreaking to me when people stop doing things that I can't see any reason for them to be doing in the first place. I like people watching curling while eating pork rinds.

But if any part of the Hummer going belly-up are those government rules we're putting in on miles per gallon, or us taking over of GM, then I'm not just sad, I'm also angry. Lack of freedom can be measured directly by lack of stupid. Freedom means freedom to be stupid. We never need freedom to do the smart thing. You don't need any freedom to go with majority opinion. There was no freedom required to drive a Prius before the recall. We don't need freedom to recycle, reuse and reduce. We don't need freedom to listen to classic rock, classic classical, classic anything or Terry Gross. We exercise our freedom to its fullest when we are at our stupidest.

Whole thing here.

Hat tip: Ryan Sager.

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  1. BULLSHIT!!

    Good morning reason! *smirk*

    “Lotsa win from Jillette
    Freedom means freedom to be stupid. We never need freedom to do the smart thing.”

    1. | Freedom means freedom to be stupid. We never need freedom to do the smart thing.

      Sadly, some would view that as a perfectly logical reason to reject freedom.

  2. “I love people doing things I can’t understand.”

    If only every one were like that.

  3. “They came first for the Hummers.
    Then they came for the pie…”

    Wait for it, Bloomberg or some yahoo in Albany is working on the pie.

  4. I wish he still did Penn Says.

    1. He’s only been on “vacation” from it for going on four months now. Maybe he’ll come back! 🙂

  5. I heart Penn Jillette sometimes.

  6. Being from Philly, I feel fully qualified in saying, “FUCK Terry Gross”

    1. not even with someone else’ dick…

      1. Not even with anonymity bot’s shiny metal wang?

        1. not even. 🙁

          1. well maybe, but it would have to be burnished to a high sheen

        2. You seem to be WAAAAY too familiar with a-bot’s genitalia. 😉

  7. “We exercise our freedom to its fullest when we are at our stupidest.”

    The Constitution does not protect your stupidity. We have legal precedent on our side. And a majority. Biggest gang rules. So suck it, Libertards.

  8. I beg to differ. I have had an H2 for almost 3 years now and LOVE it!

    Lou
    http://www.vpn-privacy.us.tc

  9. Quoth the Iron Law:

    You aren’t free unless you are free to be wrong.

    1. “””You aren’t free unless you are free to be wrong.””

      In a freewill sense, yes. But being wrong often comes with a penalty. Unless you’re law enforcement.

  10. Penn’s defense of stupidity is really a colloquial restatement of Mill’s classic argument for eccentricity, in On Liberty:

    Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric. Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage which it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.

  11. Carrot Top’s real name is “Scott?” Next we’ll find out that he posts here as “Warty.”

      1. He’s not wearing pants???

        1. He’s grainy as fuck. I wonder if he actually does bodybuilding competitions.

  12. It’s heartbreaking to me when people stop doing things that I can’t see any reason for them to be doing in the first place.

    Best line in the piece.

  13. It was really stupid for that guy at Va. Tech to load up on firearms and mow down a bunch of people.

    But hey, at least they died enjoying freedom.

    1. So doing something you don’t agree with is equivalent to senselessly murdering people. God, that is stupid even for you.

      1. Do not feed the troll.

        Thank you.

      2. But the death of the Hummer really has nothing do to with “people not agreeing with it” whatever the hell that means.

        Penn’s remarks were stupid. Just pointing that out.

        1. quelle a douchebag…

    2. You get stupider every day, Dan T. Do us a favor and cut your fingers off.

  14. Excellent piece by Penn Jillette (who drives wears a Mini!)

    Fixed that for you…

  15. I agree with Penn, except that I think he’s inadvertently implying that government-imposed strictures are something other than stupid themselves. I want to be free to make mistakes and free from government-coerced mass mistakes, too.

    1. If your mistakes only affected yourself, nobody would care. What Penn totally ignores in his screed is that the reason people didn’t like Hummers is because they caused problems for other people, not just for the insecure people who drive them.

      1. Do not feed the troll.

        Thank you.

        1. Yes, anyone who takes an opposing view is automatically a “troll”. What you’re doing is little better than censorship, and almost as disgusting as what the teabaggers are currently doing.

          1. Shut up, Hamilton. This is a place for Free Minds.

            1. Shut up, Hamilton. This is a place for people with Free Minds.

              FTFY

          2. no just in your case, you douchebag

      2. You come here for no reason other that to annoy and frustrate people with no goal of improving the level of discussion. You have no moral or ethical standing to bitch about other people causing problems.

        1. Great picture of Scotch, Tony, Chad and MNG spending an afternoon with the rest of their friends:

          http://www.playusout.com/uploads/fliesoncrack2.jpg

      3. Bull crap! Busy body nanny liberals, like yourself, continue to ban any number of activities that do no harm to anyone but the person partaking in said activity (and even then there are activities that harm absolutely no one that some are attempting to ban). It is not about saving the environment or peoples’ lives, it is about control. You, unlike Penn and other libertarians can not stand when people have the freedom to engage in activities that disrupt your narrow world view in any way. As Penn said, people do stupid things that he may not understand, but instead of just giving that person a befuddled smile as he does, you feel compelled to punish the offender and use the law to compel them to cease their offensive activity. And that is far more offensive than nearly any other activity I can think of.

        1. For example?

          1. gay marriage, weed, prostitution, etc…

      4. People “don’t like” Hummers because they get some ridiculous 12 MPG or whatever, gasoline peaked at four bucks a gallon, and we’re broke.

        1. Surely that’s entirely the problem of the person who was paying four bucks to drive twelve miles.

          1. But don’t you see? That is all of our problems. The increased emissions from the gas guzzling Hummer is a problem for all of us. Not only is the Hummer driving killing the earth through pollution and use of fossil fuels, he is also killing the economy. These are problems we must all fight together. And because Hummers are a niche brand, we outnumber Hummer drivers, and therefore can vote to keep them from driving Hummers for the good of all creatures on this planet. If people would just all drive the all-new Chevy Volt (coming soon), just think of how much money they would save. Then, with those savings, I’d gladly lend them money to purchase an overpriced new home, with no money down. That way, we all win because now everyone can save money by driving an electric car, we will start using less energy because instead of using gasoline, you just plug the car in, and we already have sockets in our homes. And with the fuel savings, everyone will be able to afford to buy a new construction home. We can demolish old homes that aren’t energy efficient and build new, green buildings for all of these new homeowners. Then, because we are buildings new homes and selling new cars, everyone will be able to get a job selling cars and building homes. Now, to get started, we need to incentive people to sell their Hummer. So, anyone with a Hummer will get a $5K credit towards the purchase of a Volt. Because Hummers are evil cars, we will fill up each car with concrete and then set the concrete-filled car on fire. Then, we will extend the Space Shuttle program(think of the jobs created) to ship all of these evil Hummers to outer space so that no one may be corrupted by the Hummer again. It would be unfair to current homeowners to not give them the opportunity to purchase Volts for themselves. So we will impose mandatory 2nd mortgages to finance the purchase of new Volts. In fact, all cars not getting 35 mpg (combined) will be rendered unusable and sent to space with the Hummers. People who do not have homes will be given a $4K voucher that is only good for 6 months to trade in their gas guzzlers and buy a Volt. The voucher is not mandatory, but if it is not used, you will be fined $3K. This way, any fat cats who want to keep their current car are paying their fair share for destroying the planet and the economy. Now that everyone drives a Volt, we will stop importing foreign oil because we won’t need that source of energy anymore. And now that there is no need for oil, we will continue the wars in the Middle East to end all oil production. We will teach foreign countries the importance of Earth conservation, and that means establishing the proper government in those nations. I know getting rid of Hummers is just a minor action, but look at all of the benefits it would create. Just imagine how much good we can do if we just take some small steps towards making the world a better place.

  16. Who’s making parts for the military’s hummers?

    1. The Red Army.

      1. No. It is the Chinese Army.

        1. You may be right. It appears that the Red Army has put down its weapons and is now an enormous choir (backing up the Leningrad Cowboys).

        2. Wrong.

          AM General makes the HMMWV and only G-d knows how many sub-contractors make parts.

          It is true, though, that AM General is owned by the noted Communists front company Renco and by the infamous anti-capitalist Ron Perelman. It is also true that DFM and SAC make more or less authorized copies of the HMMWV in the PRC.

          (The H1 was the only vehicle actually based on the army’s truck and it isn’t made anymore. The H2 is based on the GMT820 and the H3 is based on the GMT355.)

    2. I’m pretty sure that the services are discontinuing the HMMWV (which is a POS for most purposes anyway) for a newer light wheeled vehicle.

  17. “I love people doing things I can’t understand.”

    Yeah, that’s why you created a show called “Bullshit” where you froth at the mouth when people do things you don’t understand.

    1. And it makes him lots of money…hence the love.

    2. Good point, like believing in God for example.

      1. still a douche…

    3. I don’t think you get the point of the show.

      1. West Texas Boy has it right.

    4. Lee, you’re really begging the question here (that he doesn’t understand what he’s arguing against). He understands what they’re saying/doing, and still thinks it’s stupid.

      If you actually watched the show (and tried to understand it) you’d know that it argues against those who try to enforce their stupidity (in various ways) on the rest of us. He’s fine if they’re just stupid, but stupid people with a coercive agenda are his target. There might be some irony here you could exploit if he tried to argue that they had to believe what he did, but he doesn’t do that. Of course it’s much easier to argue with your imagination about the show, so knock yourself out with your (non)intellectual onanism.

  18. What he fails to point out is that when people do stupid things, like buying Hummers or eating bad foods, that’s a market failure that a.) proves that the free market doesn’t work and b.) needs to be corrected by government. So really, we incur more overall costs as a community, because of the societal costs of the bad behavior that occurs before we incur the costs to go ahead and clean it up anyway. It would just be cheaper to ban it all to start with.

    I thought in Libertopia all costs were low, so how can Penn really consider himself a libertarian if he likes high costs so much? QED

    See, I just outsmarted you libertards with my awesome economic logic.

    1. You are right that libertarians generally refuse to consider externalities with discussing economics.

      1. You are right that libertarians generally refuse to consider externalities with discussing economics.

        Actually, it is usually the leftist. The costs of government monopolies on things is rarely, if ever, mentioned, nor the negative effects of dependence. The economically stifling effects of taxes and over regulation are also rarely if ever mentioned.

        You should have said “the externalities which I care about are not considered.” But that would have made you ever so slightly less of a douche, so you didn’t.

  19. It’s amazing to read the comments section at the WSJ and see how many people “read” his article and didn’t get it and then knuckled down and tried to defend their incomprehension when others called them on it.

    A bunch of people, for example, threw hissy fits when he said he thought Hummers were stupid and complained that he had no right to make the world the way he thought it should be… No shit, Sherlock. Thanks for arguing against the point he was arguing against…

    1. Huh…it’s like the stupid people that wrote in the comments section didn’t know they were stupid. Chilling.

        1. “Metacognitive ability.” Handy phrase. Anyway, as the old saying goes, “A wise man knows his own limitations.” I guess, conversely, a true fool would have a lot of difficulty in this area.

      1. I’d thought the subset of YouTube commenters who also read the WSJ was rather small prior to reading those…

    2. Compared to the comments sections in the NYT or the Washington Post comments in the WSJ are very reasonable.

  20. Hummers aren’t merely stupid. They are a threat to the entire planet. But the reasonoids probably think firebombing daycare centers would just be “stupid” as well.

    1. Yeah, you’re not trolling at all. Hurry up and die, you boil-ridden pigfister.

      1. (hmmmmm…maybe it I add a link to my name everyone will start to like me.)

    2. Ok, this has to be performance art. Whoever wrote this painted themselves blue and started banging on tubular drums just prior to it, I’m sure.

      1. Note that we got Dan T. and Edward back at about the same time.

      2. Children starving/drowning to death due to global warming or children burning to death from a molotov cocktail. I really don’t see a huge difference.

        1. except there is no global warming…douche

        2. And I don’t see a difference between conquering European Monarchies conquering swaths of Africa and having the U.N. coerce African nations into using expensive “envrionmentally friendly” technologies like wind and solar. I wonder how many people die/starve every year in Africa and how many could be saved/fed with increased access to electricity (brought to you by cheap accesible “Earth-raping” sources). But this exposes the thrust of Scotch/Chad/Tony/MNG’s arguments for environmental controls. They don’t give a damn about humanity and would love to see it die en masse so a “sustainable, neutral, and reduced” population can live in trees and throw shit at each other.

          1. “conquering European Monarchies conquering ” = “European Monarchies conquering”. I’m a little dyslexic today.

    3. yep checking back after an hour, still a douche

  21. What you’re doing is little better than censorship, and almost as disgusting as what the teabaggers are currently doing.

    Making fun of Scotch on the internet is little better than prosecuting and threatening to jail him, and almost as disgusting as peaceably assembling in protest of government actions. Noted.

    1. At least we’re not proving the intellectual bankruptcy of libertarianism by responding with ad homs. “Libertarian fascist” is not an oxymoron, Xeones, my esteemed colleague.

      1. I see what you did there, Warty…nice.

      2. but I am…he/she/it is so obviuosly a douche it would not be right to leave it unsaid.

  22. But if any part of the Hummer going belly-up are those government rules we’re putting in on miles per gallon, or us taking over of GM, then I’m not just sad, I’m also angry.

    Because the freedom of people to choose the government they want apparently doesn’t count.

    1. even the freedom to choose none of the above

  23. Hummers aren’t merely stupid. They are a threat to the entire planet.

    Whatever Dan T is, he’s not a troll.

    Not no way.

    Not no how.

  24. Because the freedom of people to choose the government they want apparently doesn’t count.

    If we had that freedom, sure. Let me know if panarchy comes into vogue, i’ll be stoked. Meanwhile, we’re stuck with a government chosen by the majority of the people who happen to inhabit the same arbitrary geographical region, and that majority is dumbasses.

    1. Ha ha, I’m amused that by the time one counts people who are eligible to vote but don’t bother, politicians are seldom even elected by a majority of the voting-age public. Why those people don’t vote I’m not entirely sure, but I digress.

    2. panarchy? is that where we are ruled by kitchen implements or the GOD OF THE PIPES?

  25. Children starving/drowning to death due to global warming or children burning to death from a molotov cocktail. I really don’t see a huge difference.

    This is completely unsurprising.

    1. This has to be a sockpuppet Scotch.

    2. Children starving/drowning to death due to global warming killed by a tornado or children burning to death from a molotov cocktail shot to death by gangbangers in a drive-by. I really don’t see a huge difference.

      I’m sure you don’t.

  26. Does this mean I’m free to be me?

  27. I hate to break it to you guys but I’ve not posted as Scotch Hamilton in about a week.

    1. Who cares? Go fuck yourself.

  28. “Libertarian fascist” is not an oxymoron, Xeones, my esteemed colleague.

    You have hit the veritable nail upon the head with that insight, Warty, and once more proved yourself to be both a gentleman and a scholar. The philosophy that individuals ought to be free to live their own lives as they see fit is indeed exactly the same as the notion that the strength of the state should be the highest aspiration of every individual. I wonder that i did not see the consonance ere Scotch Hamilton opened our eyes.

  29. The philosophy that individuals ought to be free to live their own lives as they see fit is

    I’m not sure a fantasy and a philosophy are the same thing…

    1. You’re still talking?

      1. You’re still talking shit?

        FIFY

    2. *sigh*

      Enough with the spoofing. This is the kind of crap that made me leave a few years ago. If it doesn’t stop, I’ll leave again.

      1. Gentlemen, we have our assignment.

        1. Scotch Hamilton is a serious douche, I mean serious…hope that helps

          1. “Serious” implies that he’s not laugh-out-loud hilarious.

      2. You gonna eat the rest of that bum’s vomit?

  30. Dan T., do you really think that you are not the person who best knows how to run your own life? Really? If so, who do you feel should be making your decisions for you?

    1. I have no problem with people running their own lives, as long as it doesn’t infringe on my own. The internal combustion engine is probably the greatest threat that mankind as ever faced. If we’re going to right the ship, we need governmental assistance for long term sustainability. Dense populations in which people use bicycles or mass transit is the only feasible solution to avoid global armageddon.

      1. The internal combustion engine is probably the greatest threat that mankind as ever faced.

        A+

        1. Every white male idiot who drives a Hummer is really no better than the guards at Auschwitz, who were “just following orders.”

          The privileged white middle class in this country will have the blood of billions on their hands. And yes, I’m being serious.

          1. B. That one was trying a bit too hard.

      2. I thought you weren’t Dan T this week.

        1. “Dense populations”

          The simplest, fastest way to achieve a dense population would be to encourage you to breed.

  31. If it doesn’t stop, I’ll leave again.

    For real?

  32. There are planes leaving for China every fucking day. Get on one, and emigrate to Paradise.

    1. Hey, I’m not the one who is constantly claiming that the evil gummit is “controlling my life” or “forcing” things onto me.

      I think you guys ought to leave for a small-government paradise like Afghanistan or the Sudan.

      1. Somalia, man, Somalia.

  33. So Scotch (real or fake)what DOESN’T infringe on your life? This is a serious question, since you seem to think that I can live my own life as long as it does not infringe on any part of yours.

    I have noticed that virtually everyting I do can be considered to have some impact on someone’s life, and there are plenty of people who are quite willing to yell that something I do infringes.

    So essentially if I follow your logic I have no freedom, because everything I do has an impact, which I must consider. I also must listen to WHO when they tell me I have negative impacts? You?

  34. The internal combustion engine is probably the greatest threat that mankind as ever faced.

    Oh, that’s hilarious.

    1. Billions of people dying is hilarious? That’s several orders of magnitude greater than what the nazis did.

      1. Citation needed.

        1. Carl Sagan…oh wait, that was stars. sorry

    2. I’m not laughing.

  35. I’m not laughing at your incredibly hyperbolic assertion, Dan T. I’m laughing at you for making it. There’s a subtle difference.

    1. That raises an interesting question: How many people has the internal combustion engine saved? Or even made possible?

      1. I think Im stealing from O’Rourke here, but no one was ever conceived in the back seat of a horse.

        1. Are you certain?

          http://seattletimes.nwsource.c…..se17m.html

      2. LOL, that reminds me of an oldies show that a St. Louis radio station had when I was a kid. The ad for it called it “the music that was playing in the front seat while you were playing in the back seat”.

        1. I never understood how people could fuck in the back seat until a friend of mine got a ’66 Chevy Bel Air. That back seat was the size of a bed, yo.

          1. I drove a ’77 Buick Electra in high school. It seated 5 in the back, or 2 lying down.

            1. ’69 Chrysler 300…took 3 days to make a left turn, had a family of 4 living in the trunk

            2. ’65 Chevy Impala Convertable

              http://www.musclepricecars.com…..rtible.jpg

            3. 75 (?) Chevy Nova in high school. I found the bench seats to be adequate for my purposes.

              1. Masturbation;-)

  36. Speaking of Hummers. The Cash for Clunker invoices for the 15 Hummers bought with Cash for Clunkers money.
    748646
    1047014
    1111577
    543464
    467551
    156012
    612839
    745782
    1114010
    625185
    1142280
    1110673
    1111675
    335259
    421576

    I want to buy each of those people a beer.

  37. I think that’s a shitty defense of freedom for people that aren’t already libertarians. If you want to make the world a better place, less people doing stupid shit sounds like a good idea.

    What’s more important to consider is that once you let politicians restrict freedom, you might very well end up letting them take the option not to do stupid shit off the table. The people running things are mostly idiots, so it’s as or more likely that they’ll force us to do something moronic than to do something worthwhile.

    Especially when it comes to fields where science and conventional wisdom are in flux (say, nutrition), the last thing we need is to be stuck with whatever laws gullible politicians were tricked into passing a decade ago and never got around to revisiting.

    1. It’s a great defense of freedom, though, for people that have a sense of humor.

    2. Its also a great defense of freedom for anyone who realizes that a state that can prevent their neighbor from doing something unconventional can do the same to do them.

      Quoth the Iron Law:

      Me today, you tomorrow.

      1. “Unconventional” is fine, sounds like you’re promoting nonconformity and uniqueness and all of that crap. “Stupid” is something else entirely.

  38. “We don’t need freedom to listen to classic rock, classic classical, classic anything or Terry Gross.”

    Well, sometimes you need freedom to listen to classical music. Under the Nazis, the performance of compositions by Jewish composers (such as Moszkowski or Mendelssohn) was prohibited. Once Germany invaded Russia, the same proscription applied to Russian composers. Under the Soviets, various composers (think Prokofiev and Shostakovich) saw their works suppressed according to the artistic whims of the government.

  39. Libertarians are a threat to the billions of innocent humans on this planet. They must be eradicated like the vermin they are.

    1. You really, really suck at this.

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