While thousands of innocent Mid-Atlantic citizens spent hours digging out their sedans, sports cars and coupes last weekend, SUV owners rolled past in quiet triumph. Yes, the scourge of environmentalists enjoyed its moment in the sun – or snow, as it were – last Friday, when the Sports Utility Vehicle enjoyed a brief burst of actual utility. But that moment is over now.

Any socially conscious citizen can recite a plethora of reasons to hate SUVs. They’re dangerous to the people driving them, the people driving around them, the people breathing around them. They are isolationist, narcissistic, and environmentally disastrous. More importantly, SUVs are very, very ugly.

To anyone who loves cars for their aesthetic value, the SUV is blasphemy. The idea behind the SUV is incredibly crude: bigger is better. But luxury cars are an art form, not an arms race. Imagine if we rated other arts by the same warped standards, awarding points for mere size. Gap Billboards would be a treasured form of visual expression, office buildings everywhere would be architectural achievements, and Roseanne Barr would be our most treasured comedian.

What does it say about a person who chooses a massive Chevy Suburban over a sleek BMW M3 of similar price? The Beamer is an engineering triumph: aerodynamic, perfectly weighted and powered by a compact inline 6-cylinder engine. The Suburban is big. In the Beamer, you can roll through impossibly curved streets in a single smooth, effortless motion. In the Suburban, you can roll over other cars. If cars could talk, Honda Hybrids would discuss Green Party politics, Cadillacs would worry over social security, Beamers would talk stocks and Alfa Romeos would discuss Italian fashion. Jeeps would grunt. In the world of cars personified, SUVs register just above apes. They are a mechanized form of the way Continental Europeans stereotype Americans – obese, dumb and greedy.

One might argue that the purpose of an SUV is not to be attractive, but to be functional. Of course, in cities and suburban environments, they are quite the opposite – blocking streets, triggering rollovers, engendering road rage. SUV owners love to claim their cars are “family oriented.” It’s hard to see what they mean, considering the amount of toxins SUVs spout into the air for small children to inhale. And if you truly need an SUV to haul the kids to school, it’s time to either stop having kids or cut off the family outings to Dairy Queen.

SUVs would be less aesthetically offensive if they were in their element, in the same way an MTV VJ in fur looks far more ridiculous than an Eskimo dressed the same way. The SUVs of Georgetown are like polar bears trapped in a southern Atlantic zoo. One longs to collect them all and release them in the depths of Alaska, where they could run free and frolic amidst the icy terrain.

If you are going to endanger the lives of children and small animals in your choice of vehicle, at least do it in style. The Porsche 9-11 guzzles gas, but its exultant exterior mitigates the environmental damage. You may destroy my respiratory system driving a Jaguar XJ, but you’ll at least indulge me visually.

It shouldn’t take a natural disaster to reveal a car’s utility, and a freak snowstorm can’t justify a machine that is useless 51 weeks of the year. Good taste will endure unchanged as the last of the snow disappears.

Kerry Howley is a senior in the College and can be reached at howleythehoya.com. Infinite Regress appears every other Tuesday in The Hoya.

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