Ear to the ground

“So, have you decided on your major?”

“Well, I was thinking about economics, but now…not so much.”

– Two Durangoans conversing as they stocked shelves at a local big box

Humming off into the sunset

A car icon many Durangoans love to loathe could be going the way of the Dodo, according to a report on National Public Radio. General Motors recently put its controversial Hummer division on the auction block. If the car division fails to sell by the end of the month, GM will cancel production of the military-based sport utility vehicle.

Financially embattled GM is looking for any and every way to raise funds and avoid bankruptcy. Dumping Hummer is just one of the paths the major automaker is following.

The commercial version of the military vehicle started popping up in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as military seconds started rolling onto dirt and paved roads. GM bought the rights to Hummer in 1999 and started producing a vehicle some have criticized as being “a Chevy Avalanche in a suit.”

Since that time, Hummer has endeared itself to fans and drawn more than its share of detractors. Brad Berman, editor of hybridcars.com, told NPR, “It’s so iconic, it’s so big, it’s so in your face, it’s so military-looking and rough, that it can’t help but stir emotions.”

However, the average Hummer owner doesn’t care what onlookers think, according to Carl Zipfel, the head of Hummer Design at GM. Zipfel said most Hummerites are looking for a car that gets the job done. “They don’t feel like they need to make excuses,” he told NPR. “They’re not out really to gain attention. They buy that vehicle because it represents the kind of lifestyle that they live.”

Whether or not they’ll still be able to purchase that vehicle will be announced by GM on March 31.

Thumb in the face

TheDurango Telegraph is managing to shake up cyberspace – well, a little bit. A new Facebook group has taken shape and affectionately calls itself “Thumbs Down to the ‘Thumbin’ It’ section.”

Founded in the tradition of the Little Rascals’ He-man Woman Hater’s Club, the group takes exception to the weekly offering and chimes in with colored commentary on the past week’s Ups and Downs. For example, in response to last week’s thumbs down to “Backcountry huts in the region that are infested with head lice and other unmentionables,” the group responded, “Boo hoo. Buy shampoo.”

Ironically, the site came to Telegraph attention when one of the founders invited a newspaper employee and one of the people who compile the weekly list to join.

At last check, the group boasted three members and was eagerly awaiting this week’s edition of theTelegraph to hit stands so they could get typing.