So, full disclosure, when David Tracy and Beau Boeckmann and I all started this site not quite a year ago, one of the things we wanted to do was be as welcoming as possible to all aspects of the automotive culture. That means every weird little corner and sub-sub-fetish. And I think generally, we do just that! That also means that I needed to keep some of my own personal affectations in check, like my often limited tolerance for ultra-hardcore Tesla fans. The truth is there are plenty of valid and great reasons to be a fan of Tesla cars – they made EVs cool, they developed truly pioneering tech, they’re fast and fun – and of course those fans are welcome here, among all us fools who admire Yugos and archaic AMCs and other unmitigated, yet beloved, crap. So I try my best, and I keep my baser urges in check, only to have it all go to hell when I read one tweet. One absolutely astonishing, inane, hyperbolic tweet. And then I have no choice but to rant like a fool. My hands are tied.
[Editor’s Note: Jason is right that Tesla fans can be deeply hyperbolic — more so than any other group of fans devoted to a single car brand, possibly ever — so sometimes we’ll poke fun at that unbridled enthusiasm, even though we appreciate all car-love. -DT]
Before we go on, you need to see the tweet I’m referring to:
It’s funny when people say the Cybertruck will be the iPhone moment of Tesla.
No it’s won’t bc, it will be much bigger and more profound than that.
— Teslaconomics (@Teslaconomics) February 10, 2023
Just in case there actually is a merciful god and they want to prove their love for humankind by wiping this insipid tweet off the face of the Earth, I better screenshot it, and while I’m at it, I’ll call out the part that really got me:
Yes, your eyes haven’t been secretly passing notes at night and decided to play some cruel joke on you; an actual, living human being actually typed those words about the Tesla Cybertruck, a strange-looking electric pickup truck that was first announced in 2019 and might and I do mean might go into production at some later point this year. I’m going to type this statement about the Cybertruck again here, just in case you’re having this read to you by your valet, so you have a justification to slap the crap out of them:
“It will be the best product that the world has ever seen and will have the biggest impact on our daily lives.”
Just take a moment and imagine someone saying this to you in person. Is there any way you can picture the person saying this about a fucking pickup truck that isn’t even on the market yet without imaging them staring blankly yet fervently into the distance, a lone icicle of drool escaping a corner of their mouth, your forearm painfully in their grip, and perhaps the faintest glimmer of rotating spirals in their eyes? Maybe you can, in which case, you’re more generous than I am.
I mean, look, I get that car brands have their fans, often fierce ones, determined, wildly loyal people who would much rather push a Chevy than drive a Ford, or vice-versa. I get it. But even with that in mind, even with the most hardcore, unbearable fans, I have never ever encountered any, say, Ford person claiming the the F-150 Lightning would be the best product the world has ever seen. Ever.
You know why that is? Is it because the F-150 Lightning isn’t as capable an electric truck as the Cybertruck? Maybe, but it also could be that that whole sentence is an absolutely fucking ridiculous statement to make, by any standards at all.
The best product the world has ever seen! Better than, say, corn dogs or maxi pads or insulin or the telephone or the toilet or the computer or fucking fresh clean water pumped right into your home! Do you like being warm in the winter and cool in the summer thanks to heat and air-conditioning systems? Do you like your food not spoiling thanks to your refrigerator? Do you like to be able to read thanks to glasses or contact lenses? Big fan of woven fabrics, a human product that is also widely enjoyed by the considerable dog and cat population of the world? Well, I hope you aren’t a fool who thinks any of those bullshit products are somehow “better” than this big stainless steel pickup truck shaped like an origami yak, because @Teslaconomics make it pretty fucking clear none of that shit matters compared to this Tesla, the product that will have the biggest impact on our daily lives.
Exactly how a few thousand people owning a particular kind of pickup truck will have “the biggest impact on our daily lives” isn’t really explained here, but I’m sure it’s been well-thought through and extremely likely to happen. Most likely when the first Cybertrucks get delivered you’ll wake up that morning just a bit happier, a bit more alert and perceptive and kind, and, yes, probably at least a little aroused. As soon as enough people start commuting to their jobs in these things, you’ll likely find your capacity to love and be loved will have increased by, oh, 74%, and I suspect that the first time someone heaves a sofa into the back of a Cybertruck as they help a friend move, there will be a collective, knee-buckling orgasm that will reverberate all across post-pubescent humanity, bringing the world to a well-deserved moment of bliss, because that’s what The Best Product That The World Has Ever Seen can do.
Is this guy joking, somehow? Is he kidding? If so, this is a really, really committed bit, because nothing in this whole Twitter feed feels that much different. Sure, maybe the hyperbole knob was nudged a bit for this one, but not that much.
I mean, maybe we can’t really blame this fan alone, though. It’s not like Tesla themselves haven’t dipped their toes into the warm custard of hilarious hyperbole before, after all. Remember this?
Near-infinite mass, best product ever, same thing, really, right?
What this tweet really reveals is the fundamental problem many in the automotive enthusiast/fetish community has with a certain subset of Tesla fans: they desperately need to take it down a nice, big notch. It’s fine to be smitten with a car! I think being a devotee of a whole company isn’t always a great plan, but, whatever, I love enthusiasm, and I love seeing people be really into the cars they love. It’s beautiful, and I want to support it as much as possible.
But, as we can see here, it can take a nasty turn. A turn where it blinds you to other cars, other ideas, other ways of thought, other people. A turn where it can, in its most virulent stages, make one say such astoundingly culty and idiotic statements like proclaiming a truck is the best product the world has ever seen.
As I write this, I’m reminded of an incredibly long series of DMs I received from a hardcore Tesla fan years ago, after I had written something critical of the company. The tone of it reminded me of the sort of reality-removed feeling I’m seeing here. As I was being scolded for criticizing Tesla, this was the analogy the person made:
Yes, that person is equating a for-profit carmaker with racial groups and people with disabilities. This isn’t healthy. It’s just another symptom of the same thing seen in that tweet.
This kind of absurdity does no one any good: not the company whose metaphorical genitals are being lovingly caressed, not the other people who are fans of the company, not the public at large, nobody. If you read any statement like that, where an upcoming car from any company is hailed as the Best Product Ever, only one thought should spring to mind:
Get a fucking grip.
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