QOTD: Worried About Expressing Yourself?
Last week’s Tesla Cybertruck introduction is still dominating discourse, and in classic Tesla fashion, it’s doing so in a truly annoying way. Following a sketchy tug-of-war with a downslope-pointed, rear-drive F-150 intended to show the cockroach-shaped Cybertruck’s brawn, Ford has demanded a do-over on a (literal) level playing field.
Again, it’s annoying.
While “polarized” doesn’t begin to describe the reaction to Cybertruck, one comment about the retro-futuristic EV caught my eye. It was a reason why someone might not consider the vehicle, and it has nothing to do with power, price, or build quality.
The auto writer in question, despite loving the avant-garde wedge design, voiced concerns on social media about the vehicle being potentially unsafe for pedestrians (valid), too large (also valid, but perhaps less so in this segment), and “maybe deeply anti-social.”
That last criticism took me aback. Anti-social? Is this something people think about when spending tens of thousands of dollars on a vehicle for themselves — that the vehicle might make unpleasant waves in society?
Scrolling through the dictionary, one discovers that anti-social means “contrary to the laws and customs of society” and/or “antagonistic to sociable instincts or practices.”
Can we no longer go our own way? Must we now worry about offending the sensibilities of a bunch of randos we’ve never met? Listen, while Tesla still needs to answer a long list of unanswered questions before I’d give Cybertruck a go, its overall appearance, like that of any vehicle, needs to appeal to just one person: myself.
I can see how some vehicles could be anti-social in a way — take Hummer’s road-hogging H1 and even H2. Lambos strike me as both impractical and visually unappealing, and have since the 1980s. To numerous environmentalists, every full-size pickup that drives by is the equivalent of a black-coated man walking up to them on the street and making a throat-cutting motion with his right hand. The threats never cease!
The great thing about having access to a broad range of consumer goods from across the globe is that we can pick and choose what suits us, what stimulates that special feeling, what makes us — the individual us — feel good.
A buddy of mine drives a Scion xB and an Isuzu VehiCROSS because he likes oddball cars. His desire to be offbeat comes with a side effect of being noticed, and that’s alright with him. Where would we be as a society if we couldn’t express ourselves through the vehicles we buy?
Visually jarring? Bring it on.
What’s your take on this, B&B? When thinking of purchasing a vehicle, have you ever taken into consideration society’s reaction to your potential purchase? Did it matter one iota?
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