Here’s a recent New York Post headline: “Elon Musk blames ‘fun police’ for Tesla recall over ‘fart horn’ feature.” The story attached details how Tesla, a company that loves recalls, did another recall last week — their 11th in three months! — for some 600,000 cars. The reason this time was the “Boombox” feature, an update from late last year that lets drivers swap out their car horn sounds for alternative honks, including “farts and goats.”
Per the Post:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined the feature could make it harder to hear a required “Pedestrian Warning System” sound. Musk seemed unhappy with the agency’s decision during a conversation with one of his Twitter followers, who asked the billionaire to explain his “rationale” for recalling the Boombox feature. “The fun police made us do it (sigh),” Musk tweeted.
Now, Elon Musk is one of the most loathsome individuals currently sucking down oxygen on our dying earth. He has too much money, he uses that money to do really stupid things, and he has probably never spoken to any of his six children. All told, he is somehow more annoying than Bill Maher. And his response to the recall affirms all this. Referencing the concept of the “fun police” is in line with Musk’s brand as “guy who thought it was cool when Lewis in Revenge of the Nerds tricks Betty into sleeping with him, and then wins her over despite the deception because he was so good at laying pipe.” However, I have to give him fart horns.
“Fart horns” is a really good idea. There’s no denying it. If car horns could be fun sounds, the societal benefits would be manifold. Road rage would plummet. Car crashes would become a phenomenon of the distant past, like whooping cough or calling tuberculosis “consumption.” As Gawker deputy editor Brandy Jensen put it: “How mad can you stay when your horn is going ‘awooooga.’” Consider, if you will, that scene in The Simpsons, when Homer pulls onto a freeway en route to Itchy and Scratchy Land, finds it filled with cars in back-to-back traffic, promises Marge he has an “ace up his sleeve,” and then slams on the horn for hours.
Imagine instead, that Homer was driving the Homer Car, an innovation from a different episode where Homer designs a car that plays “La Cucaracha” when you hit the horn. Yes, I’m rewatching The Simpsons. But you don’t need to see it to understand that this is an America worth fighting for. Let Musk blare his farts. Then, raise the corporate tax rate to 50 percent and close the loopholes on capital gains.