Before diving into today’s post, I’d like to give a YUGE “thank you” to Nebraska Energy Observer for reblogging yesterday’s post. His commentary on my post and Leslie Alexander’s moving personal essay adds greatly to the discussion of modern alienation, and gives me some encouragement in these dark days.
Electric cars are fine, although environuts shouldn’t delude themselves that driving these battery-powered vehicles are saving the environment (it’s pedantic to point out, but batteries require a great deal of mining to get the metals necessary to build them, and the electricity to charge them comes from coal-, oil-, and nuclear-power, so it’s not like you’re truly making an end-run around fossil fuels). But a Ford Mustang shouldn’t be an electric car; at least, it shouldn’t be one that looks like this iteration.
Ford has taken an iconic muscle car and turned it into a limp-wristed hatchback. Look, I drive a thirteen-and-a-half-year old Dodge Caravan with dents and collapsing headliner, but I don’t pretend its four-cylinder engine and stocky frame make it a sports car (the 2006 Dodge Caravan actually has a fairly sleek design compared to modern minivans). I like hatchbacks just fine; they seem practical and utilitarian—the exact opposite of what a Ford Mustang should be!
This mania for political correctness and efficiency is infecting every aspect of our society and our lives. Yet another legendary brand has fallen to the fleeting faddism of our present age. A car like a Ford Mustang—much like the Dodge Charger—should be a gloriously wasteful (in terms of fuel efficiency) affair, a blasphemous testament to the bravado of the engineers and the driver.
That’s what makes these cars cool. They’re powerful, they’re in-your-face, and they’re all American—like Chuck Norris or the Die Hard movies.
Now, just like everything else masculine and dangerous, we’ve neutered this vehicle into a yuppie dad car. Journalists are celebrating the fact that the vehicle wasn’t worse than what it is. I can only imagine the whipped husband picking up groceries for his overbearing wife, escaping the oppression of his personal and professional life in fleeting moments of ecstasy while listening to classic rock in his… electric hatchback.
If—when?—I go through my midlife crisis, I want a car that gets 15 miles-per-gallon or less, with some kind of awesome and/or mythical animal on the hood—which covers a thunderous, gas-guzzling V8 engine—and that will wake up the neighbors when I drive in from late-night photo shoots for Hot Rod Magazine.
Well, nothing lasts forever, even cold November Mustangs.