The Ersatz Thing

  • June 19, 2023

Remember when Coke used to style itself the Real Thing? One wonders how Toyota will market the ersatz “clutch” and “shifting” it is apparently considering simulating in some of its pending EVs.

These don’t even have transmissions – the intermediary between the engine and the drive wheels, in non-electric vehicles. So there’s no shifting – because there are no gears to shift through. The electric motors turn the wheels, directly. Faster or slower. One speed – so to speak – fits all. And the motor stops running when the car is not moving – so there’s no mechanical need for a clutch to disengage it from the transmission that isn’t there, in order to keep it from “stalling.”

Maybe they’ll figure out a way to simulate that as well.

But it’s all a simulation. Not the Real Thing.

Does it not beg an interesting question?

If operating a clutch and shifting a transmission is something buyers want enough for Toyota to fake them, why not just give them the Real Thing? Well, for the same reason that – in almost every member state of that which used to be America – one can only legally buy fireworks that neither fly nor explode but only fizzle, pathetically. But the wrappers they’re packaged in give the impression they are fireworks. There are screened-on images of starburst explosions and such that create a false impression about what’s inside the wrapper.

Not unlike pushing a “clutch” that doesn’t connect (or disconnect) anything. Accompanied by artificially generated sounds of that which is not happening. It is the Matrix. The ultimate expression of the Not Real Thing. The movie – which came out way back in the ’90s, when the early 2020s were still far away and the stuff of science fiction – was about a future in which people lived ersatz lives – unaware they were really plugged into a Matrix of AI-generated unreality. One of the characters – who escapes the Matrix – asks the AI to return him to his ersatz life and the convincing but entirely unreal juicy steak he would rather pretend to eat than live in the real world.

Of course, Toyota is not to blame for this shifting into unreality. It is trying to do what it can about reality. The reality of a matrix that is very real, controlled – not by AI that regards human beings as an invasive species analogous to Cane Toads or Japanese Stink Beetles – but human beings who regard themselves as the masters of humanity, the great bulk of which they regard as an invasive species. Read what some of them have said about us.

Prince Phillip, for instance.

The brother of the current British King – and what office better conveys the true expression of their regard for us? – said: “In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation.” The prince is dead now. Bu his death wish – directed toward us – lives on in the higher strata of what is styled “the elite,” by which is meant those who are rich almost beyond imagining and also contemptuous of everyone else, who isn’t. These “elites,” as they are styled, regard us as in the way, cluttering up their planet.

Which they want to “save” – for themselves.

Ingeniously, they have made great strides getting us to help them do just that. By convincing so many that the planet is in need of “saving” – without questioning for whom? Even when the answer to that question is as obvious as the contrails of John Kerry’s private jet. Or Barry Obama’s Martha’s Vineyard estate, mere feet above the supposedly, imminently rising sea. Where thousands of gallons of liquid hydrocarbon fuels are stored – presumably, to be burned.

But they insist the “climate” is “changing” – and that if we do not change into a more “sustainable” mode of existence, dire consequences will ensue. Italicized “we” to make a point about who gets to “change.”

It won’t be them.

We, on the other hand, are to console ourselves with saccharine memories of what reality used to be like, for us. Of juicy steaks – and real cars, with engines connected to transmissions that we shifted for ourselves.

. . .

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