Attendees at the Wednesday night performance of Elon Musk-slash-forum for their Boring Company were greeted by mom soccer players' sandwiches: Capri Suns and orange slices wrapped in plastic on individual plates, scattered by men and women young in The Boring Company hats. Elon Musk understands that you do not care about a boring tunnel company. But he knows you care about Elon Musk, and if he does enough of Elon Musk-and, like giving that boring tunnel company a name that sounds like a lot of first-grade kids, give sandwiches to soccer moms At the door, and hold a meeting for the company in a synagogue full of traffic: he can make you pay attention to anything.
The particular effect of Musk is something to be contemplated in person. First, few other companies, let alone boring companies, could make a public presentation of their new infrastructure project that would double as a nighttime appointment, as it did for a couple I spoke with when I was 20 years old. The woman, who was dressed more for a good restaurant than a synagogue, was a student at UCLA, so the Bel Air location proved convenient; The muscular and t-shirted man was one of the many I met who spoke musk like the Russians in 1917, probably Vladimir Lenin did.
"Elon Musk is a revolutionary," he said. "I am a Musko, I have the hat, my business partner and I bought the flamethrower."
Second: there is that flamethrower, which is for sale on the website of the Boring Company. It is an appropriate example of Musk's particular sense of humor, which takes the Silicon Valley mantra of "interruption" and then distorts it to the point where you can no longer tell if he is serious. (He always is) When he mentions the flamethrower during his presentation, enough people are familiar with the joke to generate great applause. And when later, a video of a SpaceX test flight receives the same reaction, it begins to sink in that it is not so much a presentation as a pep rally.
Hundreds of people have appeared to see Musk explain his newly announced association with LA Metro to build a test tunnel on the west side of Los Angeles, and how these tunnels, as well as their hypothetical Hyperloops, could work. Musk's goal for the Borer Company is to create an eventual network of tunnels that crisscross below the city, allowing cars and larger vehicles to travel more than one hundred miles per hour, and without the traffic barrier. When a slide is shown with the title "Why make a tunnel?", One of the points simply says: "Very funny". Other fun details include the boring machines that are named after Samuel Beckett, Robert Frost and T.S. Poems of Eliot; small and funny photoshop of flying smartcars; and a video presented with the warning: "If you are prone to seizures, you probably should not see this."
The crowd is remarkably varied, from gray-haired men in baseball caps and plaid shirts to fashionable young women to members of the congregation who wear yarmulke for 70-year-old couples. But you can not miss the majority: men between 20 and 30 years whose passion for Musk approaches the spiritual. "I'm a big Elon fan," one tells me when I ask him why he's here, and the only person I meet who says anything different is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who wears a raincoat, because of his environmental concerns about the project. And all the attendees, possibly with the exception of the DSA boy, are united by their desire to get a photo of (or a long distance selfie with) Musk, who is besieged on stage after the presentation.
While the formal nature of the setting seems to have frightened some of the strangest elements that tend to follow Musk, there is a surprising number of men wearing real ties, although Someone does ride his wheelie shoes on stage after the synagogue has been cleared, the enthusiasm that fills the room seems in some way appropriate for the stage. When Musk asks, "How cool would this be?", Wins another round of applause, and when he asks the audience for help, the reaction is just as positive. Another of Musk's innovations must be preparing the least controversial presentation of the history of public construction. A senior congregant, who attended the event with her husband without knowing that Musk would be there, both are passionate about reducing the congestion of the road in the area, he says: "There should be presentations like this throughout the city, so that the attention and the financing you need. "
But, even if it's a public outlet for Musk's word games, the goal of the night is to give people the chance to see their hero in person. The point is not just the Boring Company's tunnel on the west side of Los Angeles: for many, it's kissing the hem of Elon Musk's cape. Considering the ticket price, for free, if you're willing to challenge rush-hour traffic on the 405, it's not a bad entertainment time.