In the “life imitates South Park” category, the latest commercial for the Chevy Volt is a pretty strong contestant. South Park, you may recall, had a memorable episode about the “smug” emitted by Prius drivers.
You may have seen the ad, which has been running during the NCAA Tournament games. It features an earnest if devilish looking guy who appears to be wearing a bowling shirt talking about his Volt. He professes to wake up every morning “thinking about the future.” He thinks his car is cool, but also “makes a statement at the same time.” He’s happy to explain that people “don’t totally understand how the Volt works”; he doesn’t ever worry about running out of battery power because his car will just switch over to gas when needed. He doesn’t need to gas up much, either. At one point, the commercial actually says about the guy: “He is smart.”
This commercial just radiates smugness, and the dripping condescension of Mr. Smarty-Pants as he explains how his car works to the knuckle-draggers in the unlettered masses is insufferable. I guess we’re just lucky the guy doesn’t also remind us that buying a Volt also is smart because the car is subsidized by the federal government — which means that the rest of us doltish taxpayers who are driving standard, unsubsidized internal combustion cars are helping him feel good about himself each morning when he thinks about the future again.