As part of an extended interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show, Brad Pitt let loose this little gem—a brief, mostly accidental one-off critique of how ridiculous cars are. He made the remark in passing, as a metaphor for something that happens in one of his movies. (Watch the interview segment here)
But he's right. Put that way, gas-guzzling automobiles are an entirely preposterous mode of transportation.
In fact, I think I'll add 'Brad Pitt thinks they're dumb' to my ever-expanding arsenal of arguments about why cars are patently absurd. They do run on fossil fuels, which are increasingly expensive, and probably running out altogether. They do feed a nationwide addiction to oil that lands us into all kinds of geopolitical tight spots. They also spur hugely unsustainable development, and encourage the perpetuation of one of mankind's (other) worst ideas, the suburbs. And they cause about 40,000 deaths from car crashes every year. And the people they don't kill, they give brain damage.
But they also just make for a crazy way to run a large-scale transportation system—millions of autonomous drivers in steely boxes zipping by each other on highways going 70 miles per hour, each one entirely dependent on every other driver to not veer into their lane and smash into them. Every single person driving on the highway right now should, if they have any sense at all, be absolutely terrified. After all, a giant, 2-ton steel contraption might careen into them at any moment. It's madness.
Brad Pitt is right. Cars are ridiculous.