There is no culture of violence, Elon Musk is just selling flamethrowers for fun

You can buy a flamethrower from Elon Musk for the low, low price of $500. Why? I don’t know.

Soon, orders of flamethrowers potentially capable of shooting a flame up to 10 feet will be shipped out to 20,000 people via a billionaire’s mining company, of which the greatest accomplishment leading up to the sale of flamethrowers has been the sale of hats and alleged workplace violations, in a claimed effort to battle an impending zombie apocalypse, which is almost certainly scientifically impossible. The NRA will likely respond by suggesting you purchase your own flamethrower for protection.

This is some kind of twisted promotion for his company, which wants to drill holes through cities to make it easier for cars to drive through them. I don’t get that either. I’m more used to bumper stickers and buttons being given away as promotions, this new-fangled business of selling your fans $500 weapons doesn’t thrill me.

So if I criticize the NRA, I get shot, but criticizing Elon Musk will just get you third-degree burns? None of this is appealing.


  1. robro says

    Anyone seen my 10 foot steak knife? I need to go on a rampage but be safe from flamethrowers that can only reach 10 feet.

  2. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    To be fair, “No-Culture of Violence” is a pretty apt description of the Repigfucker base.

  3. raven says

    Elon Musk is tone deaf here.
    This is not smart at all and calls his judgement and intelligence into question.

    The problems are many.
    One obvious one.
    We in the western USA are seeing more and more wildfires every year.
    Fire season used to be in the late summer and fall.
    Now it is all year around.
    All we need is some idiot to accidently or deliberately start a wildfire
    with their new flamethrower toy.
    You know that, after spending $500, they will have to try it out somewhere on something.

  4. gijoel says

    Cause time traveling robots from an AI dominated future are notoriously vulnerable to flame throwers.

  5. Snarki, child of Loki says

    Ten feet is pretty wimpy for a flamethrower. I’m pretty sure you could easily rig up a powerwasher to shoot flaming napalm over 100 feet.

    Perfect for your next Intertoobz flame war, also too!

  6. says

    Musk is doing what billionaries like to do: whatever they want. I’d be pretty amazed if any normal corporate lawyer passed off approval on selling an instant liability lawsuit like that.

  7. machintelligence says

    This is nothing but a fancy (and ovepriced) propane torch. I bought one a few years ago at Harbor Freight to use for burning weeds and heating torch down roofing,
    As far as I can tell the one Musk is selling has a fancy stock and uses disposable propane bottles. I can attest that if you set the “turbo boost” valve to high, the flame will travel about 10 feet. I got mine for about
    $ 20.00 on sale.

  8. microraptor says

    Holms @13:

    Well, convincing people to pay for an extremely overpriced propane torch, that could be seen as a type of genius. A really sleazy and dishonest type, to be sure, but…

  9. says

    ‘Yes yes ‘prophet of the future’ is redundant.’

    I’m not entirely sure that it is, since ‘prophecy’ has such a tendency to be both performed and realised (if that’s the right word) in the past.

  10. leerudolph says

    As to the (ir?)redundancy of “prophet of the future”, here’s something I like to quote from Rudolph Peierls, in the essay “Irreversibility” in his little gem of a book Surprises in Theoretical Physics.

    We may try to analyze the problem somewhat more deeply by asking why it is that we can easily perform experiments in which initial conditions have to be specified, but never any requiring terminal conditions. This is the real distinction between past and future. A little thought shows that this is connected with the fact that we can remember the past, and that we can make plans for the future, but not vice versa. It is evident that these statements are correct, but they do not follow from any known laws of physics.

  11. Rich Woods says

    @jazkayaker #1:

    Maybe Musk knows something we don’t about a pending zombie apocalypse.

    Or about an Alien invasion.

  12. Nemo says

    The fact that the Jalopnik writer felt the need to add the words “which is almost certainly scientifically impossible”, in reference to the concept of a zombie apocalypse, is the silliest part of the whole thing, to me. (I see that part has since been removed.)

    I don’t see the point of the flamethrowers, either; but even with the zombie joke, I never thought of them as weapons. Tools, maybe? For what, I don’t know… whatever people use flamethrowers for. (I wondered if they had some use in tunnel construction that would make them relevant to The Boring Company.) But mostly, they’re toys, clearly. Toys for overgrown boys with too much money, sure, if you want to put it that way. But… pretty harmless, I think.

  13. michaelwbusch says

    For Rob Bos @7 and Nemo @22:

    As raven pointed out, here in California – where Musk lives – wildfires are almost always possible.

    It is not at all “funny” or “harmless” for people to literally be playing with fire. It’s extremely dangerous.

  14. John Morales says

    Proper flamethrowers douse with flaming flammable liquid, not just expose to a gas flame.

    (I seen movies!)

  15. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    I’m way behind in my reading on here as usual. i don’t often comment because threads are usually dead by the time I get to them. But I think this might be valuable to anyone reading this in the future.

    You can buy a flamethrower from Elon Musk for the low, low price of $500. Why? I don’t know.

    I’ll tell you why. I keep my ear to the tracks in the EV community. Marketing a flamethrower was done ironically. It’s not supposed to feed into, but satirize the culture of violence. In the Tesla fan cliques the movie Spaceballs is popular. For instance the Tesla S having a plaid speed setting actually built into the vehicle. The Tesla flamethrower is an homage to this scene in the movie.
    If you want to argue that some asshats might have taken the satire at face value and thought that “flamethrowers are awesome. Murica fuck yeah!”. That they might start a fire in the Hollywood hills. That’s definitely arguable. But Musk’s intention wasn’t to feed into a culture of violence. Like Mel Brooks it was satirical, a parody of consumerism, commercialism, violence, even capitalism you might say.