Tesla owners love their cars. Elon Musk? Not as much.

In the world of Tesla owners, Musk can be a constant source of conversation, in a way that few CEOs are. After all, how many can most of us name? “Elon Musk lives rent free in my husband’s head. All. The. Time,” says Colleen Shattuck, 66, a retired physician assistant and Tesla owner in Montana, of her husband, Paul, a retired mining engineer.

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The argument that with every great genius comes greats flaws surfaces frequently. “Let Elon be Elon” his admirers say, uniformly addressing him by his first name. Genius has its privileges. Look, he gave us snazzy electric cars — provided you can afford the sticker price and tolerate delayed gratification, in some regions a delivery wait of more than six months. Last spring on “Saturday Night Live,” Musk announced that he has Asperger’s syndrome, part of the autism spectrum, which gained him sympathy among some followers while it was knocked by others as “self-serving and hollow” for implying that it explains his behavior.

“My experience is that geniuses are always messy,” says Sara Thorne, 63, an Episcopal deacon from D.C. and a Tesla X owner. “They may do society a lot of good. At the same time, they can cause a lot of problems.” To Thorne, Musk’s logorrheic commentary is beside the point: “I don’t have the bandwidth or the interest to pay attention. I don’t have to play in the sandbox with him.”

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