When did You Realize that Musk is Trash?
To say that Elon Musk is a pathetic and unprincipled hypocrite is like saying that Elon Musk is a fraud and an utter douche. Of course he is. We all know that, however long it took society at large to realize, or acknowledge, it. He spent a lot of time and money working to convince the world that he is not a fraud, in some of the douchiest ways available.
Musk made an appearance in Iron Man 2, the undisputed worst movie to feature Iron Man, in which Tony Stark bumps into him, at a restaurant or some shit, and speaks to him, praises him, and shakes his hand, as though he were somehow an equal or at all comparable as a person. This was back when some people still believed that Musk was an inventor, that he actually had a hand in designing or building any of the technology he attached his name to. Even given that, it was absurd to suggest that someone with the fantastical genius of Tony Stark would be at all impressed with Musk or with Teslas; even if Musk had had anything to do with inventing the overhyped and underperforming, often failing, crashing, and/or exploding brand of electric cars, Tony Stark invented machinery and a clean energy technology astronomically superior to anything Musk, or any real person, even pretended to invent. Marvel Studios, Robert Downey Jr, Jon Favreau, and everyone else involved with the making of Iron Man 2 should be ashamed of themselves. Because it was a bad movie. But also because it stroked Musk’s ego and added to his nerd cred and false bona fides.
That’s far from the only instance of popular media or media figures wrongly promoting Musk as anything more than a silverspoon billionaire narcissist. Neil Degrasse Tyson has had Musk on his podcast and spoken consistently positively of him. Tyson had already lost some of my respect and general credibility when he was accused of rape and sexual misconduct, and there was that time when he called Fareed Zakaria a “geopolitical genius,” but his defense and praise of Musk, from a scientific perspective, rather than elevating my opinion of Musk, further lowers that of Tyson.
Besides self-promotion, a decent sense for what businesses or industries will be profitable in the future, and the skills of a veteran con man to convince enough people that he knows what he’s doing and that it’s sensible to invest in him, there is nothing special about Elon Musk. He’s the wealthy heir to an emerald mine fortune from his apartheid-profiteering family who had all his early opportunities paid for, allowing him to invest in businesses, pretend to be an entrepreneur, and further amass wealth, until becoming the smirking, trolling tyrant he is today.
Musk manufactured an image of himself as an eccentric, as someone who thinks outside the box, while in reality he’s just a lucky asshole. He’s an abusive egomaniac who needs to be managed like a child. He’s a champion of the free speech rights of fascists and white supremacists, but is harsh in silencing anyone who criticizes him. He treats his employees like shit. He has hijacked tech manufacturing industries like electric cars and space shuttles, not to better the world, but to enrich himself, either financially or reputationally. It’s only relatively recently that the wider public has come to understand what Musk really is. He was a useless, stupid, evil fraud long before his sabotage of Twitter.