Opinion | Not one other column about Elon Musk

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In “The Insanity of King George,” there are a number of scenes the place very discovered docs dedicate appreciable effort and time to squinting on the contents of the king’s chamber pot. Watching the film, you suppose, “Effectively, no less than we’re at a stage of civilization the place we don’t have to do this! We don’t stay in a world that hinges so utterly on the situation of 1 or two highly effective males that it’s value our whereas to spend hours day-after-day analyzing their stools in minute element and making an attempt to attract conclusions from them.” However then Elon Musk buys Twitter, and — I can consider no higher analogy for what has ensued.

One of the right tweets about Twitter is that day-after-day it has a brand new major character and the purpose is to not be it. However now Musk is the principle character day-after-day, and along with encouraging a few of Twitter’s worst voices, he’s astoundingly boring. Here’s a pattern of his tweets: “The woke thoughts virus is both defeated or nothing else issues.” “Thanksgiving delicacies is such a pleasant symphony of taste!” At one level he tweeted a mildly amusing AI-generated dialog, solely to disclose he hadn’t even crafted the immediate himself. To not point out all of the memes about psyops, though I suppose that counts as a point out.

Most not too long ago, he suspended journalists who had been reporting on him and his efforts to ban an account that tweeted the placement of his jet, saying that their reporting amounted to sharing “assassination coordinates.” Columns and columns have been poured into the abyss: Why take this step? What about all his protestations about free speech? Will we ever know what his politics are? (May it merely be that they’re what they seem? That he desires to carry creepy, far-right voices again on Twitter not from an summary, principled dedication to free speech however as a result of these are voices he enjoys listening to, and ban journalists and critics as a result of they’re ones he doesn’t?)

I’ve complained about this earlier than. However one of many minor, within the scheme of issues, but persistent frustrations of the Trump period was the sheer quantity of brainpower that every one sorts of individuals — good, busy, even witty — needed to spend staring into the unfathomable abyss of his phrases and actions and making an attempt to extract that means from them. What was covfefe? Individuals spent hours on that! The sheer quantity of study and jokes and grunting, straining effort to make sense of what made Donald Trump tick — and what made his head open up and a screaming hen shoot out of it at common intervals — was debilitating.

There are such a lot of individuals to learn about on this planet. A few of them are nice and others are sensible and lots of of them are variety and some of them are humorous and well mannered to waiters. A few of them possess outstanding expertise and others are great listeners and nonetheless others know what to do if you happen to spill sure sorts of issues on sure sorts of surfaces. Tons and many them personal cats, and after they log on, all they do is submit footage of these cats doing cute and attention-grabbing issues. There are such a lot of people who find themselves attention-grabbing. And as an alternative we have now to observe Elon Musk and Donald Trump. We have now to observe them host SNL, and browse their inane tweets, and know exactly what they’re going via always, as a result of their whims can price individuals jobs and destroy lives.

There’s something desperately boring about despots and plutocrats. And one of many irritating penalties of an unequal society is that the remainder of us should care what’s going on with them. Now Trump is perhaps gone, however we nonetheless have a major character we don’t need. Not that it is a new phenomenon. The traditional historian Suetonius might not have been probably the most correct supply, however seeing individuals like Musk and Trump in motion, I really feel extra sympathetic to his accounts of what boring individuals, given energy answerable to their whims, wind up doing. I assumed it was ridiculous when he stated Nero, actually the emperor of Rome, determined that, truly, what he wished to be was an actor — however right here is Musk, one of many richest males on the planet, who has determined for no purpose in anyway that what he desires to be is a Twitter troll! And never even a humorous one; simply as transphobic and anti-vax and terrible because the lavatory customary. I’m sorry I doubted you, Suetonius! Possibly if we’re fortunate Musk will begin doing extra of the enjoyable caesar issues, akin to making an attempt to get a horse into the Senate, and can cease his mission to show Twitter right into a hateful cesspool! However by some means I doubt it.

I hate that we have now to concentrate. Our lives will probably be impacted if Trump is once more elected president, say, or the roads are instantly crammed with exploding automobiles, or if the place the place journalists go to water-cooler about breaking information will get seized up and its guidelines rewritten, seemingly arbitrarily, on the fly. Mark Zuckerberg adjustments an algorithm, and livelihoods within the content material economic system shudder in terror. I would love nothing higher than to not should know or care about these individuals. With the period of time I pour into them, I may have invented Narnia twice. However as an alternative we’re sitting there squinting into the king’s stool.

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