Elon Musk made headlines this week—normally music to the attention-fed Tesla non-founder’s ears/monkey-killing brain chip. But the tone of these latest news reports have been negative even by Musk’s very low standards, presenting attacks from multiple angles: His ongoing, disastrous efforts to acquire/not-acquire Twitter; his conflicts with the Ukrainian government; his tacit support of the recent antisemitic ramblings of Kanye West; and, of course, his stinky expensive hair liquid. Hell of a week.
Taking things in order: Musk is currently attempting to reshape reality—as is his wont—around Twitter’s recent assertion that he’s under some form of federal investigation. This comes courtesy of the ongoing legal dispute between Musk and the social media site, which has also been the source, in the past, of such hits as “Here are some of Elon Musk’s text messages, confirming that rich people really do sound that stupid when they talk to each other in private.” Per BBC News, this latest allegation comes from a filing that came to light yesterday, in which Twitter—suing Musk to get him to shit or vacate the pot on his long-threatened plans to buy the service—alleged that Musk’s people are withholding documents due to “investigative privilege,” i.e., “We can’t give you that because we have to give it to the federal government first.” One of Musk’s lawyers, meanwhile, has told the press that Twitter’s claim is “misdirection,” saying the social media company is the one under investigation—which may or may not be true, but definitely carries a “Who smelt it, dealt it” approach to billion-dollar business litigation.
Meanwhile! Musk is also fighting with Ukraine, having sent a request to the U.S. Department Of Defense asking the government to start funding SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet system, use of which Musk had previously donated to Ukraine (with heavy financial support from various governments, including the U.S.) after its internet infrastructure was devastated during the early days of the Russian invasion of the country. You may decide for yourself whether this decision was coincidentally timed to increasing tensions between Musk and the country’s government, after Musk issued a statement recently proposing a “peace plan” for the war that involves giving up territory to the Russians. (During roughly the same period, he opened his mouth about how Taiwan should give up its independence from China; verily, nothing says “embrace of peace” like giving the world’s vast and aggressive military powers exactly what they want.)
Musk is claiming that support of Starlink in the country—where it’s used for both military and civilian communication—is costing the company $20 million a month. Which is fair, even if this sudden fiscal-mindedness—from a guy looking to spend billions to buy a social media network at the smae time—does seem to be peculiarly closely timed to one of the country’s ambassadors telling him to “Fuck off.” The real takeaway, we’d argue, is that putting an entire country’s access to a vital service in the hands of a notoriously fickle Wario cosplayer might not necessarily be the best move.
Meanwhile! Musk also continues to take heat for his full-throated welcoming of Kanye West back to Twitter, after the rapper got himself kicked off of Instagram for adding a strong jolt of antisemitism to his typical “Nobody can ever tell me what I’m not allowed to say!” regimen. Musk loudly welcomed West back to the platform he someday hopes to own/not-own, only to shortly after see West use his Twitter account to declare he was going to go “Death Con 3" on Jewish people, and no, Google, we actually didn’t mean to type “DEFCON 3.” Musk quickly backed away from the situation, stating in a subsequent tweet that he’d “Talked to ye today & expressed my concerns about his recent tweet, which I think he took to heart.” So thank goodness that’s fixed.
Meanwhile! Elon Musk also sold a stupid meme perfume called “Burnt Hair” this week, and people bought at least 10,000 bottles at $100 a pop, making the guy another million dollars. (Sounds like Ukraine gets internet for three more days!) That one’s not so much depressing for Musk as it is for the rest of us, who have to live in a world where it’s an actual fact.