What we learned about celebrity oligarchs
To continue on the theme of cultural decay: Remember NBC polished up Donald Trump. And Oprah's failure to recognize quackery gave us Dr. Oz. Greed is not good.
So, Musk financed the making of a very expensive electric car, thus having almost no effect on climate change. He financed a rocket for celebrity tourism and eventually redoing NASA's voyages to a big rock. Very rich people finance things. They don't do the work. They can afford to overcome mistakes because they are using their own money and are answerable to no one. He's never been a genius anymore than the owner of an NFL team is a football player.
On our starf*cking culture that we refuse to get rid of: “the appetite grows with the bootlicking.”
This is what Reaganism and wealth-worshipping bought us folks. Either tax these fuckers down to a net worth of $5M each or learn to live with mediocrity being in charge of the systems that control your daily lives. If you’re not willing to tax them down to size then I don’t wanna hear complaints about oligarchy. You simply reject it or live with it. Right now we’re not only choosing to live with it, we’re worshipping it too. The Kardashians and Kanye, “job creators,” "a rising tide lifts all boats”…. when will this country realize that it’s filled with bootlickers who worship the rich while being on the low end of the economic totem pole when it comes to classism? It’s f*cking embarrassing!
No way Trump knows the meaning of "sanctimonious." His crack one-line team is at work.
Great screed today, Charlie! Very cathartic read. However, I worry and care less about the pathological public clown shows of megalomaniacal billionaires, like Musk, than I do about the Koch billionaires of our world who keep a relatively low profile but are the main financial supporters and architects who have ensured the sustenance, continuity, and strength of the anti-democratic movement in America that reaches back to our founding. They are the ones who provide the financial and related elements of the lifeblood of our domestic anti-majoritarian thuggery.
The super-wealth elite simply have too much money, which in this world means that you have too much power. The power to create headlines and splashy technologies is one thing. The power to oppose, undermine, subvert, and actively work to overthrow our democratic republic, is quite another thing. We need to get more worked-up about those billionaires than we do about the clownish ones.
Monday early voting talk:
And apparently Sarah's Nevada guest from The Focus Group, Ralston, is now saying Dems have established their firewall for Cortez-Masto and he believes she'll win.
Take that Tim! :)
Musk is who he always has been, reckless and vicious. He has backed himself into a financial corner and wants to blame it on the “activists”. The further into the corner he goes, the more brutal he’ll become.
When he can’t bend things according to his will, this is what you get. He’s always been this way but the stakes are higher now and his pathology is on full display.
To all those who deemed him a genius and a visionary…haha! You have been blinded by the light. Maybe once your vision returns you’ll see more clearly. Maybe.
That Tweet about how much power the left had (and how little the right) got a real jaw drop. Considering that more of the 320 million people in this country think more like the left (though many of them don't realize this) than the right, and still FoxNews is the most popular cable "news" channel, I'd have to argue that Tom Fitton is either intentionally lying or doesn't know what he's talking about.
Quartz had an article that linked to several articles from Bloomberg along with several other financial news outlets.
To put it simply, Elon is likely going to have to pay out 1 Billion Dollars a year in interest just to a group of banks led by Morgan Stanley. Twitter was always precarious at best with its revenue, so Elon will have to make up the difference with new revenue.
With just the verification proposal, Elon needs 10,000,000 verified users paying 8 dollars a month. Currently there are only an estimated 400,000 or less verified people on the platform. This is also not including the 30% that Apple Pay and Google would take.
The math really does not look good. If the math is correct, Elon needs 25 times more verified people on Twitter to just pay the interest. Losing ad revenue increases that by even more.
Once again, Amanda's writing reflects truly marvellous in-depth reporting on an angle that isn't being widely discussed in the media, at least to my knowledge. She's a real asset to The Bulwark.
I would like to bring up something off-topic, because of this Washington Post article today: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/11/07/florida-elections-voting-desantis-laws/ (for those for whom it's behind a paywall, the headline is "Black Voters In Florida Express Fear, Confusion As DeSantis Election Laws Kick In," and it is a summary of all the ways that the new Florida law makes Black Americans afraid to vote, to help register others to vote, and to help people get to the polls or get their absentee ballots turned in. Charlie, you scoffed often at the idea of a "new Jim Crow," but I, while not a gambler, would be willing to bet real money that we are going to see these laws spread to pretty much every state with Republican control between now and 2024.
Goodness, Mr. Sykes! You always manage a magnitude of word smithing rarely seen, and today outdid even your own fabulous self!
You can report on the most scary, vile, contemptible story and make it entertaining, hilarious, and wickedly brilliant.
I do hope Elon reads your "savant idiot" word-storm of delightful take-downs!
Will it "woke" him up? Doubtful... he's steeped in the mire of his self-reverentially addled mind.
But YOU, Sir! You brightened my day, and informed me, all at once. May blessings rain on your brain forever.
I never get tired of seeing the "FU rich" exposed for being little more than greedy, selfish, insecure little people who, for all their wealth and power, are less worthy of emulation than a shoplifter. Not that they are a new breed in this tech-driven era. I'm old enough -- and so are you -- to remember when Leona Helmsley was the Queen of Mean, and Donald Trump made acting like a d**k the best way to get attention on an ongoing basis. (Oops ... you're right ... add the present tense to the Trump reference.)
What I do get tired of is seeing is the lack of accountability for Musk and others like him for their bad behavior. No matter what they do, they have enough money and enough starstruck apologists to outrun pretty much any real consequences for their words and actions. It is because the one thing that Americans worship even more than celebrity status is money. We've enabled a culture in which there are two sets of rules: those for the superwealthy and superenabled, and another for Leona's "little people," aka the rest of us. Who knew that would someday spill over into the realm of politics and fuel the self-sustaining culture of anger, hatred, and grievance that only exacerbates the divisions amongst us, to the point that our critical infrastructure is in jeopardy of collapse? Connect the dots and see where they go. Hint: Musk and his egocentric peers will not ride to our rescue with all that magnificent wealth and fame. Instead they will find a way to thrive and prosper still more from it. It's who they are. It's what they do. Worship at your own risk.
Musk doesn’t understand his customers provide the content. All his employees can do, aside from ridding the site of the most looney folk, is to toss some chum in the water from time to time. He has no experience creating content, but it looks like he may be a master of clearing the public square.
Who the F**K gives a F**K about Baby Musk?????
When our country is facing so many challenges - about to be made even worse by a F**KING GOP sweep in the mid-terms, why give Baby the attention his tantrums demand? If people in the media - including you, Mr. Sykes - would stop playing the cheap card and ginning up all this SH*T about Musk and Trump and their minions, perhaps the American people wouldn't be distracted so easily by this reality-TV/Survivor BS. Every word wasted on these freak jobs is a word not focused on drawing people's attention to issues that actually matter. You're just contributing to the info-tainment/it's all just a movie/LOL, nothing matters attitude that is flushing our nation down the toilet.
Honestly, I could care less about Elon and Twitter, though from all of the comments below, it seems I'm in the minority.
I'd rather read about the reaction to DOJ considering a Special Prosecutor to oversee all of the trump investigations. Would that just result in a year or more delay, giving fuel to the right's claim that it's a witch hunt designed to damage him politically during his campaign to retake the White House?
Is it worth the trade-off?
Be careful not second guess people like Musk. However misguided it may seem, his investment may turn out to lucrative in a few years.
Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs were world class jerks. They often made stupid investments. They lost vast sums of money. Edison sold his shares in GE and threw the money away on magnetic separation. Still, looking at their lifelong accomplishments, Edison and Jobs made far more money than they lost. Anyone who risks as much money as Edison or Musk is bound to make huge mistakes from time to time.
People say that Musk is mainly cashing on on government subsidies for electric cars and NASA rockets. That is true, but irrelevant. Andrew Carnegie and Leland Stanford cashed in on government subsidies for the Transcontinental Railroad. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and I cashed in on the government's subsidies for computers, integrated circuits and software. Ninety-percent of our work in the 1980s was already done for us by Uncle Sam, for free. We adapted existing software to new microcomputer platforms. I have textbooks from that era which which describe the methods Gates and I used to write our software in detail. None of it was secret. Very little was original. However, the task was not easy. The hardware was primitive, and recalcitrant. We did it. Others tried and failed. Musk managed to electrify automobiles. Other tried and failed. GE and others not only did not try, they actively tried to prevent it. If you think it was easy or it did not take tremendous business acumen and guts, you do not know what he did.
No venture, no discovery, no business success happens in vacuum. They are always a culmination of society-wide events, forces, ideas and trends. Someone finds a way to take advantage of them and becomes wealthy. That person is not getting a free ride. What he does is difficult. I think it is unwise to let people such Gates or Musk (or me, for that matter) keep all of the benefits of their work, because society and the government contributed so much. The money should be spread around more. Computer technology was invented by the government with your money, so you deserve a larger share of the benefits. Musk is benefiting from government subsidies for electric cars, so you deserve a share of his money.
Let me add that electric cars are 4 to 5 times more energy efficient than gasoline models, and they produce far less pollution and CO2, so subsidizing them is a very good idea. It causes some harm. It takes much less labor, so auto workers will be unemployed. Electric cars make Musk wealthy while they impoverish laborers. These problems must be addressed and ameliorated.