Home News How the Internet Turned on Elon Musk

How the Internet Turned on Elon Musk

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After NBC first declared the billionaire car-tech-space mogul Elon Musk would serve as guest host for this week’s “Saturday Night Live,” the backlash was swift. Musk has graced the covers of Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and Time; he’s lent himself on several episodes of “South Park,” the most long-running revived show which shares his irascible, libertarian-minded sensibilities; he’s motivated among their most ubiquitous icons of the young century’s most popular tradition. But hosting “SNL”? Just unacceptable.

Through his businesses Tesla and SpaceX, Musk has lived outside a small boy’s dream of building fast cars and rocket ships, displaying, at least publicly, the ebullient goofiness to coincide. In the glowing, hope-and-change early Obama age, he became a cultish nerd celebrity who uttered the belief that lively American capitalism may still accomplish great and novel things. Musk’s projects, which eventually also came to incorporate the hyper-futuristic neurotech startup Neurolink along with the tunneling and infrastructure-oriented Boring Company, are a sterile rejoinder to the criticism that today’s supposed “innovators” don’t actually, you know, make anything.

But to a particular class of progressive over-represented in media and humor, the mere existence of someone using Musk’s enormous wealth (in the $160 billion array, as of the week) is inherently offensive. SNL stars Aidy Bryant along with Bowen Yang criticized the choice on social media, the former by way of posting a tweet from Sen. Bernie Sanders describing how the “50 richest individuals in America today own more wealth than the bottom half of our people. ” In this light, Musk isn’t merely an eccentric, faulty multi-billionaire, but a walking representation of global income inequality.

Anything else, the guy is certainly eccentric. He looked “The Joe Rogan Podcast” and also took a vexed-looking hit from a pot-laced cigar, launching a thousand memes. (The SEC slapped him with a $20 million fine to joking in a tweet that the month before that he would take Tesla private after its share price attained, wait for ithellip; $420.) He engaged in a covetous vendetta against a diving pro whoalso & rsquo;d advised the 2018 Thai cave rescue operation. He started dating the powerful cool-girl synth-pop celebrity Grimes, infuriating her Bernie-loving youthful fanbase. They had a child and called him ldquo;X Æ A-12. ” (It’s pronounced just as though it’s spelledout )

Together with his unapologetic devotion into the free market and association with right-leaning characters like Kanye West and Joe Rogan, such incidents have left him a reliable culture-war hitting bag. But Musk isn’t the very first contentious SNL host, nor the politically fraught — Donald Trump himself has functioned twice, once while a presidential candidate. In the early 1990s, a stint from misogynist shock comedian Andrew Dice Clay resulted in a boycott from (along with the eventual death of) cast member Nora Dunn. But Clay along with Trump, provocative entertainers above all , have a lot more in common with each other than they do using Musk, an honest-to-God engineer, aspiring space colonist, and the second-wealthiest person on the planet. It’s far weirder that Musk is linking the series, like Carl Icahn or Steve Jobs were suddenly tapped to host ldquo;American Idol. ” Perplexity could seem a more appropriate response than outrage.

And yet: the biggest institutions in both humor and websites are disproportionately young, urbane, and progressive. Since 2016, SNL has affixed itself solidly in the firmament of liberal-leaning late-night tv through its relentless tweaking of Trump, in addition to a series of sometimes eccentric along with earnest political announcements. Even with SNL’s ceaseless thirst for buzz, turning into an Ozymandias-esque capitalist like Musk could have been an awkward match in the cooler air of their pre-Trump era. (It didn’t aid, obviously, he piped up on Twitter immediately following his hosting gig was anounced, floating the concept of a presumably derisive sketch “Woke James Bond. ”)

Even as mainstream humor is increasingly wracked by concerns about equity, representation, and “bumping up” or down, SNL occasionally betrays its genesis in the anarchic world of post-Watergate 1970s showbiz. With that heritage in your mind, bringing in Musk is only the purchase cost of doing business that is to say, remaining in headlines like the one affixed for this story.

The loathing Musk inspires from the abandoned is uniquely intense and private, not unlike this directed toward his fellow techno-optimists in the Democratic Party like Andrew Yang along with Pete Buttigieg. Musk shares their cardinal sin: which of cringe, an obliviousness toward, or unwillingness to admit that the tastemakers who define pop culture at its greatest level — that increasingly includes policy rankings, like police abolition or enormous wealth redistribution. Musk has stayed stubbornly dedicated into a brash and obscure tech-bro libertarianism which was wearing out its welcome one of ethnic elites in 2011, and appears fully retrograde in the world of 2021.

Musk’s arc as a public figure acts as a fantastic lesson in how and where the battle lines of the current culture wars came to be drawn.

***

Before assessing his cultural influence or standing, it’s worth mentioning: What exactly does Elon Musk actually do?

Arriving in the United States from his native South Africa (by way of Canada) in the early 1990s, Musk was initially enjoy any variety of additional young techies striving to make it in Silicon Valley during the early days of the World Wide Web. An early victory with an internet city guide startup resulted in co-founding “X.com,” among the very first federally-insured online banks, which finally led to a merger using the competitor Confinity — co-founded by Peter Thiel, who’d later develop into a far more direct liberal antagonist than Musk himself.

Confinity boasted a money-transfer support where you may have heard: PayPal. The two Musk and Thiel are all members of a cohort known as the “PayPal Mafia,” guys who used their cash and relations from the support to establish businesses like YouTube, Yelp, and LinkedIn. Following a bout of corporate musical chairs Musk left the company in 2000, finally getting a payout of over $100 million. He helped him seed in the early-to-mid-2000s the two companies he’s still best for at the pioneering electric vehicle company Tesla, and SpaceX, the rocket, satellite, and aeronautics manufacturer.

But Musk cut a substantially different cultural figure than other 21st century technology tycoons like Mark Zuckerberg along with Jeff Bezos. Where Bezos brought us same-day delivery of kitty food and laundry detergent, and Zuck created a forum for meeting additional Ravenclaw Clinton Supporters In Peoria, Illinois (CLOSED GROUP NO LURKERS), Musk’s holdings are funding in the truest sense of the term — requiring construction and production at a mass scale, even while still looking forward, not backward like a lot of people that aspire to re-industrialize our progressively service-oriented market.

A number of the ire Musk has made is severe. Black workers at Tesla accused the company of a culture of racism. Several investigations revealed unsafe conditions at the company’s futuristic, highly-automated factories, also Teslas have undergone a series of high-profile security events that have deepened the understanding of Musk as a corner-cutting flim-flam artist. Critics have also accused him of hypocrisy for his persistent cheerleading of cryptocurrency, the energy-intensive production of that may sabotage Tesla’s apparently eco-friendly assignment. (Studies find cryptocurrency mining responsible for a miniscule percentage of yearly CO2 emissions)

There’s also the matter of his rabid online fanbase, that treats any affront to their preferred ubermensch as private and responds in trolling type. His new celebrity would be tailor-made to tease the brains of his detractors: a futurist whose ethnic attitudes are stuck before; a tech genius who tweets (often, crap ) at the erratic mode of an non-digital native; a guy who hangs out by Joe Rogan but is “super fired up” about the Biden climate schedule. As Insider columnist Josh Barro pointed out amid the initial outcry over his SNL appearance, Musk’s uncouth mindset and gauche bear-hug of economy capitalism often blind his liberal critics into the way his basic mission of scientific and environmental advancement will be perfectly aligned with theirs.

These contradictions, along with his ethnic transgressions and alleged ethical shortcomings as a philosophical, make him an ideal target for its hyper-progressive, image-conscious social media mavens that shape our media landscape.

It’s a position shared by a sizable number of Americans, but a determined minority of them. As shown by a new Vox/Data for Progress survey , “68% [of Americans] say they disagree that it’s to get a society to allow people to become billionaires. ” They’re especially warm and fuzzy, so because it happens, when it comes to Musk himself: his web approval rating among the general public is +27 points — supporting Bill Gates, but ahead of Bezos and Zuckerberg — and 52 percent of Democrats see him favorably.

The extent to which SNL’s choice to invite him baffling is determined by a single ’therefore viewpoint. Inside the bubble the series inhabits and mostly embodies, it was a betrayal of core fundamentals. Outside, it was just another celebrity news thing about the raffish bizarre who builds rockets and tweets all day roughly Dogecoin.

Musk’s appearance on SNL, however possibly awkward, will probably result in much less heat and light than the controversy surrounding it. In their oral history of the series, “Live From New York,” Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller estimate the series’ founder Lorne Michaels on the Dice Clay controversy. “You don’t invite somebody to your house to piss on him” Michaels stated. “[T]his person has set themselves into your hands, they’re utterly vulnerable, the series just works if they look great, so why do you have anyone over which you don’t enjoy? What — since you will need the evaluations? It doesn’t make any sense. ”

So will Musk be treated, even by the cast members that couldn’t conceal their disdain for his existence — none of whom, it should be noted, chose to follow Nora Dunn’s gaze and exclude themselves from principle. The controversy around his look shows the extent of the non-representative filter bubbles which social media has enabled Americans to place themselves in, not least those at SNL that are one of Musk’therefore critics. They, to echo the apocryphal Pauline Kael comment about Nixon voters, probably don’t have a representative number of men and women in their own lives who see him less a distinctively malevolent thing, but as a fun futurist with confessed private flaws.

In that light, Musk could find himself in an odd role if he takes the stage at 30 Rock to deliver the series ’s opening monologue: That of an emissary from reality.

Article Source and Credit politico.com https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/05/08/elon-musk-snl-saturday-night-live-host-internet-controversy-485781 Buy Tickets for every event – Sports, Concerts, Festivals and more buytickets.com