Tesla Girl

Someone the other day called Elon Musk both an “inventor” and “a badass” but he is neither.

Let me say flat-out, upfront, and clearly it’s good that Musk — entrepreneur behind the Tesla carmaker, companies involved in solar power and space exploration, and who was previously part of PayPal — is alive. We need people like him if only so the 99% of the world who submit regularly to the status quo have some dreamers to gaze at in wonder.

Ideally they’d do more.

Think Different maybe.

Perhaps even live like it.

But.

So far as I know Musk hasn’t invented anything. Perhaps he holds patents but I’ve not see that mentioned. He’s an entrepreneur … so stretch the word on the rack … call an entrepreneur the inventor of a company … but why?

We already have a word for those.

Musk isn’t badass either. That’s a more subjective designation but is our badass bar so low that P.T. Barnum qualifies? What we have from him so far is the tell part of show tell — or show, as in tell. There’s no evidence yet. 

The “it ain’t braggin’ if you can do it” isn’t as true as “if you can do it you don’t have to brag.” To make matters a bit worse for the badass inventor title, Musk hasn’t actually shown he can do it.

  1. The companies aren’t profitable,
  2. relying heavily on government money,
  3. and the spaceships keep, well … blowing up.

Once more: Elon Musk out there shilling is an objective good.

It’s only hucksterism if he fails but we don’t know yet. So about Musk, these three:

  1. He’s neither an inventor,
  2. nor is he quite badass,
  3. so stop idolizing him.

I hope he’d agree. The best creative is one who also wants others to be, whatever shape it takes — “even” just fully realizing their own selves instead of defining it based on his.

He’s not as into himself as everyone else is.

This is often not the case. An idol himself often loves being on the pedestal just as those bowing to it are content to not-live vicariously through the statue they’ve erected.

That monument-building is about the only work the masses are ever going to do — until there is failure, as commonly there is, and the same mob lassoes the statue and melts it down, so it can put another up in its place.

An irony of our oft-vaunted and supposedly uber-democratic American world is how 330 million independent thinkers keep elevating the visionary and different to where they get a pass.

The visionary gets a pass and becomes a god without much actual accomplishment and those elevating him get a pass and remain where they are.

It’s all so neat and easy.

So what we get on Musk is material that comes from one kind of meme-hole and disappears into the other kind, asserting, for instance, that he got $180 million from his share of PayPal, when it sold, and put all of it into his companies — which, if true would mean

  1. He paid no taxes,
  2. and was literally broke,
  3. relying on handouts even then.

Surely he had a little bit socked away? This isn’t to deny his commercial success with PayPal — the evidence for that is there. It isn’t to say he’s not committed to his ideas and acting on them, tying current rewards (which measure in the billions of dollars) to sales targets and whatnot.

Good on him.

But this hero-worship of people who aren’t heroes in the way they’re being worshipped needs to stop. I saw a collection of quotations from Musk that barely reached the level of rumination by your average 15-year-old who has just smoked his first weed. Must be gospel though, since he made $180 million on PayPal.

(As with Donald Trump we wouldn’t care one bit about such verbalizing if not for the money.)

It’s good that Elon Musk lives and breathes and speaks.

May his actions — and his tribe — increase.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent

Ensamples

Among the worst things about The Slap is how it has fed self-righteousness in all but the two participants, and they already had it or it wldn’t have happened. But there is Solzhenitsyn, again, with the line between good and evil that cuts through every human heart, and there is Dostoevsky, always, reminding us via

Read More »

Lipstick

Pig is revelation. Revealing is when what’s here is hidden then seen. It’s really many individual ones, though widely considered they’re the same, and all the individuals are related, perhaps only proximately at first, but also in ways they themselves don’t initially see. + Key is it’s here. Problem is we don’t see it. Action

Read More »

Not For Teacher

There’s an unfortunate instructor-y thing where the guy on stage [I’ve found it’s usually a male doing this] asks a question he already knows the answer to, one of the people in the audience … err, classroom … is the target, the answer given is wrong, and the stagehand just goes and gives the answer

Read More »

Diminishing Me

You’d think a guy’d remember if it was the first time he’d seen a body but I didn’t not at first. [Hadda chance to graduate from college into one of our acceptable wars but didn’t, into the war that is, and no shot at a medical profession: left HS Chem as it had only 28

Read More »

Random

The Country for Old Men

Walter Hartwell White is going to hell. Whatever else happens — whoever dies in the shootout, no matter what-all happens in the final three episodes, whatever he’s planning to do with the ricin recovered from his burned out house — that’s a fact. In fact, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan said that was the point, one which

Read More »

Lookit! Lookit! Lookit!

Don’t see my sin, Lord. Look at Jesus on the cross, Father … then look at me. Look at Jesus Christ risen, Father … then look at me. Look at Jesus ascended, Father … then look at me. Amen.

Read More »

Everyman’s Death

It’s legit unseemly. Our being ‘gutted’ and whatnot by the deaths of people we don’t know. Still, there is John Donne and there is continuity and there is in the end … us. Well, there ought to be but we usually skip not to the end — that bell tollling for we. + Also unseemly

Read More »

Idea: Inspiration

They asked Newton* how he did it and he’s supposed to have said, I thought about it all the time.  * Yes, it’s Archimedes. Keep reading. Inspiration is for amateurs. Chuck Close You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. Jack London Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

Read More »

Related

Never Ending Story

For the record, such as this is, Breaking Bad won’t end. As the series has continued we’ve become accustomed to Walt doing what he wants. And he certainly doesn’t think a thing’s over until he says it is. The previous episode, ostensibly the second-to-last-ever one, ended with him heading out to take care of business,

Read More »

Cursing With God

More battle scenes please Once teaching a high school American Literature class — and let me tell you, once is enough —a student he says, “I don’t understand The Red Badge of Courage.  It’s a war book, but there are hardly any battle scenes.  I don’t get it.” So we did a little Socratic dialogue, and

Read More »

Whither Tebow?

So the question now is whether the future holds a place for Tim Tebow in the NFL. Well my goodness they didn’t think he belonged there before Peyton Manning signed with the Broncos … so who cares what they say now? When he was succeeding, they said he shouldn’t be. He just shouldn’t. Why not?

Read More »

The Smart Young Student

Then a student came up to Him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to get an A?” And the Teacher said, “Now you want to know? Now you care — and you think I can help? Look, to get an ‘A’ just do the things that get an A: think critically, run the spell-check, yes, you need

Read More »