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Elon Musk Destroys Liberal Minds
Welcome to the birth of the Elon Lunacy Disorder (ELD)
In my humble opinion, Twitter is the only social media platform worth having. That could be a biased opinion, as I am nothing if not a proud Elon Musk-stan, so take that for what it’s worth. And as just such a stan, I will white knight for Elon once again by taking on the scorching hot takes the media has on him.
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Have a great rest of your week and weekend.
“Smart people, know what they are” - Logan Roy
The core concept of journalism is to "speak truth to power." The First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press so that journalists can work without hindrance to uncover wrongdoings of those in positions of power and inform the electorate. However, we have strayed far from this noble objective, and nowadays, what passes as journalism is typically characterized by choosing sides and advocating for them while attacking the opposing faction. I'm not explaining anything new to my audience here.
Good reporters strive to let their reporting speak for itself and don't want to become the story. However, that goal is now obsolete. Modern journalism has become more of a spectacle than reporting. Journalists now sit in a sort of perverse terrarium where we observe their peculiar actions and try to explain why they do what they do. The focus has shifted from what they report to how they report it.
This side of Trump, the person that is most on the receiving end of this journalistic Frankenstein experiment is Elon Musk. By supporting green energy initiatives, most notably making electric cars cool, Musk had become a liberal hero. However, once he had the temerity to take the liberal elitist hobby horse of Twitter and make it <retch> egalitarian, it was game over. I wrote about this phenomenon immediately after he purchased the company, but the ongoing hate slopped on him is something to behold.
The amount of media hate Elon Musk receives is astounding, especially from those who call themselves technology journalists. As we saw the creation of TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) with Trump, there is a similar effect occurring with Musk, and it may be time for an equivalent brain disorder to be anointed for the irrational brain disease, which is Musk hatred. Maybe we can call it Elon Lunacy Disorder (ELD) or Musk Mania Malady (MMM)? I'll keep working on that, but a quick Google search will reveal the irrational hate the corporate media has for him.
Most of these criticisms revolve around at least one of the following complaints: Elon is:
However, occasionally you come across an article, nay, a work of art, that so perfectly encompasses a state of mind, punches all the buttons, flips all the switches, and checks all the boxes that it must be honored. This is my ode to the Mona Lisa-esque perfection, which is irrational Musk hatred.
Allow me to introduce you to Tech Crunch reporter Natasha Lomas.
Lomas recently wrote an article with an understated, projection-laden headline: Twitter is Dying. Although the article itself is unremarkable, it's worth noting because it embodies the delusional, hate-filled fantasies that people like Lomas (a graduate of Cambridge, obvs) have for Musk. It encapsulates all the elitist talking points about why Twitter is now garbage in a neat little "woke" package, complete with a journalistic bow on top and a spritz of eau de elitist.
The article begins with several paragraphs in which Lomas reminisces about the winter wonderland of pre-Musk Twitter. She describes it as the “go-to source for journalists or other curious types wanting to earwig on conversations between interesting people…,” “[t]here was an alluring (sometimes bruising) rawness to the medium,” and of course, “[t]he running joke became ‘how is this site free?!’ Because the interactions could be so remarkable…” (you might see where this is going). However, Lomas now expresses melancholy for the old Twitter she fell in love with.
Well, Twitter is no longer free. Literally and figuratively. And we are all so much poorer for that.
Since Musk took over he has set about dismantling everything that made Twitter valuable — making it his mission to drive out expertise, scare away celebrities, bully reporters and — on the flip side — reward the bad actors, spammers and sycophants who thrive in the opposite environment: An information vacuum.
It almost doesn’t matter if this is deliberate sabotage by Musk or the blundering stupidity of a clueless idiot. The upshot is the same: Twitter is dying.
Elon is ruining it! Natasha is feeling this guy’s vibe-
Twitter used to be Natasha’s dirty skank that would do anything she wanted; pull its retweeting hair, bring in another quote-tweeting chick, and maybe perform at a tweet-thread peep show. But to Natasha’s chagrin, Twitter has found itself a new man and turned in its ho-card. Natasha is going to have to find a new floozy do to with as she pleases (I’ve heard that slut Mastodon is on the prowl).
Back to the article, let’s focus on a couple of the highlights in this requiem. Natasha’s use of the word “valuable” is interesting. According to dictionary.com, valuable is first defined as “worth a great deal of money,” and secondly as “extremely useful or important.” While one of these things may have been true about Twitter, the other was certainly not. As Musk has mentioned on many occasions, Twitter was on the verge of bankruptcy when he acquired it. So while Natasha may have liked the hot takes from folks representing “the science,” on how Covid came from a wet market, and the vaccines stop transmission, and from the legal experts expounding that “we’re ten seconds away from proving the Trump/Russia conspiracy” the business itself was not valuable in any financial sense.
She follows up this analysis by reenacting a scene every parent is aware of when they take away their five-year-old’s favorite toy because they didn’t finish their broccoli for dinner; the stomping of feet, the gnashing of teeth, the lack of oxygen flowing to the brain. In Natasha’s analysis, there are only two possible reasons Musk may be doing this to her…he is intentionally undermining the company he paid $44 billion for, or he is an imbecile. It’s clear where Natasha is leading us with this analysis and the perfect representation of the infantilism of the corporate press.
Among the many ignominious habits among elitists, one of the most bothersome is to assign a low IQ to anyone who does something with which they disagree. It couldn’t be that the object of ire has a different perspective or has facts available to them that the elitist monster doesn’t have; it could only be because the target is slow.
You could throw aspersions at Musk; he loves the limelight, drives his employees hard, and his fashion sense often makes Joe Dirt seem ready for the catwalk. However, I assume I don’t need to go into the litany of reasons why describing Musk as a “clueless idiot” is the type of buffoonery that says more about the author than the subject.
Finally, the claim that “Twitter is dying” and later in the article that “Musk is flushing Twitter down the sink” are interesting since Twitter sign-ups are at an all-time high, and according to Edison Research, Gen Z usage of Twitter has reached historic peak usage of 42%, up from 29% just two years ago. The same report shows that while social media platforms like Meta and Snapchat have a higher penetration among that age cohort, they have stagnated or regressed in their Gen Z adoption.
It’s fair to say that Natasha’s analysis can be reduced to, she doesn’t like that her friends are no longer the sole, unfiltered viewpoint on the site, for which she now needs to pay.
She further entrenches herself in this analysis by trotting out the hackneyed trope that Elon is “unbanning Nazis” by offering an initial amnesty to accounts that had been banned by the previous leadership (who were influenced by government dictum, as the Twitter Files have shown) and “literally banning journalists,” for breaking the sites Doxxing rules by exposing where Musk’s private jet was.
Does Natasha offer any examples of Nazis who were unbanned? Of course not. In fact, Kanye is still banned from the site after this ode to Hitler on the Alex Jones show. The term “banning,” also seems to be ill-advised since, as far as I can tell, the journalists who did the doxxing are now back on the platform and tweeting away. “Suspending” journalists may have been a better descriptor. However, it's not nearly as dramatic, and we all know journalism in 2023 is less about accuracy than about those sweet, sweet retweets (or whatever they have over at Mastodon).
As expected, she also dislikes the new verified checkmark because it “no longer signals any kind of quality” and because only paid users will be allowed to vote in polls, “Musk is turning Twitter into the opposite of a meritocracy. He’s channeling pure chaos.” Need I remind you all that Brian Stelter, Molly Jong-Fast, and Rachael Maddow all had/have verified accounts? Are we really playing this game? Brian Stelter represents quality in the same way Joaqium Phoenix’s Joker represented a calm, collected demeanor. In Maddow’s fever dream, also called The Rachael Maddow Show at 9 PM EST on MSNBC, she very orderly informed her viewers night after night that Trump was one text message exposure away from being sent to Gitmo.
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This tells us one of two things about Natasha, either she exposes how deep the well of her ignorance goes but perceives these propagandists as “quality,” or she knows she is ten pounds of crap in a five-pound bag but assumes the average Tech Crunch audience is on-board with her anyway and is just feeding them what they want. I don’t claim to know which one it is.
When I read pieces like this, it reminds me of my dog and his sock obsession. Every night after dinner, he heads to the laundry room to grab one of the day’s used socks, brings it to his bed in the family room, where we watch TV, and tries to slink past us like a furry little ninja; and every night, we ask ourselves, ‘You know that we can see you, right?’
Natasha, you know we can see you, right? Put the sock down.
Not only is Musk a fool, not only is he the embodiment of everything liberals told us the end of Net Neutrality would bring, but he is blackmailing his users, “Genuine users are rightly outraged at the idea of being blackmailed into paying Musk to prove who they are. These people — the signal amid the Twitter noise — are, after all, a core component of the value of the network.”
I actually like where Natasha is going with this logic. A standard business model for the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business is called freemium, where they give a trial version of the software for free, and if the user likes it enough, they can pay for the full version. According to Natasha’s logic, once I have a free version of the software, if those tricky bitches over at the SaaS company try and get me to buy something, I can scream BLACKMAIL and get it for free. Maybe Natasha isn’t so bad after all...
We conclude with my favorite section of every one of these, Elon Musk is a no-good, evil emoji face, sad emoji face man; the part where they try to give him business advice.
Making money out of Twitter doesn’t seem to be the point for the billionaire/former world’s richest man who obviously has wealth enough to throw plenty of borrowed billions down the sink. Although early in his takeover he trailed [sic] (trolled?) the idea of transforming Twitter into a billion user platform. But when it comes to growing revenue and users we must all surely agree that Musk been drastically — spectacularly — unsuccessful.
I’m sure Natasha was the greatest non-GMO, free-trade lemonade stand business operator Main Street, Dubuque, IA has ever seen (just kidding, these sites don’t hire journos from scummy, blue-collar places like Iowa), but she is carrying more of a Captain Hastings vibe here, than Poirot. Do you know what rich people like to do? Make money. Do you know how I know? Because they are rich. Do you know what rich people don’t like to do? Flush $44 billion into the septic system.
It took Twitter 14 years to get into the financial dire straights it was in when Musk acquired it. It is going to take more than five months to fix the deep seeded problems that had been germinating.
Further, Musk has talked about implementing his x.com concept within Twitter and turning Twitter into a payment platform. While Musk’s explicit rationale for buying Twitter was to reinstate freedom of speech principles into the platform, that never seemed enough reason for him to spend that much money on the platform. It always seemed to me that more than buying Twitter, Musk was buying a user base because that is the most challenging aspect of starting any business, even for the richest man in the world. If Natasha thought about it objectively for more than thirty seconds (or at all, for that matter), that might have occurred to her.
But as sure as Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer movie will kick-ass this summer, where all these screeds invariably end is with the author admitting the thing they really don’t like is capitalism and individual liberty:
That our system allows wealth to be turned into a weapon to nuke things of broad societal value is one hard lesson we should take away from the wreckage of downed turquoise feathers.
You can say shame on the Twitter board that let it happen. And we probably should. But, technically speaking, their job was to maximize shareholder value; which means to hell with the rest of us.
We should also consider how the ‘rules based order’ we’ve devised seems unable to stand up to a bully intent on replacing free access to information with paid disinformation — and how our democratic systems seem so incapable and frozen in the face of confident vandals running around spray-painting ‘freedom’ all over the walls as they burn the library down.
Much like the Enola Gay used Little Boy to annihilate Hiroshima, Musk is using his wealth to eradicate Twitter by putting it on a viable financial path and not giving a free pass to Natasha’s BFFs to put out “valuable” information, uncontested, thanks to the government “disinformation” experts at the FBI. Sure, technically, it was Twitter’s board’s fiduciary responsibility to maximize shareholder value, but they should have looked past that and considered that selling it to Elon would make Natasha sad. Where was that analysis in their actuarial tables?
Of the commentary in this article, I love the “library” metaphor the most. Is Natasha aware that nearly everything of value on Twitter could be found in other places and in their totality? Let’s suppose she is so deeply concerned about the “quality” of the information to which her delicate eyes are exposed. Is she aware there are places IRL that are ACTUAL libraries that hold things called “books,” where she could read to protect her ocular nerves from the radiation exposure, which is a Tucker Carlson tweet, rather than get the summarized 140-character versions from the totally unbiased experts like Stelter, Jong-Fast, and Maddow?
In reality, she isn’t interested in being informed about anything more than what her team is telling her to think, with the bare minimum amount of information to justify her inveterate stance. That’s the real ploy here. Regrettably, this type of writing passes as analysis.
Before we close, let's check back in on our scorecard.
There we have it, folks, a once-in-a-career effort. Congrats to Natasha for pitching the perfect stupid game. We look forward to your next outing.