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What is that that burns in flames? Why, is Elon Musk’s reputation | arwa mahdawi

mylon Musk is a man of many talents, including, it seems, raising people from the dead. Over the weekend, several notable but no longer living figures, including Anthony Bourdain, Hugo Chavez, and Jamal Khashoggi, saw “blue checkmarks” appear on their inactive Twitter accounts. When you clicked the check mark, you were told that they provided their phone numbers to the platform and agreed to pay $8 per month to subscribe to Twitter Blue. The afterlife must be terrible if people subscribe to Twitter’s paid features from beyond the grave.

It wasn’t just dead celebrities being mysteriously verified. The launch of Twitter Blue was a spectacular disaster. Once upon a time, having a blue tick next to your name was a status symbol: a sign that someone at Twitter HQ thought you were “remarkable” enough to check it out. (Reader, I wasn’t.) Then Musk showed up, took people’s blue ticks off, and said they’d only get the badge back if they paid. Obviously only a complete loser would do that and the blue mark quickly turned into a scarlet letter. So when the checks mysteriously reappeared in the accounts of several high-profile, and very much alive, figures, including author Stephen King and basketball star LeBron James, those figures were quick to announce that they had not paid for the badge and would pay for it. Don’t get caught dead doing it. All of which would be incredibly embarrassing for Musk if he had any sense of shame. (Reader, he doesn’t.)

An accomplished multi-tasker, Musk was busy juggling his Twitter fiasco with not-quite-intergalactic explosions. On Thursday, Musk’s SpaceX launched Starship, the biggest, most powerful and possibly the most phallic-looking rocket ever built. It exploded after only a few minutes, spewing debris over the Texas coast. While this might be considered a dud by the layman, Musk and his henchmen assured us that anyone who knew anything about complex space issues would realize that his exploding rocket was a smashing success. And while we’re at it, don’t call it an “explosion.” “As if the flight test wasn’t exciting enough, Starship underwent an unscheduled rapid disassembly prior to stage separation,” the SpaceX statement read. tweeted statement.

Are you also experiencing an unscheduled fast dismount? Musk’s longstanding claims that his success has nothing to do with family wealth derived from a Zambian emerald mine. A big part of Musk’s brand is the idea that he’s self-made and that the billionaire has hit back repeatedly According to the claims, her family jewels gave her a head start in life. “[T]The fake emerald mine thing is so annoying (sigh),” he tweeted on January. She brought up the subject again earlier this month. “I will pay a million Dogecoin for proof of the existence of this mine!” Musk announced. (Approximately £63,000 at time of writing.)

Enter Errol Musk: the father of the billionaire. Last week, Musk Sr told the Sun US that there was absolutely an emerald mine, albeit “under the table” that it was the result of an informal deal with an Italian man at a time when “Zambia was a free for all.” . . Which, um, doesn’t sound iffy at all. According to Errol, all of the Musk children knew about the emeralds and helped finance Elon’s studies in the US. Now, just so you can gauge this information correctly, I should point out that Errol and Elon have a strained relationship; In a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone, during which he reportedly cried, Elon described his father as a “terrible human being.” One of the reasons for the breakup could be the fact that Musk Sr. has had two children with his stepdaughter, Jana Bezuidenhout. Errol is 42 years older than Bezuidenhout and he has raised her since she was four years old.

While I can’t speak to the veracity of the Zambian emerald mines, I can say that Elon hasn’t been through his prime lately. For years, the billionaire convinced an embarrassing number of people that he was a visionary who was going to save the world. Increasingly, however, he reveals himself to be an incompetent narcissist who is doing everything he can to set his brand on fire. Is he a bird? It is a plane? No, it’s the unscheduled rapid dismantling of Elon Musk’s reputation.

Arwa Mahdawi is a columnist for The Guardian



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