Reform, not Twitter, is what the Church needs.
The Electrifying Musk
America's dark wizard to the rescue?
I was smack in the middle of doing a podcast about The Big Lebowski when my husband passed me a note. “Trump’s back on Twitter!”
After 988 days in the wilderness, President Donald Trump’s Twitter account had been resurrected from the dead. “Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts” (Psalm 46).
As the stranger says about The Dude in The Big Lebowski, sometimes there’s a man. He’s the man for his time and place. He just fits right in there. Elon had miraculously accomplished what a nasty army of all-powerful tech gods had decreed was impossible. This storming of the digital Bastille—along with other “dangerous” things like removing child sexual abuse material from Twitter and allowing free discourse to again flow—has now made Elon Musk Public Enemy #1.
“This is a battle for the future of civilization. If free speech is lost even in America, tyranny is all that lies ahead,” he tweeted.
Elon Musk is indeed the man for our time and place. He seems perfectly, uniquely fit for our current moment. He was already in the running for greatest entrepreneur and Twitter poster worldwide. His legions of haters claw at his heels while he builds Tesla Gigafactories around the world, perfects self-driving cars, and lands giant flaming booster rockets onto floating landing pads in the middle of the ocean by remote control.
He likes to give his projects whimsical names. He named the floating landing pad Of Course I Still Love You. His underground tunnel-boring company is The Boring Company—which, like his acquisition of Twitter, started life as a throwaway tweet. When he became Twitter CEO, he named himself Chief Twit. He sold 10,000 bottles of $100 perfume called Burnt Hair, which actually smelled like burned hair. “Please buy my perfume so I can buy Twitter,” he posted at the time.
As Elon presciently tweeted last month, “The most entertaining outcome is the most likely.” Elon’s Razor.
He brought down the house on December 2 with a comedy blockbuster when he unleashed the Twitter Files: proof (again!) that we “far-right conspiracy theorists” were right. The FBI and the highest levels of government illegally conspired with Big Tech stooges to suppress, censor, and silence proof of Joe Biden’s corrupt family business dealings.
Terrible, yes. But entertaining in the extreme!
The Elan of Elon
Other tech billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, Bill Gates, and Sergey Brin may be smart and savvy, but none can match Elon’s pure showmanship and wry wit. He is an impresario and a circus ringmaster. Since seizing Twitter, he has scared the circus clowns back into their clown cars and they are hightailing it to the White House to cry at press briefings. Brittle humorlessness is what Elon’s enemies have in common. These people have lost the will to laugh, and to live. Sad!
Have you ever watched a video of SpaceX boosters landing on Of Course I Still Love You? It’s a heart-stopping synchronized display of technological prowess; without Elon, the United States would not have figured out how to do this for many decades. NASA blundered through its bloated budget on Artemis I and barely got that hunk of junk airborne without exploding.
I first started paying close attention to Elon in 2018 during the launch of the Falcon Heavy. The hatch of the massive ship opened and out floated Elon’s own personal cherry-red Tesla Roadster (a car that he designed!), with “Major Tom” playing on the radio and the quote from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe on the screen: “DON’T PANIC.” The top was down and a mannequin in a SpaceX space suit was at the wheel.
He’d turned a historic space launch into his own private meme, complete with inside jokes. He had gamified the biggest game there was: interstellar exploration. If I had to choose who I would allow to convey me into space, I would choose a ride on a Muskmobile every time.
Elon, you had me at “Don’t panic.”
Chief Twit in Charge
I still can’t believe he was able to take Twitter so easily. I kept thinking of Princess Leia telling Han Solo, “They let us get away. It’s the only explanation for the ease of our escape.” I maintain they allowed Elon to take it because they thought it would bankrupt him. Perhaps they are starting to realize the magnitude of their miscalculation.
For years now, my online friends and I languished under the comically brutal regime of vicious leftists, the ranks of whom included notorious figures funded by the German government who maintained digital kill lists and reveled in their ability to dox people at will. They and their Twitter comrades shadowbanned our tweets, suppressed our accounts, “purged” followers, and outright suspended or banned accounts for speech they didn’t like. Some people were banned for suggesting there were only two genders. (Note: many of these malicious actors turned out to be transgender activists, who were disproportionately represented at Twitter HQ).
In one of my early anonymous Twitter incarnations, my account was suspended for tweeting something mildly critical to Kamala Harris. That ban is what gave birth to my current Twitter persona, so I suppose I should thank the ex-Twitter mods who targeted me. They’re all unemployed now, thanks to Elon mass firing them in an epic overnight swinging of his Musk ax. If they need jobs, I hear they’re hiring Covid testers at the dingy tent outside CVS, next to the dumpster. I hear Pornhub is hiring fluffers. Or just learn to code!
Undoer of Knots
In ancient Gordion, Alexander the Great encountered a wagon yoked to a knot so intricately tied that no one had been able to unravel it. A legendary prophecy decreed that whoever could undo it would rule all of Asia. He stepped back from the ropes and declared, “it makes no difference how they are loosed.” He sliced the knot in half with his sword and went on to conquer all of Asia.
The rules didn’t say you had to use your fingers. The rules didn’t say you couldn’t land rocket boosters on tiny floating landing pads. The rules never said you can’t fire everyone at the social media company you just took over.
Maybe the most entertaining outcome is almost always the most likely?
Musk is a great undoer of knots, one of the only people left who still possesses this skill. It is perhaps the most important talent to have in a crumbling world hopelessly, helplessly, tied up in bureaucratic knots of our own design. Nothing can be done, no great things can be accomplished; everyone’s hands are tied, red tape is wrapped in triplicate around your ankles, and this is not ‘Nam, Smokey, there are rules.
But sometimes there’s a man. He can break the rules just right and suddenly you realize the rule itself was broken—he is simply resetting it correctly.
Thank you, Elon, for freeing me and my friends. I promise not to panic until you do.
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.