What Exactly Happened to Elon Musk?

Published on May 18, 2020

“Now, I don’t believe anything Elon Musk or Tesla says,” Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak famously said. Once again, Wozniak was ahead of the game and saw the future. He was right to call out Musk, who’s gone from a figure known for innovation to a celebrity known for garbage opinions. Look at his Twitter feed for all the proof and childlike memes. How someone so brilliant could be so oblivious, it’s baffling. Elon Musk is… the 21st Century Screech. 

The Latest Musk Head-Scratcher

Musk, who recently had a child with Grimes (congratulations, Musk), tweeted out over the weekend, “Take the red pill,” which is a reference to The Matrix. The Wachowskis’ film presented the idea of choosing the blue pill to live in a fake environment or taking the red pill and seeing reality. It’s a classic scene, but sadly, its meaning has transformed over the years. 

Misogynists created the “red pill,” and the hardcore alt-right are no strangers to touting the “red pill.” It now has a very negative meaning, which is why Musk tweeting it was disappointing. He’s too smart to not know what “the red pill” means in today’s world. If he doesn’t, then a tweet of approval from Ivanka Trump should’ve let him know. He’s not in great company. 

A Slam From The Creator of The Matrix

Making the weekend and the year 2020 all the weirder, the co-director and co-creator of The Matrix trilogy, Lilly Wachowski, responded to Musk and Trump’s tweet. “F*ck both of you,” she tweeted. When the creator of the film you’re referencing calls you out, you know you’re in the wrong. Even Grimes’ mother of all people began tweeting comments of disapproval about Musk’s “red pill” remark, which follows Musk’s whining about the lockdown and his factory in California as hundreds of thousands of people die from the coronavirus. 

Tesla in California

Musk defied California’s state orders and reopened the Tesla factory after threatening. After his truly awful remarks to one of the Thai Cave divers and plenty more confusing behavior, Musk’s defiance to the lockdown is another awkward chapter in his future bio film. It’s just not a good look to care more about producing cars than following state orders when people are dying from a virus.

Where Art Thou, Elon Musk?

Elon Musk used to be such a cool guy. He was our Tony Stark, except not nearly as charismatic and funny, but still, our Tony Stark. He had and still does have big plans for the future. He wants to get us to Mars, for chrissake. Musk had people dreaming and excited again about the possibilities of science and perseverance. Musk inspired hope, now he mostly inspires eye rolls and disappointment. 

Musk makes more noise for himself than his inventions these days. He’s like a poor hype man for himself. It’s just sad to see someone such as himself fall to all these new lows. How’d it all happen, exactly? Did all the credit, popularity, and acclaim go to Musk’s head? He’s definitely a filthy rich man out of touch, but years ago, he wasn’t this far gone, was he?

There’s no questioning Musk’s superior brainpower or innovations or accomplishments, but his “red pill” remark is another reminder Musk is more of a celebrity than a real, positive influence in the world, which he once was. Steve Wozniak was right all of those years ago — don’t believe the hype.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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