The Friday 10: Edition #11
The New York Times is hot garbage, if you weren't already convinced.
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The New York Times put out this story on Elon Musk Thursday.
It’s one of the most toxic and blatant ideological hit jobs in recent memory and teeming with ahistorical bullshit. A fine example of what happens when you refuse to toe the Democratic Party line in 2022: The MSM will absolutely find a way to publicly malign you as a racist.
If you’re unfamiliar with South African Apartheid, an easy way to understand it is as South Africa’s version of Jim Crow—systematic segregation and discrimination against black people. The word apartheid literally means “apartness” in Afrikaans. It was about dividing people by race, preventing them from associating and interacting with one another in all but the most superficial of ways. Remember a couple of posts back when I talked about how proximity breeds closeness? It’s true. In fact, it’s probably the only proven method for breaking downs walls between dissimilar groups. In the Jim Crow South, the whole point was preventing intimate relationships from developing between blacks and whites. You know how you maintain a system like that for as long as we did in the U.S.? You replace freedom of speech and association with coercion, just like they did in South Africa.
There’s a reason the apartheid regime imprisoned Nelson Mandela in a jail cell on Robben Island, way the fuck away from anyone else: They were terrified of the dude’s moral argument; they knew a lone citizen with sufficient pluck to demand that the regime answer for depriving people of basic civil liberties would hold powerful sway over South African society’s collective consciousness. Such a threat to the status quo had to be marginalized and isolated far, far away from the media. Oh, and Mandela? It was specifically because of the systematic repression of free speech and one’s inability to challenge apartheid through arguments that he became convinced violence was justified.
Even intimating that rather than extreme censorship and oppression, it was freedom of speech which facilitated South African apartheid, is breathtakingly ignorant.
Like pretty much all Musk-related content disseminated by the MSM over the past few weeks, this piece insinuates he’s some sort of closet racist/bigot with no appreciation for the dangers of “unchecked speech,” either because he’s always been too privileged to understand such things, or because his ego leaves him more or less permanently blinkered. Another implication is supposed to be that Musk’s background is itself indicative of why “unchecked speech” is dangerous.
This NYT story, though, it’s in a league all its own, an exercise in contradictive prose. The first half of the article is composed as though the writers had a specific conclusion in mind before they’d even done comprehensive research and were banking on finding enough supporting material to conceal their motivated reasoning; in the second half, it’s like they realized it wasn't going to be nearly as easy as they originally thought, so they tried carrying on as planned but with as minimum fidelity to the truth as they could get away with. Accomplish the mission at all costs: Malign Elon Musk!
This article includes such information as:
Musk was a loner who was bullied after chiding someone for using an anti-black slur.
He attended the funeral of a black friend when doing so was “unheard of at the time.”
He left South Africa as a teenager to avoid having to serve in the apartheid regime’s army.
Unless you’re blind to your own partisan prejudice (as doubtless many NYT subscribers are), I don't see how you walk away from reading it convinced that Musk is indeed a spoiled racist because of his upbringing and background. He was a kid with a liberal constitution who grew up under a censorious government that denied its atrocities, and he had enough moral courage to befriend black peers despite knowing full-well the possible consequences for such a transgression. And I mean, is there not something special about a person who, despite growing up relatively wealthy and privileged, embraced free speech even though doing so threatened that very wealth and privilege? Would it not take genuine spine to stand up for black classmates and leave your home country to avoid serving the apartheid regime?
My hope is that this New York Times “gotcha” piece masquerading as journalism leads to the opposite of what the writers intended.
And of course in classic NYT and Nikole Hannah-Jones fashion, they stealth edited the article to make it seem like less of a repulsive dumpster fire after the blowback.
A hallmark of American culture since the dawn of the internet has been weaponizing dissent, with little to no regard for the truth, as a cudgel to be wielded against the people you despise most at the moment. But the fundamentalist zeal with which the Musk falsehoods have been contrived and disseminated has gone beyond short-term argumentative convenience.
Much of the rot is, as usual, traceable to the mainstream media, the ruling class ideologues who trade in beliefs instead of news and go out of their way to reassure their minions, the docile, ovine masses, that their hatred is good and true—that they hate the right people for the right reasons, and this hatred is therefore sanctified.
But it's also a fitting example of how people use their hatreds as a framework with which to build their lives around. They get actual purpose from their hatreds, collecting them like Tamagotchis, shuffling through them like a rolodex—whatever the flavor of the week happens to be, count them in. Some of the libelous rancor and performative denunciations have been unreal, though; just morons blindly throwing out accusations for which there's literally no evidence.
This isn’t meant to be a paean to Elon Musk. However, I’m not expecting people to pick up a Musk biography (I will say, though, that Ashley Vance’s bio on Musk was the only bio I’ve ever read that was a page-turner), so perhaps a bit of background is in order, if only to wipe away some of the MSM’s bullshit.
Musk isn't the typical billionaire. He doesn't own a yacht or a sports team. He doesn't drive anything other than his own Tesla Roadster. The dude doesn't even own a house or an apartment, for God’s sake. The richest person in the world, and he crashes with friends depending on whether he's in California or Texas. And compared to Willy Gates, who always looks as though he's teetering on the uneasy precipice of missing an historically important free throw and has proven himself to be quite the piece of shit during the pandemic, or Jeffery Bezos, who pays his workers slave wages and gives off an eerie and frankly inexplicable BDSM vibe, Elon Musk is a likeable enough fellow, dare I say it.
Musk was born in South Africa. When he was 17, he left his family and moved to Canada, hoping to one day emigrate to the United States. He knew of a great-uncle living in Montreal. That was his plan. Upon landing in Canada, he tried to get in touch with said great-uncle, but it turned out said great-uncle had moved to Minnesota. With nowhere to go, Musk found a youth hostel.
Eventually, he called a second cousin out of the blue, took a bus to Swift Current, then hitchhiked the rest of the way to his cousin's place. He spent the next couple years working random, unpleasant jobs—tending vegetables, shoveling out grain bins, cleaning the boiler room of a lumber mill, etc., before enrolling in Queen’s University in Ontario. After two years, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania on a scholarship.
“What kind of psychopath takes his mom to the Met Gala!? Ugh. I cannot even. Elon Musk musn’t be allowed to impose his refusal to censor us on us! We can't just have people saying whatever they want—it's a Danger to our Democracy™! These stupid right-wing rubes, they don't even have college degrees! Everyone knows the best way to avoid The End of Democracy™ is to leave the levers of power to a sovereign, behind-the-scenes team of intelligent, college-educated, progressive-minded individuals endowed by divine right as our arbiters of truth!”
Musk once told his first girlfriend, “If there was a way that I could not eat, so I could work more, I would not eat. I wish there was a way to get nutrients without sitting down for a meal.” The dude has something of a work ethic.
When he and his brother, Kimbal, started their first company (Zip2), Musk had over $100k in student debt, a computer he built himself, and a few grand to his name. Because he didn’t have a place to stay, he slept at the barren space they’d rented to work on the company, and he showered at the local YMCA.
The point is that Musk is not Donald Trump; when he was young, he was not given a small loan of $1 million dollars to get the ball rolling. Musk has his flaws, sure. And yes, he’s unfathomably rich. But guess what? Nearly all his wealth is tied up in his companies. The reason he’s as rich as he is is because he created a rocket company from scratch (the dude taught himself rocket science) that dismantled Lockheed Martin's monopoly on satellite launches and an electric car company that's revolutionized the auto industry and accelerated the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
I'd love to hear who, other than him — easily the greatest entrepreneur of our time, and, arguably, one of the greatest in history — is better suited to the task of stopping Twitter from pushing America into a hole from which it cannot climb out of.
That was definitely nose candy.
Both very sad and very funny. Goodness gracious.
Two takeaways here:
The same companies that’ve always looked to cut general healthcare benefits are now offering to pay for your abortions and sex changes. Telling.
It’s about economics, not altruism. Paying for abortions/sex changes is a hell of a lot cheaper than maternity leave.
“Zeus,” the world’s tallest dog
Sir, that’s not a dog, that’s a dinosaur.
Europe is rather gloomy, eh?
This isn’t true.
The three main budget bills signed by Biden: 1) American Rescue Plan: $1.9 trillion cost. 2) Infrastructure bill: $250 billion net cost. 3) March omnibus: Approx. $200 billion hike.
President Biden hasn't cut a damn thing. And the 2022 deficit is 40% higher than before the pandemic.
“Why are all my black voters leaving!? Look! — My new press secretary has black skin!”
Do you REALLY think that black Americans are more concerned about who your press secretary is than, say, inflation? Or gas prices? Or crime? And I'm fairly confident this is a poor idea:
As far as Psaki’s replacement, since she's leaving for MSNBC (experts predict there’ll be approximately zero change between her press briefings and TV content):
Oh, then there's this:
I ♥ NYC
AOC, you are delusional.
Guess what kind of car she drives?
It’ll always be amusing to me that rich liberals told Americans struggling to pay record gas prices that they should buy Teslas, and then the dude who owns Tesla went and bought Twitter, which has long been the playground of rich liberals.
Corporate media has spent the better part of a decade telling everyone and their mother that the GOP is a party of racists and white supremacists.
And yet according to a recent Marist poll, Latinos say they prefer the GOP by 52-39%, and 41% of non-whites say they intend to vote GOP in 2022.
If you were to write a manual on How to Make Sure You Lose U.S. Political Elections, you wouldn’t be able to include half the stuff Democrats have pulled over the past six years; it’d be excised by editors due to sheer implausibility. I really don’t like politics, but I’m genuinely curious to see how much of a bloodletting the mid-terms end up being.
Compare young adult Americans to basically every other country’s young adults.
Nothing less than embarrassing.
Hotel Grand Lisboa, as viewed from the streets of Macau
The weird structure in the background that looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie is this hotel casino:
Come on, this is funny.
POLITICO recently published a story highlighting "The Rise and Fall of the Star White House Reporter." (Not worth the read.)
Buried way down in the text, though, is a mention that a newly released biography of First Lady Jill Biden sold just 250 copies in its first week.
The Sea of Japan
Where snow, sand, and water meet.
We were told this was Jim Crow 2.0 and slavery would be reenacted.
Georgians are still voting in record numbers during the early voting period of the primary. In heavily Democratic DeKalb county, no reports of delays or lines. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Wonder if MSNBC is worried about anything, or anyone, in particular.
“A Russian soldier dubbed the “champion looter” of Ukraine swiped almost 1,000 pounds of ill-gotten goods to send back to his home country, a report said Tuesday.
Yevgeny Kovalenko, 27, sent 970 pounds of loot, including speakers, tools, a table and a tent, to his hometown of Rubtsovsk in the Altai region of Siberia amid the invasion of Ukraine, East2West News reported.
He was among a group of 16 “marauder” soldiers who reportedly helped themselves to people’s belongings and store merchandise in various occupied communities. . . The goods were addressed to his 24-year-old wife, Margarita, a graduate of the Altai State University of Culture, the report said.” — NY Post
Tough Ukrainian kitter survives Russian bombing and is not very happy.
Because obviously a six-year-old knows what non-binary means.
As long as the servants are masked, the virus won’t spread amongst the elite. Trust the Science™.
DEI people are nothing but “race-hustlers” and grifters. Don’t even get me started on Kendi.
“Some careers have it all… a job in the heart of Silicon Valley, laundry machines at work, a lucrative salary, and responsibilities that are vague at best. But if you can't get a job as a software engineer at a Big Tech company, consider joining the ranks of the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) personnel at a well-endowed university. With a median salary of $147,000, DEI managers in Santa Clara County are — shockingly — doing better than software engineers (median $127,000, according to ZipRecruiter).” — The Stanford Review
This was all the MSM talked about for weeks. Remember?
Please be quiet.
This is hilarious for more than a few reasons, chief among them the fact that Manning is the textbook definition of a coward. And for the life of me, what I cannot wrap my head around is why so many left-wing folks speak so cavalierly about a second civil war.
I identify as neither a Donkey nor an Elephant, but I’d love to hear what it is exactly that makes the Donkeys think they’d triumph, and while I realize what I’m about to say plays right into stereotypes, it’s still very much true that 1) left-wing zealots tend to be extremely anti-2nd Amendment, which suggests they probably don’t own gun safes full of assault rifles or spend a whole lot of time familiarizing themselves with firearms, certainly nowhere near enough time to become competent, let alone “civil war-ready”; and 2) they tend to be, well, the kind of folks who perform best in temperature-controlled, well-provisioned environments replete with creature comforts and modern luxuries. Conversely, the majority of right-wing folks in America do own a lot of guns and enjoy extracurriculars that their counterparts would very probably denounce as “toxic masculinity” or what have you.
In sum, if I were a betting man, I’d bet the house on the Elephants to win.
And Chelsea Manning is the last person who should be beating this drum.