Elon Musk Cannot Handle Bullies
Which is kind of a problem, right?
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To understand Elon Musk, many have suggested he was either bullied in high school or, alternatively, not bullied enough. I don’t think it matters so much, and both scenarios get us to the same Wealthy Man. And he is a man who does not know how to deal with bullies.
This is the sort of problem you encounter on a schoolyard: the mis-treated, miss-stepping, innocent-by-way-of-pity kid who is trying to deal with the unfair attention given to him. It is not that there is any outstanding reason this poor kid became The One the rest of the school focuses on, but gradually he has become it – and rapidly he will struggle to cope.
Elon having these characteristics places him in a unique and wild predicament, because facing an endless amount of abuse and criticism, he made the ultimate questionable play: buying the school.
This, I do not need to tell you, does not work.
No sir. All it does is buy you time, and perhaps a new and weak roster of faces who are willing to bow because one day – they’re hoping – they’ll buy the school, too. That’ll show ‘em.
And so Elon is using Twitter as a machine that allows him to reshape the school in his image. He is banning journalists, with a convoluted grab-bag of reasoning he could only walk 45 seconds through before logging off. He is trying to add new features – or remake old ones – with a sincere belief that something, anything, will do. Taylor Lorenz, perhaps the social internet era’s most high-profile beat reporter, was kicked off today. She joins a host of others who The World’s Richest Man kicked out of his playground after they reported on him, and on a Twitter account that used publicly available information to track his private jet.
And so this is Elon’s move. Unsure why he is unpopular in the first place, he is pressing every button in front of him and hoping something sticks.
There is no punching up and no punching down, just fists flying in all directions – desperate, shameful, and full of spite. Elon is spinning around in circles, his backpack still on, all limbs and sweat and tears. But here is some wisdom Elon has convinced himself couldn’t be true: spite can kill you if you’re not careful. Holding a grudge against someone means they have already won the war.
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