Elon Musk has certainly done some very dickish things.
For example, calling British rescue diver Vernon Unsworth ‘pedo guy’ was not the sort of thing a stellar bloke does, even if Musk did win the defamation lawsuit.
Musk argued that the phrase ‘pedo guy’ was common in South Africa, where he grew up.
You’ll hear arguments both for and against Musk’s ‘dickness’, shall we say, and one man arguing against is The Guardian’s Doug Coupland.
His article begins as follows:
It’s interesting whenever Elon Musk’s name comes up and people begin discussing his accomplishments, such as the reinvention of money, automobiles and space travel, there’s always someone who says: “Yeah, but I hear he can be a real dick.”
Take that, Elon.
So then, let’s be totally honest here, because in your heart, you know, and I know, dear reader, that you can be a real dick, too. So can I, and, if we’re being truly honest, so can, say, the Queen. She probably has to be a dick 10 times a week. So since when does being a dick somehow invalidate you as a person? It doesn’t. That’s just stupid.
Doug has a point – we can all be real dicks.
The rest of the article attempts to rebut certain arguments critics put forward against him (‘he seems like he’s only out for publicity’, ‘he seems like he’s trying to manipulate the media’, and so on), but let’s focus on ‘I hear he treats his employees badly’:
First, we already discussed this: he can be a dick, so don’t be surprised when he is. Second, people know they’re going to be working with Elon Musk, so they can’t play woe is me if he goes Elon on them. And third, he’s incredibly smart and is used to working with the world’s smartest and most accomplished people, so if you don’t cut the mustard then you didn’t cut the mustard.
And here’s something funny he actually said to someone who was pissing him off in the Tesla factory: “You know, I could be drinking mai tais with naked supermodels, but instead I’m here with you.” He has a point.
Not sure you landed that one, Doug.
Just because he has a reputation for treating some employees like dicks, and makes jokes about it, doesn’t make that issue vanish.
I’m going to skip through the remains of the really long-winded article and get to the end, where Doug really fanboys hard:
Musk has a huge IQ. He is measurably, scientifically, clinically and demonstrably the smartest person in any room anywhere…
On 28 June, Musk turned 50. He has at least three more high-functioning decades to go. More likely five or six, so we’re not even halfway through his movie. Pundits who think he’ll soon be “over” are either naive or assassins.
Take that, pundits.
The tallest trees catch the most wind, and according to Forbes’ real-time billionaire tracker, Elon Musk is the second wealthiest person in the world, with a net worth just north of $185 billion.
He’ll be fine, Doug, even if people continue to crack jokes at his expense and call him the odd name.
Feel free to read the full article here, if you must.
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