I’ve been let down by Elon Musk a lot of times. He acquired my preferred social network and destroyed it. He has abused employees at all of his businesses, and he has irreparably damaged the comedy of 420 and 69 jokes.
And today, he gave me false optimism that he would truly engage Mark Zuckerberg in a cage match.
I am wise enough to avoid accepting Elon’s statements at face value. I have participated in a number of editorial discussions about how to write about a man who is the CEO of multiple incredibly powerful corporations but who consistently talks out of both sides of his ass and cannot deliver on his promises. However, when he announced that the fight had begun in a tweet this morning (yeah, I’m still calling them tweets), something seemed to have changed.
“I spoke with the culture minister and prime minister of Italy. They have settled on a fantastic spot, Musk wrote. “Everything will show respect for Italy’s past and present.”
That seemed like a really conclusive statement! Even making a promise to give the money to veterans? The CEO of Meta had to leave, though, to return us to reality.
Zuckerberg posted on Threads, Meta’s rival to Twitter, saying, “I adore this sport and I’ve been ready to fight since the day Elon challenged me. “You’ll hear it from me if he ever accepts an actual date. Please take whatever he says until then as unconfirmed.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: it is really humorous that the two CEOs are playing telephone and sassing one another on the individual microblogging platforms that they each own, as opposed to actually speaking to each other. But even with that, I was underwhelmed by Zuck’s post. Darrell volunteered to send me to Rome once so that I could cover the battle at the Colosseum, and although I am 99.99% certain that he was joking, hey, a squeaky wheel gets the grease.
But I don’t have a misconception. Although a girl can dream, I am aware that my desire to eat fresh pasta is hardly a top editorial priority.
Why then did it make me so angry to learn from Zuck that Elon had let me down yet again? It wasn’t because I honestly thought I would attend the event in Rome. Instead, I had to face an uncomfortable truth about who I had become.
Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg should square off in a fight.
Not simply because I write about them, but also because I care about humanity (and no, not in the Muskian way where he seems to think we should all become baby-making machines in our tiny space pods on Mars), Musk and Zuckerberg both cause me a great deal of distress. In his capacity as the leader of a platform utilized by billions, Zuckerberg has made decisions that have contributed to genocide and the undermining of democracy. Similar repercussions may result from Musk’s disregard for platform security and content regulation. It’s frustrating to see these strong men repeating the same errors and failing to learn from them or from one another. Then Congress intervenes to try to control these businesses, but unintentionally comes up with legislation that just makes matters worse.
So I struck a bargain with myself. I need to support the most idiotic outcomes imaginable, as long as they don’t actually result in harm, if I want to write about social media and remain sane. The Musk v. Zuckerberg cage match is the ideal illustration of this: it’s so ridiculous, but the only people who will genuinely suffer consequences are the idiots who pulled it off.
And that’s all before the actual cage battle even begins. Call me Homer, but I enjoy watching men succumb to their own conceit, and that’s exactly what Musk has coming to him.
Zuckerberg is becoming well-off when he’s not attempting to get us to spend the entire day wearing VR headsets. Really. He has managed to win Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions while also crafting one-liners to appease investors about the financial losses Reality Labs is experiencing.
In the meantime, Musk has spent his leisure time battling hate speech watchdogs and erecting enormous, illegal light installations.
The clear favourite to win this war is Zuckerberg, but Musk can’t back down because he had made a public promise. It’s similar to when he committed $44 billion to purchasing Twitter before changing his mind, except that this time, absolutely no money is at risk.
Since I’m not interested in seeing the actual battle, I don’t even care to watch it. For me, it’s the vulnerability of the male ego.
You can be the richest person in the world and still have a fragile sense of self enough to consent to have your ass kicked within a monument to antiquity. Elon and I can agree on one thing, at least: human nature is amazing.