Elon Musk’s Strange Twitter Still Life


By means of @elonmusk

The arena’s richest guy continues to rile other people along with his infantile humor and memes (consider he walked into Twitter headquarters sporting a sink, which supposedly supposed “let that sink in”). His newest troll seemed lately as he broadcast a picture of his “bedside desk.”

Amongst the ones pieces featured within the scene is a picket field that presentations what seems to be a historic flintlock pistol (despite the fact that as @realmanofgenius issues out, it could simply be a tacky present set), whilst throughout the field’s lid is a picture of Emanuel Leutze’s “Washington Crossing the Delaware” (1851). Additionally integrated at the night time desk is what seems to be a bottle of fancy water (despite the fact that the label is tricky learn), a vajra dorje, which is one in all Tibetan Buddhism’s maximum symbolic gadgets, a 3-D-printed copy of the Diamondback revolver from the 2011 online game “Deus Ex: Human Revolution,” 4 vitamin, caffeine-free Coke cans, and their related residue rings, and, within the background, a field set of what seems to be Books of American Knowledge, despite the fact that I handiest see George Washington’s Laws of Chivalry and The Charter of the US of The us, in conjunction with a white quantity that doesn’t appear to be a part of the unique set.

This extraordinary scene used to be obviously choreographed for the general public. The cokes is also a connection with the addiction of Donald Trump, who as soon as admitted that he consumes 12 cans an afternoon. The wink at Buddhism seems to be in the similar vein of such a lot Silicon Valley pseudo-spirituality, which is regularly accompanied by means of microdosing, and the references to video video games, weapons, George Washington, and the charter mission a picture of “alpha manhood” common a few of the populist Proper.

I do know other people like to make use of those to indicate Musk’s transfer to the fitting – let’s now not overlook that he inspired other people to vote for Republican applicants right through the Midterm elections – however I believe it’s a part of a bigger technique to draw the Proper again to Twitter, irrespective of their problematic political affairs. Musk seems to be interested by attracting the In an instant from Gab, Fact Social, and the opposite platforms. The Left didn’t have an an identical migration off-platform, and no, I don’t assume Mastodon — which is viral immune, it sort of feels — will substitute Twitter. Musk turns out to grasp that he has so much to do to draw again the “disenfranchised” individuals and it appears to be like find it irresistible’s running.

Inside of this better dynamic, some newshounds and writers is also shocked at how little the general public will omit our centrality to the platform (simply call to mind Instagram or TikTok). But it additionally raises a query as to what Musk is attempting to mention with this nonetheless lifestyles.

Initially, I nonetheless assume it is a troll. I don’t consider that is what his “bedside desk” in most cases resembles (complete disclosure: a field of tissues and my glasses are in most cases on mine). His placement of Washington, now not as soon as however two times, at the desk fires up the “loose speech” speaking level he’s been revving up since he took over Twitter. His inclusion of Laws of Chivalry is reasonably ordinary, despite the fact that, bearing in mind that Washington didn’t such a lot write the ebook as most commonly reproduction it from the Sixteenth-century Jesuit supply ebook. May we are saying, the use of trendy parlance, that Washington retweeted this? (To not point out that the unique explanation why he it seems that copied it used to be to observe his penmanship.)

Like such a lot stuff on-line, it is a grasp bag of signifiers, pictures and issues that constitute so a lot more than themselves. In artwork historical past, we’d name this a nonetheless lifestyles, despite the fact that we would possibly upload the time period “souvenir mori” to this kind of scene, because of the inclusion of weapons, and the darkish undertones of the picture. Is that this a person sitting wakeful overdue at night time considering his humanity? The inference is there, even supposing all of it feels contrived.

Up to now, the tremendous rich relied at the mediation of workforce to make sure that they by no means appeared silly in public. Musk turns out bored stiff in that conventional association. He’s finding out that he can manufacture his personal symbol (despite the fact that I’m guessing he’s now not doing this by myself), with out the normal media channels. Despite the fact that a reflect seems, there is not any mirrored image of him. This simply reinforces what nonetheless lifestyles portray is set, and its oppositionality to historical past portray and portraiture – particularly, that we see no human determine in any respect, simply the strains of our presence. 

The tabletop of an incel in coaching, which is how I to begin with learn this symbol, doesn’t precisely improve self assurance in a platform that has lengthy had a hard time with threats and hate. On the other hand, I’m now not the objective target market. If Musk can lend a hand Twitter turn out to be winning (remember the fact that it by no means has been) and develop its target market that might be a great feat. I believe he is aware of that so as to take action he’ll have to draw a bigger a part of the general public discourse in all corners of the political spectrum. All this makes me call to mind the vajra dorje, which symbolizes, “enlightenment as they embrace the union of all dualities.” The 5 prongs of maximum vajras signify the wisdoms which are attained once we go beyond the ones issues (kleshas) that stand in our method.

However then there’s the online game gun. On the finish of the day, Musk, who is also the richest guy to ever stroll the earth, continues to be an immature brat. Regardless that others, specifically in this marvelously titled “Elon has long past complete mall ninja!” put up on Reddit, have identified the storyline of Deux Ex is “a sport mockingly about billionaires looking to keep watch over the loads.”

Some days, I check out to not overthink the web, however on days like lately it’s onerous.