United We Fall, Divided We Stand

I have every reason in the world to despise Elon Musk.  I nearly was side-swiped by a swerving Tesla while driving the other night, for which my rider blamed ME and dinged my record.  I was appalled to see the celebration  of his employees when his latest launch of a Space X rocket blew up in a manner reminiscent of the Challenger, and had to listen to the snarky reaction of progressives such as The Young Turks who half-listened to his explanation of why there was learning to be gained from the UNMANNED mission just because they seem to believe that his enabling of what they believe are incidenary voices on Twitter.  A platform that I continue to post these musings to, but don’t seem to get a single bit of engagement or reaction from.  And I can’t afford even to be Musk’s client for my verified check, let alone buy a Tesla.

And as it’s that time of the month again, and I’m even more fearful by Monday I’ll be in the minus column in net worth, I’m even more afraid of somehow having to survive on literally NOTHING for a period, with bills and requests mounting all the more during that period.  I needed some minor work on my car last week, and the price I may for it is not being able to even afford gas.

So I’m feeling REALLY scared…feeling REAL panic.  Visceral, mind-numbing, petrifying FEAR.  The kind that keeps the tears flowing whenever I’m alone and awake.  With rarely a phone call, or even a text, from anyone in the world except a scant few who even will allow me to vent, let alone offer legitimate help.  And those who once claimed to actually care about me will not hesitate to castigate me for even thinking Musk is worthy of a shred of respect, and scoff at the thought that both my past and present roommate seem to believe he is worthy of respect and reverence.

So when I saw Musk was the lead guest on last night’s installment of REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER, I was both surprised and, of course, captivated.  And as Bruce Haring of DEADLINE wrote after the episode ran, it was a meeting of like minds and ideologies that, honestly, I can’t not seem to identify with:

Elon Musk and Bill Maher found common ground on Friday’s Real Time on HBO. Both have been damned if they do and damned if they don’t for various controversies.  

After a long recitation of Musk’s various business activities, Maher said he knows that Musk is okay because he does things with a sense of humor, as opposed to Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg, of whom Maher said he’s not even sure if he’s a real boy.

In turn, the Twitter head allowed that he’s been a longtime fan of Maher, and even once sat in the show’s live audience.

“I’ve had it from both sides,” Maher said. “We’re called conservatives, but who haven’t really changed. 

Musk agreed. “I think of myself as a moderate,” he said, listing his work accomplishments with electric vehicles, high-storage batteries, and solar energy. “That’s not exactly far right.”

The problem, they agreed, can be traced to wokeness, which is “the opposite of liberal,” Maher said.

Musk noted that free speech used to be a left-liberal value. “Now we see a desire to actually censor.” He added, “We should be extremely concerned about anything that undermines the First Amendment.” Musk added that the trend goes beyond the domestic borders. “In many parts of the world that you think are similar to the US, the speech laws are Draconian.”

And in the midst of my Tears for Fears, it truly struck me that, for as much as I may not have in common with any of those who use social media to feverishly express their respective points of view, the very fact that we feel so panicked, so ignored, so silenced, so absolutely frustrated with the state of the world and how wokeness–and, yes, I am fully aware of how much of a misnomer that is for the actual origin of that word, Senator Nina!!–has destroyed not only my dreams, but those of so many people I used to call friends.

Every single straight white male over 50 at Sony who I used to work has moved on–no, let me correct that.  They were FIRED.  Many others who check off only one or two of the tickmarks of diversity that seems to be the default position of so many HR teams are also no longer working.  And the same is true of dozens of people I consider to still be friends, including many of you who read this.

At times, it seems that every single person of color who makes life choices other than mine continues to be employed, and has a net worth that has a plus sign in front of it.

Maybe I’m overreacting, and I’m sure given it’s that time of the month perhaps I am.  I’ve been sobbing so uncontrollably of late and sometimes even wailing in despair that I actually have laryngitis.  No, folks, it’s NOT COVID.  Stop asking me ten questions about it every single friggin’ time your mask-laden ears pick up on something like that like a paranoid bloodhound.

So when Maher calls out those who still continue to flail at windmills and continue to persist that we should all should still be isolating, social distancing, and doing everything possible to avoid a carbon footprint–the kind of “responsible” life choices that have contributed to my current state of mind, and when Musk–whether he’s only partially full of it or not–can identify and even echo his laments– well, sorry, while I still don’t believe Musk’s a genius, I can’t help but at least see him as worthy of a chance to be seen and heard.  And if all he’s doing is giving anyone else–regardless of what some restrictive ideologist may think is stoking fires–well, I grudgingly have to come out on the side of those who seem to think he’s more of a hero than a radical.

Musk seems to believe EVERYONE should have a right to be heard.  Spare me the arguments that in doing so he’s providing the ammunition for those who have access to ammunition, both literal and figurative, to stoke violence and polarization. It’s those who choose to listen and amplify that should be held accountable for any of those results.  I can’t seem to break through to many no matter how loudly I scream and how passionately I protest.

Do any of you think I actually ENJOY posting these links?   Would any of you actually buy the argument I am faced with that, somehow, I’m creating something that warrants my arrest by including a background of GRASS AND TREES on the picture I chose to switch out, apparently in a moment of unnecessary weakness and what these days defines my desire to compromise?

Well, that’s what I deal with these days.  And trust me, the entity that actualy made that accusation has tweeted far more than I have.

So yes, I watch Maher religiously, despite the fact I’ve personally seen him start drunken fights and come dangerously close to assaulting women at parties.  He didn’t do either of those things to me.  And since Musk seems to command respect from two people who share little else in common other than I have shared a common area with them, I suppose he is worthy of the same level of compromise that I offered the entity who protested what they alleged was my trolling endorsement of a particular color.

We all have a right to be heard.  You don’t have to listen–and the majority of you don’t.

But given that it’s that time of the month yet again–and somehow my list of jobs applied to and turned down for has now reached over 800, I sure hope you take the hint and click on the link below.

If you don’t think sending your money to Elon is a worthy investment, perhaps you might consider sending even a fraction of it this way.

I promise not to buy anything more incendiary that gasoline with it.  For my car.  For my ability to work and avoid homelessness.

I hope you can understand that.  I kinda think Elon might.

Until next time…


Fundraiser by Steven Leblang : Steve Leblang (gofundme.com)

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