Elon Musk has long been seen as the heir to the legacies of such heroes as Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne: men driven by ego and and the power which comes with cartoonish levels of wealth.
And like his fellow technocrats he’s a big believer in the power of technology to solve problems – hence his team designed a mini-sub to get to the trapped members of the Wild Boars soccer team in Thailand.
Musk’s minisub was rushed to Thailand despite rescuers not requesting it, which he claimed would do the job and which rescuers on the ground said was not able to manoeuvre through the tight chasms and twisting corridors of the dark and perilous cave.
More specifically, rescuers who were presumably feeling a mite stressed about things were less than impressed by Musk declaring he would save the boys, with diver Vern Unsworth memorably telling CNN “He can stick his submarine where it hurts” and that it was “just a PR stunt.”
And Elon lashed out on Twitter thusly:
The inference would appear to be that because Unsworth is a Brit who lives in Thailand he is therefore a sex tourist, which is a pretty disgusting inference – not least because the guy was literally risking his life to save children, with the acute knowledge that ex-Navy SEAL Saman Kunan had already died in an attempt to reach them.
The tweet was deleted not long after, but not before gaining notice all over the world. And while it was clearly determined to be beyond the pale, the aggrieved tone was not uncommon for the man who spent a lot of the time angrily defending his genius sub design while the world was rather more worried about the safety of those trapped boys than Musk’s hurt feelings.
Of course, Musk is also perhaps feeling a little embarrassed that he’s just been outed as donating millions to the Republican Party, which rather puts his pro-clean energy credentials in doubt. It’s a hard sell to present yourself as the genius saviour of decarbonisation while simultaneously helping actual climate science deniers get into power.
Does anyone have Grimes’ number? We should probably check that Elon’s doing OK.