Vasudevan Mukunth in The Wire:
It isn’t tempting to write about Elon Musk in that it is easy but in that it is an event that few thought we could witness live: a successful businessman letting his true inner recklessness show. All that Musk has done is lose composure – but sadly for him, the window he opened into his mind exposed something unsavoury and disappointing. It is tempting to write about Musk because we can for once stop speculating about how it is that Silicon Valley entrepreneurs cut from the same cloth as Musk and Peter Thiel think, and take a break from amassing piles of secondhand, implicative evidence. Now we have proof – and an opportunity to characterise the psyche of this odiously powerful class of world society.
For the uninitiated: Vern Unsworth was one of the expert divers who helped rescue the young Thai football team and its coach from the cave they had been trapped in. In an interview published over the weekend, he called Musk’s offer to help with a small submarine a “PR stunt”. Musk responded on Twitter with an ad hominem, calling Unsworth a “pedo”, short for pedophile, and following it up with “Bet ya a signed dollar it’s true”. These tweets were deleted shortly after.
From all that he has said and done over the last few months, it is evident that Musk thinks he should be celebrated more than he is and criticised less. But like a big baby, every time Musk does say such things, he is taken less and less seriously – or more by those looking for a spectacle. When someone doesn’t agree, Musk lashes out in abusive ways. His disgusting potshot at Unsworth is just the latest example and isn’t out of line with previous salvos.