Elon Musk made a middle school joke and the governor of Texas took it seriously

Apparently quite a few Very Serious People are down for Musk’s T.I.T.S.

13 August 2021, Brandenburg, Grünheide: Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, stands in the foundry of the Tesla Gig...
picture alliance/picture alliance/Getty Images

Let’s make one thing very clear right off the bat: Despite being the richest man in the history of the human race, Tesla founder and apartheid beneficiary Elon Musk is not a particularly serious person.

I mean this in two frequently, but not entirely, convergent ways. In one sense, Musk is an unserious person because he seems to really, really like to make jokes. Are they good jokes? Not really. Does it matter? Not when you’re as rich as he is. But on a more existential level, Musk is not a particularly serious person because he is the sort of person who makes grand proclamations about revolutionizing this and modernizing that with a straight face, even though he’s basically talking about building a subway, or writing poems about outer space while his cars and rockets keep exploding. That he is as successful as he’s been is as much a testament to the public’s eager gullibility as it is to Musk’s willingness to lap up government subsidies to bolster his personal fortune.

Which is all to say that Musk occupies a very interesting position in the public sphere — one where he deserves to be treated seriously for what he possesses, rather than who he is. At the very least, his random rantings on Twitter are the sort of thing that necessitate an extra layer of skepticism and incredulity, thanks to his extensive track record of both making dumb jokes and being incredibly wrong. And yet! Despite it being patently obvious that anything Musk says online should be taken with as many grains of salt as humanly possible, there are those who still treat this man’s every asinine brain fart as pearls of wisdom dropped before us lowly swine.

Take, for instance, Musk’s musings on whether to found his own institute of higher ed, which he tweeted — crucially — at 12:30 a.m. on a Friday. Prime posting hours ...


Institute of

Technology &


... Get it? Har har har. This man is worth $300 billion, and he’s basically typing 5 8 0 0 8 on a calculator and turning it upside down. Like I said — not a particularly serious person. And lest you think he’s not keenly aware that this is all an idiotic sophomoric troll, trust me: He knows.

Still, for some reason probably owing to the approaching full moon, and Venus being in the rising house of the whatever or something, plus the fact that this world is full of morons who cannot help but suck up to rich people, Musk’s very obvious, very direct-to-DVD sex comedy joke somehow managed to rack up replies like this from high-profile tech entrepreneurs:

And Very Serious political scientists:

And aspiring United States senators:

And former professional athletes:

And, perhaps most unfortunately, the sitting governor of Texas, Greg Abbott:

There’s probably a lesson here about why certain people shouldn’t be allowed online without a chaperone, or why certain other people shouldn’t be allowed online without an interpreter. I leave it to you to suss those out for yourselves. You’re smart people, who deserve to be taken seriously. Not like some billionaire I can think of.