Elon Musk is a bastard.
At least, that’s what Robert Evans, the host of Behind the Bastards thinks. Behind the Bastards is a podcast that focuses on the worst people in the history of mankind, both present-day and historical. Their tagline reads, From Hitler’s love of YA fiction to Saddam Hussein’s shameful romance novels, this podcast sheds new, weird light on history’s monsters. The format is simple; Evans, teamed up with some random comedian, spends from one to four hours, often split over two shows, trouncing an either well-known, or somewhat obscure person from history who Evans feels is deserving of the title “Bastard.”
“Wait,” you’re probably asking. “Elon Musk made that list? The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, the man who’s going to take us to Mars and back to the moon, the only person to ever successfully make a viable, affordable, and desirable fully electric car?”
In the eyes of Robert Evans, Elon Musk is apparently on equal footing with bastards like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Rodrigo Duterte, Saddam Hussein, Jeffrey Epstein, cocaine queens, child molesters, and Harvey Weinstein.
You’re probably thinking, “How can this be?” and I was asking myself the same thing, which is why I decided to take three-and-a-half hours and listen to the latest Behind the Bastards drop, “I do not like Elon Musk very much.” Now, I listened with quite an open mind. After all, I don’t know Elon. I have—or had—little knowledge of his background, his lifestyle, his personality, his leadership style, or his ethics. I only know that his companies are among my favorites and that he has accomplished some absolutely incredible, jaw-dropping, world-changing things in science, business, and philanthropy. I follow him on Twitter, and I watch nearly every launch of SpaceX with utter fascination. I’m a huge fan of Tesla, both the company and the car, and someday I hope to actually be able to afford to own one. But, if he is truly a bastard, I kind of want to know. I mean, I sort of idolize the guy, at least as much as it’s possible for me to actually idolize a living person, and I hate to be duped.
So, I listened to the podcast with an open mind, prepared to have my image shattered of the man who I truly feel is changing the world for the better.
The guest comedian for this episode is Sofiya Alexander, someone who I knew absolutely nothing about, and the producer, who seemed to chime in often, is someone named Sophie, so with a Sofiya and a Sophie, it tended to get a bit confusing who was talking, though it didn’t much matter in the long run as they all seemed to share the exact same sentiments with no dissenting opinion.
The podcast literally starts with Robert yelling “CUCKKKKK!!!” to open the show. He then goes on to explain that Producer Sophie decided that Elon was a cuck before they started recording. No explanation is given as to why Elon was called a cuck, and no apology is given for using such a preposterous invective, but Robert then says that he hates “cuck” as an insult because the worst people on the internet use that term and Nate Silver (of fivethirtyeight.com fame I’m guessing) is one of the worst people on the internet. Again, there is no accounting for this slanderous statement, the listening audience is left wondering just what in the world is going on, and this podcast is not off to a good start.
The underlying theme of the premise that Elon is a bastard is apparently that “It’s bad to be a billionaire.” This is a ludicrous premise of course. There are obviously bad billionaires but being a billionaire doesn’t automatically make you evil, despite the far-left socialist narrative that would have you believe this blanket characterization.
Robert goes on to say, without apparently even recognizing the carelessly prejudicial nature of the statement, “I will try to be scrupulously fair as I outline why he’s a piece of shit.” He says the main source material for this episode is a book called “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,” by Ashlee Vance. This mention then becomes quite memorable as Robert and Sofiya spend the next 3+ hours quoting from this book that Robert allegedly studied, while referring to Ashlee Vance dozens of times as “the woman,” “her,” and “she.”
Ashlee vance is a man. And not the kind of man who uses alternative pronouns.
What’s especially humorous about this gaffe, is that they use a passage from Ashlee Vance’s book to try to suggest that Elon is exhibiting some sort of sexist behavior in his interview with the man that they think is a woman:
It’s apparent that this negligent blunder is brought to Robert’s attention sometime between the drop of part one and the drop of part two a couple of days later. He has his producer, Sofie, edit in a blurb at about the eight-minute mark of part two where she passes along Robert’s apology for calling Ashlee a female. He does not have Sofie apologize for his failure to perform even the most basic of research into the author of the primary source material for his podcast. I checked Robert’s Twitter account to see if he bothered making a public apology to Ashlee for such a blunder, and though it may be hidden in the thousand or so tweets he’s sent in the last two weeks, I was unable to find any actual apology from him. He did, however, find time to apologize to a woman at the Portland riots whom he referred to in Tweets as “her” and “she” before finding out that she uses the pronouns “they” and “them,” so it was apparently more important for Robert to apologize for calling a woman “she” instead of “they,” then it was to apologize for calling a man “she” instead of “he.” Makes sense, right?
Sofiya Alexandra took it a step further when she was informed on Twitter that Ashlee was a man.
Yes, that’s right, Sofiya apparently found this lack of research integrity to be funny, and actually blamed Ashlee for having his name end with ee. As if he had a choice in the matter of his naming? As if it would have been much easier to discern his sex if he spelled his name Ashley? As if it was impossible to consider that Ashlee may be a sort of portmanteau of Ash and Lee? As if it’s his fault that the two of them couldn’t even bother to flip the book over and read the back of it, with the picture of Ashlee and his biography, or to type the name of the author of their primary source material into a simple Google search to check his background, even if to just make sure he was actually a credible source? Complete disgraceful social and journalistic behavior on both their parts, and definitely not a good way to convince their audience of the reliability of their premise.
Part one of I do not like Elon Musk very much is all about Elon’s childhood and upbringing, with an emphasis on the amount of abuse and bullying that Elon was subject to as a withdrawn and socially awkward youngster. Elon grew up bullied, beaten regularly and often severely, a loner, an outsider, mocked and ridiculed at school before going home to a dysfunctional family and a dad who was a terrible person. In an era where such kids sometimes decide to shoot up their schools and murder their classmates, are we seriously going to trash Elon for what he made of himself?
Robert directs the narrative to Elon’s familial history, discussing his namesake grandfather’s decision to move the family from Canada to South Africa. The stated reason by Grandpa Elon was that, “he felt the moral character of Canada had started to decline.” Robert makes a strong implication that this statement meant that Grandpa Elon was a raging racist, saying, “He thought Canada was too immoral in 1950 and moved to South Africa. Do some math.”
There’s no doubt that South Africa was smack in the middle of it’s brutal Apartheid in the 1950s, however, there are probably a few alternative reasons other than rampant racism that might incentivize a man to move his family from Canada during this time period. To draw the conclusion that grandpa was an unrepentant racist based on nothing more than this life decision to change his residence, in what’s becoming a theme of unremittent speculation by Robert Evans is a blatant violation of journalistic ethics.
Grandpa Elon was a pilot, and he ends up dying when our Elon was a baby. Here’s how Robert describes that:
“He died when Elon was like a baby. In a plane crash, because he hit some shit, because he was flying like an asshole, I guess.”
It’s probably safe to speculate that the cause of Grandpa Elon’s death was that he “hit some shit,” as that is the ultimate cause of most plane crash deaths, however, the journalistic integrity hole continues here as he adds that Grandpa Elon was, “flying like an asshole, I guess.” Because, obviously a suspected racist could never have an airplane crash caused by anything other than flying like an asshole, right? Not satisfied with the speculative nature of his racist assignation of Elon’s maternal grandfather, Robert makes several further utterances to make sure that the audience knows that he thinks Grandpa Elon was a racist, calling Elon’s mother, Maye Musk, “Elon’s mother, and obviously that cool, probably a gigantic racist plane dude’s daughter.”
Robert goes on to discuss Elon’s father, Errol, who, by all accounts, including Elon’s, is not a good dude. Elon himself claimed in an interview that his father has committed every crime on the books and that he’s evil. Robert, of course, can’t help but add a racist slant to the shadowy story of Errol by completely making up facts, albeit with the disclaimer that he’s making them up:
Robert isn’t a dummy; he’s just completely lacking in ethics. He knows that by stating the three men Errol killed were probably black, the sentiment of racism will be instilled into the listener and will contribute to the subconscious idea that if Elon’s entire family is racist, it’s likely that Elon himself is as well. Now, I have no idea if Grandpa Elon was a racist who came to South Africa to become part of the Apartheid movement. I have no idea if Errol is a racist who killed three black men under the guise of home defense. The point is, that Robert doesn’t know this either, and to insinuate such is abhorrent behavior, particularly on the part of a professional journalist. To continue the theme of racism in the Musk family, and to further insinuate that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, Robert ends part one with a statement about Elon being on President Trump’s economic advisory council in 2016:
He’s criticizing Musk’s decision to leave the advisory council after Trump removed the United States from the Paris Climate Accords, stating that Elon drew the line in the sand with this climate-change denying decision but didn’t draw a line on what Robert felt were racist decisions by the Trump Administration on the southern border, separating Mexican illegal immigrants from their families and “putting children in cages.” His premise is that Elon, as an immigrant to the United States, should have left the council at that decision point instead of waiting. He barely notes that Elon spoke out loudly against both the immigration policies and the climate change denial that he felt was rampant in the Trump administration.
Part one is terrible, and certainly doesn’t in any way make listeners think that Elon is a bastard deserving of the company of the subjects of Robert Evans’ other podcasts, but he assures the listeners that he’s just getting started, and that we’ll feel differently when we hear part two. Okay.
Interrupted awkwardly by the post-edit interjection of Producer Sophie at the eight-minute mark where they acknowledge they’re now aware that Ashlee Vance is a male, part two of the podcast starts off with complete nonsense that somehow made it past the less-than-stringent cutting room floor at Behind the Bastards Podcasts. By the time they get back to the actual subject, Elon Musk, I was rapidly hitting the “forward 30 seconds” button and growing rather frustrated.
When they finally roll around to Elon, they start with his first business endeavor, a partnership with his brother Kimbal Musk called Global Link Information Network, a name they eventually change to Zip2. Sofiya, who, as seen with Ashlee, apparently loves to utilize the comedically genius strategy of making fun of peoples’ names, has some input on this name change:
To Elon Musk fans, the romanticized nature of his business background has its roots in this first company, Zip2. Elon and his brother started this business from scratch, and they worked incredibly hard, spending days straight without leaving the office, ordering in food and not showering as they coded through the long hours. Robert, of course, makes fun of this and attempts to delegitimize Elon’s auspicious beginnings by quoting the debunked statement from Elon’s estranged father that Elon started the business with a $28,000 loan from dad. Robert tries to make us think that this is an enormous amount of money:
First of all, as anybody who has actually started a business could have told him, $28,000 is nothing. If you try to start a business any more ambitious than a snow cone stand in your front yard with $28,000, you are going to definitely be on a shoe-string budget and you’ll be constantly one mistake or poor decision from bankruptcy. In addition to this obvious fact, Elon didn’t actually get any such loan from his father. Elon debunks this in a Rolling Stone article that I know for a fact Robert Evans read as he himself quotes from it several times in the podcast. Here’s the quote from Rolling Stone:
After Musk became successful, his father even took credit for helping him – to such a degree that it’s listed as fact in Elon’s Wikipedia entry. “One thing he claims is he gave us a whole bunch of money to start, my brother and I, to start up our first company [Zip2, which provided online city guides to newspapers]. This is not true,” Musk says. “He was irrelevant. He paid nothing for college. My brother and I paid for college through scholarships, loans and working two jobs simultaneously. The funding we raised for our first company came from a small group of random angel investors in Silicon Valley.”
Now, since we know that Robert read this but chose to ignore it because it didn’t fit into his narrow narrative and this correction does in fact undermine his thesis that Elon’s past is shadowed in hyperbole and overstated anecdotes, we can ascertain that Robert Evans is a terrible journalist who’s astonishing willingness to completely negate the concept of integrity in journalism in the name of entertainment is a stain on the industry. Robert’s underlying theme of this podcast is privilege. He’s convinced that Elon was able to succeed because he grew up wealthy, and the fact that he fled that wealth to start with nothing is irrelevant. He wants to convince us that despite Elon being broke at this time, he was never at risk because he could always flee back to his wealth, and this type of privilege makes what Elon achieved almost insignificant. How did Elon succeed? He knew how to talk to investment bankers and financiers. How did he know this? He grew up privileged, in a rich household, surrounded by his father’s banking buddies.
Not convinced that Robert is wrong? Okay.
Robert next decides to take on the entire field of tech engineering and to broadly mischaracterize them as disgusting pigs with the following statements in regard to Elon’s work ethic at Zip2 that resulted in him showering at a less than optimal frequency. Robert says:
“I’ve read a lot of biographies about a lot of tech guys and they all smelled terrible, and so did their little offices. They were all fucking nasty. It’s not hard to shower once a day, guys.” “They get their best ideas by forming a, like a fucking crown of scrotal sweat around their fucking drawstring pants.” “There’s a smell that engineers have, we all know that. Its engineer stank.”
If this characterization isn’t bad enough, Robert and Sofiya spend an inordinate amount of time discussing Elon’s passion, work ethic, and dedication to his goal. They quote Elon during one of his early investor pitches:
“My mentality is that of a samurai. I would rather commit seppuku then fail.”
Robert and Sofiya find this incredibly funny, and they spend some time laughing and making fun of Elon for this statement. Here’s an audio clip where they make fun of his work ethic:
If I’m an investor and I’m considering putting my money into a start-up company, this is the mentality that I want my horse to hold. The seppuku quote is sentiment only, obviously, and not to be taken literally, but this must-succeed attitude is what makes Elon so special and so undeniably successful. This is how you’re going to show us that he’s a bastard?
In February of 1999, Elon and Kimbal sold Zip2 to Compaq for $307 million and Elon himself walked away with $22 million. Robert makes a big deal about how Elon left the company immediately instead of staying on to run it, adversely stating that Elon obviously only cared about the money and not the company itself. Okay, so what? It should be obvious to all that Elon had bigger fish to fry than staying on to run an online advertising company for another owner. He wanted to use his money to do bigger things, and that’s supposed to be bad?
Elon spent $1 million dollars and bought a McLaren F-1 sports car, one of only 62 in the world. Three years earlier, he had been (not often, apparently) showering at the YMCA and sleeping in his office, and suddenly, he’s a kid with $22 million in the bank. Yes, objectively this is an ostentatious purchase, and an incredibly irresponsible amount, both in actual dollars, and in percentage of wealth to spend on such a ridiculous display of prosperity. However, Elon was 27 years old. Who among us can say we were fiscally responsible at such a young age, particularly with such an incredible influx of previously unknown wealth, the culmination of incredible discipline and determination? I have no doubt that Elon is probably embarrassed by this video showing a young and objectively immature Elon Musk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3tlVE_QXm4
Here’s the clip where Robert and Sofiya make fun of Elon without regard to the circumstances surrounding this purchase:
Within months of selling Zip2, Elon invested the vast majority of his newfound wealth into X.com, an online bank that eventually merged with Paypal. Robert and Sofiya spend a lot of time making fun of Elon for the name X.com, and discussing the takeover that got him ousted and Peter Thiel installed as the CEO of the merged companies. This is mostly nonsensical background that does nothing to further the thesis that Elon is a “piece of shit,” so I won’t go into all of the obtuse takes they come up with in this segment.
In July 2002, Ebay purchases Paypal for about $1.5 billion, and Elon walks away with $250 million, a more than 12x return on his investment in just about three years. Now, this is the point where many people would and have simply walked away from the business world to retire in extravagant luxury. $250 million is an enormous amount of money that allows living in comfort on the interest alone without ever touching the principal. Elon didn’t do this though, and this is what makes him special. He took the money, $180 million after taxes, and invested nearly all of it in three companies:
$100 million into SpaceX
$70 million into Tesla
$10 million into Solar City
With additional investments in other, smaller projects, Elon took the vast majority of his wealth and spread it around into businesses that he felt were going to change the world. Robert and Sofiya spend a lot of time complaining that Elon gets credit for starting these businesses when, particularly with regard to Tesla, they were actually started by others, but what they choose to ignore is that Tesla was almost certainly doomed to failure without the drive, vision, ambition, and capital funding that Elon brought to the table. Here’s a quote from Robert:
“What’s not debatable is how fucked up it is that Elon Musk gets credit for building all these wonderful devices that he did not build. A January 2020 Fortune article got the title, “How Elon Musk built a Tesla factory in China in less than a year.” Obviously, he didn’t, he’s never built a factory in his life.”
Robert is saying that Elon has never physically built a factory. That he’s never operated a welder, poured concrete, installed windows. He’s taking the “built a Tesla factory” literally and taking the stand that Elon shouldn’t have gotten credit in the title of the Fortune article because he didn’t LITERALLY construct the building! It’s incredibly hard to imagine how obtuse this line of thinking is, but Robert somehow gets there. He continues:
“Musk gets a lot of credit in general for the wonders that his companies have produced.”
Seriously, no kidding? The CEO and in many cases founder, innovator, designer, decision-maker, and engineer of a company gets a lot of credit for the wonders that the companies produce? This is supposed to be some kind of revelatory statement that’s supposed to make me feel that Elon is a bastard of history?
Robert triples down on this idea by quoting this passage from the Rolling Stone article:
But what he has done is something that very few living people can claim: Painstakingly bulldozed, with no experience whatsoever, into two fields with ridiculously high barriers to entry – car manufacturing (Tesla) and rocketry (SpaceX) – and created the best products in those industries, as measured by just about any meaningful metric you can think of. In the process, he’s managed to sell the world on his capability to achieve objectives so lofty that from the mouth of anyone else, they’d be called fantasies.
Robert adds: “That’s frustrating to me because he did jump in without any experience…but he didn’t create those fucking products.”
It should be obvious that people who start companies with hundreds, or thousands, or tens of thousands of employees do not necessarily “create” the products they deliver. What people like Elon do is bring people together, design a vision, implement the strategies and procedures to recognize that vision, and inspire and drive their employees. When all of these things come together and a brilliant product is created, the credit goes to the person who made all of that happen, and this is Elon Musk. Yes, credit needs to go to the engineers and the line workers and the architects, the team that actually builds the product, but Susie Samsonite pushing the button that activates the robotic arm that attaches the brake calipers on the Tesla Model 3 is not going to get recognized by Rolling Stone magazine, and to suggest that she should is completely ludicrous. To further suggest that Musk is a bastard for accepting this credit is asinine.
Now, Robert and Sofiya make a tremendous effort to get us to hate Elon by claiming that he assigns blame when things go wrong, and accepts credit when they go right. As evidence, they cite the explosion of SpaceX’s first rocket, Falcon 1 shortly after launch from Omelek Island in March 2006:
While it might be true that Elon and SpaceX did assign blame to the tech at the time, the idea that Musk didn’t accept the blame is not entirely true. Once again, Robert fails to show any sort of journalistic integrity by presenting both sides of the equation, but rather, only cites from the source that casts Elon in the worst light possible. A simple Google search brought me to a video where Elon accepted full blame for the failure of all three of the first Falcon 1 launches, and where he discusses that had the fourth launch failed, that very likely would have put SpaceX into bankruptcy and there would be no SpaceX today. This is Elon explaining his role in those failures to the International Astronautical Congress:
“And the reason that I ended up being the chief engineer or chief designer, was not because I want to, it’s because I couldn’t hire anyone. Nobody good would join. So, I ended up being that by default. And I messed up the first three launches. The first three launches failed. Fortunately, the fourth launch which was – that was the last money that we had for Falcon 1 – the fourth launch worked, or that would have been it for SpaceX.”
You can view the full video of his speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdUX3ypDVwI&t=12m04s
Robert goes further in his efforts to convince us that Elon is a terrible manager. He decides to quote a section of Ashlee Vance’s book that talks about Elon’s firing of his secretary Mary Beth Brown. Robert says that Brown asked for a pay raise and Elon told her to take a vacation and he would do her job then decide if she was worth it upon her return. When she got back, he told her she was unnecessary and fired her without ceremony.
Sofiya Alexandra chimes in on this: “I remember reading about that and being like, that is the most insulting way to fire someone that’s given so much of their time and life to you. To just make sure that they know that you think they’re worthless before you let them go. That is so shitty for no reason.”
The problem here is, this fable is probably not even true. Here’s an article where the story originated. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/elon-musk-assistant-fired-pay-rise-ask-took-job-tesla-mary-beth-brown-biography-ashlee-vance-a7888061.html
Elon addressed this in a series of Tweets to Business Insider: “Ashlee Vance’s biography is mostly correct but also rife with errors and never independently fact-checked, despite my request that he do so. Of all the bogus anecdotes, this one troubles me the most. Ashlee never actually ran this story by me or my assistant. It is total nonsense. Mary Beth was an amazing assistant for over 10 years, but as company complexity grew, the role required several specialists vs one generalist. MB was given 52 weeks of salary and stock in appreciation for her great contribution and left to join a small firm, once again as a generalist.”
His mother, Maye Musk, also joined in the conversation on Twitter and added: “I agree. Some of the facts were glaringly wrong, but altogether the “bio” was interesting.”
It would seem that once again Robert Evans has chosen to cherry-pick his anecdotal evidence to fit the narrative he’s trying to front. To my knowledge, Mary Beth Brown has never stepped forth to either confirm or deny these claims, and Robert Evans certainly made no mention that he made any effort to contact her before simply spewing out the slanderous claims without regard for any dissenting evidence. It seems incredibly unlikely that Elon would take a public stance that this story isn’t true unless he was being honest, afterall, it would be incredibly embarassing to him if Brown came forth and confirmed it.
Despite wanting to continually deride Elon Musk, at a few points they can’t help but allow the deeply suppressed admiration they hold to shine through. Robert talks about how Elon had enormous input on the development of the Tesla design, saying that one of his big contributions was insisting that the door handles on the Tesla pop out, which he calls “Silly and unnecessary but cool as hell and that it makes people happy and loyal to the product because it delights them.”
Sofiya then says, “My husband has a Tesla and he fucking loves it. The amount of joy he gets from driving it, I’m like, this is stupid but it is cool.”
This is absolutely laughable. They are trying to deride a man who creates a product they both agree is incredibly innovative and cool. Robert goes on to compare Elon to Steve Jobs, saying that he understands what people want and he puts out a product that delights people. This is an incredible talent and Robert can’t help but recognize that. Robert also mentions that Elon insisted that SpaceX create the vast majority of their rocket components inhouse rather than using external suppliers. This allows them to bypass the bloat that a lot of the heavily regulated space industry has. Robert admires this, calling it a “good idea” and “a policy that was successful in reducing the cost of shooting shit into space.” His issue is that Elon gets too much credit and uses the world-saving goals of his company to treat his employees like shit whenever they get in his way, sentiments that don’t seem to be supported by the evidence presented.
Next, Robert and Sofiya move on to Elon’s personal relationships, trying to show the world what a scumbag he is because of the way he treated his wives. They point to an article in Marie Claire magazine written by Elon’s first wife, Justine, titled, “I was a starter wife.”
Robert reads from this article, pulling passages that attempt to fit his narrative while ignoring the passages where Justine praises Elon and states her lack of regrets. One passage he pulls is this one:
After graduation, he’d moved to Silicon Valley. He was sharing an apartment in Mountain View with three roommates and building his first dot-com company, Zip2. I soon flew out for the first of many visits. One night, over dinner, he asked me how many kids I wanted to have. “One or two,” I said immediately, “although if I could afford nannies, I’d like to have four.” He laughed. “That’s the difference between you and me,” he said. “I just assume that there will be nannies.”
This despairingly poorly edited podcast then skips backward a few minutes to repeat a previous story about Justine and Elon dancing at their wedding, before it skips forward again to this story about him assuming they’ll have nannies. Robert and Sofiya spend some time implying that he’s a scumbag for assuming they’ll have enough money to hire servants as if that kind of financial dreaming is nothing but thinly veiled satanism. They then make fun of Elon asking Justine to dye her hair:
And no matter how many highlights I got, Elon pushed me to be blonder. “Go platinum,” he kept saying, and I kept refusing.
Sofiya chimes in sarcastically about this passage: “It’s hot when someone you love just tries to change you all the time. I love it. It’s completely healthy and dope…People just want to be told that they’re garbage and they need to change.” So, Elon wanting his wife to change her hair blonde is somehow evil? This is the best you guys can come up with? Well, they go on to discuss how Elon tricked Justine into signing a postnuptial agreement that obliterated her rights.
Elon disputes many of the statements and claims in Justine’s exposé, particularly those about the postnuptial agreement, with an article in Business Insider. Once again, Robert chooses to completely ignore any evidence contrary to his thesis in what seems to be a routine lack of journalistic integrity: https://www.businessinsider.com/correcting-the-record-about-my-divorce-2010-7?IR=T
Elon says, “Given the choice, I’d rather stick a fork in my hand than write about my personal life. Unfortunately, it seems that I don’t have any other option. Several awful things have been widely reported that are simply false, but a falsehood uncorrected may as well be truth.” Justine tried to dispute the separate property agreement that we signed in March 2002. This agreement said that any separate property we created would remain separate property, so the novels she wrote would be hers and any companies I created would be mine. We began negotiations two months before marriage with separate legal counsel and an independent mediator drawing up the agreement, and signed it six weeks after marriage.” According to multiple reports, Justine got $2 million cash, $6 million for child support and $80,000 per month for alimony, plus 10% of his SpaceX stock, along with a Tesla Roadster.
After divorcing Justine, Elon met and quickly proposed to Talulah Riley, a British actress. She is 14 years Elon’s junior, 22 years old to his 36 years at the time they meet. Sofiya is, of course, appalled by this:
“Ugh, so gross and just like cliché, I’m like dude come on.”
Quoting again from the Rolling Stone article by Neil Strauss who wrote “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists” they discuss Elon’s emotional turmoil over his recent (at the time of the article) breakup with Amber Heard. Musk tells Strauss that he’s lonely and afraid of being alone, and Strauss suggests to Elon that he might want to work on the reasons for why he exhibits what he says is clear co-dependent behavior.
From the article:
I explain that needing someone so badly that you feel like nothing without them is textbook codependence.
Musk disagrees. Strongly. “It’s not true,” he replies petulantly. “I will never be happy without having someone. Going to sleep alone kills me.” He hesitates, shakes his head, falters, continues. “It’s not like I don’t know what that feels like: Being in a big empty house, and the footsteps echoing through the hallway, no one there – and no one on the pillow next to you. Fuck. How do you make yourself happy in a situation like that?”
Robert and Sofiya somehow find humor in this sad and honest introspection. They even go on to suggest that Elon find a sex worker to comfort him instead of looking for a relationship. These people are sick:
Another four-minute editing blunder where the recording loops makes listening to this professional podcast excruciating, but it’s almost over and I power through as Robert goes into the closing Anecdote of the podcast, how Elon Musk destroyed the small town of Boca Chica, Texas. This section is based on an Esquire article which is found here:
Robert and Sofiya discuss how Elon came to town with the intention of launching SpaceX rockets from the beach near this small town with only two permanent residents and a few dozen snowbird part-time residents. In an effort to make sure nobody was killed in a devastating rocket explosion, SpaceX attempted to buy up everyone’s homes, offering three times the market value and attaching a deadline to the offer, the unexpressed and underlying threat of Eminent Domain backing the offer. Although there’s no question that Eminent Domain seizures suck from the perspective of the homeowner, they happen, and they are historically necessary for the good of the country. Regardless of how you might feel about such an action, there’s no doubt that an offer of three times the market value was a generous offer, particularly if the backup to such an action is an Eminent Domain seizure. Robert and Sofiya disagree of course, and they make several very unfair assessments of the situation. They also choose to completely ignore any contrary evidence even from the very source they’re citing. As the author of the article, Rachel Monroe, states:
And so when I returned to Boca Chica in late December, I imagined I’d find a depressed, depleted place. Instead, after a tumultuous year, the community seemed infused with a fresh spirit. Residents seemed to have come to terms with SpaceX’s presence, for better or worse. The rocket might be intrusive, but it was their neighbor, and unlike them, it was here to stay. For some, that was an incentive to hash out an agreement with the company.
Sofiya, of course, sinks to crudity reminiscent of how they started the episode when they called Elon a cuck: “What’s a few hundred thousand, however many people in pursuit of one man’s, probably with a tiny dick’s, dreams.”
Robert chimes in: “We’ve all become worse because of our exposure to Elon.”
This podcast was filled with crude name-calling, ad hominem attacks, half-truths, and flat-out fabricated nonsense in some perverted desire to disparage a man who is openly trying to save humanity, a man with lofty goals of elevating our species to the stars, halting global warming, and safely guiding us into the future with a carefully planned immersion into creation of artificial intelligence. Along the way, he has risked everything, succeeded through determination, hard work, excellent ability to surround himself with great people, and certainly a decent amount of luck. Although I tried to listen to this podcast with an open mind, it didn’t take long to recognize this for exactly what it was; a hatchet job perpetrated by a man with a desire to espouse the evils of anyone who has risen to a success he’ll never achieve. Perpetual desire to bring attention to articles spouting statistics that have been debunked for the simple fact that people may remember only the debunked fact as opposed to the truth is beyond wrong, it’s abhorrent.
I have no doubt that Elon Musk is not a perfect man. I don’t doubt that he has occasionally screwed people over, acted inappropriately, impetuously, and petulantly. Name one person who has achieved Elon’s success who hasn’t occasionally acted in these ways. That Elon is socially awkward is obvious. That he has repressed resentments from childhood that affect his relationships and decision-making is probable. Are these reasons to call him a bastard? Are these reasons to disparage him, mock him, and scorn him? I heard a quote once that at a certain intelligence level, this world is mostly unbearable and the IQ level where that sentiment manifests is not really that high. Elon Musk is uncommonly intelligent, and I suspect he mostly finds this world oppressive and intolerable. The fact that he navigates it so successfully is admirable and laudable.
Robert ends the podcast by quoting an article that said Elon Musk hates the color yellow and that he won’t allow yellow safety lines to be painted in the factories, an obsession that has caused dangerous conditions to exist. This is something that is simply not true, and it was debunked thoroughly, something brushed off by Robert in his quest for complete disinterest in impartiality or objectivity. Robert Evans is either incapable or uninterested in critically evaluating some of the negative, slandering propaganda that has been published about Elon, rather choosing to add to the sewage and filth with a three-and-a-half-hour podcast full of gossip-rag worthy faux journalism, disinformation, and fabrications.
Robert Evans should be ashamed. Actually, he’s kind of a bastard.