Recently, in between middle-school-level jabs at Netflix for a bad first quarter and at Jeff Bezos for his rocket ship that looks more like something you’d buy at Starship more than, well, an actual starship, gazillionaire super-weirdo-villain Elon Musk has turned his attention to Twitter — buying $11 billion worth of stock and then threatening a hostile takeover of the company with an offer of about $44 billion.
Granted, $44 billion may sound like a lot of money to an ordinary person like yourself or an even more ordinary person like me, but to Elon that’s basically like what buying a double-chili-cheeseburger would be to me. The deal was on hold, though, while Twitter’s board of directors tried to leverage the original $43 billion offer into a little more, like a double-chili-cheeseburger combo with crinkle fries.
You see, Elon is worth $288 billion. No, now it’s $290 billion. Wait, the screen just refreshed. Dang, now it’s dropped to $275 billion. Whew, it’s back to $295 billion. Wow, it must be hard to be Elon. I mean, if I lost $4 billion in 20 seconds, I’d be forced to stand on the side of an interstate off-ramp with a sign that reads “Will work for $4 billion … and a double-chili-cheeseburger.”
I know that sounds crazy to you. Chris Johnson, working? C’mon, man! But drastic financial losses call for drastic measures … like working. I mean, not hard and not strenuous physical labor that could make me sweat or something, but some kind of labor along the lines of maybe copy editing or ghost-writing President Biden’s memoir, “Malarkey, Man!” Coincidentally, Marvel’s new Biden-based superhero is Malarkey Man, but you probably can’t see the movie because you’re boycotting Disney.
Speaking of things that sound crazy, what kind of name is Musk … or Elon ? Why can’t folks name their boys something normal like John, Larry, Frank or Peabo?
Of course, I can see why Elon might want to get his hands on Twitter. It’s not often that you can acquire a company that made a whopping — er, oops, I mean lost $221 million in 2021 — for a steal at just $44 billion. I mean, I haven’t seen an investment opportunity like that since I sank a thousand bucks into that mustard popsicle company. (I know — it sounded like a can’t miss deal to me, too.)
Maybe Elon is just tired of making money and running companies with these stupid profits when he could be enjoying some losses for a change. Since he was a young’un who pulled himself up by his bootstraps like so many of us children who grew up with parents who owned emerald mines, he has been forced to run successful businesses like Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company. (Yes, The Boring Company is a real thing, and, no, I’m not on the board of directors. It drills tunnels and such. It started when 5-year-old Elon was digging in the bottom of mama and daddy’s emerald mine and they said, “If you don’t quit digging, you’re gonna dig a hole all the way to China!” And Elon said, “hmm,” because he didn’t talk much back then, but he knew he’d need a place to hide the riches he would someday need to pretend he didn’t have.)
Now, Elon says it’s not even about making money with Twitter. He believes the platform should be a place where all voices can be heard on a level playing field and where conservatives won’t be suppressed by algorithms that don’t think Ted Cruz is funny. He wants people to be able to share their perfectly acceptable thoughts on whether billionaires should pay more taxes or humorous cartoons about assassinating Democrats.
I agree with Elon to the extent that if there is any gray area, leave it alone and don’t censor. I think Trump ought to be back on Twitter, if only for entertainment purposes. When it comes to censorship, I’d rather err on the side of avoiding it. And when it comes to all the disinformation, the argument that stupid people might believe it — while totally true — just doesn’t sway me enough to root for censorship.
But I just can’t understand why Elon wanted to buy Twitter for any other reason than just because he can. He could easily create a social media platform that combines the best of all of them and rule the world … some more. Why waste $44 million on Twitter?
I know how he feels, though. It would be cool to own a social media company. While I don’t have $44 billion, I did just clean out the sofa cushions and found $44. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to compete with Elon for Twitter.
Parler, however, might be in my price range. Or TruthSocial … if it worked.