Elon Musk is now tweeting explicit images of Trump as a monk tempted to have sex with with Twitter. It’s the kind of inappropriately offensive tweet that one might or might not consider reporting to Twitter, if not for the fact that it was posted by the owner of Twitter. And therein lies the conundrum.
Musk seems to be having the kind of mental breakdown where literally everything is funny to him. He keeps posting one increasingly unhinged tweet after another, including one in which he inserted his own face into a Brokeback Mountain meme. Each of these tweets is only serving to ensure Twitter’s lost advertisers won’t come back, drive down the value of Twitter and his own overall net worth, and reduce the selling price that he could get for Twitter if he does end up having to sell it in a fire sale to try to salvage some fraction of his own evaporating fortune. But Musk doesn’t seem to care, because everything is funny to this maniac, and so it doesn’t matter how much it harms him.
Lock out Twitter employees? That was a hoot. Promise to appoint a committee to decide whether Donald Trump will be back on the platform, only to then turn around and let it be decided by a bot-ridden Twitter poll? Hilarious. Bank on Trump coming back and making the platform more active, only for Trump to decide he doesn’t even want to come back? Musk is rolling in the aisles laughing, even as it all falls apart for him.
At the rate Elon Musk’s psyche is imploding, he might finish himself off before he can finish off Twitter. This is a guy who, in all seriousness, would likely be in psychiatric custody by now if his (rapidly dwindling) fortune weren’t providing him a (temporary) buffer from that fate.
This guy could well be entirely non-functional within weeks or days. What’s his next step, running up and down the streets and getting into arguments with fire hydrants? That’s not an attempt at making fun of whatever mental illness is causing him to unravel. It’s just that his online behavior (and financial behavior) is becoming so incoherently insane, it’s difficult to imagine that incoherently insane behavior in the real world won’t be his next step. Then what? Will a court appointed conservator end up taking Twitter away from him?
There’s really no precedent for this. Even when billionaire Howard Hughes famously suffered severe mental decline and his behavior became incoherently erratic, he still didn’t try to actively destroy his own fortune just for laughs. We’ll see where this goes. But if Musk is unraveling as quickly as his behavior suggests he is, we may find out where this is going sooner than one might have expected.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report