We’re approaching the dog days of summer and I’m fighting the ennui that develops after way too many rounds of golf by rooting for a new sporting event starring two guys that already hog endless hours of media speculation: Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk.
Stay tuned for the upcoming match to determine the world’s most wigged-out Tech Bro. Musk, age 52, versus Zuckerberg, age 39, in a battle for the ages. We’re in for a no-tropes-barred cage match, potentially fought within a real cage as well as the court of public opinion. Right now, we’re at the pissing and moaning stage, where Musk is accusing Zuckerberg of stealing X employees to launch Meta’s new X-like app called Threads which looks like a strong challenger to whatever is left of the original Twitter.
Understand, dear reader, that X does not signify the unknown element in an algebra problem. X is the new name for Twitter. I have absolutely no idea what will replace Tweet which was both a noun (I read a Tweet) and a verb (I tweeted). Somehow, I don’t think (I Xed) or (I read an X) is going to catch on. Apparently Musk is quite fond of the letter X, having named one of his innumerable children X as well.
Ever since Musk forked over $49 billion to sashay into Twitter headquarters carrying a bathroom sink, things have not gone well in the Twitterverse (X spot?). I’d say things have not proceeded according to plan, but it doesn’t appear to the not-so-casual observer that there was any plan at all. Apparently the only person who really thinks the acquisition went well is Jack Dorsey, who managed to steal away with almost a billion dollars in cash for his shares. He and his beard might have been spotted in the outtakes of White Lotus, Season 2 at the ultra-luxury Four Seasons San Domenico Palace in Sicily. He can certainly afford it now.
Meanwhile, over at Meta, Facebook is showing its gray roots and Instagram is being trounced by TikTok in the all-important tween market. Zuckerberg, apparently looking to spice up his stable of apps, released Threads. According to Zuck, over 120 million users have signed up in the first month of Thread’s existence. This challenge to Twitter has caused Musk to throw a major hissy fit and threaten to sue Meta for “cheating”, whatever that is. Musk may have trouble finding a law firm to file an actual lawsuit since he’s currently refusing to pay Wachtell, Lipton, who handled the legal work on the Twitter purchase, their $90 million dollar fee. I wonder who gave him that idea.
Zuckerberg is a major-league practitioner of Brazillian jiu jitsu, a martial art and combat sport. Zuck is touting his physical fitness, claiming to have completed “the Murph” in record time. The “Murph” is a completely off the wall test of physical endurance that must be completed while wearing full military-grade body armor. That’s really all you need to know.
Full disclosure, I don’t use Twitter/X. It’s hard to figure out and I don’t want to waste any time reading the confused rantings of some of the most prolific posters. A couple years ago, I had an account to survey some of the Donald’s sputterings but the mis-spellings, misogyny and misanthropy gave me eye migraines. Musk’s idea of freedom of speech for his Twitter means that anyone, anytime can say anything—which makes everything suspect. Better to ignore it all than try to sort out fact from science fiction.
Personally, what I’d really like to see is a good old-fashioned slugfest where we lock them in the cage and they pummel each other into submission with big bags of Krugerands: and then we lose the key.