The Trouble with Elon Musk and Grimes
May 11, 2018 8:25 AM   Subscribe

Mere hours before the gala began, the New York Post’s Page Six reported that the Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk—the forty-six-year-old C.E.O. of the electric-vehicle company Tesla and the aerospace company SpaceX, who has discussed his plans to colonize Mars—had been “quietly dating” Claire Boucher, also known as Grimes, the thirty-year-old, critically lauded electronic musician, who once sailed a D.I.Y. houseboat loaded with live chickens and bushels of potatoes down the Mississippi River and who, in a Profile in this magazine in 2015, was deemed possibly too punk to become a pop star.
posted by Sokka shot first (146 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
She took "anti-imperialist" out of her Twitter bio recently. They must have had the talk.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:29 AM on May 11 [65 favorites]


Sorry, I only look at celebrity relationship criticism in PowerPoint.
posted by gwint at 8:33 AM on May 11 [79 favorites]


"A nostalgia for a time when political differences translated more securely into differences of taste, and vice versa."

That ship sailed and sank before the Titanic.
posted by Iridic at 8:34 AM on May 11 [4 favorites]


According to Page Six, the couple met when Musk recently tweeted the words “Rococo Basilisk,” a near-nonsensical pun riffing on the A.I. thought experiment Roko’s Basilisk, which hypothesizes about the likelihood of a future artificial superintelligence killing those who didn’t help to bring it into being; he discovered that Boucher made the same joke three years ago, and reached out to her.

This future is so lame.
posted by enn at 8:38 AM on May 11 [92 favorites]


I thought they meant Frank Grimes and thought, well that makes sense in its own cartoon supervillain way.
posted by chavenet at 8:40 AM on May 11 [20 favorites]


Feel like the entirety of twitter has been in dad/mom mode this week: "You're dating who?

But, look, St Vincent's not dating Peter Thiel ... yet ... so, you know, we've got that going for us.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:41 AM on May 11 [21 favorites]


She took "anti-imperialist" out of her Twitter bio recently. They must have had the talk.

I'm disappointed it went that way. Would be a much more interesting plot twist if Musk added "I didn't choose the Nazgul life, the Nazgul life chose me!" to his twitter bio instead.
posted by like_neon at 8:41 AM on May 11 [20 favorites]


People from different walks of life, with different beliefs and values find each other and, inexplicably, fall in love all the time.

I think that's one of the most interesting and beautiful things in this world.

Dissecting it under the inflammatory lens of internet journalism is a decidedly un-beautiful thing. Under that lens no personal experience or revelation may be had. Everything is held up to the cerebral scrutiny of collective judgement.

I think I've had enough internet for today.
posted by sp160n at 8:46 AM on May 11 [81 favorites]


He's already reproduced multiple times, so there's no closing the barn door now.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:46 AM on May 11


We're very deep into Bond supervillain territory now.
posted by ourobouros at 8:46 AM on May 11 [10 favorites]


No, sorry, there's a difference between "everyone has flaws and love is love" and "dating someone who literally runs a factory where there are plausible accusations of racism, sexism and abuse of workers". Musk's selfish, dumb, rich-guy ideas about the future might be excusable, but his robber baron ways as an employer are not.

But obviously, famous rich people date famous rich people, and they have far more in common with each other than with anyone else. The famous rich are not your friends, no matter what edgy, "I'm so dark in a twee way" nonsense they post on social media. The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.
posted by Frowner at 8:52 AM on May 11 [139 favorites]


the couple met when Musk recently tweeted the words “Rococo Basilisk,” a near-nonsensical pun riffing on the A.I. thought experiment Roko’s Basilisk, which hypothesizes about the likelihood of a future artificial superintelligence killing those who didn’t help to bring it into being; he discovered that Boucher made the same joke three years ago, and reached out to her.

A truly superintelligent AI would kill anyone who thinks that qualifies as a joke.
posted by rocket88 at 8:55 AM on May 11 [40 favorites]


But really, all of this is worth every moment because those Met Gala pictures are gold—especially this one where Musk looks like he's rather sullenly indulging his prom date when he'd really rather be at home with a bowl and his Limp Bizkit records.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:56 AM on May 11 [7 favorites]




But, look, St Vincent's not dating Peter Thiel ... yet ...

*shudders*
posted by Fizz at 8:58 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


I’m holding out hope this is part of an elaborate heist/ revenge situation
posted by The Whelk at 8:59 AM on May 11 [15 favorites]


Musk's selfish, dumb, rich-guy ideas about the future

Exactly, only the pure at eco-heart may create electric cars, solarize entire islands and other efforts that will actually make a difference.
posted by sammyo at 9:00 AM on May 11 [27 favorites]


Also, I think the New Yorker article has it backwards because everything got reified in the end - the reason to seek out non-major label or adversarial or independent culture (for whatever that means given your particular taste and social circle) isn't because it's, like, so cool, man, unlike the lame music produced by the squares. The reason to seek out independent culture is precisely to get away from the Musks and Besoses and Mercers and Thiels of the world. It's not aesthetics first, it's revulsion and refusal first, aesthetics afterward. The thing got reified as it gained steam in the eighties and nineties, and people got confused and figured that the point was that adversarial music was necesssarily cooler and better and smarter because it was adversarial.

The point of refusal and revulsion in art is that even if something is pretty and interesting and complex and sophisticated, it's still garbage if it's built out of human blood and suffering.
posted by Frowner at 9:01 AM on May 11 [55 favorites]


"dating someone who literally runs a factory where there are plausible accusations of racism, sexism and abuse of workers"

I was talking about this elsewhere with someone, and I think it's worth noting that nearly every company existing in America has this. Probably, including the ones you like. Including a lot of progressive companies and companies that some of the most "progressive" nonprofits - nonprofits who themselves advocate publicly for worker rights - contract with.

Acting as though Musk were uniquely bad, rather than the state of employer activity in America, feels good, but in fact allows others to evade responsibility.

Also, let people be in love. Who knows, if they stay together maybe he himself will change, as people often do when they are confronted with ideas outside of their experience spoken by people they trust.
posted by corb at 9:07 AM on May 11 [37 favorites]


I'm willing to give a pass to anyone who wants to seize an opportunity to attend the Met Gala with a space billionaire, even if he eats babies. Life is short y'all
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:08 AM on May 11 [34 favorites]


The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.

Yeah, I think maybe life is a little more complex than this.
posted by gwint at 9:10 AM on May 11 [28 favorites]


And not only must the good guys be pure at heart, they must have good taste.

I admit I'm a spacex fanboi and convinced that we need to move tech off the planet and turn it into a park and would not be caught dead in his outfit or with someone dressed like his date, but sheesh, the guy's not making a social media app that out FBing FB.
posted by sammyo at 9:10 AM on May 11


For myself, I'm relieved - Musk's twitter account is way more understandable now that I can just assume that ~75% of it is really just attempting to flirt with Grimes.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:10 AM on May 11 [36 favorites]


This is nobody's business, least of all a journalist's.
posted by carter at 9:10 AM on May 11 [5 favorites]


According to Page Six, the couple met when Musk recently tweeted the words “Rococo Basilisk,” a near-nonsensical pun riffing on the A.I. thought experiment Roko’s Basilisk, which hypothesizes about the likelihood of a future artificial superintelligence killing those who didn’t help to bring it into being; he discovered that Boucher made the same joke three years ago, and reached out to her.

My favorite version of this is the one where he described himself as doing research for his C- pun on Roko's Basilisk, which is just incomprehensible.
posted by Copronymus at 9:11 AM on May 11 [8 favorites]


But obviously, famous rich people date famous rich people, and they have far more in common with each other than with anyone else.

So obviously I have an opinion about this, and this New Yorker piece was the first one that got at why I found myself so surprisingly annoyed and disappointed by the news. I've never had strong opinions about a celebrity relationship announcement before, and the very fact that I care one way or another is itself disorienting and unpleasant.

I like Grimes, or at least I like who she performs as for her audience. I love her music (so does Metafilter, mostly) and find her musical achievements incredibly inspiring (her Song Exploder episode is one of my all-time favorites). She, via her music, has always seemed like she has a lot of very interesting things to say about the world. She's charming and funny and (the kicker) always seemed very real.

Musk, meanwhile, is just so fucking banal. He's the Ready Player One of tech billionaires. He seemingly has nothing of interest to say about the world. He has, fundamentally, bad taste.

And that's just the aesthetic problem—that doesn't even get at the disappointment at seeing someone I always sort of thought (or hoped) was One Of Us (even though I don't exactly know who the Us is) go for a rich technocrat whose ideology is ultimately exactly what you think it would be, despite his cool hobbies.

The sadness I feel is a complicated and stupid one. Complicated because it makes me feel like I've misapprehended the priorities of an artist I really like, but also that maybe I don't have any business speculating about those priorities anyway. Furthermore, I begin to wonder if, were I to somehow achieve wealth and fame and cultural cachet, would my aesthetics and values be similarly contingent? And stupid, of course, because this is celebrity dating news and does not affect my life. Except I've been thinking about it a lot, and therefore it is affecting my life.

I hate it.
posted by Sokka shot first at 9:19 AM on May 11 [57 favorites]


I'm more upset that she's with the guy who said "I am the alpha in this relationship" to his wife during their first dance. By all accounts he's a scary control-freak and dangit I really like Grimes!
posted by sonmi at 9:23 AM on May 11 [18 favorites]


And not only must the good guys be pure at heart, they must have good taste.

I am prepared to accept your charges of frivolity if only I can chuckle at the idea of one of the world's richest and, allegedly, smartest men turning up at a costume party dressed as a Carnival Cruise waiter with a wispy 'stache. Elon has the Singularity. Let me have that.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:24 AM on May 11 [2 favorites]


The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.

Yeah, I think maybe life is a little more complex than this.


Yeah, I don't.
posted by haileris23 at 9:24 AM on May 11 [23 favorites]


The working class and the employing class have nothing in common

also if you're going to go there, you may as well go here.
posted by corb at 9:27 AM on May 11 [2 favorites]




This is nobody's business, least of all a journalist's.

Yes, I'm sure the notoriously publicity-shy Elon Musk is just wilting beneath the heat of the media spotlight.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:31 AM on May 11 [5 favorites]


I hope it's part of a black widow long con tbh
posted by poffin boffin at 9:31 AM on May 11 [37 favorites]


I was more surprised to learn that her mother is Sandy Garossino, and that Garossino at one time owned and operated the largest taxi fleet in western Canada.
posted by JamesBay at 9:45 AM on May 11 [4 favorites]


Elon musk does seem both icky and boring but I can't blame Grimes for wanting to see what it's like to date a billionaire who could maybe send you to space for a while just to see what kind of crazy that world gets up to.
posted by dis_integration at 9:47 AM on May 11 [5 favorites]




I was talking about this elsewhere with someone, and I think it's worth noting that nearly every company existing in America has this. Probably, including the ones you like. Including a lot of progressive companies and companies that some of the most "progressive" nonprofits - nonprofits who themselves advocate publicly for worker rights - contract with.

I'm not sure excluding American (large) business owners in general, rather than just Musk, from your dating pool is particularly narrowing the field.


Ad-Rock became a better person, rather than Kathleen Hannah becoming worse. Nothing is indicating the same being the case here, but we can hope.
posted by Dysk at 9:51 AM on May 11 [10 favorites]


My default take on celebrity + celebrity relationships is "maybe they actually like each other". It's too easy to ship them like fictional characters based on their public personas.
posted by allegedly at 9:57 AM on May 11 [9 favorites]


You Can’t Tip a Buick doesn’t have time for internet right now, but he asked me to tell you that this thing is only acceptable if Grimes is Stalin circa 1907 and Elon Musk is a Georgian bank.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:58 AM on May 11 [18 favorites]


Talking about Elon Musk is part of the business model.
posted by Damienmce at 10:09 AM on May 11 [5 favorites]


She took "anti-imperialist" out of her Twitter bio recently. They must have had the talk.
It's back. And her Twitter banner shows her with Poppy. This whole thing may be some meta-level culture-jamming.
posted by adamrice at 10:20 AM on May 11 [3 favorites]


I barely ever know why I do anything, or understand the effects of my actions with any clarity; I'm not sure that there's much of value produced by analysing the interaction of two people I've never met.
When I'm considering this I find it helpful to quote the wisdom of my father, who once told me 'Who the fuck knows why anything happens?' - Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London.
posted by howfar at 10:26 AM on May 11 [10 favorites]


only the pure at eco-heart may create electric cars, solarize entire islands and other efforts that will actually make a difference.

A man putting on his armor should not speak like a man taking off his armor.

I just don't understand folks who simply believe Musk when he tells them he has a problem solved. The SolarCity tile roofs were nonfunctional, for heaven's sake. Anyone who gives him credit for an inch more than he can actually deliver at that exact moment is being a willing patsy at this point.

Those pictures are hilarious, though. Nothing like reproducing awkward pre-prom pictures, only your date is old enough to be your dad.
posted by praemunire at 10:32 AM on May 11 [26 favorites]


starting to think we may not be in base reality, that this may be one of the infinite torture simulations created by the basilisk to hold our ur-selves retroactively hostage, and that it is a very weird superintelligence
posted by vogon_poet at 10:37 AM on May 11 [6 favorites]


I've never had strong opinions about a celebrity relationship announcement before, and the very fact that I care one way or another is itself disorienting and unpleasant.

Same. I do recall having a similar twinge of skepticism when I heard about Amanda Palmer (who I had zero opinions about at the time) and Neil Gaiman (who I was, and continue to be, a HUGE fan of), but that was because it felt a bit too much like a middle-aged fantasy writer/goth-girl groupie wish fulfillment scenario.

In this case, I honestly don't understand Grimes and Musk's cultural orientation towards each other.

I'm more upset that she's with the guy who said "I am the alpha in this relationship" to his wife during their first dance. By all accounts he's a scary control-freak and dangit I really like Grimes!

This too. I really hope she did her research before jumping in here, because yeesh.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:37 AM on May 11 [8 favorites]


If you think of Elon Musk as a bricklayer, it's not quite so shocking.
posted by JamesBay at 10:43 AM on May 11


Musk's selfish, dumb, rich-guy ideas about the future

Exactly, only the pure at eco-heart may create electric cars, solarize entire islands and other efforts that will actually make a difference.


Guys, there's cartoon villians and Mr. Rogers but mostly there's the other 95% of us. I don't understand the urge to boil everyone down like "Elon Musk: good or bad?" but Elon Musk is both good and bad and he happens to have billions of dollars to be both good and bad with.

Elon Musk is from almost all accounts a terrible boss, he's probably created a bad working culture in all of his companies, he's probably personally a big douche, and that is all true at the same time that he probably kicked the EV market into gear, restored U.S. launch capability, and spurred research and production in large-scale batteries. These are all true. They don't contradict each other. People are good and bad.
posted by Jpfed at 10:45 AM on May 11 [54 favorites]


Exactly, Jpfed. Grimes too - she has this great artistic output, but I hear she's really into Elon Musk.
posted by The Gaffer at 10:47 AM on May 11 [38 favorites]


I do recall having a similar twinge of skepticism when I heard about Amanda Palmer (who I had zero opinions about at the time) and Neil Gaiman (who I was, and continue to be, a HUGE fan of), but that was because it felt a bit too much like a middle-aged fantasy writer/goth-girl groupie wish fulfillment scenario.

It did, but I think this comes back to the same reason I feel pretty meh about this: Groupies don't have their own thing going, by definition. Palmer's not, like, as likely to be set for life financially, but she's got her own notability, her own career, her own fans. Getting a divorce from Neil Gaiman would probably not completely ruin her, and much less so if they'd split up while they were still dating. Grimes might not be at Musk's economic level, but while abuse can happen to anybody in any relationship, in the absence of that, she's not at a point where she's vulnerable to suddenly losing everything if he loses interest in her. I dunno why she's doing this, and I would say I'm mildly skeptical that it'll work out, but even just being Elon Musk's ex-girlfriend could be a selling point for her someday. It seems to fall into the camp of "this might be a bad idea but I don't think she's being exploited".
posted by Sequence at 10:56 AM on May 11 [6 favorites]


I don't understand why this is news. Talking about the consensual relationships of people I don't know seems weird and creepy.
posted by kyrademon at 10:58 AM on May 11 [18 favorites]


Have you been to a supermarket lately?
posted by gwint at 11:03 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Of course because we now live in the weirding timeline, the checkout counter now has the New Yorker and PowerPoint presentations for celeb gossip and Teen Vogue and The National Enquirer for news.
posted by gwint at 11:04 AM on May 11 [5 favorites]


> "Have you been to a supermarket lately?"

Yes.

It's still weird and creepy.
posted by kyrademon at 11:06 AM on May 11 [4 favorites]


Guys, I think we need to stage a MetaFilter Intervention and save Grimes like we did for those Russian women who were being trafficked. This "Elon Musk" is a clearly a shady character and I don't think Grimes can be trusted to make her own good decisions about who to attend rich people nonsense galas with. Now here's part one of my rescue plan. First, we obtain a life-size Monster High doll and swap it out for Grimes when Elon Musk isn't looking
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:10 AM on May 11 [16 favorites]


only your date is old enough to be your dad.

Elon Musk/Age
46 years
June 28, 1971

Grimes/Age
30 years
March 17, 1988

Technically what you say is true....

Although, I would say it falls into an acceptable territory if we are using the "half your age plus seven" rule.
posted by beatThedealer at 11:12 AM on May 11 [6 favorites]


What a non-problem to be discussed. Is the American Left ran out of things to analyze?
posted by tirta-yana at 11:14 AM on May 11 [10 favorites]


Starting off by stating I personally am not affected by who Grimes dates and whatnot and obviously I don't know either personally to know how their politics and whatnot align in private. However, I will say this relationship has come up in conversation with friends. I think the reason it's being commented on because it's basically the famous person version of what I find as not surprising, especially since this past election cycle. The phenomenon of people you thought were allies in some way or similar political beliefs revealing themselves in a surprising way to maybe not be so. And I've especially seen this play out in who people decide to get into relationships with and I've made it known to people that I WILL judge people on who they date/marry and decide to remain with and/or excuse the behavior and beliefs of (and I mean in the general because I don't know these two like that besides what is presented to the public).

Mainly because in a long line of lifetime disappointments of getting to know people (that has now just mellowed out to a, "I figured this was coming" at this point and is not surprising anymore), as a minority and woman I've gotten to know white people who present or present themselvesin some way only to say/do some wild things after you get to know them a bit. Just straight up out of nowhere that makes you go, "Oh, word?" One of the prime examples of this is white people who date people with certain... interesting beliefs and try to excuse it away or act like it's not that big of a deal because, like just one minor thing. And personally after that I can't take you seriously as an ally after that and it really comes from a place of privilege.

One comment on a gossip site put it best when they said about this, something along the lines of, "White women date men with terrible and opposite politics then act like it's some quirk like liking opposing sports teams." Because on the ground in real life to others, certain differences in belief are usually not just some quirky, meet cute, opposites attract type of thing.
posted by kkokkodalk at 11:14 AM on May 11 [32 favorites]


This is probably the closest American equivalent to your favorite pop star accepting a knighthood.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:17 AM on May 11 [3 favorites]


Talking about the consensual relationships of people I don't know seems weird and creepy.

They're both public personas who've packaged themselves for public consumption and speculation.

Musk puts himself *out there* in a way that most tech CEOs don't. You don't see Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos clammoring to be at the Met Gala.

Grimes could just be a musician, but she clearly wants you to know what she's doing, and has cultivated a persona and social media presence.

This isn't talking about the relationships of people, this is talking about the merger of two brands that people have opinions on. We're not talking about Elon and Claire, those two folks we sometimes see at the coffee shop. We're talking about an off-brand pairing that's as odd as Rachel Maddow doing a guest spot on Family Guy.
posted by explosion at 11:19 AM on May 11 [19 favorites]


The reason to seek out independent culture is precisely to get away from the Musks and Besoses and Mercers and Thiels of the world.

Grimes - Medieval Warfare (From Suicide Squad: The Album) [Official Audio]
posted by Apocryphon at 11:33 AM on May 11 [3 favorites]


Groupies don't have their own thing going, by definition. Palmer's not, like, as likely to be set for life financially, but she's got her own notability, her own career, her own fans.

Not to prolong my own Gaiman/Palmer derail, but apologies for my imprecise wording in describing Amanda Palmer as a "goth-girl groupie", which she most definitely wasn't at the time she dated/married Gaiman. Her persona and relative age caused me to wonder if this might have been a situation where she was indeed a former teenage fangirl, because she fit the profile of the female Neil Gaiman fans I knew in high school/college to a T.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:41 AM on May 11 [2 favorites]


Have you been to a supermarket lately?

why, is the bag boy still dating that creep from produce
posted by poffin boffin at 11:46 AM on May 11 [47 favorites]


Now here's part one of my rescue plan. First, we obtain a life-size Monster High doll and swap it out for Grimes when Elon Musk isn't looking

I love this plan! I'm excited to be a part of it! Let's do it!
posted by octobersurprise at 11:53 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


You are allowed to be freaked out by what consenting adults do, but if they fine with it then suck it up. People are people, not mental abstractions, as easy as it is to pretend otherwise.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:06 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]


It's weird, but so is life.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:07 PM on May 11


A wannabe Bond villian vs a time-travelling, genderswapped Al Pacino-as-a-vampire?

Kill V Maim will suck him dry the moment he steps out of line.
posted by whuppy at 12:12 PM on May 11


If you think of Elon Musk as a bricklayer
Not really clear what he's done to earn the comparison.
posted by SaltySalticid at 12:23 PM on May 11 [4 favorites]


she's not at a point where she's vulnerable to suddenly losing everything if he loses interest in her.

I didn't that that was a factor here at all, exactly. I thought it was just

a.) people who like her, but don't like him, feel like this is impinging on their positive feelings toward her
b.) people who like her anyway, but are aware of some stories about his past relationships, feel like he will treat her poorly - and it's not that she'll have no way out, just that it doesn't have to happen at all
posted by atoxyl at 12:31 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Her persona and relative age caused me to wonder if this might have been a situation where she was indeed a former teenage fangirl, because she fit the profile of the female Neil Gaiman fans I knew in high school/college to a T.
posted by Strange Interlude at 2:41 PM on May 11 [+] [!]


She had never read his stuff before meeting him and isn't in general a fan of fiction. Way to dismiss a successful artist who married another successful artist as a "teenage fangirl" without doing the research though.
posted by edbles at 12:37 PM on May 11 [12 favorites]


Have there been any documented instances of anyone having sex in space yet?
posted by slogger at 12:39 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Has frimble not been maintaining the protective circles and wards that have kept us safe from Amanda Palmer threads for the last few years?
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:50 PM on May 11 [32 favorites]


She had never read his stuff before meeting him and isn't in general a fan of fiction. Way to dismiss a successful artist who married another successful artist as a "teenage fangirl" without doing the research though.

Fair enough, I stand corrected. I didn't intend to sound like I was dismissing Palmer; we're nearly the same age, and was/am a big Gaiman fan myself, and based on my (admittedly limited) knowledge of her work she reminded me a lot of my female friends + acquaintances who were also fans. I made an assumption, and was wrong.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:51 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]


all I want is a music video shot on the moon, is that so wrong

elon is not allow to dance or do backup vocals

he can shake tambourine as long as its inaudible and edited out
posted by wires at 12:53 PM on May 11 [17 favorites]


only your date is old enough to be your dad.

(As the 3rd of 4 kids, whose father is 15 years old than his mother, and who've now been happily married for 42 years, just want to note that those age gap relationships do sometimes workout entirely fine)
posted by Damienmce at 1:06 PM on May 11 [7 favorites]


> he can shake tambourine as long as its inaudible and edited out

You maybe are joking but perhaps John Lennon and Yoko Ono is a reasonable comparison.
posted by bukvich at 1:06 PM on May 11


Count me in with the folks that have no idea why we are replicating a grocery store checkout line story on the front page
posted by lazaruslong at 1:06 PM on May 11 [5 favorites]


it's a more novel version of a tabloid story because Grimes isn't really a regular pop star (see: previous metafilter posts about her music, which is really good, and which she produces herself as a self-taught prodigy).

the more i think about this the madder i get that i'm thinking about it, and that i care, and that i care that i care.
posted by vogon_poet at 1:09 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


But, look, St Vincent's not dating Peter Thiel ... yet ... so, you know, we've got that going for us.

I figure Thiel is such a libertarian caricature that he would date a corporation (at least until his clone is of-age), but I don't see him going for a non-profit, especially one that helps "the poors".
posted by MikeKD at 1:12 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


The article reads like a gossip column reifying everything about why many humans tend to be interested in the lifestyles of the rich & famous, reveling in the coverage of the details, and doesn't particularly seem to bother saying much about what the trouble with Elon Musk and Grimes might be, and then taking a final turn into two questions that *might* make some sense if the author had done any labor to unfold them with this piece.

Keyword is might because from where I sit the idea that political differences are merely a matter of taste strikes me as more tenuous than a relationship between a billionaire and a pop star, and the idea that human connection can't cross ideological lines is more tenuous (as well as depressing, because there may not be better ways of combating ideology). And in the year 2018 we don't just have ideological distinctions, we have ideological fault lines that are so active it isn't actually clear that a lot of civilization that we've taken for granted is going to hold together. A divide between Musk and Grimes likely doesn't mean as much (they're both performers trading on their ability to to do interesting creative work within established cultural forms), and yet the author seems to see that as the sign that Something Is Amiss™ while failing to deliver a credibly articulated case to support the headline.
posted by wildblueyonder at 1:26 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


He has, fundamentally, bad taste

He names his spaceships after Iain M. Banks spaceships.

Your argument is invalid.
posted by biscotti at 1:29 PM on May 11 [12 favorites]


I'll just continue the Amanda Palmer/Neil Gaiman thing because why not. Their pairing makes total sense to me, because they're both undeniably talented people who will apparently die if the world stops paying attention to them for five minutes. They are both, frankly, insufferable theater kids. They're hams. I get it.

The Grimes/Elon Musk thing is different because it's not about celebrity, exactly. Musk is a celebrity, but only incidentally; what he really is is Donald Trump in hipster drag. Grimes is a celebrity, but she's a celebrity because of art that people related to -- people radically opposed to everything Elon Musk is about. If you can't see yourself in people outraged by Kanye supporting Trump, maybe imagine if Kurt Cobain had lived to date Tomi Lahren. It's the kind of thing that makes you deeply cynical about your connection not to an artist, but to art itself. It's a more serious thing than it might sound.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:33 PM on May 11 [18 favorites]


Dating a significantly younger woman who brings with her an outsider-arty reputation is just one more piece of evidence in my Elon Musk is trying way too hard to be Howard Hughes case. If he could start throwing secretive parties for celebrities where weird shit goes down that is slowly revealed to the public over the course of decades I am sure The Whelk would appreciate having some new Hollywood-industrial party complex stories to mine, but I am personally more eager for Musk to reach the long-fingernails-and-jars-of-urine stage of his Hughes retread.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 1:35 PM on May 11 [4 favorites]


The sadness I feel is a complicated and stupid one.

It’s the sadness of seeing yet another incredible woman you know shackle themselves to some self-important bore who slowly bleeds at the edges of her life until she shrinks down so small she can just turn sideways and disappear completely whenever he needs to be the center of attention, and knowing that, barring some miracle, she’s just a ghost-woman walking now
posted by schadenfrau at 1:42 PM on May 11 [27 favorites]


how long do they have to be dating before the transitive property makes Grimes a problematic fave
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:53 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


I am sure The Whelk would appreciate having some new Hollywood-industrial party complex stories to mine, but I am personally more eager for Musk to reach the long-fingernails-and-jars-of-urine stage of his Hughes retread.

We all know this ends with him at the center of a huge computer running a hotel in a bombed out, post nuclear Las Vegas.
posted by The Whelk at 1:56 PM on May 11 [10 favorites]


This thread is certainly a feather in the cap of Claire Boucher's (and her managing entities') branding skills. Grimes wouldn't date Elon Musk but Grimes isn't a real person. Boucher is, and none of us actually know her.
posted by FakeFreyja at 2:01 PM on May 11 [17 favorites]


War. War never changes.
posted by Damienmce at 2:01 PM on May 11


I'm willing to give a pass to anyone who wants to seize an opportunity to attend the Met Gala with a space billionaire, even if he eats babies. Life is short y'all


Considering the fierceness that other people were bringing to the Met Gala, they could have gone a bit more Luc Besson/Gautier, just sayin'.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:01 PM on May 11 [5 favorites]


Totally not news. If cool girls didn't love to date libertarianish money guys, all of Wall Street would be incels, and waiters all over Brooklyn would be a lot poorer since it's the Wall Street boyfriends who are picking up the tabs.

(My whole town is basically that seen aged 15-30 years, full of men who can save the trouble of voting simply by agreeing with their wives that both of them staying home is the same as both them going out and canceling each other out.)
posted by MattD at 2:02 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Musk is a celebrity and has a rather obnoxious public persona (though it is dwarfed by his more obnoxious fanbase), but to compare him to Trump is really really strange. The industries he's been working in are a far cry from the rent-seeking most other billionaires are involved in, and as far as tech goes he's not going for easy money or data-leeching. He is no saint, his anti-union stance is despicable, but a Bezos or Ellison or even Gates, he is not.

If there were nicer people (or perhaps, governments and public servants and we the people instead of industrialist technocrats) making electric cars and solar infrastructure mainstream in America that'd be great, but this is the dystopia we live in. As far as plutocrats go, Musk is polarizing but not a clearcut evil. People are acting like Grimes is dating Shkreli.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:02 PM on May 11 [15 favorites]


> he can shake tambourine as long as its inaudible and edited out

You maybe are joking but perhaps John Lennon and Yoko Ono is a reasonable comparison.



Except that John put Yoko right up front with their Plastic Ono Band work. It was very much about Yoko.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:04 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


The important thing is that this woman we've never met should date only people that we approve of. We do know better, after all.
posted by The Gaffer at 2:05 PM on May 11 [20 favorites]


If cool girls didn't love to date libertarianish money guys,

I suppose I am engaging in some tone policing here, and I understand that when we're talking about Grimes there is an entire subtext of unequal power dynamics at play, but who exactly are "cool girls"? And is it really okay, because this undefined group of women are "cool girls" that we can disparage them?
posted by JamesBay at 2:06 PM on May 11


Or people I don't particularly care for should ideally stay out of circles that mean a lot to me?
posted by Carillon at 2:06 PM on May 11


Everyone’s laughing at Grimes for dating Elon Musk as if dating an absolute piece of shit older dude wasn’t a rite of passage for all goth girls

I saw this tweet floating around and I get it - lots of people were talking about things like this, and about being a teen girl in a Vampire The Masquerade LARP group and dating the GM who was 15 years older than you.

And yeah she has a singing voice that could be describe as girlish and is very youthful but...

Grimes is 30. An adult by every measure, a successful performer/songwriter/producer/creative force. I feel like the "goth girl and older guy" joke is taking away a lot of agency from a grown woman.
posted by thecjm at 2:51 PM on May 11 [15 favorites]


I maybe woke up cranky this morning, but there is absolutely nothing new about a 50-ish rich guy choosing to date a much younger woman. The fact that May-December relationships can work doesn’t make it any less tiresome as a trope. It would be so much more interesting if he decided to date Yoko Ono. I know it gets into tricky territory when we talk about consenting adults, but when do we get to talk about how damaging the notion of a young woman as a prize for older men is for women as a whole?
posted by frumiousb at 3:14 PM on May 11 [4 favorites]


why would an older woman want to put up with the mess that a younger man often is?
posted by kokaku at 3:17 PM on May 11


Musk is a celebrity and has a rather obnoxious public persona (though it is dwarfed by his more obnoxious fanbase), but to compare him to Trump is really really strange.

Gaudy, preposterously wasteful poster child for toxic masculinity who's transformed himself into a lifestyle brand. His fans are more libertarian right than cracker militia right, which is just a matter of more upscale branding.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:50 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


"celebrity millionaire goes to rich&famous gala with celebrity billionaire"

Yes, I'm totally shocked, folks.
posted by lmfsilva at 3:50 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Naomi Fry seems curiously obsessed with the love-lives of other people.
2012 essay.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:05 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


"What do you know, folks, wakka wakka." That's exactly the kind of dreary cynicism I'm talking about. Any situation that makes more of that in the world is a shame. I'm not really sure what the way around it is beyond like "care about stuff less," which seems like a poor solution. I guess if you care about stuff, sometimes you'll be disappointed. It's probably better than the alternative.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:05 PM on May 11


Musk is a poster child for Silicon Valley techno-salvationism, technocratic rule, and IFLScience! scientism. You're firing at the wrong target.

Though I suppose Musk has embodied toxic masculinity in his personal life, but it's not the most defining flaw in his public persona.

Musk is definitely worth criticism, as any extremely wealthy/powerful person is, but to compare him to Trump seems a little off-base. Why can't he be critiqued as a unique snowflake of awful? An archetype of his own. Maybe a bit Jobs-like, as most hardware product design fetishist magnates are.

why would an older woman want to put up with the mess that a younger man often is?

Why not ask Mme. Macron?

That's exactly the kind of dreary cynicism I'm talking about. Any situation that makes more of that in the world is a shame.

Grimes is cool but I don't get why people seem to think of her as some sort of revolutionary anti-capitalist icon. But then, even M.I.A. performed at the Super Bowl.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:28 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]


If cool girls didn't love to date libertarianish money guys, all of Wall Street would be incels ...

Assumes facts not in evidence. We don’t know that all of Wall Street aren’t incels.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:29 PM on May 11


I've seen far more asshole in this thread than I've seen from Musk.
posted by 2N2222 at 5:52 PM on May 11 [10 favorites]


ho knows, if they stay together maybe he himself will change, as people often do when they are confronted with ideas outside of their experience spoken by people they trust.

I don't think you mean it this way, but this and all the other comments about how maybe she'll be good for him are such an amazing and unwarranted slap in the face to his former wives. like, what, they didn't have any ideas? they weren't good enough to be trusted?

I only know anything about one of them, because she's the writer who wrote about being married to him (the one he wanted to dominate alpha-style, that one). she was/is smart and seemed like a good person. far, far too good for him. she seems to have eventually come to that same conclusion. she did not make him better. she did not drag him up to her level. but she didn't fail at that in the same way that whatsherface cannot succeed. he'll do whatever it is he does and it won't be the fault or achievement of any wife or girlfriend. only their own lives are their responsibility.

a man who claims to be better because a woman made him better is reserving the right to blame a woman when he decides to be worse again. and making a woman a generation younger than you into your improving mommy figure is some sick shit. so let's nobody volunteer that idea for him, and maybe it won't occur to him.

you'd think he might have learned and grown as a person a lot already, as evidenced by his new and progressive interest in a (at the moment) brunette. except never forget the ominous words of his first wife, which ought to toll in Grimes's ears like a dolorous bell: When I first met Elon, I wasn't blonde, either.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:22 PM on May 11 [22 favorites]




What a non-problem to be discussed. Is the American Left ran out of things to analyze?

All circuits are busy now. Please hang up and try your call again later. This is a recording.
posted by salvia at 11:17 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


I’ve been thinking about this (and I hate that I have been thinking about this) and I’ve managed to sort of Get It, and from her perspective too.

Warning: Yes, I’m putting a lot of assumptions out here

So Claire/Grimes seems like a smart, creative, woman to me. She’s a bit kooky and I think she’s quite attractive both physically and as a persona. She’s actually probably quite charismatic in person, with interesting things to say about lots of subjects that I probably don’t think about on a regular basis.

I bet Musk thinks so too. Thinking about who he is probably surrounded by 99% of the time, he’s probably smitten with her being so different and unexpected compared to the rest of his life (not that his life is normal but she’s probably like another end of the spectrum to what he’s normally involved with). I personally wouldn’t mind being the person that shows my partner what they’re missing in life.

Now before I erroneously put Grimes in the role of the manic pixie dream girl, the difference here is that I do think she has agency and a rich, interesting personal trajectory in life. She can leave him if she starts thinking oh he’s just a douche that’s never gonna change and it’ll just be that time she dated Musk wasn’t that weird? But for now it’s the honeymoon stage and as long as he keeps being smitten and maybe if he even makes changes in his life to meet her perspective half way, well that’d be kinda cool and I wish the kids every chance at happiness.
posted by like_neon at 3:13 AM on May 12


Put down the beans, folks, shes only using him for his rockets.
posted by whuppy at 4:46 AM on May 12


What the whole thing reminds me of is the time someone in my extended social circle started dating a cop ("but she's different! Not all cops are bad! Why are you so anti-police!" It's different for queer people!") and was very surprised when people felt negatively about this life choice.

The point about Musk is that he's an unaccountable celebrity with enormous wealth and power who transparently is not interested in treating his workers well and who transparently is most interested in undemocratically using his wealth to make major, major decisions about issues that impact large numbers of people. I do not care if he occasionally flings pennies to the poor at the church door, or if he has really cool ideas about space (actually I think his ideas about space are pretty stupid and self-serving). I don't want humans to go to space at the whims of one person, one anti-union billionaire.

Dating a billionaire who wants to reshape the world is not anti-imperialist. It is the opposite of anti-imperialist, because it is giving your time to someone who is imperial in action and ambition.

We live in an age where people stan for celebrities and seem totally unbothered by their autocratic power. "ooooh, this very famous person created a scholarship for disadvantaged children!" "That famous person started a green business that employees refugees...they can't unionize of course but let's not talk about that!"

I do not want to live in a world where my wellbeing is dependent on whether my plight touches the heart of some billionaire. Not even a billionaire with a spaceship.


If we are going to be ruled by unaccountable men who live better than others and make decisions to "improve" our lives without consulting us, I would prefer actual communism.

~~
On another note, when one says "fully-automated luxury communism", well, that's nice and all, but we live in a society that could take care of everyone at a pretty decent level of comfort with existing technology. I don't need fully automated luxury communism - clunky nineties technology communism where everyone has has housing and medical care and education and we had no billionaires would suit me just fine. If we're justifying the Musks of the world because we "need" them to get to an Iain Banks future, well, let's scrap the Iain Banks future and make do with what we have.
posted by Frowner at 5:57 AM on May 12 [22 favorites]


I think I'm fine with progressive women not being required to annex their romantic/sexual/emotional lives to The Revolutionary Cause. You can do good in other areas of your life and smooch who you damn well please.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:08 AM on May 12 [4 favorites]


Put down the beans, folks, shes only using him for his rockets.

Could be. If anyone is this timeline’s Hubertus Bigend, it’s Elon Musk.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:16 AM on May 12 [5 favorites]


She's an artist with an indie aesthetic, she's not Emma Goldman or Dorothy Day for crissakes
posted by Apocryphon at 8:28 AM on May 12 [7 favorites]


The point about Grimes is that she puts all this "I'm an anti-imperialist" stuff on her twitter, and a lot of folks viewed her as someone who had a particular set of beliefs. I think this was generous but kind of naive, tbh, but it did have meaning and was part of her fandom.

It's not that people can't date who they want, or that everyone has to be a revolutionary. It's that words mean things - if you make a big deal about your politics, folks are going to look askance when you do something that dramatically and publicly contravenes them. They're going to suspect that your politics were mostly a costume and feel let down, because your politics meant something to them.

My suggestion would be that if you want to be an awesome public figure who produces sophisticated music but you don't want to disappoint people or fake them out, don't espouse political beliefs that you don't really hold. Just do your thing and let your work attract whoever it attracts. There are plenty of writers, artists and cultural figures who keep their personal beliefs in the background, or only make a big deal out of the ones they actually act on.

Again, it's not that everyone needs to be a hero - most people aren't heroes, god knows I'm a coward myself and no leader - but I feel like it's important to be wise to yourself, the more so when you're a public figure whose performance of self is a big part of your whole deal.

In my social circle, for instance, it's a pretty big deal to actually label yourself an anti-imperialist, and not a lot of people do it (I mean, I've actually had this conversation, not about Grimes) because we look at ourselves and say, "sure, we go along with anti-imperialist initiatives in a weak and half-ass, show-up-at-the-rally-or-donate-$5 way, but what do we really do, how is anti-imperialism present in our daily lives?" And the conclusion we mostly take away is that we're kind of weak sauce compared to, eg, immigrants' rights organizers or water protectors.

I would much rather look at someone who describes themself as an anti-imperialist and believe that those words mean something to them than believe that the person is a cynic or a fool. And if I believe what people say about themselves, or believe that they're at least giving it their best shot, I am going to be frustrated when they do something that very obviously goes against their beliefs.

I mean, if that's the way we roll now, that we just say, "well, everyone lies about their politics, words are garbage, it's all about getting fans and money, today's anti-imperialist is tomorrow's Rich People Should Go To Space enthusiast", then I guess that's how things are going to be, but it's not what I'd choose.
posted by Frowner at 8:55 AM on May 12 [16 favorites]


And if you think about it, dating a billionaire plays well with the Marie Antoinette imagery she employs. She saw this before all of you did
posted by Apocryphon at 9:02 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


woah, did not know about M.I.A.'s post-Diplo dating life:
From 2006 to 2008, M.I.A. lived in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood of Brooklyn, New York, where she met Benjamin Bronfman (a.k.a. Benjamin Brewer), an environmentalist, founder of Green Owl, musician and member of the Bronfman family and Lehman family.[296][297] They became engaged and she gave birth to their son, Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman, on 13 February 2009, just three days after performing at the Grammy Awards.[298][299] In February 2012, it was announced that she and Bronfman had split.[300] In a 2013 interview with Ferrari Sheppard, M.I.A. commented on her relationship with Bronfman and his family's wealth: "I think it’s weird. It’s not that I got with Ben and then suddenly I was a billionaire. You know? I got with Ben, and I realised that we do come from different worlds, but it’s interesting that it is more about the concepts of, again, elitism and power. Who Ben is on paper sounds way more powerful than who I am because of where he comes from."[301]


Benjamin Zachary Bronfman (born August 6, 1982) is an American entrepreneur and musician. Bronfman is a strategic advisor and principal investor with Algae Systems, a carbon capture project and an associate managing director at Global Thermostat, a bio-fuel company. He was a member of rock band The Exit (going by the name Ben Brewer) and he is a member of the music collective Teachers and co-founder of the Green Owl record label.
Maybe anti-imperialism when used by pop artists is just an aesthetic or branding, much as it always has been since the '60s, and you cease to be considered part of the revolutionary vanguard once you get a YouTube Vevo account.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:08 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]


they're just dating. call me with the I-told-you-sos when she declares herself Imperatrix of Mars, I guess
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:13 AM on May 12 [6 favorites]


you cease to be considered part of the revolutionary vanguard once you get a YouTube Vevo account
Damn, so Prophets of Rage were dropped from the revolutionary vanguard from day 1?
posted by floatboth at 1:30 PM on May 12


Good lord. We've come to caring about this. For any reason.
posted by umberto at 2:15 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


For everyone coming in here to be all, "Please, this isn't news/why do you care/famous people bah/Ha, it's not like Grimes is (insert your favorite "intellectual" here)." Yep, that's exactly it, everyone commenting trying to discuss why this is a phenomenon and point of discussion are all part of the Church of Grimes where we very seriously took her at her word about every single thing and totally aren't coming in with nuanced reads about things and aren't self-aware enough to realize celebrity (and people) sometimes say things they don't mean. Oh, wow, you're SO smart. Congratulations on seeing through all the facade of society unlike all those other sheeple. 'Cause, you know, people putting forth their analyses about with real world examples about why tacit endorsement via association and human relationships bothers people are all Tiger Beat reading teenaged fans compared to your drive-by one-liner basically boiling down to, "Why do you even care?" Because heaven forbid people unpack things about popular culture and the wealthy who do have some kind of influence on what happens in people's real lives. Great job! ^-^
posted by kkokkodalk at 3:18 PM on May 12 [8 favorites]


I mean, if that's the way we roll now, that we just say, "well, everyone lies about their politics, words are garbage, it's all about getting fans and money, today's anti-imperialist is tomorrow's Rich People Should Go To Space enthusiast", then I guess that's how things are going to be, but it's not what I'd choose.

I have sympathy for people feeling like those they have stanned for have betrayed them, but I don't think we should pretend that that sort of betrayal (or, in some cases, feeling of betrayal) is somehow new. This isn't an unprecedented cultural moment. It's one more star doing something unwanted and unexpected. Similarly, feeling jaded about this kind of thing is also not new. Our responses are all falling into old buckets.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:28 PM on May 12


Heh, it's true I don't particularly care about Grimes, but I don't think this is at a "fuck's sake, Morrissey, just die already" level people are making it out to be.
posted by lmfsilva at 4:38 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


I think the case at least some people are making here is not that you folks who care about this are stupid or deranged or something, but that the tacit assumption that dating someone who is not progressive makes Grimes not progressive herself is perhaps debatable. Not why do you care = "Why do you give a damn what a rich media person does" (although there's been a bit of that too) but rather why do you care as in "why do you experience this as a betrayal?" And there have been some interesting testimonials in that regard from people who do, and I appreciate that while still thinking it's a bit odd.

I mean, full disclosure, I have dated multiple people who do not share my political opinions. The fine folks at the ACLU did not start sending my donations back because of it, nor did the nice people at the rescue shelter kick me out of volunteering - okay, they did, but that was after I started dressing the cats up in little outfits and trying to get them to reinact Much Ado About Nothing, it hadn't a thing to do with my dating life.

I'm also reminded of discussions we've had here on the Blue - particularly in the aftermath of November 2016 about the importance of self-care and the fact that if your entire life is built around The Cause (whatever your version if it is) you will get burned out, and you need to step back from that sometimes. People probably have a right to decide in what areas of their life that stepping back is most valuable/needed, and possibly for some it's personal relationships.

It is possible to choose what battlegrounds you will fight for progressive causes on. Making the Great Gonzo nightly with Elon Musk is, on balance, unlikely to either bring down or prop up imperialism, so I don't think it's hypocritical or cynical for Grimes to engage in such activity while calling herself an anti-imperialist, certainly if she's doing other stuff (raising awareness, contributing funds or talent, whatever) to related issues. That's not some sort of ukase, people here obviously disagree. But the other people here saying that this isn't something they care about aren't just being too school for cool.
posted by AdamCSnider at 6:19 PM on May 12 [5 favorites]


punk brain: zines
expanding brain: sell song rights to Royal Caribbean
galaxy brain: zines on Mars
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:53 PM on May 12 [3 favorites]


It is possible to choose what battlegrounds you will fight for progressive causes on.

It is is possible for some people to, sometimes. To have this ability is both itself a privilege, and a reflection of wider privilege. A poor person can't stop being poor because they're tired, a black person can't stop being black, a queer person can't stop being queer, etc. The oppressed can't necessarily choose to stop engaging with their oppression.
posted by Dysk at 2:46 AM on May 13


...which is why it feels like a kind of betrayal when people do shit like this. Like, it becomes apparent that "the cause" is something non-fundamental to the person, and they're willing to set it aside and enjoy some of that sweet sweet patriarchy/white supremacy/feudal capitalism/whatever for themselves. It means they aren't really on your side. They may only see one of the things they do as fighting, but in actuality you can't avoid using the patriarchy/white supremacy/etc without reinforcing it, so they're fighting for both sides.
posted by Dysk at 2:51 AM on May 13 [9 favorites]


I always assume that the very public dates that Elon Musk goes on with famous women whenever his companies are getting bad publicity are business arrangements, along the lines of hiring Aerosmith to play your kid's bat mitvah.
posted by Scram at 11:40 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


they're willing to set it aside and enjoy some of that sweet sweet patriarchy/white supremacy/feudal capitalism/whatever for themselves. It means they aren't really on your side. They may only see one of the things they do as fighting, but in actuality you can't avoid using the patriarchy/white supremacy/etc without reinforcing it, so they're fighting for both sides.

This standard means no heterosexual woman would ever be allowed to have a partner, because I promise that every single heterosexual man on the planet reinforces patriarchy in some fashion. It's not that heterosexual women are being offered a smorgasbord of completely amazing guys who meet every aspect of their politics, and then they choose a retrograde shmuck instead. I have a lot of single friends the same age as Grimes and let me tell you, the pickings are mighty lean.
posted by corb at 12:59 PM on May 13 [5 favorites]


Elon Musk Text Replacement Chrome Extension

I have not vetted this extension & nor (probably) has Google.
posted by pharm at 1:56 PM on May 13


Making the Great Gonzo nightly

Well, I’ve learned a phrase.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:41 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]


It is is possible for some people to, sometimes. To have this ability is both itself a privilege, and a reflection of wider privilege.

If you're a well-known artist or celeb, even if you're not that wealthy, your fame automatically elevates you to a level of privilege. Grimes is by default closer to Elon Musk than she is to us. Same as M.I.A. Same as Banksy. Same as Noam Chomsky. Same as Bernie Sanders. Same as anybody who attended that Met gala. Being in the spotlight has its curses but that influence is also a form of power, and freedom. Plus all of those people are probably wealthier than you or me anyway, thanks to residuals and royalties.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:27 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]


If you're a well-known artist or celeb, even if you're not that wealthy, your fame automatically elevates you to a level of privilege

Well yes. I wasn't expressing surprise at Grimes having this level of privilege, I was replying to someone making the blanket statement that it is possible for people to set their politics aside, as if everyone had that kind of impersonal relationship to their beliefs, when that itself is privilege. And even then, all the money in the world doesn't make a queer person straight, or an ethnic minority unmarked ie white. All the money in the world isn't going to buy you out of caring about certain political opinions if you literally have skin in the game. Obviously, Grimes is rich enough that she doesn't have to care about the feudal capitalism bit. People are, I think, disappointed in her because they expected her to care, not because they thought she had to.

This standard means no heterosexual woman would ever be allowed to have a partner, because I promise that every single heterosexual man on the planet reinforces patriarchy in some fashion.

I... don't think I actually proposed a standard? I just pointing out why it might be seen as problematic. For me, personally, it's a matter of degrees. I am in a relationship with a bloke. I love him, but he isn't perfect. There are elements of sexism and patriarchy that he had taken on board in his life.

It's a matter of degrees. A dude who opens doors for women, or got special treatment when he applied for jobs or college, that's not the same as a union-busting exploitative capitalist, and collapsing the two as if they are equivalent isn't helpful. Someone between those two points is a line for most people. For Grimes, clearly the line is either not there, or well on the other side of the union-busting exploitation. That is what is surprising and bothering people.

Like, you're right that it's practically impossible to be completely pure. But that doesn't make all impurity equal, or give you license to be as evil as possible. Grimes isn't dating some clueless dude who merely occasionally might have questionable gender politics, and it's not helpful to imply that that is, or is t the same as, the situation at hand.
posted by Dysk at 2:27 AM on May 14 [5 favorites]


The other burning question here, beyond how we feel about it, is whether to refer to the couple as "Grusk" or "Mimes".
posted by Going To Maine at 8:38 AM on May 14 [3 favorites]


Or, I suppose, "Grelon".
posted by Going To Maine at 8:43 AM on May 14


I don't understand why this is news. Talking about the consensual relationships of people I don't know seems weird and creepy.

So much this.

The way Fry, in the article, so happily judges these two based on the only the shallowest whispers of any sort of data is offensive on about nine levels. We don't know anywhere near enough about either of these people to have a valid opinion on any relationship they may wish to have, and even if we did know them both well, it's still none of our business.

(But for those dying to opine that no good can come from some thieving, horrible tech tycoon having a relationship with an apparently counter-personality, I'd like to meet you for coffee sometime at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.)
posted by rokusan at 8:48 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]


they're just dating. call me with the I-told-you-sos when she declares herself Imperatrix of Mars, I guess

Wardrobe? Check.
posted by rokusan at 9:58 AM on May 14


To me dating is heavily about finding someone whose politics are compatible with mine, and encountering people who can agree to disagree about things like the basic human rights of others gives me the creeps in a huge way. You don’t reward that kind of shitty perspective with sex, or spend time telling yourself that they have other fine qualities.

I’m also mildly creeped out by Neil Gaiman’s fetish for redheaded women who play the piano, and super creeped out by John Lennon. I hate that even now more people are interested in slamming Yoko Ono’s talents than talking about that he was a domestic abuser.
posted by bile and syntax at 11:30 AM on May 14 [5 favorites]


fun update: grimes calls musk's anti-union stance "fake news" and also in general doesn't care because it's not her problem
posted by poffin boffin at 9:53 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]


I’m holding out hope this is part of an elaborate heist/ revenge situation

I'm hoping that the heist/ransom is solar/battery powered synthesizers for everyone on the planet.

We'd have world peace in a few days. Then we'd all starve to death a few weeks after that.

In the meantime the whole planet would sound really fucking cool, and it would be a hell of a way to end this shitty timeline.
posted by loquacious at 10:07 PM on May 21


Ah, "fake news", the call of progressive figures who absolutely aren't enemies of the common people. There's no union-busting going on, Grimes has receipts to prove it! But she'll wait until she can plug her new album before she'll talk about it, of course (no those tweets don't count as talking about it because, uh, reasons).

She's not really even trying anymore, it's she?
posted by Dysk at 4:22 AM on May 22 [4 favorites]


fun update: grimes calls musk's anti-union stance "fake news" and also in general doesn't care because it's not her problem

See, this is exactly the "fuck's sake, Morrissey, just die already" moment I mentioned before.
posted by lmfsilva at 4:56 AM on May 22 [4 favorites]


I’m just really curious how you can prove there’s no union busting going on by visiting factories. Did Elon Musk create Potemkin Unions while she was there to cheerfully sing about their benevolent master?
posted by corb at 7:38 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]


Did Elon Musk create Potemkin Unions while she was there to cheerfully sing about their benevolent master?

I assume a remixed version of this choir will form the hook for her next single.
posted by PMdixon at 7:55 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]


Oompa loompa doompety doo
I've got a boss-faked union for you
Oompa loompa doompety dee
Workers are happy as you can see.

Oompa loompa doompety da
If you don’t sign auth cards you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa Doompety do
posted by corb at 8:04 AM on May 22 [3 favorites]


@BrandyLJensen: on a scale of “said you liked his band” to “publicly defended his union busting” what’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done for a boyfriend

(@Nicole_Cliffe had an answer.)
posted by Going To Maine at 6:48 PM on May 22 [1 favorite]


tbh, I didn't even know that political progressivism was a big part of Grimes' shtick. I thought her whole deal was avant-garde visuals and sounds. At least, avant-garde enough to be friendly to the Pitchfork Magazines and Stereogums of the music blogosphere, and be mainstream enough to get big. Her music is pretty apolitical, especially compared to say, M.I.A.

At least this resulted in one perfect pun.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:45 PM on May 23


« Older Just call me “Standing Around Mamba” (站曼巴)   |   "where it’s O.K. to be closed-minded" Newer »


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