Words by Elizabeth Cuomo
Two days ago, I said that there was no challenge too daunting for Elon Musk. It seems that he actually believes this, because for the second time this week, Musk made headlines for vowing to fix another one of the world’s heinous problems with his billions of dollars and superstar brainpower.
After flying to Thailand to offer his hand in rescuing the soccer team trapped in a cave, Mr. Musk isn’t ready to hang up his cape and tights. Since then, he has pledged to clean Flint, Michigan’s water. And, consequently, given me another reason to talk about him.
On July 11, similarly to the Thai soccer team debacle, Musk’s involvement in Flint began on Twitter. Musk tweeted, “Please consider this a commitment that I will fund fixing the water in any house in Flint that has water contamination above FDA levels. No kidding.”
I’m naturally skeptical of Elon Musk. Maybe it’s just some white trash complex I have, but even if Musk does end up saving the planet and launching us into space, I still won’t be able to trust his self-righteous nerdiness. I have my own conspiracy theory that he is a Westworld-style robot with programmed consciousness. It’s the only explanation of how someone can be so successful at everything.
That being said, I can’t help but think that vowing to fix a fuck up as colossal as Flint is actually…cool? He’s using his influence and stature to bring more awareness to an issue that everyone should already care about.
Although, how serious Musk is about this claim isn’t clear yet. He followed up his first tweet with what seems like a half-baked idea, “For now, reply to my tweet with ppm & ppb test results & will send someone to install a water filter. Creating email email@example.com, but I’m in China so that won’t be working until tomorrow.”
What still bothers me about Elon Musk fixing Flint’s water supply, and what’s very important to mention about the soccer team in Thailand as well, is that this is not really Musk’s responsibility. We shouldn’t need billionaires to fix our problems… that’s why we, like, have a government? Right?
But then again, who am I to judge someone for trying to help people, principles aside? The residents of Flint have suffered for long enough. If someone wants to help them, shouldn’t that be celebrated?
All I know is that I will be sure to watch, with one eyebrow raised, how this plays out.
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