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June 3, 2020 69 mins
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Speaker 1 (00:02):
Cook. I'm Robert Evans, host Behind the Bastards, and my
producer Sophie right before we started recording, called Elon Musk
a cuck. So Elon, if you're listening, you have been
accused of being a Yeah, what's cuking my my lib
tards or whatever. I don't know. I just I hate

(00:25):
cook is an insult um. But I also really enjoy
saying cook, and I that's the thing I have to
hide because people who say cook on the internet are
all the worst people in Nate Silver, who is one
of the worst people, and I choose not to put
myself in that category. But it is fun to say cook.
But you can reclaim it, you know what I'm saying.
You can reclaim it. Yeah, But I don't want to

(00:47):
claim it in the context of Elon Musk because he's no,
I don't like him. I've been seeing Robert smile that
big in a really long time. He likes it when
I come on and make him lush and then and
also talk about cooks. Yeah, He's like, we have Alexandra here,
you live, Yeah, Sophia, Alexandra, how you doing, Sophia. I'm

(01:13):
you know, surviving in a current hell Yeah, I'm lying.
I'm spiraling. How about your Albert? I'm also spiraling. I'm
having such a bad day, Sophia. It sounds like you
are too. I'm so not happy to hear that. You
know what will make this day better? Um? Are you
gonna tell me about a bastard that I have been

(01:34):
dying to hear about? Yeah? I think we're going to
talk about Elon Musk for like two and a half hours. Yes,
are you suing on board for this ship? Tessed with
him and his inability to be a good father and
just all of these other things, and his his relationship
with Grimes. There aren't things that I won't read about

(01:55):
Elon Musk because I find the whole thing fascinating. Also, Slee,
he's terrible, Yeah, he is. And I don't know. There
won't be as much about his kids in here, just
because I don't like talking about people's kids and I
haven't heard allegations of like abuse or anything like that. Um,
So I just mean his attitude on fatherhood, Like he's like, no,
I'll be gone forever, yes, yes, yes, yeah, we will

(02:17):
be talking about that. We will be talking about We'll
be talking about super much about Grimes just because that's
all kind of new. But we'll be talking about his
relationships with women. We will be talking about a lot
of we will be talking too much. But I wrote
fourteen thousand words about Elon musk We're going to be
talking too much about him. He is the James Cameron
of science. Okay, we're like, he that that should be

(02:39):
James Cameron, right, And it's not sadly but uh yeah,
just you know from the way that he commits to
his movies and how little time he commits to his
relationships compared to his movies, that he was like, for
sure a terrible father, uh and husband. And that's why
I like and fucking what's her face? Big Beelow When

(03:03):
and had to make her locker, She's like, this is
less traumatic than my marriage anyway, Sorry, the same to me.
It's the same to me, speaking as a career obsessed
man who has had a lot of relationship issues for
years as a result of being a career obsessed man,
we're bad people to be in relationships with. Dude, I'm

(03:27):
here to workaholic. Yeah, I mean you do live in
Los Angeles. Um, so does Elon Musk. Um, and he
always will all that ship about moving to Texas his
horse ship, and in fact, someone just released evidence that
the day that he was like talking about maybe moving
his plant to Texas, he applied for a bunch of
expansions of the factory in California. Like he was always

(03:50):
just full of ship and lying. Um, he's great. He
loves lying, he does. And I'm gonna tell you right now,
I don't know, maybe you'll feel differently the first ep
aisode of this, you're gonna wind up kind of sympathetic
about him because there are reasons to be sympathetic about him.
And I do think, do you know me? Yeah, we'll see,
we'll see, we'll see. He's he's an abuse victim. Um.

(04:13):
So like that's lame. Um, Like it's not lame to
be sure. Hitler had a tough for a while with
his art. Like I don't know what are we doing here.
I mean, it's Hitler's mom's cancer that really gets tugged
you at the heart strings. But yeah, I mean, yes,
that's what we're doing, just saying things that are normal
that have happened to bad people, not normal, but bad

(04:36):
things that have happened to bad people. What I want
is for people to hate bad people for the right reasons.
And I do think some of the reasons Elon Musk
gets shipped um are the wrong reasons, and there are
so many really good things to give him shit about
that I want to make sure everyone is giving him
ship for the proper reason. You want to direct the hate.

(04:57):
I want to direct the hate towards things that that
deserve your hate and in the within the same person,
which maybe is being too picky, um, but this is
what I do for some reason, for some reason, nobody
asked asked me to do this, but I do it.
I just want to tell you that I'm pretty sure
I hate him for all of the quote un right reasons,

(05:19):
but there's a lot of those so pretty fucking petty,
So there's some ship in there that I do not
need to hate him. Well, this will be good because
I will try to be scrupulously fair as I outline
why he's a piece of shit, and you will not
give a funk about that and just and that will
that will please both of the segments of people that
listen to this podcast. UM. I love coming on because

(05:41):
every time I connect with some of your listeners who
I love and then other people on Reddit are like,
I wish she would just kill herself, eat her heart.
I would say Reddit's Reddit's part of the nine of
the Internet or so that we never should have made.
But speaking about things that never should have been made,

(06:02):
let's let's talk about Elon musk Yeah. So I did
not want to do an episode about Elon Musk um,
and I still kind of don't, um, although I changed
my mind on that over the course of the episode,
and my attitude on him from most of the time
I've known about him has been it's bad to be
a billionaire. Uh. And I know that he did some

(06:25):
messed up stuff to get where he has has gotten.
But also his businesses are things that I broadly support,
like electric cars are are good. Space travel I think
is good and should be easier. Um and I do
think actually people will disagree about this. We'll talk about
this a little bit. And I think there are things
that are positive about SpaceX um. So like it was

(06:46):
one of those things that was like, of all the
people in the world, like, yeah, I think he's shitty
in Lane, but like, why am I going to go
after him in particular? And having spent an entire week
reading everything I can about Elon Musk, I now feel
very comfortable talking about out him for three hours. I
don't know, I just didn't want to do this for
a long time, and I get what. What finally pushed
me over the edge was his reaction to the coronavirus

(07:10):
um And it was like after weeks. So I don't
know if you've been following Elon on Twitter during this,
but for weeks he called fears over the coronavirus dumb. Um.
He initially when it first hit predicted that like the
panic was stupid and it was going to be like
a nothing burger. And then obviously it's shut down the
entire world, so he was wrong on that prediction. Then
he predicted that we would be at no new cases

(07:32):
by the end of April. By the end of April,
like a couple of thousand people a day, we're dying
in the United States, so we're not not not He
was not right on that either, um. And then he
went like kind of straight up into maga on Twitter
with like tweeting free America now in all caps and
like very studiously reopening his Alameda County Tesla factory, which

(07:53):
by the way, is considered one of the most dangerous
factories in the United States. Um and a number of
his workers protested and said, like he should be in
prison for the safety standards here. Yeah. Uh, it's it's
pretty great that you know, we've been talking about how
we are spiraling, but like, honestly, compared to that, are
we Robert, No, we're doing great. I've never been so

(08:16):
freaked out by reality that I abandoned it in favor
of something insane like MAGA. Yeah. It's like it's slogans
like free America that you cannot relate to the complex
realities of a virus or a pandemic. It's remarkable to
me how weak a person you have to be to

(08:36):
not be able to handle this as a billionaire, Like
it's it's really just get on your yacht with like
eight to Tony Robbins is on it. That can set
you right, Like what's going on? Yeah, like it's this
should be fine, Um, but no, it's not. For Elon
the same month that he tweeted all of that stupid bullshit,

(08:57):
he tweeted that Tesla stock price was too high, which
instaly cut fourteen billion dollars from the company's value In
a matter of minutes because the stock market totally makes sense.
This really piste off a lot of his most loyal followers,
who were all like his his his mentions for days
where people being like, you just tanked the value of
my portfolio with the Alley law. And there are suspicions.

(09:18):
I don't think there's possible to confirm this, but people
have suspected that he did this because essentially the way
that like fucking stocks work, he was about to have
like temporarily taking the value of Tesla reduced his tax burden.
Basically like he did that to save some money on taxes,
which is like illegal but also the kind of illegal
that like nobody ever really gets in trouble for um,

(09:40):
but also the kind of selfish that is so remarkable
that you would rather hurt every single investor in your company. Yeah,
then then to just fucking take it on the chin
and pay taxes. When billionaires paying taxes is good for
the world, It's it's cool. And again, those are suspe
missions that people have voiced and not something that we

(10:02):
can prove. Because Elon Musk has many lawyers, I want
to be clear when we when we state other people's suspicions.
We are not stating an objective fact um. No one
knows why he tweeted that dumb thing that tanked the
value of his stock. That is one suspicion um. He
also tweeted quote, I am selling almost all physical possessions.
Will own no house, and he quickly followed up by

(10:23):
noting that his girlfriend Grimes was mad at him for this,
and then he did list all of his mansions. So
and it's like he talks about is that like a
weird flex? What is that supposed to be? Yeah, it's
a thing. I read this book about Elon Musk that
we'll talk about a little bit more later, like a
biography about him that was publish this and in it,

(10:45):
like the biographer Ashley Vance, notes that like he travels
around all the time, Like he'll spend like two days
in l A, two days in San Francisco, and like
when he goes to San Francisco, he usually will just
crash at a friend's house on their couch. And like
the way it's related is that like he's just this
kind of obsessive accoholic who doesn't care about material things.
But it's like, no, the friend that you're crashing at
is like the founder of Google. Like like like like

(11:08):
you're not like chilling in like your buddies, like studio apartment,
Like the couch is your own guest mansion. Yeah yeah,
like or if it is a couch, it is a
seventy thousand dollar couch, Like it is a couch with
that that is worth more than some cities like um. Anyway,

(11:29):
several days after tweeting that he was selling all of
his earthly possessions his I think still girlfriend, Grimes gave
birth to the couple's first child together, and like Musk
six or seventh kid, um, he went viral again when
he announced that the boy's name would be x A
E A twelve and that is not how he says
it's supposed to be pronounced. I don't care. It's a

(11:49):
dumb name for a baby. The state of California agrees
it's a dumb name for a baby, and they have
signaled that it is not an acceptable name under state
health codes. Um, so that's cool. We'll see how that
works out. I'm sure he'll find a way to get
his his stupid way on this. Um. Although he says
it was grimes decision, which maybe it was I don't
think she makes great decisions either. I mean she is

(12:12):
having his baby. Yeah, clearly not the best decision making process. Again,
as I mentioned, already has like a billion kids he
doesn't care about. Yeah, I don't know. So the thing
that like really set me off, Like, all of this
is very silly, and it's silly in general that a
man with this much wealth spends any time at all

(12:34):
on Twitter, because you shouldn't, like you just shouldn't, like
none of us should, but you especially shouldn't if you
can buy a yacht. Um. And before anybody who follows
Musk had any chance to really digest all of this
ship or stop laughing about it, uh, Musk dropped another
bombshell when he tweeted take the red Pill alongside a
red rose emoji. Now, at various points in time on Twitter,

(12:57):
Musk has identified himself as a socialist without really explaining
what he means by that. So this might have been
him talking about democratic socialism, but it probably wasn't. Um.
I think anyone listening knows like what red pill means
on the far right. Uh. And Musk was immediately embraced
by the worst people on the Internet, including Ivanka Trump,
who quote tweeted him uh Lily Wachowski, one half of

(13:19):
the duo responsible for coming up with the term red pill. Yeah,
I told them both to go funk themselves. So all
of this made me go, Okay, I gotta fucking right
about Elon Musk, Like, we gotta, we gotta do this.
I've been watching the while it out too, and I've
been like, just it's reminding me of kind of the
Kanye breakdown. Yeah, We're like the line between eccentricity and

(13:44):
just like becoming a bad person has becoming a little
like more blurred for them than it ever has been,
and people are trying to there's very few stands were
still around. We're like no, no, no, acent probably still
means good in the background, but it's it's telling that

(14:05):
when people like Ivanka Trump retweet you and support you
and you don't say anything like and you don't say
no fuck you, Like yeah, on you. You know, if
people misinterpreted it, that's on you to set it, Yeah,
to be like no, not these people. Um yeah, And
I I can't say if Ellen's in the process of
I don't know, embracing the alt right or like going

(14:27):
full maga or if he's just ship posting because he
does that all of the time. Um. Yeah. In a
Business Insider interview that came out today, which is actually
written by the woman who wrote the biography that will
refer to regularly in this episode, he stated that he
makes a lot of stupid tweets. He did, he did
own that, but he didn't specify which tweets were stupid,

(14:47):
which is kind of like the most cowardly way to
acknowledge that you tweet a bunch of dumb shit. Um.
He also stated that Twitter was a valuable way for
him to engage with his fans without a filter, which
is not true of anyone who has ever had fans. Um,
there's no value in Twitter. Everyone should exactly what Trump
says to to justify his Twitter presence. Yeah. Yeah. Now,

(15:10):
when it comes to analyzing whether or not Elon Musk
is a bastard, um, and that doesn't Like, obviously, I
think it's unethical to be a billionaire, But I don't
think like every billionaire doesn't deserve to have a behind
the bastards because most of them, like I still don't
even know if I'm gonna write one about bezos because
it would just wind up being like a list of
bad Amazon practices. But I think he's pretty boring. I
don't know, Maybe I will one day. Um But like

(15:31):
you have, there has to be like you have to
be interestingly shitty to qualify for this show. UM and
I do think Ellen qualifies now now that I understand
him better. Now I should start by noting that most
of our information on him comes from Elon himself or
his close family members, most of whom have financial ties
to Elon. So there is a dearth of objective information,

(15:53):
particularly about his early life. UM. And the other chunk
of information we have from his early adults On comes
from people who dislike him for one reason or another.
So it's hard to get objective sources about this guy.
And as a result, there are two competing Elons that
appear if you study his life story. And so the
Elon that his fans tend to see is the awkward
genius driven manically to save the world and so obsessed

(16:14):
with this goal that he fails to understand the needs
or cater to the feelings of normal people. UM. And
it's usually sort of like, but it's okay because he's
really try Yes, big bang theory. No one has benefited.
I will say no human being has benefited more from
our Hollywood induced misunderstanding of autism than Elon Musk. Um

(16:39):
like he he has been the primary beneficiary of that.
It's cool, Um, it's not. Uh yeah uh so just
and so the other view of him is that he's
just another sociopathic billionaire asshole who treats human beings that
make his wealth possible like a fifteen year old boy
treats kleenex. Um. That's what I think. Yeah. Yeah. The

(17:03):
main source for this episode is a book titled Elon Musk, Tesla, SpaceX,
and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashley Vance.
It was published in two US in fifteen, so this
was before Musk's social media presence made him problematic to
a lot of people who had either liked him or
tolerated him quietly before. Uh. It is a broadly positive book,
and it verges on fawning when it talks about Tesla

(17:23):
and SpaceX technology. Um, but it's not entirely positive, and
its evaluation of Elon himself and is very critical about
him at a number of points. Um. When the book
was published, Musk took to Twitter to complain about stories
other people had told about him that he disagreed with.
Um But he also continued to do interviews with Ashley Vance,
So he's obviously not that angry. Um Elon did cooperate

(17:43):
with the book, and the story behind how that came
to be is deeply revealing about his personality. UM. So
he learned that Vance was working on his biography early
in the process, and UM, I'm just gonna quote Ashley
now writing about how that inner introduction went. I had
informed him of my plans to write a bo about him,
and he did informed me if his plans not to cooperate.
His rejections stung but thrust me into dogged reporter mode.

(18:05):
If I had to do this book without him, so
be it. Plenty of people had left Musk's companies, Tesla
Motors and SpaceX and would talk, and I already knew
a lot of his friends. The interviews followed, one after another,
month after month, and two or so people into the process,
I heard from Musk once again. He called me at
home and declared that things could go one of two ways.
He could make my life very difficult, or he could
help with the project. After all, he'd be willing to

(18:26):
cooperate if he could read the book before it went
to publication and could add footnotes throughout it. Wow, yeah, yeah,
only I five total approval of everything you say about me?
Would that be cool with you? Artistically? Integrity wise, as
a writer, as a journalist, what do you think? It's
even more frustrating than that. Uh, he would not meddle

(18:47):
with my text, but wanted the chance to set the
record straight and spots he deemed f actually inaccurate, So
he wanted He didn't want to just he didn't want
to have to be able to approve her text. He
wanted to be able to basically write his own biography
alongside her biography that are argued with it such an
I can't even He's like a reply guy to the

(19:10):
million degree, Like it's one of those things. I entered
this project being like I don't know if this guy's
going to be really interesting enough to do an episode about.
And once I read that part of the introduction, I
was like, Okay, yeah, I'm doing the right thing, Like yeah,
because that kind of says everything about him as a
human being really, um so yeah, being a journalist, VANCE

(19:30):
said no, and this is partly because she feared that
he'd write dozens of pages of footnotes that would create
out the actual biography itself, which is almost certainly true,
and partly because, in her words quote, Musk has his
version of the truth and it's not always the version
of the truth that the rest of the world shares. Um. Now,
to Ellen's credit, when Vance stood her ground and agreed
to he agreed to cooperate with the book anyway. Ashley

(19:51):
says that he's the kind of person who respects it
and people around him set strong boundaries and hold firm
in their convictions. Um. Of course, when the book came
out and it included anecdotes about Elon that he did
not like, he took to Twitter to provide his own footnotes.
So he is absolutely the guy that um he you
think he is. We're gonna get into Musk's early life
in a second, but before we do, I want to
read run more segment from Ashley's introduction. This moment comes

(20:15):
during the first dinner she and Elon shared after he
agreed to cooperate with her project. Quote. Two and a
half hours after he started, must put his hands on
the table, made a move to get up and then paused,
locked eyes with me, and busted out that incredible question,
do you think I'm insane? The oddity of the moment
left me speechless for a beat, with my every synapse
fired trying to figure out if this was some sort

(20:36):
of riddle, and if so, how should it be answered artfully?
It was only after I spent lots of time with
that is just so terrifying. If I was interviewing a
man he said that to me, I would be terrified, Sophie, terrifying, horrifying.
You have a real responsibility just as like a dude,

(20:57):
and also as a as a dude who has any
kind of prominence. And I don't have the same kind
of prominence that Musk does, but I I do regularly
wind up in situations where like I'm well known by
a lot of the people there. You have like a
real responsibility to not creep people out. Um, like a
moral responsibility, especially if you're like clearly have more power

(21:18):
in the situation than the other person. Um. And yeah,
that is definitely a creepy way to react or way
to act. It would make me feel so unsafe. Yeah,
and uh, I want to read the rest of what
Ashley says here because it's telling. It was only after
I spent lots of time with Musk that I realized
the question was more for him than me. Nothing I
said would have mattered. Musk was stopping one last time

(21:39):
and wondering a lot if I could be trusted, and
then looking into my eyes and make and to make
his judgment. And it's weird because she clearly likes the guy,
but also like the question was more for him than me.
Nothing I said would have mattered. I kind of wonder
about Vance, because like, that's not the thing you write
about someone that you think is a good person. Oh yeah,
nothing I said would have added to him? Cool? Yeah,

(22:02):
what a guy putting people through tests is definitely like
a thing. Yeah, I mean I do that a lot um,
mainly by lying about the band Hanson. So that's you know, none,
none of us are perfect. Uh yeah. So let's go
back in time and talk about Elon's ancestors. His great
grandfather and his namesake was John Elon Holdeman, who was

(22:23):
born in Illinois in eighteen seventy two. Haldeman got hitched
and started a life in Minnesota. He gave birth to
Elon's grandfather, Joshua Norman Holdeman in nineteen o two. John
kicked the bucket early in nineteen o seven after the
family moved to Canada, and so Elon's grandfather grew up
a citizen of that much better country. Joshua was an
adventurous lad into horseback riding, wrestling, and a lot of

(22:44):
good stuff. And he's a big inspiration to Elon because
of what like an adventurous cool guy he was. He
started his career breaking horses for farmers and competing in rodeos,
and then he moved to Iowa to get a degree
from D. D. Palmer School of Chira Practic who we
did an episode about. Um. Yeah, he went back home
afterwards and became a farmer. He didn't start working as
a chiropractor immediately, but then the depression hit and his

(23:06):
land was seized, and this convinced him that banks could
not be trusted. Uh. Joshua had a rough few years,
but eventually started working as a chiropractor and he made
a lot of money. He married a dance instructor named Winifred,
and he bought his own plane, which he used to
take his growing family on adventurous vacations in nineteen fifty,
Joshua sold everything his family owned and moved to South Africa. Now,

(23:27):
I have not heard from anyone a really satisfying explanation
of why he did this. And everybody talks about Joshua
as if he was an awesome person and he is
a big inspiration to Elon Musk. But there is something
shady about this guy. Um Ashley Vance notes that he
was quote a man who forbade swearing, smoking Coca cola
and refined flower, and that he moved to South Africa

(23:50):
because quote, he felt that the moral character of Canada
had started to decline. So no one says anything about
what Joshua believed ari race. He thought Canada was too
immoral in nineteen fifty and moved to South Africa. Put
some do some math. He's like, what I'm totally cool

(24:12):
with is systematic oppression and racism. What I am doubtful
about is how much ankle these ladies in Canada are showing. Yeah, Now,
he spent all this time in Africa taking constant plane
trips with his family. He would take all of his
kids on these like very adventurous rides across the continents
and to other continents. And stuff, and um, there's a

(24:35):
lot of he wrote a book about it. There's he
was like he's he's like the family's famous, like patron
of the family. UM, and Ellen never knew him. He
died when Ellen was like a baby, UM in a
plane crash because he hit some ship because he was
flying like an asshole, I guess, um. But so like
you could like Ellen grew up never knowing the guy,
but worshiping him because everyone in his family was always

(24:57):
telling stories about how cool he was. Um. That's obviously
like he's he was Elon's namesake, so this is like
a really important thing to him. But also Elon never
knew the guy. UM, so that's interesting. So Uh, May
Musk Elon's mother and obviously that um that cool probably
a gigantic racist plane Dude's daughter. Um is noted as

(25:18):
having been a nerdy, beautiful woman. She worked as a model.
She still actually works as a model. Um, and she
was a finalist from Miss South Africa. Uh. Elon's father.
The man she married, was Errol Musk, and he grew
up near may H. The two dated off and on
for a while, and May pushed off constant request by
Errol that she married him. Eventually, she says he broke

(25:40):
her will. Quote he just never stopped proposing. So that
is so romantic. Oh my god. He wore her down persistently.
I just want someone to ignore my wishes over and
over and over and over and over and over again
until I just succum. I mean that's Is there any
other way to make it with a woman but hitting

(26:02):
on her relentlessly until you break her. I want her
will and her spirit to be broken. Oh my gosh.
I want a locket that says will and a locket
that says spirit, and them both to have bones. Yeah, yeah,
I don't know. You know what won't break your will

(26:23):
in spirit, Sophia? Is it these goods and services? These
goods and services, respect consent. We're back, Uh yeah so
um yeah. Obviously some red flags at the start of
Elon's parents marriage. Uh, this is something I think even

(26:43):
Ellen would agree with. Um. But the first few years
of the marriage were fine enough. The couple got pregnant immediately.
He was born like nine months in a couple of
days after they got married. Um, so they did not
waste any time. May gave birth to Elon on June
ninety one, nine months in two days after the wedding. Yeah.
Vance notes that Errol quote worked as a mechanical and

(27:05):
electrical engineer and handled large projects such as office buildings,
retail complexes, residential subdivisions in an air force space. Will
may set up a practice as a dietitian. This is
not an accurate but it is weirdly incomplete. She does
not talk enough about Errol. There's some good reasons why
you wouldn't, but also it leaves out, I think a
very important aspect of the story that she she doesn't deny,

(27:26):
but she also does not talk about nearly enough to
the level of importance I think it has. The Musks
were extremely wealthy. Uh. Not only was May's family very comfortable,
but Errol owned a half share, a half share in
a fucking emerald mine. Um. And how he came to
own half of an emerald mine is really interesting. Um.
He later told an interviewer, quote, we were very wealthy.

(27:48):
We had so much money at times that we couldn't
even close our safe. One person we have to shove
the money in, and the other would slam the door shut,
and then there'd still be all these notes sticking out,
and we'd sort of put them out and into our pockets.
They're just like us. Yeah. Now, the story of how
Errol came to own that emerald mine is real fucking shady,
he claims, because I've read his claims, and also he

(28:09):
is not a reliable narrator, so it's possible that all
of this is a lie, which I do think is
part of why Ashley Vance didn't include a lot that
he said in there. Um. But he says that he
and a friend were on a trip, flying their own
plane too, and in they landed in Djibouti, and like,
when they were walking around, they met who he met.
They met who he describes as quote a group of
Italians who just wanted to buy a plane, and they

(28:32):
paid eighty thousand pounds in cash. And while they were paying,
Errol says, one of them was just like, hey, you
want to buy half of an emerald mine in Zambia,
And so he says, quote, I said, oh, all right,
So I became half owner of the mine and we
got emeralds for the next six years. And regular rich

(28:52):
people should just regular ship just chill ass rich people
condos say you want half this emerald mine? Yeah, this
is something you'll see brought up a lot, particularly by
kind of like left wing critics of Musk on Twitter.
They'll say that Elon Musk's dad, like this is one quote,
Elon Musk's dad stolen Emerald Mind and Zambia and exploded
the natives for cheap labor, which might be true, probably

(29:15):
is true, but there just actually aren't any details about
the Mind, about its conditions, about how he came to
really own it, about like, like, we just don't know
fucking anything really about that mine other than his claim
that a group of Italians randomly asked if he wanted
to buy into it with his plane money. Um So
I do have to say, does sound like a villain origins? Yeah,

(29:37):
like almost almost certainly a really shady story there, but
we really know very little about it. Um. I would
love to see a deep dive into what the funk
happened with that Emerald Mind, but I have not run
into any hard evidence about it. Um. Now, we do
know that Errol Musk was a millionaire before the age
of thirty, and that his wealth allowed him to move

(29:57):
the family to a very nice house in an exclude
of whites only neighborhood in Pretoria. As a toddler, Ellen
was precocious. His mom felt that he was unusually intelligent,
which I'm sure most moms feel. It's also probably true,
Vance writes quote. The perplexing thing was that Ellen seemed
to drift off into a transit. Times people spoke to him,
but nothing got through when he had a certain distant
look in his eyes. This happened so often that Elon's

(30:20):
parents and and doctors thought that he might be deaf.
Sometimes he just didn't hear you said, May. Doctors ran
a series of tests on Elon and elected to remove
his adnnoyed glance, which can improve hearing in children. Will
he did get too, Yeah, they like Elon musk. I
also hate I'm just I'm not gonna go. Yeah. It

(30:41):
is one of those things where like, yeah, you're a mom,
your mom talking about how smart you are is always weird,
but like it's always like who knows how credible that is?
But also something was clearly like he's clearly not like
wasn't a normal kid, Like you don't just have to
give your kid surgery because they space out, because they're
just like a normal Like he was definitely like you know,

(31:02):
like different, um and that that seems to be not
just like myth building, right. Um, so I mean I
had him removed because I have had constant ear infections.
Maybe that just wasn't like a sexy and origin story.
Maybe they were like, yeah, he's we don't want to
talk about all the ear infections he got. Let's make

(31:22):
this something my Maybe they're all lying. I don't know.
I don't know, but he um, yeah, I don't. And
the women, like his ex wife, says that he would
also do this like this is like he just kind
of like blanks out and gets lost inside himself all
the time. Um, I don't know, it's just a thing
he does. Uh. May claims that she eventually realized Elon
was just going into his own little world and you know,

(31:43):
again her anglish, like he's just so brilliant that he's
thinking so hard about things. Um. It's definitely true that
it did not make him popular among his classmates. Quote,
you could do jumping Jack's right next right beside musker
yell at him and he would not even notice. He
kept right on thinking, and those around him judge that
he was either rude or really weird. I do think
Ellen was always a little different but in a nerdy way.

(32:04):
May said it didn't endear him to his peers. And
this is another running thing in Elon's childhood that he
had like no friends. Um. He later had close relationships
with like his brother and sister and his cousins, but
they didn't even really like him all that much when
he was a kid because he was just like weird. Um.
He was bad at um. You know, you feel for
the kid actually, like when you read enough about him,
because he was clearly like often his own little world

(32:26):
and he took a lot of ship for it, um,
which I identify with because so was I. Um. He
spent every spare moment of his childhood reading books, sometimes
two in a single day, and he would like ignore
other people to read books. Yeah, I did that too,
like a lot of what like I and I got
shipped for it, like I was always reading books and
stuck in my own little world and like until I

(32:47):
was bigger than everybody else, Like I got like like
like punched and stuff as a kid for that ship.
And Ellen did too, And it sucked. And I sympathize
with him for that. That's a lame thing to have
to deal with. Uh. He went through fantasy class like
The Lord of the Rings, but soon gravitated towards science fiction.
He lists the libertarian epic The Moon Is a Harsh
Mistress and The Great Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as

(33:08):
influential books, which I also same. Yeah, yep, yeah, he
also just read a lot of encyclopedias. Um. This made
Elon into a know it all, uh, the kind of
kid who kind of felt the need to compulsively inform
everyone around him that he thought they were wrong about
specific facts. And he was unable or unwilling to not

(33:29):
do this even when it cost him shit. Uh. And
I'm gonna quote from Ashley Vance's book Now. As a youngster,
Elon's constant yearning to correct people in his abrasive manner
would put off other kids and added his feelings of isolation.
Elan genuinely thought that people would be happy to hear
about the flaws in their thinking. Kids don't like answers
like that, said may They would say, Ellen, we are
not playing with you anymore. I felt very sad as

(33:50):
a mother, because I think he wanted friends. Kimball and Tosca.
His brother and sister would bring home friends and Elan
wouldn't and he would want to play with them, but
he was awkward. You know. May urged Kimball and Tosca
to include Elon. They responded, as kids will, but Mom,
he's not fun. Yeah, fun too for quite a bit. Yeah,
And it's like, it's like, if you're thinking about it

(34:11):
in the context of, like he grew into this problematic adult,
it's funny. But if you think about like just as
a little kid, like, yeah, that sucks, and like he
hadn't done anything bad at that point. He was a
little kid, and I'm not laughing at him. I'm just
laughing at how cruel it is to be a kid. Yeah,
it is. It sucks. Like being a kid is the
worst thing you can be. Dude, I got bullied heavy.
It's not like I'm out sympathizing with the bullies. I'm

(34:33):
just saying I think we all know that feeling when
people will not funk with you. Yeah, it sucks. It sucks,
um And you know, it got worse for Elon when
he was still a boy. His parents divorced, and his
mother moved across the country to the family's holiday home
on the East Coast. Uh The cause appears to have
been infidelity by Errol, who years later told interviewers, I
had a very pretty wife, but there were always prettier

(34:55):
younger girls. I really loved May, but I screwed up.
And then when he's saying he's screwed up, he's dogging her.
He's like, yeah, but she was kind of ugly. They
were better looking people. I should also note that, um,
that interview I found was written about him after he
married his stepdaughter, who was I think twenty two, when
he was sixty something and had a baby with her.

(35:17):
You know, he's a gross gut. He is a terrible person.
Elon Musk hates his dad and is emphatic that he
is a terrible person. Um. And I think he's really
telling the truth about that. I think he hates his
dad for a very good reason, because his dad is
a gigantic piece of shit. Um. Yeah, Elon went with

(35:40):
his mom at first, but he soon decided to move
back in with his father. And he says that this
is because he felt bad for his dad because his
dad was alone. UM. Elon's ex wife, Justine feels differently.
She says that she thinks this is because he quote
identified more with the alpha male of the house and
wasn't he if. She also notes that he wasn't close
to either of his parents, that they were a very
cold family, and that there wasn't a lot of like

(36:03):
emotional warmth between anyone in the family. That's Justine's claim
as his ex wife. Again, I don't know any of
these people. Um. Yeah, either way, Elon claims that he
immediately regretted moving in with his father. Now, Uh, Errol
was I think, by all accounts a brilliant engineer. Nobody
really disagrees with that, and he taught young Ellen a
lot of his first lessons about engineering and science. But

(36:26):
this was not a pleasant process. Errol had a habit
of sitting Elon and his brother down and lecturing them
to three or for three or four hours at a stretch.
He did not take questions and did not react well
when either boys spoke up, even to ask questions. Yeah,
he's he's a piece of ship press conference. Yeah, there
are a lot of unanswered questions about Errol Musk and

(36:49):
one can't study Elon's background without walking away convinced that
the way Errol treated Elon during the years they lived
together had a powerful and a negative impact on the
future billionaire, but parsing out the extent of that impact
is hard. For example, we know that Errol Musk killed
three men who broke into his house. Um. We know
that some people have said that this was just a

(37:09):
straight up murder. It was. He was acquitted and the
case was ruled self defense. And I don't know, but
I think they were black. I don't know, though I
do not know. It is hard to find. I have
not found details. If you know to fucking search up
old South African murder cases, look it up. But while
Ellen and his sister were like living with him, Errol
Musk fucking killed three dudes. That's such a chill childhood, right, Yeah.

(37:35):
And it's also possible that that was like he's a
piece of ship. But also this was totally legitimate self
defense because South Africa's really has a lot of fucking
problems with home invasions that turned violent. Like what, I
don't know what happened, um. Elon does not like to
talk about it, and I understand that. Um, And you
get the feeling he is terrified of his dad, and
also you get the feeling that he fucking should be like, uh,

(37:59):
Errol susks a real problematic dude. UM. Now yeah, I
just don't know much about that case. Uh yeah. So uh,
while he did grow up in apartheid South Africa and
he absolutely benefited from that racist state. He absolutely, like
his family was very wealthy. Um. And they were wealthy
at least in part due to apartheid, and Ellen benefited

(38:20):
from that. I do not think there is any blame
you can throw on him for that because he was
number one hated living in South Africa. Um. This is
a very consistent aspect of his backstory. Everyone who knew
him points out that he was deeply connected to his
American roots and for his entire childhood wanted to get
the funk out of South Africa and moved to the
United States. He repeatedly tried to convince his father to

(38:41):
move to the US. At one point, Errol got frustrated
enough by this that he sent all of the housekeepers
home and made Elon do all of their chores so
that he would know what it was like. To quote
play American, Um, which tells you what Errol Musk thought
it meant to be an American. It means that you
can't have any black people working for you. Uh um Oh,
the horror having to do your own law carey is

(39:02):
what he was trying to teach him. He's like, imagine
what it would be like if you were just a person. Yeah,
and the Elon musk like, again, it's very worthwhile to
point out that he benefited financially from apartheid, but also
like he fucking hated it there um And that's really
consistent in every story about his background. Uh. For his part,

(39:24):
Errol claims Elon's upbringing was opulent and thoroughly positive. Quote.
I drove them to school in a convertible rules Royce Corniche.
They had thoroughbred horses to ride and motorbikes at the
age of fourteen. They were spoiled. I suppose maybe that's
why Ellen is acting like a spoiled child now. And
this was been they were having a big public fight
in the press. Um now. Ashley Vance's book all but

(39:44):
ignores Errol in his side of events, which conflict regularly
with Elon's own recollections. For example, Elon claims that his
youthful interest in computers clashed with his father, who thought
studying computers was a waste of time. Errol disagrees with that.
And I'm gonna quote now from an interview in the
New Zealand Herald. Uh, this is Errol Elon has repeatedly
told a story of me telling him that computers were
a waste of time. That's untrue. Recounting early signs of

(40:07):
his son's intellect with genuine pride, he continues, Elon has
been generous enough to admit that he inherited his scientific
genius from me. When he was eleven, he pestered me
to pay a huge sum to let him attend to
computer course where the first with the first IBM PC
with mouse and keyboard was to be presented for the
first time, groundbreaking stuff. I told him to be quiet
and well behaved, to give up his seat to someone
if necessary. It had set on the step at the

(40:27):
side of the stage. When I came back after two
hours to collect him, I found most people had left,
but a group had gathered at the foot of the stage,
and the center was my small son. His sleeves rolled up,
talking earnestly. A professor listening to him turned to me
and said, this boy needs to get one of these computers.
I think Elan is probably closer to telling the truth
and that his dad was a dick about this, but
also now that his son has being very successful, Errol

(40:48):
wants everyone to think that Elan is a genius because
of how it reflects on Errol. That's the feeling I
get reading a lot of both men. That's how I
interpret all this. You are really a done fighting really
strongly with Ellen and I it's I've never seen you
like this about any bastard, are you in life? No?
I just as a kid number one. He and I

(41:11):
like this. I think he's blushing look at him. No, no, no, no, no,
you gotta give that. You gotta be fair. I've seen
him like this. You know, somebody one thing but in love,
but you know, somebody's super funwed up. When Robert does
that weird giggle thing where he's like, yeah, he's like
and then he did that yeah, and you're like, oh, ship,

(41:32):
that's that's some dark shit. And yeah, I mean he's he's, he's,
he's he's setting the stage for what's it's happened, don't worry. Yeah,
I mean he's going to he's not going to deserve
any of this sympathy. But also like he had a
fucked up childhood, and he gets some sympathy as a
result of that. Um, I'm not saying you shouldn't. I'm

(41:53):
just saying I've never seen you like this. Yeah, most
of them don't have Most of the Bachards don't have
this sympathetic a back story. You know, they're not all
like Saddam Hussein, who was like a perfect flower child. Um,
and he you really root for as a little kid
when he's holding his teachers up at gunpoint. Um or
j Stall, I love little kids, Stalin. He was. He

(42:13):
was a good one too. Like, I don't know, it's
hardy not to read about kids in general and not
be sympathetic. Like they all reach a point where they
stop earning your sympathy, but like they all at some point,
we're just like fucking trying to figure out the world.
I don't know. I feel like, uh, the only way
we can live in this world as if we think

(42:35):
that people are capable of change, whether it's little kids
or adults. And with little kids there's a sense that
there's more potential for change than at any other time.
So yeah, And I also do feel that if you're
going to properly condemn someone for the bad things they've done.
You have to be very fair about their life and
about like what they actually are. Um. And at this

(42:56):
point in the story, Ellen's like a little kid with
a crazy abuse of lent dad, and he's a rich kid.
But like, fuck, that's not easy still, um now obviously,
uh yeah, Errol paints himself as generally available in a
supportive dad who would worst over and indulged his children.
Ellen and his brother Kimball both tell very different stories.
And I'm gonna quote from the Ashley Vance's biography again.

(43:18):
While Elon and Kimball declined to provide an exact accounting,
they clearly experienced something awful and profound during those years
with their father. They both talked about having to endure
some form of psychological torture. He definitely has serious chemical stuff,
said Kimball, which I am sure Ellen and I have inherited.
It was a very emotionally challenging upbringing it, but it
made us who we are today. May bristled when the
subject of Errol came up. Nobody gets along with him,

(43:40):
she said, he is not nice to anyone. I don't
want to tell stories because they are horrendous. You know,
you just don't talk about it. There are kids and
grandkids involved, and Justine, his ex wife, notes that like
they agreed very early on that none of their kids
were going to know their grandpa. Um. So like that's
the guy we're dealing with here. Um, but there's all
that's the laugh. So when Ashley Vance told Ellen that

(44:04):
she had emailed his father, his answer to her was
very telling. Quote, it would certainly be accurate to say
that I did not have a good childhood. It may
sound good, it was not absent of good, but it
was not a happy childhood. It was like misery. He's
good at making life miserable, that's for sure. He can
take any situation, no matter how good it is, and
make it bad. He is not a happy man. I
think that could probably be true of Actually Ellen musk himself, honestly,

(44:26):
but um, that is what happens. Child abuse will suck
you up for life. Yep, yep. You know what won't
suck you up for life, Sophia goods and services. These
products and services will not abuse your children and turn
them into billionaires who are emotionally distant and start fucking

(44:48):
nonsense ship on Twitter for no good reason. We're back.
Also of your best work. I have to say thank you. So. Um,
now you've heard the emeralds story, right, you've heard it
vaguely mentioned something about Elon Musk and emeralds in his pockets. Yes, again,

(45:10):
it's just such a stuff. I love it. Yeah yeah,
if you you you you hear this a lot that
like Elon's family was so in like his dad owned
half of an emerald mine. Um, people like the Frasier
usually hears that he like walked down with emeralds in
his pockets. And then anecdote is based on a Business
Insider article that interviewed Errol Musk. It opens with the
line quote, a teenage Elon Musk once walked the streets

(45:31):
of New York with emeralds in his pocket. Uh. And
the story Erald tells that does seem to be true
is that during a visit to New York City when
Ellen was sixteen, he and his brother Uh stole a
couple of the emeralds that his dad just like casually
had with him all the time. Uh. And they walked
into a Tiffany and Company on Fifth Avenue and asked
if the employees wanted to buy emeralds. And apparently you
can do that apparently if you walk into Tiffany's but

(45:53):
just like a fucking emerald, they'll they'll buy it from
you from like some sixteen year olds. Wait wait, wait,
like now you still do that? Or is this like
old school fucking mobb dub Tiffany's. Like what this is
like the late eighties? I guess, so maybe it's mobbed
up Tiffanies. It does seem like legally you shouldn't buy
emeralds from sixteen year old to walk it off the street.

(46:14):
I mean, on the other hand, there won't be any paperwork. Yeah,
what's the sixteen year old gonna do? Yeah, I don't
know the standards in this industry. That seems shady to me.
We're like, yeah, what what's what are the ethics and
the and the complexities and the realities of selling a
loose emerald you just brought with you from your dad's mind.

(46:38):
What are any of the words that are coming out
of my mouth right now? Yeah? Like it's simultaneously highlights
how rich this kid was, but also is like, honestly,
when you understand his background with his dad, one of
the more emotionally understandable things that he did because he
was just like, fuck you, dad, I'm gonna take your
emeralds and I'm gonna like probably buy fucking drugs or
whatever with my brother and like steal from you. Um,

(47:03):
I don't know. They sold them for two thousand dollars.
A few days later, they returned to see the eight
hundred dollar emerald. They sold set into a ring for
twenty four thousand dollars, and Errol claims that this was
a key lesson for Elon on how retail works. Um.
I don't know if that's the lesson Elon took out
of it, but it's a wild thing to have in
your childhood. I mean, my mom taught me the same

(47:24):
lesson about money one time because like, um, it was
like it was in Odessa and I had like a
broken arm, and she was like, hey, you should go
and stand in line for chickens and maybe they'll let
you go to the front to get a chicken, because, um,
your arm's broken. It's totally the same thing, right, It's
the same story is as this emerald story, right, just
like a cool valuable lesson where you realize you just

(47:46):
let go of an emerald that was like accidentally worth
over two dollars. Pretty similar, I think still learning about
value of money, right, still learning. I mean we all
have a version of that lesson. Right for most of us,
it's not Emeralds. It's like we actually the car and
the most unrelatable person of all time. Other than the abuse,

(48:07):
I mean, just the rich parts are hilarious sounding. The
emerald parts are just driving me. I mean, yeah, it's
just like it's just a rich kid's story. Yeah, so
elon Musk. Um, Yeah, it's weird because like he both
definitely benefited from all this financial security. He also like
pretty regularly you can find a lot of interviews where

(48:27):
he is like either at tears or at the point
of tears talking about his dad, Like he's clearly really
fucked up about his issues with his dad, and you
you get the feeling that it makes sense, like fucking
killed three people, Like who the funk knows what was
going on in that house? Um. He also endured a
lot of physical abuse at the hands of his classmates.
Musk spent eighth ninth grade at Branston High School, UH,

(48:49):
where one particular set of bullies decided to go after him.
He later recalled quote, I was basically hiding from this
gang that was fucking hunting me down for god knows
fucking why. I think I accidentally bumped this guy at
assembly that morning and he'd take and some huge offense
at that Later that day, while Ellen was eating lunch,
this kid snuck up on him and kicked him in
the head and then shoved him down the stairs. When
Ellen reached the bottom, a bunch of boys gathered around

(49:10):
him and started kicking him while the first bully slammed
his head into the ground. He eventually blacked out. Ellen
had to go to the hospital and he was out
of school for a week. He had to get a
nose job as an adult to correct the damage done
to him during this beating. That's fucked up, Like, that's
beyond normal bullying. I'd say, yeah, that's real fuck up. Yeah,
and the beatings continued. Um. A few years later, must

(49:31):
claims that the same group of boys found out that
Ellen had finally made a friend, which was not a
normal thing for Ellen to have, uh, and they beat
this kid up until he agreed to stop being Elon's friend. Um.
He also claimed that they got this kid, who he
describes as my best fucking friend to quote lure me
out of hiding so they could beat me up and
that fucking hurt, which obviously it did. That's pretty bad.

(49:53):
I also really feel bad for that kid. Yeah, and
you're being nice and then someone's like, no good deed
goes and punish. Yeah, you're fucking dead, not dead, but
you know that's that's that's really a lot that's punishing
kindness on like either and a lot of harm was
done to the world as a result of these bullies. Um,

(50:16):
how old is He's like fucking fifteen, sixteen at this point,
so he's already in high school. Yeah. Yeah, And things
got a little better for him when he was like sixteen.
He started going to Pretoria Boys School, which is a
ludicrously expensive, all white prep school. Um, and he spent
the last bit of his high school there. He didn't
really shine academically. He wasn't a great student, but he
wasn't bad. Um. He distinguished himself with his extra curricular activities,

(50:39):
which were primarily building very dangerous homemade rockets out of
explosives that he gathered himself. Uh. He still regards the
fact that he didn't lose any fingers as something of
a miracle. The relatively few classmates Elon was friendly with
do recall him being obsessed with space travel and solar
power from an early age. Both of those stances were
odd in South Africa. He talked a lot about the
need for human nity to colonize other planets and the

(51:01):
fundamental stupidity of fossil fuels. While Elon did not have
great grades, his talent with computers was enough to get
him into a special programming class where in nineteen eight
four he programmed a video game was based around defending
the Earth from powerful aliens. Elon graduated at age seventeen.
He attended the University of Pretoria for five months before
fucking off from South Africa forever to take advantage of

(51:22):
his family history and moved to Canada. And by the way,
if we're going to talk about take a look at
Elon Musk's privilege, the fact that his grandfather was a
Canadian citizen, uh and how that benefited him is actually
more meaningful um than the apartheid stuff. And in fact,
it very likely. It's very likely that Musk left South

(51:42):
Africa in part to avoid his mandatory conscription in period
of service in the South African military. There was no
other reason for him to go to the University of
Pretoria for five months, but to avoid getting drafted and
spending time in the military, which is like a good thing.
Avoiding serving in an apartheid military is like a like
it that's what you want people who might get drafted

(52:02):
by an apartheid military to do. Is not right, I
mean not just apartheive military, but especially Yeah, my cousin
um in Ukraine, like my aunt wanted to make sure
that her and him moved out um before he was
of age to get drafted in the army. It's like,
it's a real concern. People don't. Yeah, I've had some

(52:26):
Israeli friends who did the same thing. And in fact,
one guy who I hung out with a lot in
India who like can never go back because he like
skipped out on the draft. Uh yeah, yeah, And that's
a good thing to do. It's a good thing that
he did. Uh, so good on you, Ellen for not
serving in an apartheid military. But the bad thing he did,

(52:48):
we'll talk about that at the end of this this
first part here. Um. So, he arrived in Canada in
June and when he landed he had a handful of
phone numbers from family members he'd never met. He called
people in eventually found a second cousin in a small
town miles from where he landed who was willing to
put Elon up for a while. So he took a
bus and he hitched a ride to that guy's house.
This is a big part of Elon's preferred version of

(53:10):
his story, that he landed penniless in Canada and hitchhiked
around with a backpack until he managed to put together
enough odd work to keep himself fed and develop the
idea for his first business. Parts of that are true,
but what Elon always neglects to mention, and what his
biographer allows him to neglect to mention, is the financial
privilege he enjoyed. One gets the feeling reading Errol's interviews
that Elon had access to the cash that he needed

(53:32):
if his efforts collapsed um and he was privileged enough
to afford the plane ticket and enough cash to survive
for at least the first few months that he was
in Canada, albeit frugally. Errol absolutely would have bailed his
son out if Elon had needed it. And while that
would have, you know, enacted a psychological price on Elon,
and I don't want to discount that psychological price. It
was not the kind of bohemian period he really depicts

(53:54):
it at he had a safety net. More people should
be honest about that kind of stuff because building that
myth of like, oh, as an artist, this is how
I did it. I didn't have anything special. I just
went out and risk my dreams. Like so frequently find
out we find out that these people either have either
had connections or a financial like security net. It's a
totally different thing to go out on your own and

(54:15):
pursue something when you know that if you fail, you
might go on the street. It's not to say that
there's no risk involved, period, but I think we should
we should stop making mythologizing this kind of stuff because
then I think all the really uh crazy things that
have to come together for someone to make it, to
make their dreams come true. It doesn't just have to

(54:38):
do with talent. It's like a million other things. And
people that are born into privilege have like such a
leg up. Yeah, and what we will be talking about
that more, particularly in part two when it gets even
more relevant. Ellen spent a brief period of time after
this doing working class gigs. The Worrist of which was
probably cleaning out the boiler room of a lumber mill.
He took this job because required him to wear a

(54:58):
hazmat suited was the iighest paid entry level job. Around
thirty people started with him at the beginning of his
first week. By the end of it, he was one
of three who remained. For the next few months, Elon
bummed around Canada, taking odd gigs, saving money, staying with family,
and figuring out what the funk to do with his life.
His brother Kimball eventually followed him over. Ellen enrolled at
the Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario in late nineteen nine,

(55:20):
a university that he had picked out because it had
more hot chicks than the other school he was considering. Nose. Yeah,
I mean I was eighteen, and that's pretty normal. Decision
making doesn't make it good, but it isn't weird. I
think what's really weird is the idea that, like, a

(55:40):
particular area has hotter people than another area and making
her decisions based on that as if like that's some
kind of it's not good, but it is male. Like
it's not what science is just like dick science, you
know what, like doesn't make any sense. But when you're hard,
you're like, yeah, no that saw the send. No, yeah,

(56:01):
you go with school with all the hot chicks. Yeah.
So yeah, I'm gonna fucking follow this chub owner. Saw
you do it? Yeah it is yeah. Uh so. According
to Musk's biography quote, outside of his studies, Ellen wouldn't
read the newspaper alongside Kimball, and the two of them
would identify interesting people that they would like to meet.
They then took turns cold calling these people to ask
if they were available to have lunch. Among the harassed

(56:23):
was the head of marketing for the Toronto Blue Jays
baseball team, a business writer for the Globe and Mail,
and a top executive at the Bank of Nova Scotia,
Peter Nicholson. Nicholson remembered the boys call well, I was
not in the habit of getting out of the blue requests,
he said, I was perfectly prepared to have lunch with
a couple of kids that had that kind of gumption.
It took six months to get on Nicholson's calendar, but
sure enough, the Musk brothers made the three hour train

(56:44):
ride and showed up on time. Nicholson's first exposure to
the Musk Brothers left him with an impression many would share.
Both presented themselves well and we're polite. Elon, though clearly
came off as the geeky er, more awkward counterpoint to
the charismatic, personable Kimball. I became more impressed and fascinated
as I talked to them. Nicholson said, they were so determined.
Nicholson ended up offering Elon a summer internship at a
at the bank and became his trusted advisor. Keep that

(57:07):
in mind too, because he launched it talks this guy later,
uh for no good reason. Um, but yeah, uh that's Nate.
I guess like it does like and this actually kind
of guess what you're saying that kibbles the charismatic one.
He definitely is, uh not a high bar. But um,
this does get to like another thing in talking about
like the nature of privilege, because I'm sure Ellen thinks

(57:29):
about that as an example of like how he went
out and seized life and didn't benefit from privilege. But
like there's a privilege in knowing how to talk to rich,
fancy business people because you grew up in that world
and you do understand what they expect. And are impressed
by um. Like it's a kind of privilege that not
everybody grows up getting, like the fact, like, and that's

(57:50):
the thing that like, even though his dad didn't make
that connection for him, his background and upbringing helped him
make that connection. And that is kind of an and
a level of privilege we don't talk about as much
as we ought to because it is a little bit
less obvious. Um. Yeah, I think any kind of I
think it's very easy for someone that's grown up around

(58:14):
a certain way of being to not understand that other
people don't have don't have that access. It's like that
whole thing with you know, um fish not noticing that
they're in water or whatever. You know what I'm talking about.
It's um. It's that like common UM metaphor that people
use about how privilege, uh, how it is to grow

(58:36):
up in privilege that someone needs to point out to
you what it is that you have that you've always
just taken for granted, like air like you like you
just don't you don't process it as being anything that
UM is unique. You think everybody has this as opposed
to Oh, actually, I'm in a very small percentage of
people that have this security or this access or this whatever. Yeah,

(59:00):
you got it right, yep. Uh. So, during his time
at Queen's, Elon met a young woman named Justine Wilson.
They would later end up marrying, but at the time,
Ellen was interested in another young woman, Christie, who recalls
that when they met, quote, I believe the second sentence
out of his mouth was I think a lot about
electric cars, um, which gives you an idea about this
guy's game. Um. He also told her that he, yeah,

(59:22):
he was frustrated by the fact that he needs he
needed to eat. He didn't like that he had to
eat food, and if possible, he would prefer to get
his nutrients without wasting time. Um, which is very much
a prediction of soilent culture. So thank you for that, Elon. Um. Now, well,
things didn't work out with Christie. Must wound up building
something of a relationship with Justine. He considered her quote

(59:43):
the hot chicken campus, and he hit on her relentlessly
after his justice his father had done with his mother.
Yeah yeah. She initially agreed to an ice cream date,
but broke the plans off with him via post it note,
which dudes should wreck a nice as a sign that
sh it ain't happening, but Ellen did not do that. Uh. Instead,

(01:00:04):
he found Justine's best friend to talk to her to
figure out where Justine usually studied and what her favorite
ice cream flavor was, and then he showed up there
later with ice cream to force the date into happening. Um.
It's the sort of story that, like, different groups of
people will either see as romantic or a big old
Pilo red flags, Uh, depending on who does the telling
and who does the listening. Um. Yeah, I mean I

(01:00:27):
feel like, uh, we've all heard the story where that
ends really well, but we've also heard way more stories
where that does not end very well. Yeah, and it
definitely like obviously they get divorced and it was not
a pleasant divorce, so it doesn't end well. So Ashley Vance,
his biographer, seems to think that, like view this as

(01:00:50):
kind of romantic. Um, but her right up is still
pretty unsettling. Quote. Wilson had dreamed of having a torrid
romance with a writer. I wanted to be Sylvia and Ted.
She said what she fell for instead was a relentless
ambitious geek. The pair attended the same abnormal psychology class
and compared their grades Following an exam, Justine knocked Musk.

(01:01:10):
He went back to the professor and talked his way
into the two points he lost and got a hundred.
Justine said, it felt like we were always competing. Musk
had a romantic side as well. One time he sent
Wilson a dozen roses, each with its own note. He
also gifted Wilson a copy of The Prophet filled with
handwritten romantic musings. He can sweep you off your feet,
Justine said, the Prophet thing does not sound romantic. Yeah,

(01:01:31):
I mean, she's like a writer. It was to her.
I guess, like, I don't know. It all sounds kind
of weird to me too, but it clearly eventually worked. Uh.
I don't understand what that means with romantic musing notes
music notes in the margins, What does that even mean.
I think it means that he like wrote romantic stuff

(01:01:53):
about how the poems in the or the how the
Prophet made him think of her and stuff. I'm guessing
like a little asterisk and this reminds me of your pussy. Yeah, yeah,
that's probably I'm sure that's what was each of the notes.
It was just a book filled with marginalia that was like,
this line reminds me of your pussy, just lie, also
reminds me of your now I gotta he is charming.

(01:02:14):
Yeah it worked. Um. Yeah, the two data on and
off throughout college. Justine had a lot of options for
guys to pursue, and she didn't really seem to feel
the need to just stick with just Elon. Meanwhile, Elon
was somewhat fanatic about pursuing here to stay in her orbit.
Justine later recalled quote he would call very insistently. You
always knew it was Elon because the phone would never

(01:02:34):
stop ringing. The man does not take no for an answer.
You can't blow him off. I do think of him
as the terminator. He locks his gaze onto something and
says it shall be mine. Bit by bit he won
me over. Oh my god, that is so greevy. It's
not it's it doesn't sound great. And again though, yeah,
it's weird because like it's like, what is that a

(01:02:55):
description of your favorite husband or your favorite rapists? Like
what He's definitely not her favorite husband. Um, but it
also worked on her at some point. I don't know,
it's like it's it's it's not a great story. It
definitely hints at a guy who, um, isn't going to
be great at having a healthy relationship, which he wasn't. Also,
it just sounds like love bombing. Yes, this is what

(01:03:18):
he does to get you. It just blinds you and
bludgeends you with his love. And then once he has you,
he's like, all right, now that this is on lockdown,
I'm just gonna ignore you later. Yeah, it's it's a
lot of things. Ellen was well known during this period
for being the kind of dude who didn't really drink
or party. He mostly focused on academic studied business, competed
in speech and debate, and pined after a hot girl

(01:03:38):
who was only vaguely interested in him. After two years
at Queen's, Ellen achieved his dream of shimmying into the
United States by transferring to the University of Pennsylvania on
a scholarship. His goal was to get a dual degree
in economics from the Wharton School and a bachelor's in physics.
Must did well at pen and made some of his
first real friends based on shared interests. He was happy

(01:03:59):
during this period of time. You might think that this
would have instilled in him a deep sympathy for non
US citizens attempting to move to this country to start
a life. The truth is less clear and a lot uglier.
In two thousand seventeen, the newly installed Trump administration formed
an Economic Advisory Council. Elon Musk was invited to join,
and he chose to do so. The Trump administration then

(01:04:20):
went on to push for push for substantial and vicious
restrictions on immigration, including immigration from countries undergoing severe domestic strife,
which blocked out students who, like Musk, might have sought
an escape from serving in their nation's repressive military by
seeking a foreign education. Thanks to Stephen Miller, Trump senior advisor,
the White House actually spent months attempting to stop students

(01:04:43):
in the US illegally from even attending public schools. The
administration also attempted to restrict the issuance of h one B. VISs,
and Musk was silent during this period. He remained on
the council. When Trump attempted to pass his immigration ban
on people from Muslim majority nations, Elon did tweet this
at the time. Regarding government policy, there are often things

(01:05:04):
that happen that many people don't agree with. This is
normal for a functioning democracy. The Muslim immigration ban is
not right. They rarely warrant a public statement. However, the
ban on Muslim immigrants from certain companies countries rises to
this level. It is not right. The Muslim immigration ban
is not right, which is a very unequivocal uh public statement. However,
he deleted those tweets almost immediately uh and replaced them

(01:05:27):
with the more milk toast statement the blanket entry ban
on citizens from certain primarily Muslim countries is not the
best way to address the country's challenges, which is kind
of shitty. Uh yeah. Must remain on the Economic Advisory
Council until in June seventeen, the President withdrew the United
States from the Paris Climate Accords. This prompted Musk's very

(01:05:48):
public withdrawal from the Council. It is interesting where he
chose to draw the line with President Trump and our
current fascist adjacent administration. And that's where we're gonna end
for part one. Boy, I think that um, probably that
elon Musk lovers are going to come from me. Huh, yeah,
it's weird. I wonder if they're gonna, like, by all rights,

(01:06:09):
they should come for me, mostly because I wrote the
giant thing about him, So she'll get it. She'll get
it word, but not just that. They're not going to
think that I'm just like out here just saying whatever
is a comedian. They're going to be like Robert was
trying to be objective and that bitch wouldn't have it.
I mean you wouldn't. Yeah, that part is lame. I mean,

(01:06:35):
you know Elon Musk more like Elon I have a
great transition before you should just malfunction all the way.
So my album, my stand up album, Father's Day, comes
out on ju which is Father's Day. And if you've
been like she seems like she doesn't have a dad,

(01:06:58):
she's realed down and Eilon for being a bad dad.
You are right, I don't have a dad. So if
you want to hear more about that, you will love
my album Father's Day. And if you want to stop
having a dad, that's also an option if you choose to.

(01:07:18):
I don't know where you're going with that one. I
I don't know whither. Yeah, that was like like a
start to like what like, are you going to tell
me how to divorce my parents? Where's this going? I mean,
I I am law, you're adjacent, um and I do
helping children divorced from their parents. Yes, I do that,

(01:07:40):
but that is my job now, this is not that
is not your job, not your no h And you
can also listen to Sophia's podcasts. Can Sophia's podcast. I
have a podcast about ninety de fiance with Miles Gray
from The Daily Say guys, it's called four Defiance. It's
really how And I also have a podcast about love

(01:08:00):
and sex around the world called Private Parts Unknown with Kosak,
So check that out. Man, it's wild that you do
a pot podcast and don't like Elon Musk because he
totally smoked that blunt on Joe Rogan Show, even though
he has denied people workers compensation claims because they tested
positive or his companies have denied people claims because they
tested positive for marijuana. Right, but he looked like he did.

(01:08:23):
Don't you like smoke weed? And he definitely didn't inhale. No,
he looked so cool with his blunt with he looked
so cool doing the thing that he will fire and
deny people compensation due to them for indulging in even
though it's fine for him. You know, it shouldn't be anyways,
different rules for billionaires, you know, it's just a different

(01:08:45):
world for them. Yeah, he was pretty cool to Joe
two relatable hundred million dollar worth Joe. Anyway, the episode
that was really fun, Find Me the Sophia so F
by way by Yeah,

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