OPINION

Why the fuss about Elon Musk?

Jeremy Gordin |

12 May 2022

Jeremy Gordin writes on the Pretoria boykie’s takeover of Twitter and the pushback it has received

 1.

When (pace Dylan Thomas) I was a windy boy and a bit – which, sub specie aeternitatis, feels as though it was just a week ago – one of the most important things required for an article was a so-called “news hook”: a piece of information that captures the attention and interest of the reader.

Here you go then, brothers and sisters, from The Washington Post (“Democracy Dies in Darkness”) of May 10: “Elon Musk says he would reverse Twitter ban on Donald Trump”.

The bait on the hook would be paltry, however, if one didn’t also mention that Trump advisers say the former president has (so far) no plans to return to Twitter, nor has he talked to Musk yet.

2.

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My brother Joel can be bothersome [1]. But what else are brothers for?

Think for example of Cain and Abel, who feature right at the beginning of the Good Book. Still, given that he is my elder and better – and sensitive to boot – I try to cut him some slack.

Once Joel was a red-hot reporter and sub-editor on Joel Mervis’ Sunday Times. Those were the days when men were men and wore neckties; women were also, so to speak, men (no offence intended[2]); Mervis was Mr Mervis; and subs could tell the difference between a split infinitive and an Italian soccer player.

Now, however, Joel is retired and living in a “pent-hoos,” as the locals call them, in Israel – with not a lot to do. And, although his present partner, a Ukrainian, who came to Israel not long ago (i.e., she’s still learning Hebrew), seems to be both admirable and smart, Joel can’t for obvious linguistic reasons swop puns or stories about TV news coverage and English tabloid headlines with her, can he? (Similarly, he presumably doesn’t get her in-jokes about Dostoevsky or Lermontov.) Nor, inexplicably, does she care much for rugby.