Sit back and relax. More jokes are on their way. A new age of comedy is about to dawn.
Elon Musk, whom The Daily Devil’s Dictionary has already crowned the king of hyperreality, has just confirmed our suspicion and even taken it to a higher level. Business Insider reports on Musk’s latest focus, which will likely produce another startling innovation: “It’s pretty obvious that comedy is the next frontier after electric vehicles, space exploration, and brain-computer interfaces.”
Here is today’s 3D definition:
A region of the cultural universe that appears to be open to conquest by persons with the requisite net worth, at least until the elusive nature of wit stings them with the reminder that humor is more than the ability to craft jokes
After claiming comedy as the next frontier, Musk added this statement: “Don’t know how anyone’s not seeing this.” Far-sighted as Musk is — with a vision that now extends nearly as far as the asteroid belt — he failed to notice that here at The Daily Devil’s Dictionary we’ve been regularly following his comedic logic over the past few months. On February 8, we pointed out that “Musk projects himself as the ultimate 21st-century hyperreal celebrity,” positioning “himself as a purveyor of excitement.” In the age of uncertain leadership — think Donald Trump, Rodrigo Duterte, Kim Jong-un, Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron and whoever becomes the next Italian prime minister — what can be more exciting, reassuring and essential than comedy?
Musk started with surface vehicles (Tesla), went upward into the heavens (SpaceX) before going underground with The Boring Company, and finally inside people’s head with Neuralink. Is he the modern Dante Alighieri, who seven centuries ago gave us the “Divine Comedy” (originally just La Commedia, or Comedy)?
Dante started in the underground of hell before taking us up the mountain of Purgatory and into the celestial paradise. With his multiple enterprises, Musk has now covered every dimension of the material universe. His next step logically has to be the life of the spirit. And what better entry point than comedy, which may be the last opportunity of our civilization — contaminated by fake news and regimented by PC — to tell the truth unapologetically?
Musk reasons like all successful capitalists: If you don’t know the business you want to develop, buy a successful company or, if that’s off the table, the people that ran the successful business. What else is all that money good for? So, Musk is currently buying up talent from The Onion, a fairly sure bet. But Musk being Musk, expect something more exciting than a clone of The Onion’s now somewhat formulaic humor, something on an astronomically higher level. It is, after all, “a new frontier.” Mashable goes so far to hope that Musk’s “investment in satire might just stave off our collective exasperation in these troubled times.”
But can someone who accepted to play an advisory role to Trump reinvent comedy? Trump is in some ways the current king of comedy, delivering on a daily basis the script of their jokes to late night TV comic luminaries such as Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon.
Musk is — as we have repeatedly said — the ultimate hyperreal hero. Everything we formerly believed to be real becomes obsolete as soon as he engages with it. Space travel was once a collective endeavor expressing, in the words of John F. Kennedy, the ambition of a nation to reach the moon. Musk has turned it into an entrepreneur’s parody of 19th-century European colonialism, with the subjugation of Mars. Thanks to Musk’s vision of the automobile, the sleek, powerful, flashy cars that defined the 20th-century consumer’s identity have become symbols of a hyper-efficient future. His futurist hyperloops will replace the sinister urban sewers that fascinated Graham Greene in the Third Man and Thomas Pynchon in his novel, V.
So, let’s expect Elon Musk to give the world what it’s been waiting for, a post-Pythonesque brand of comedy, no longer focused on the real — which the Monty Python relished — but the hyperreal. His flamethrower video (only $500) in which he acts and which he probably scripted gives just a foretaste of what’s to come. Some in the media called it a joke, but in four days it sold 20,000 units for a net haul of $10 million.
So sit back and relax. More jokes are on their way. A new age of comedy is about to dawn.
*[In the age of Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain, another American wit, the journalist Ambrose Bierce, produced a series of satirical definitions of commonly used terms, throwing light on their hidden meanings in real discourse. Bierce eventually collected and published them as a book, The Devil’s Dictionary, in 1911. We have shamelessly appropriated his title in the interest of continuing his wholesome pedagogical effort to enlighten generations of readers of the news.]
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.