The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is now suing the Tesla CEO Elon Musk for securities fraud. A man who’s fixated on vast visions of an improved future, but who still has a real business to run, Musk has become his own worst enemy, Ian Bogost writes:
With 22 million Twitter followers, he has a direct line to his fans. In December 2016, Musk tweeted, “Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging ...” Who doesn’t feel that way? The difference is, Musk actually followed through on the promise. “I am actually going to do this,” he added a few hours later. The Boring Company, a (still nascent) underground transit play, was the result. It currently has plans to dig and operate electric-sled tunnels in Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Chicago.
Moves like these have earned Musk a mythic persona, one that blends inventor-visionary with magnate-madman. That’s also why he’s often compared to Tony Stark, the industrialist alter-ego of Iron Man in the Marvel comics and movies.
The only problem is, Tony Stark is a fictional character.