One lost sight of function of Elon Musk’s chaotic romantic existence is his companions have a tendency to be professionally ingenious girls. Simply as they’ve been gadgets of his — courted, mishandled, tossed apart — Musk has been an object of theirs: a muse. What are we able to be informed through studying the paintings of the ladies who’ve liked him?

The inventive spouse who has wrung essentially the most out of Musk is Talulah Riley. The actor-slash-writer divorced Musk in 2016 after remarrying him in 2013 after divorcing him in 2012 after marrying him in 2008. A whirlwind, however what higher fodder for a singular: a person desired, loathed, get rid of, and, in all probability, in the long run loved. Her 2016 e-book, Acts of Love, is essentially the most entertaining and glaring access within the Musk-as-muse folio. “His phrases had been creepy, however his eyes appeared sort,” Riley writes of a personality named Radley Blake, who’s greater than slightly like Musk. Each males are billionaires, making their fortunes on the earth of science and era, and each males are ceaselessly ill-behaved and brash.

When her protagonist, Bernadette St John, meets Radley at a birthday celebration, they’re now not offered such a lot as he’s thrust upon her: She had already stuck him eyeing her from around the room. “He used to be learning her as a wolf may appraise a lamb prior to gobbling it up,” Riley writes. Bernadette isn’t an actress like her author however {a magazine} publisher nicknamed “The Guy Whisperer,” a plucky misandrist columnist tasked with interviewing the arena’s maximum tough males. Radley curses the state of recent journalism — “I will be able to’t stand ingenious non-fiction, this present obsession with new journalism,” he tells Bernadette. Due to this fact, a disclaimer. A singular isn’t nonfiction. We will be able to’t learn this as a Musk tell-all any further than we will derive the irony of Riley’s look on Westworld following their separation.

Radley Blake is a villain, whether or not or now not the e-book is aware of it. He’s dismissive and judgmental, at risk of spontaneous cruelty. He displays up with out caution, bursting into Bernadette’s existence. He throws her over his shoulder towards her will, telling her it might be more uncomplicated if she pretended to be subconscious. (In Elon’s first spouse’s e-book, the affection pastime makes use of magic to place the heroine to sleep towards her will.) At one level, Radley just about forces himself on Bernadette. “He enveloped her in his palms and shifted so his mouth used to be pressed up towards her ear. ‘I can have you ever,’ he hissed … ‘And I need you to understand it. I need it to be the one factor you take into accounts.’” Of their courtship, Radley ceaselessly oversteps, she follows go well with, then he scolds her and casts her apart. “One minute all sort and worrying and ethical, the following an entire and utter pervert,” Bernadette tells Radley. He replies, “I advised you. We’re the similar, you and I.”

Their courtship is all tumult with little horniness. Despite the fact that Bernadette is interested in Radley, the 2 do little greater than kiss, content material to differently argue. Radley isn’t romantic, now not particularly giving. He values her paintings, claiming to be an avid reader and fan, however he demeans her means of dressing, her ethics and style. In spite of everything: She betrays him in a second of weak point and begs forgiveness, but it surely’s his choice whether or not they’re going to ever reunite, now not hers. He’s the bruised one, mistreated and pathetic, not noted within the rain. It’s conceivable, regardless of all his energy and cash and information, that we’re intended to peer Radley as a sufferer, struggling needlessly by the hands of a career-minded, made up our minds girl.

It turned into transparent to me over the process studying Acts of Love that Riley’s portrayal of Musk comes from the impulse to regard him as a sufferer or, on the very least, worthy of a bodyguard. Grimes — Musk’s most up-to-date(ly showed) spouse and mom of X Æ A-Xii (“X”) and Exa Darkish Sideræl (“Y”) — has taken up that defender function prior to now (on Twitter, in interviews).  Even of their separation, she advised Self-importance Truthful “it’s the most productive they’ve ever been.” It’s been rumored that a lot of her coming near near EP, Fairies Cum First, is set their courting. Fanatics have homed in at the refrain of “Beautiful Darkish,” which reads:

’Motive child, yeah, you personal me such as you personal the arena

And if you happen to display me, then I’ll be your woman

And I’ll kill them if they are trying to harm you

You dethrone me, boy, what nerve

A person who owns the arena wishes any person to give protection to him from what precisely?

Within the lead-up to the album, Grimes launched a demo on TikTok from a monitor referred to as “100% Tragedy” during which she sings:

Take a look at me this night, take a look at me this night

I’ll defeat you through the moonlight

Witness your individual tragedy

I appear to be a flower, however I’m a serpent beneath

This verse concludes with a literary connection with one of the crucial English canon’s maximum doomed {couples}. “I appear to be a flower, however I’m a serpent beneath,” mirrors a line in Macbeth during which the savage spouse advises her would-be king, “Appear to be th’ blameless flower, / However be the serpent underneath ’t.” Isn’t the item about Macbeth that the titular persona and Girl Macbeth are, like, the dangerous guys? Macbeth’s doomed quest to grow to be king stems from prophecy, or fable, perceived injustice (say, other folks the usage of “billionaire” as a pejorative, possibly), and Girl Macbeth is going with him, hand in hand.

“100% Tragedy” performs like darkish, competitive banger, a transparent tale of revenge, and within the TikTok, Grimes wears a sheer, tight bodysuit such as mother-of-pearl chain mail as she waves a fan in sluggish movement. She is a soldier, off to battle a warfare. The warfare isn’t with Musk however quite with one Azealia Banks, with whom each Musk and Grimes percentage a long-standing public red meat. “100% Tragedy is ‘about having to defeat Azealia Banks when she attempted to smash my existence,” Grimes advised her fanatics on Discord. (Longtime victims of being Too On-line will consider the Banks-versus-Grimes-versus-Musk feud of 2018: Banks got here to stick with the couple to paintings on new song with the singer. Grimes and Musk left for a convention in Vegas in combination, leaving Banks on my own at their assets. On Instagram, Banks referred to Musk’s house as like a “actual episode of Get Out,” accusing him of being on acid whilst he tweeted about Tesla. She additionally made derogatory remarks about his penis.) Even at the different facet of her post-postmodern affair with Musk, Grimes feels the want to step in, to intercede.

Rounding out the Musk-as-muse canon is Justine Musk (née Wilson), his first spouse and mom to his eldest 5 kids. Justine, a Canadian myth publisher, met her now ex-husband first in faculty, alternatively a decade later, and then they wed. A lot in their courting used to be documented in a Marie Claire essay that she wrote in 2010, one of the crucial earliest vital items of her ex-husband and person who will get dredged up each time he (or one in all his corporations) teeters at the fringe of scandal. The essay is filled with harrowing information about their courting: when Musk advised her right through their wedding-night dance, “I’m the alpha on this courting”; when he accused her of “studying an excessive amount of”; when he advised her that if she used to be his worker, he’d hearth her.

In 2005, 3 years previous to her separation from Elon, Justine revealed her myth novel BloodAngel. The protagonists’ love pastime, Kai Youngblood, can also be learn as one of those funhouse-mirror mirrored image of Elon. He manipulates and controls the heroine, Jess Shepard, who’s so much like Justine: a normie middle-class artist whose existence adjustments when she meets a mysterious rich guy.

Jess asks him, early of their courting, “Simply how rich are you?”

“I’ve been on this global for over seven centuries,” Kai tells her. “That’s numerous time to be told about wealth. Methods to make it, lose it, make it once more.”

He’s taking a personal jet around the world, in search of those that can lend a hand him in his unending combat towards a demon race hell-bent on apocalyptic destruction. Humanity wishes him, k? Now not simply humanity, despite the fact that: Jess additionally wishes Kai. She wishes him to show her magic, she wishes him romantically (leaving her common boyfriend out to dry), she wishes him to steer her. Kai is keen however exhausted. That is torturous, having a pupil to be answerable for. He suffers.

Not like Musk’s essay, and even Grimes’s song or Riley’s novel, we have now the least quantity of proof that BloodAngel is expounded or hooked up to Elon, which is to mention no exhausting proof in anyway. However we have now literary research, which will on the very least do probably the most legwork. Realizing what I find out about how lengthy it takes to put in writing a e-book (a very long time) and figuring out what I find out about how lengthy Elon and Justine had been in combination (additionally more or less a very long time), from the place else would the latter get her data on non-public jets? On world-bending wealth? In a doomed marriage, preventing to stay the lighting fixtures on and tensions low, she, like Jess of BloodAngel, justifies the conduct of the person she’s with time and time once more till it reaches some extent of instability. For Musk, that used to be divorce. For Jess, it’s handiest the apocalypse.

Is Musk the one factor status between us and the top of the arena? If the inside track received’t persuade you of such, believe the artwork, as a result of that’s the place Musk’s, Riley’s, and Grimes’s paintings triangulate: this trilogy of strained justifications on behalf of energy, wealth, and information. Somewhat of dangerous conduct is ok so long as it’s for a reason. It’s Jess who has to be told, Bernadette who has to beg forgiveness, Grimes who has to protect. The Musk muse is helpless however tough, stressed however striving. He’s now not excellent, however he’s Just right, capital-G. Handiest those males are pretend, imagined anti-heroes, and when the e-book is closed (or the song became off), the arena is all too actual and Musk doesn’t want their protection.

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