The Tesla founder and the producer-musician-goddess are going to have a baby, which will certainly not be entirely human. (The Internet agrees).
We are living at a precarious time in history.
One might say we are balancing on the knife-edge between the past and an unknowable future, between what has been and the onslaught of a brave new world defined by endless innovation and relentless catastrophe.
Into this new world, some months from now, a baby will be born. That child will—most likely, unless Grimes is trolling us all—be the spawn of none other than Elon Musk and Claire Boucher, the artist formerly known as Grimes who is now referred to as c.
Once upon a time, we could laugh at the uncanny union of Musk and Grimes, but tragically, straight couples have the capability to do something that no straight couple should ever be able to do: They can create new life. Today, Grimes posted an uncensored photo of herself with a CGI-crafted child emblazoned on her torso. "Being knocked up is a very feral & war-like state of being," she wrote in the comments. "Might as well be what it is. Plus most of my friends told me not to post them so then I was afflicted w reverse psychology. Interrogated my shame and decided it was sum weird internalized self hated to feel uncomfortable about my body. Hope ur having a nice day!"
What will become of this child? Is this child even real and human-made, or are we talking a simulated, asexually reproduced entity, built by Elon Musk's Frankenstein sperm-machine and 3D-printed to the tune of Grimes' latest artificial intelligence collaboration? Here are three potential futures that we see for this poor, poor creature, who has the misfortune of being the subject of an article like this one while being merely a pomegranate-sized lump within their mother's translucent chest.
Future #1: Cyborg
Elon Musk and Grimes are both obsessed with artificial intelligence. They even met because of a joke about a thought experiment called Rokoko's Basilisk, which essentially says that we all need to be living in service of an AI in case it's actually watching over us and expecting us to do its bidding. Pretty terrifying, right? Could it be that Elon Musk and Grimes started dating with the intention to produce a child that would dedicate its life to the service of artificial intelligence? Could it be that Elon Musk has been working tirelessly in his lab to produce the first cyborgian child, and could it be that he has finally inseminated his goth music producer girlfriend with a half-robot, half-human hybrid?
For her part, Grimes frequently posts arguments about how very soon, art and all artists are going to be completely consumed by artificial intelligence, usurped by robots and algorithms. Therefore, she probably also would be into the idea of making a human child that's at the very least capable of working closely in support of artificial intelligence.
grimes and elons babys first words gonna be like: 01110010 01100101 01100001 01101101 00100000 01101001 00100000… https://t.co/9kkOSxsFzj— Brownies & Lemonade 💜💛 (@Brownies & Lemonade 💜💛)1578523853.0
But could Grimes and Elon Musk be creating the first of a new super-race of very advanced cyborgs that will, once they produce a large enough brood, totally eviscerate the rest of us flawed mortals? Or will the child glitch and become a monstrosity, only to be locked in their father's underground lab eternally? What if this is all a thought experiment, and what if the "child" is merely going to be an ongoing illusion, a Lil Miquela-esque commentary on the simulacra-like nature of celebrity worship?
If they grow tired of the experiment, will Elon Musk and Grimes contact the simulator, delve back into the algorithm of our memories, and erase all evidence that this child existed? Or what if the child is real and is kept hidden until it grows strong enough to hack their own parents' algorithm-minds and blossoms out of the cave, armed with the tools necessary to save the world?
That brings us to the next possible future for this child. Elon Musk and Grimes' baby could do a lot of things. For one, it could potentially pull us all back from the brink of destruction.
Future #2: New Jesus
Elon Musk and Grimes might be very confused, selfish, and hypocritical capitalists, but they're both quite aware of the dangers of climate change. Elon Musk is trying to create a community on Mars for when we face disaster and run out of resources on Earth; and when the fires and floods come, billionaires like Musk and their families will certainly defect to their cool blue Martian villas, leaving the rest of us to burn away while live-tweeting memes till the last second.
Grimes also seems very concerned about the Earth and the future of the human race, and over the past few months she's been slowly releasing singles from her upcoming album Miss_Anthropocene, which is apparently going to be a representation of a female demon of climate change.
Clearly, Elon Musk and Grimes are both very, very concerned about the dangers of ecological disaster (though neither seems to care about this disaster's connection to capitalism and the spirit of relentless innovation that Musk embodies). Perhaps they're confident enough in their wealth to know that their money will protect their child from any form of true annihilation, but perhaps they have another idea. Perhaps they've planned on birthing the ultimate climate revolutionary—think Greta Thunberg, but much, much wealthier and implemented with their parents' agendas and passcodes from before birth.
On the other hand, perhaps the child might be lucid enough to see the shame in his parents' ways and could carry on Jesus's truly socialist mission, carrying us out of the real simulation, which was always capitalism. At this point, if anybody is capable of hacking the real-life Matrix—if anybody might be born into a family that could help them save us all—it would probably be Grimes and Elon Musk's child.
There is truly no way of knowing if the Grimes photos are a pregnancy announcement or like, a metaphor for the life… https://t.co/FKNoqicvau— The FADER (@The FADER)1578521984.0
But on the other hand, do either of us really think that Elon Musk and Grimes contain the tiniest flicker of empathy for the rest of us poor flesh mortals? This brings us to the most likely (albeit the most unfortunate) potential future for Elon Musk and Grimes' progeny:
Future #3: The Antichrist
Just take one look at the images that Grimes posted on Twitter today, and you'll notice that there's something unnatural about them. Something ominous shrouds this whole business. Maybe it's the fact that Australia is on fire or that war with Iran is looming—or that the earth has been quietly humming from below and receiving radio waves from distant galaxies—or maybe it's that we've entered a new decade, and the earth is ablaze with protests and violence—or maybe it's that humanity has always been broken, always undergoing a variant of the apocalypse—but it does feel like we're reaching another breaking point, a new critical juncture. Perhaps we have reached our own 21st century Revelation.
Whether this Revelation period comes because of climate change or AI or social unrest or a combination of all of them, this age will need its own antichrist, and who else could be better suited to helm it than the child of a tech billionaire and his futuristic techno-goddess girlfriend? Since his mother is literally inhabiting the role of a climate change demon, and since his father is an actual human demon, the most believable conclusion to be reached here is that Grimes and Elon Musk's child will be the literal antichrist. (Or at least, he'll be one of the four coders of the apocalypse, along with the children of Mark Zuckerberg, Ivanka Trump, and Kim Jong Un). This demon-being could, for example, create a game that determines the fate of the world, or could program some algorithm to effectively siphon all our data, or could start the next truly great cult.
Naturally, there's also the possibility that this child will be—like most normal people—unremarkably, irredeemably f*cked up from birth. Crushed by their parents' expectations and the trappings of being born into Silicon Valley's First Family, this kid might become an angsty emo musician, or a grim techie a la Ready Player One living in an underground labyrinth in their parents' basement. Or they could be something else entirely, something as unexpected and new and unknown as the future itself.
But if the child is only a thought experiment and Grimes winds up having the last laugh, honestly, I wouldn't expect anything less.
whatever demon grimes and elon musk produce will end the world as we know it https://t.co/6fMMX8uSiz— liam (@liam)1578519602.0
Elon Musk and Grimes are going to have a gender reveal party where they accidentally blow up the moon— hussein kesvani (@hussein kesvani)1578521966.0
grimes is going to give birth to renesmee— amy (@amy)1578522483.0
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Breaking down the bias of comfort films.
With the constant onslaught of complicated news that 2020 has brought, sometimes you just want to be able to shut off your brain, relax, and feel happy.
Enter comfort films. These are the feel-good movies that feel like a warm hug when you finish them, the ones that allow you to escape for a short while. We often turn to these types of films in times of trouble or extreme stress, and when we're not sure what films of this nature we should watch, we turn to the Internet for options.
Rivera's "Glee" character was not just important, she was groundbreaking.
As a young queer girl growing up in the south, I was lucky that my parents weren't homophobes.
My parents believed that people were sometimes born gay, and while they wouldn't "wish that harder life" on their children, they certainly made me and my sister believe that gay people were just as worthy of love as anyone else. I was lucky.
Still, in my relatively sheltered world of Northern Virginia (a rich suburb near Washington D.C.), homophobia wasn't as blatant as hate crimes or shouted slurs, but it was generally accepted that being straight was, simply, better.
In high school, it wasn't uncommon to use "gay" as an insult or for girls to tease each other about being "lez." While many of us, if asked, would have said we were in support of gay marriage and loved The Ellen Show, being gay remained an undesirable affliction.
Even more insidious, I was instilled with the belief—by my church and my peers—that if gay and lesbian people could be straight, they would. But since they were simply incapable of attraction to the opposite sex or fitting into traditional gender roles, we should accept them as they are as an act of mercy. At the time, this kind of pity seemed progressive and noble. Those in my close circle of family and friends weren't openly dismissive or condemning of gay people, but we saw homosexuality as a clear predisposition with no gray areas.
Specifically: Gay men talked with a lilt, giggled femininely, and were interested in things that weren't traditionally "masculine." Meanwhile, gay women dressed like men, had no interest in makeup or other traditionally female interests, and probably had masculine bodies and features. In my mind, before someone came out as gay, they did everything in their power to "try to be straight" but were eventually forced to confront the difficult reality that they felt no attraction at all to the opposite sex. I viewed homosexuality not as a spectrum, but as a black and white biological predisposition that meant you were thoroughly, completely, and pitiably gay.
As a child, when I began to experience stirrings of attraction for other girls, I would reassure myself that not only had I definitely felt attraction for men in the past, but I also liked being pretty. I was a tomboy as a child, sure, but as I got older I recognized that my value was increased in the eyes of society if I tried to be a pretty girl. As it turned out, I even liked putting on clothes that made me feel good, I liked applying makeup, and I liked some traditionally "feminine" things. In my mind, this meant that I couldn't be gay, because gay women didn't like "girl" stuff.
As a teenager, I began to learn more about the difference between gender and sexuality, and the fluidity of both. I began to let myself feel some of the long-suppressed feelings of queer desire I still harbored.
Still, in the back of my mind, the instilled certainty of sexuality as an extremely rigid thing sometimes kept me up at night. What if I was gay? Would I have to change the way I looked? Would I have to give up some of the things I liked? In my mind, being gay meant your sexuality was your whole identity, and everything else about you disappeared beneath the weight of it.
But then, Santana came out as gay on Glee.
GLEE - The Santana 'Coming Out Scene' www.youtube.com
If you didn't watch Glee, than you might not know the importance of Naya Rivera's character to so many queer young women like myself. Santana was beautiful, she was popular, she had dated boys, she was feminine, she was sexy, and she was gay. There's even evidence that Santana had previously enjoyed relationships with men.
But the character came out anyways, not because she had to or because it was obvious to everyone around her that she was gay, but because her attraction to women was an aspect of her identity she was proud of. It wasn't an unfortunate reality she simply had to make the best of; it was an exciting, beautiful, aspect of her identity worth celebrating.
Before Santana, it had never really come home for me that being gay wasn't an entire identity—that it wasn't an affliction or disorder, but just another part of a person. She also didn't suddenly start wearing flannels or cutting her hair after coming out. She was the same feminine person she had always been. I had never realized that being a gay woman didn't have to look a certain way. Santana and Brittany's gay storyline showed two femme-presenting women in love, and for me, that was a revolution.
If it wasn't for Naya Rivera, we may never have had that important story line.
"It's up to writers, but I would love to represent [the LGBTQ community] because we know that there are tons of people who experience something like that and it's not comical for them in their lives," Rivera told E! News in 2011. "So I hope that maybe we can shed some light on that."
While Rivera herself wasn't gay (the importance of casting gay actors in gay roles is a separate conversation), she understood how important her character was to the queer community. "There are very few ethnic LGBT characters on television, so I am honored to represent them," Rivera told Latina magazine in 2013. "I love supporting this cause, but it's a big responsibility, and sometimes it's a lot of pressure on me."
Rivera wasn't just a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community on screen. In 2017, she wrote a "Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community" for Billboard's Pride Month. In it, she wrote, "We are all put on this earth to be a service to others and I am grateful that for some, my Cheerios ponytail and sassy sashays may have given a little light to someone somewhere, who may have needed it. To everyone whose heartfelt stories I have heard, or read I thank you for truly enriching my life."
Now, as we mourn the loss of Naya Rivera, at least we can take comfort in knowing that her legacy will live on—that the light her Cheerios ponytail and sassy sashays gave us won't go out any time soon.
Excuse me, I have to go weep-sing-along to Rivera's cover of landslide now.
Glee - Landslide (Full Performance + Scene) 2x15 youtu.be
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