Earth to Mr. Musk

Arm’s length musings from a septuagenarian humanoid.

An open letter to Elon Musk

Dear Mr. Musk,

You don’t know me. We don’t travel in the same earthling pods. I am skeptical of electricity guzzling cars. Trucks, I get. Cars? Not so much. I can’t afford to fly to Mars although wishing it would be nice, watching earth heat up, shrivel and implode after all.

Thank you for staying up and reading my letter. I will try to observe the protocols of letter writing and will not use the phrase “reach out,” once. You and I don’t ‘reach out.’ Our arms, so far, haven’t evolved that far.

We are earthlings after all.

I understand that you are not fond of letter writing as human endeavor, preferring the pithy prose of a “tweet,” whatever that is, to the calibrated, nuanced, rambling verse of keyed or written words on a page. You admire efficiency of communication and now I understand you are contemplating purchasing the global host of earthling voices constrained and packaged in “tweets.” Something I would name a confection after.

Before you enhance your treasure chest with inflated valuation, I would kindly, ask you, sir, to stop, take a pause, “un-tweet,” as it were, and contemplate earth. So beautiful from outer space and so damaged once you arrive. So perfect in form, so disappointing in apprehension. Before you return to your pod on Mars, let’s pause a bit and ask ourselves, how did earth get this way?

Unlike you I am not a lover of efficacy, which is not to say I am a stick in the mud. A little wordy, perhaps. Annoyingly tendentious, yes, but not a spoilsport. Have your ‘efficacy’ on Mars, but please, Mr. Musk don’t bring it back to earth. Earthlings like me benefit from reflection, discussion, meditation, curiosity, wonder, imagining, apprehension, all the stuff we can’t put into “tweets.”

So as humans are evolving to greater arm lengths thanks to all things bitcoin and ‘influential,’ you and I, sir, face a conundrum. Call it the two-way communication conundrum: how to preserve “two way” communication when as millions of humans can attest, the paradigm at hand is not two way but one way, which is to say, ‘one soul to the void.’ Know what I mean, Mr. Musk?

How to preserve the tools that nurture and inform, how to write, how to listen, how to talk, how to propagate tone.

How to feel solitary, but not alone.

Yes, I know practicing talking and listening is inefficient. Sound bites are more efficient.

Yes, I know writing and reading lack the gratification of provocation, and the ‘tweets,’ you are proposing are ‘more effective.’

Damn the consequences!

Who said that?

You see, there we go. I don’t remember. But you and I know it’s ‘out there.’ It’s spoken; it’s written. But that’s me: weirdly ineffective humanoid speaking from a damaged planet.

Well, I am rambling and the soup’s getting cold.

Enjoy Mars, Mr. Musk. Have a safe journey.

Respectfully.

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Rodney Clough

Rodney Clough

Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.