Musk and Grimes’ crazy relationship
Tesla founder Elon Musk and musician Grimes have welcomed their first child, X Æ A-12, into the world.
The event itself would have been subject to much discussion online even without the bizarre name of the couple's son, which might not even be legal.
X Æ A-12's parents and their relationship has been a source of fascination for netizens, uniting many fans and critics of both internet darlings.
This is especially clear on Twitter, the social media site where the couple first connected over a joke about artificial intelligence in April of 2018.
The joke that brought Musk, 48 and Grimes, 32, together related to an online thought experiment called Roko's Basilisk, which posits that artificial intelligence pursuing human good will never stop because things could always be even marginally better.
The experiment considers whether artificial intelligence could pursue "human good" to the point where it does things like kill humans who didn't help invent it.
The theory goes that a sufficiently powerful AI would be incentivised to torture or kill anyone who imagined the agent, but didn't work to bring the agent into existence.
It's called Roko's Basilisk because becoming aware of the theory requires becoming aware of the artificial agent theorised within, putting you at risk of eventually feeling its wrath.
The mythical Basilisk is a serpent king that can kill with a single glance.
Elon Musk was actually mentioned by name in the original, since-deleted forum post positing the theory, as someone who would be in the good graces of the artificial intelligence.
Perhaps the AI will have changed its mind a decade later, given Musk has recently been vocal about the need for regulation and restrictions on AI.
Regardless, in 2018 Elon Musk made a joke about Roko's Basilisk theory and the similar sounding French architecture style Rococo.
But three years earlier, Claire Boucher, better known under her musician name Grimes, had beaten him to the punchline, with the creation of a character called Rococo Basilisk in the 2015 video for her songs Flesh Without Blood and Life In The Vivid Dream.
When the Met Gala rolled around, Musk revealed what helped him land his new girlfriend, after he slid into her DMs to share his appreciation of the joke.
Rococo basilisk— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 7, 2018
"Grimes said this was the first time in three years that anyone understood the joke," a source close to the couple told the New York Post.
"They were both poking fun at AI."
Rococo Basilisk is one of four characters who appear in Grimes' video, which she also directed.
She described Flesh Without Blood as a song about a former platonic friend, and the feeling of "being really disappointed with someone who you really once truly admired".
Some of her fans felt that type of way in 2018 after learning about her new boyfriend.
The idea of their artistic and alternative idol dating a tech maverick billionaire didn't sit well with some of Grimes' fans, while others merely got on the pot shot wagon for some good old-fashioned internet fun.
grimes and elon musk are dating because she knows he’s her only hope of getting back to her home planet— multi-dimensional realizer (@zingingcutie22) May 8, 2018
Grimes & Elon Musk are an interesting pairing of ideologies. 🖤🤔🤷🏻♀️— CREEP $TREET® (@CREEPSTREET) May 8, 2018
Ever since the Grimes / Elon Musk thing I’ve begun emotionally preparing for the day when we learn Hayley Kiyoko is a TERF— Janus Rose, Post-Apocalyptic Delivery Dyke (@zenalbatross) May 9, 2018
Nothing is safe in this cursed timeline
i think it's really inspirational seeing Grimes and Elon Musk becoming a couple. it just goes to show that even if you're a gigantic nerd you can still have a hot goth girlfriend— Charlotte Sartre (@GothCharlotte) May 9, 2018
y'all: grimes is gonna use elon musk's technology to resurrect a super human version of karl marx— Chai Goth, hit 2000s reality tv show Survivor fan (@Abid_ism) May 9, 2018
grimes: elon, baby, where are we golfing today
me: did you hear grimes is dating elon musk???— Lilly~of~Ｅｘｔ★ｃｙ (@GunstarHeroine) May 9, 2018
socially well-adjusted, relatively successful woman in mid-20s: haha what? (:
me: she took "anti-imperialist" out if her bio!!
her equally well-adjusted boyfriend in accounting: what are you talking about?
what if daft punk removed their helmets and it was elon musk and grimes— L.A.S. (@SartoriallyInc) May 9, 2018
It evidently wasn't enough to put a damper on the relationship and the pair have been together ever since, save for a brief Instagram unfollowing and refollowing that had people assuming they'd parted ways.
But in a recent profile with Rolling Stone promoting the release of her latest album Miss Anthropocene, Grimes admitted it hasn't all been smooth sailing, and the attention that came from dating someone like Elon Musk had side effects, even for someone who'd been in the public eye for close to a decade.
"I just did not understand what I was getting into at all," she told the magazine. "Not that I'm mad about it. I just didn't think it would be a thing. The s**t that's happened with my boyfriend this year has overwritten so much of my life's work."
Some of these things include Grimes being dragged into a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into her boyfriend's tweeted plan to "take Tesla private at $420 a share".
The post was surely a joke, the quoted price seemingly a reference to cannabis culture, but the SEC wasn't laughing, and began investigating Musk for securities fraud.
The investigation was settled about six weeks later, though in that time Musk also appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, where he took a hit of a blunt given to him by Rogan.
Musk told Rogan he "almost never" smoked weed, but the incident briefly shook investor and other stakeholder confidence in Musk.
He later told 60 Minutes, "I do not smoke pot. As anybody who watched that podcast could tell, I have no idea how to smoke pot."
You probably don't need to watch the video; the fact he calls it "pot" should tell you enough.
While the SEC didn't comment on his smoking and the quoted price, it said Musk's "statements about the possible transaction lacked an adequate basis in fact" and his "misleading tweets caused Tesla's stock price to jump by over 6 per cent".
He and Tesla were both fined $US20 million a piece, to be distributed to investors harmed by the incident.
He was also banned from serving as Tesla's chairman for three years, and the company was forced to bring in two new independent directors, as well as establish some rules about Musk's tweeting.
While Grimes was famous before Musk, her fame was at nowhere near the same level.
That became clear to her after she tweeted to a fan who had accused her boyfriend of union busting at Tesla.
"I just thought I could keep going along in my funny little way, and then you casually respond to someone in a tweet and it's on Fox News, and you're like, ugh, you know? That was a very disturbing moment," Grimes told The Wall Street Journal last year. The same profile also included an anecdote about her "nearly collapsing on the floor in a long, pained groan" when the author brought up her new beau.
"Don't tell him I groaned just now," she told the Journal. "I groaned out of, I don't know, feminism. I mean, he's a super-interesting goddamn person."
Musk is quoted in the piece as well, from an email where he said he loves Grimes' "wild fae artistic creativity and hyper intense work ethic".
The high-level of interest in Musk brought a surge in public interest for Grimes as well, who said she'd previously "been wallowing in indie music for, like, a decade".
Grimes' genre-blurring brand of indie pop doesn't lend itself too well to commercial radio. Ironically enough, the artificial intelligence used to create some of the playlists on streaming services such as Spotify reportedly has trouble with categorising it, with Grimes calling her music "unplaylistable".
She has still toured the world, playing festivals in Australia, and released five albums throughout her career, which was launched somewhat by accident.
Grimes hadn't been harbouring dreams of being a musician when she signed up for a psychoacoustics class at Canada's McGill University, but the class required her to learn the Apple digital audio workstation software Logic, which she quickly mastered.
To this day she doesn't know even the basics of music theory and can barely play an instrument, telling Rolling Stone she thinks spending hours a day learning to play guitar would be a waste of time at this point.
"It's just not an actively creative endeavour," she said, arguing that learning by actually producing and recording entire songs was a better use of her time.
"I'd rather learn the future skills that will age better and have more applications," she said.
It looks like she may have been teaching them to Musk as well, after he dropped a track of his own on Soundcloud earlier this year.
She said her relationship with Musk had also brought back some sexist assumptions about her musical prowess, with people struggling to believe she was producing, singing and engineering the songs.
imagining a man with more neck than face listening to grimes for the first time after learning who she was via elon musk, nodding and saying "simply epic"— nico robin marimba solo (@trashage) May 29, 2018
She also expressed some of the fears she was having about her impending motherhood, telling the magazine she was "worried about having a kid, because I'm so worried that my kid will be as crazy as me".
Whether X Æ A-12 does indeed grow up to be as out-there as his parents remains to be seen, but the name he's been given has certainly put him on the path.
The kid was only a few hours old when he started trending on Twitter for the first time as people mocked the weird name his parents had given him.
Grimes later took to Twitter to describe how the couple had come up with the name of their son, and the boy's father later chimed in as well to issue a slight correction.
Her pregnancy announcement posted on Instagram earlier this year was similarly strange, featuring a topless Grimes (with her hair strategically styled to bypass Instagram's fear of women's nipples), with a foetus edited onto her torso.
XÆA-12 is Grimes' first child.
Elon Musk has five other sons from a previous marriage to Canadian author Justine Musk. (Their first born son Nevada died of SIDS.)
The pair later had a set of twins and then a set of triplets through in-vitro fertilisation, which increases the chances of multiple births.
They divorced in 2008 but share custody.
bad ending: Grimes and Elon Musk have a messy relationship before she fades into obscurity— Trace @ Happy Homestuck Day (@traceExcalibur) May 8, 2018
good ending: Grimes tricks Elon Musk out of all his money and redistributes it to the poor
true ending: in 2050, the Grime-Musk Empire is toppled by the chosen one, their own rebel daughter
If you're mad about Grimes & Elon musk you don't understand the sexual allure of the grotesque and moral nihilism— anda (@deadgringa) May 8, 2018
i love that people who know elon musk is don’t know who grimes is. and people who know who grimes is don’t know who elon musk is— ♡ baby boy ♡ (@teddythot) May 8, 2018
This Grimes/Elon Musk thing has got me feeling off. What’s next? Jeff Bezos dating Lana Del Rey?— caro shan (@caroshanley) May 9, 2018
I’m extremely mad that Elon Musk and Grimes, two people I’ve never met and will never meet, have found love and are happy together! This affects me personally somehow! I spend 20 hours a day online and tell my therapist about subtweets!— Dan Ozzi (@danozzi) May 8, 2018
Elon Musk and Grimes at the Met Gala (2018, colorized) pic.twitter.com/JbYTS4BQig— Atreyue (@atreyue) May 9, 2018