The world’s richest man was described as “a madcap hybrid of Thomas Edison, P.T. Barnum, Andrew Carnegie and ‘Watchmen’s’ Doctor Manhattan.”
Elon Musk has been named Time’s 2021 Person of the Year–and unsurprisingly, not everyone is happy about it on social media.
Time described the 50-year-old Tesla and SpaceX CEO as “the man who aspires to save our planet and get us a new one to inhabit: clown, genius, edgelord, visionary, industrialist, showman, cad; a madcap hybrid of Thomas Edison, P.T. Barnum, Andrew Carnegie and Watchmen’s Doctor Manhattan, the brooding, blue-skinned man-god who invents electric cars and moves to Mars.”
The news magazine cited Musk’s many achievements as factors that contributed to the honor. ABC News notes that Tesla is by far the world’s most valuable car company, having crossed the $1 trillion market capitalization threshold in 2021 (Ford and General Motors are worth less than $200 billion combined, for comparison’s sake.)
With SpaceX, Musk has launched the first all-civilian crew into orbit and contracted with NASA to send astronauts to the moon on the bullet-shaped Starship as early as 2025.
Then there’s his social media presence. Musk recently surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest man, an occasion he marked by trolling the Amazon magnate with a silver medal tweet.
He’s also challenged powerful authorities like regulators and government officials while offering 66 million followers newsy updates on Tesla and SpaceX, all without taking himself seriously.
Time highlighted Musk’s admission that his viral tweets are often crafted from a “porcelain throne.” For good measure, he recently sent a “Just dropping some friends off at the pool” message that was followed up with a “Splish splash” update.
The short-form social platform also serves as a place for Musk’s detractors to speak out, which is exactly what they did upon hearing of Time’s announcement.