It’s finals season. Sort of. Which means I’m very busy gnawing pen caps beyond recognition, trying to figure out where the hours I promised to dedicate productivity ran off to and how my caffeine-high lent itself to more characters tweeted than words typed into docs. Evidently, and despite the circumstances that occupy the greeting of every email I’ve written since March, it seems my end-of-semester business is proceeding as usual. I mean, it isn’t.
At this year’s Met Gala it wasn’t Rihanna’s extravagant pope ensemble or a Kardashian’s ethereal interpretation of sainthood that grabbed the internet’s short attention span, but rather the debut of an unlikely couple: Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and experimental pop artist Claire Boucher, who goes by Grimes. The juxtaposition of Musk’s white jacket and priest’s notched collar with Grimes’ goth gown and silver Tesla choker underscored the sense of surreality surrounding their coupling. Musk, one of a new generation of tech titans, an elite group consisting of household names like Bezos and Zuckerberg, embodies a greater neoliberal push toward innovation at any cost, often accompanied by hazy ethical grounding. Grimes, on the other hand, is a counter-cultural synth icon who has gained a cult following by working with the avant-garde. The unlikely union is at once shocking for what seems like a bizarre mismatch in fundamental ideology, and completely logical.