One of the greatest gifts of the last few months has been the relationship between critically acclaimed internet musician Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, and Space X/Tesla founder and billionaire “but don’t call me a billionaire, that’s a bad word” Elon Musk. I call it a gift because it’s entertaining as hell, largely because both appear to be total shitlords one Twitter user accurately described (in a since-deleted tweet) as “that couple in high school that just, liked, meowed at each other.” Or, like, you know how alt-right kids online always hide behind anime avatars? It’s like that.
DISCLAIMER: For the sake of full transparency I will admit Grimes has some bangers, but I’ve always found her to be psychically insufferable, the latter of which has always been true for Musk. I have also been in a murdered-out Tesla once in my life, for a profile on an equally intolerable YouTuber. It’s a small circle of assholes, here.
Grimes is a 30-year-old musician who was born on the Canadian Internet to a lawyer mother. She went to McGill University, despite adopting the aesthetic of a crusty punk kid. She lived in a Montreal warehouse for a while, wore fucked up bangs and hung out with the musician Devon Welsh (who used to record under the moniker Majical Cloudz. He was also critically acclaimed! I like his records). His dad was the scary old guy in Twin Peaks. None of this is relevant.
She also put out a few albums, notably 2012's Visions and 2015's Art Angels. They’re good.
To truly highlight the journey from a successful indie musician with not-so-secretly well-off parents (re: all successful indie musicians) to Musk’s main squeeze, we need to take a trip down memory lane and consider all the various dumb shit Grimes has done leading up to smooching a union busting, inhumane billionaire boss. Because it’s actually not surprising.
- 2009: A favorite tale in Grimes folklore is about the time Boucher attempted to sail down the Mississippi River on a 20-ft houseraft she crafted with a friend. They filled it with live chickens and potatoes and renamed themselves “Veruschka and Zelda Xox” for the voyage, according to Pitchfork. That’s some backwoods libertarian, white people wet dream shit if you ask me.
- 2013: Grimes deleted her Tumblr in 2013 after getting pissed off that the indie music press excerpted her blogs in news posts...even though that is how it works? And she’s very well aware? Because she’s an Internet musician? Or not, which would be concerning for a plethora of other reasons.
- Always and today: She’s been a bit of a problematic fave for many since the very beginning, from wearing a bindi in videos, on stage, at festivals—basically anywhere and everywhere she could be photographed. She often wears dreads, too, and, god help me, have you seen the “Genesis” video? As Jezebel’s Deputy Editor Julianne Escobedo Shepherd wrote many moons ago, “The video is Grimes playing primitivism, using a lens of a vague ‘future’ as a way to execute notions of…well, future primitive.” Grimes has been criticized in the past for co-opting East Asian aesthetics, too, but it sometimes feels like there’s no culture she won’t appropriate in some fashion—as long as it is subtle enough (or perhaps, pre-2018 enough) to bypass the white-centric “this is bad” narrative that destroys careers.
There’s other stuff we could get into, but a lot of it is rumor mill nonsense and I’m tryna get to lunch. I will say that the first time I saw Grimes live, in 2010/2011 time frame, she stop performed after the first or second song because the “sound was terrible” in the Brooklyn warehouse we were in but like, it wasn’t? That was annoying.
So here’s where all of the little things that make Grimes terrible are finally realized for the general public or something. I don’t know, none of this shit surprises me. Musk wants to tweet some nerd joke earlier this year, realizes Grimes made the joke a few months prior and they start dating as a result, going out in public for the first time at the Met Gala in May of this year. That’s the same time reports of abusive conditions in Musk’s Tesla factory were made public: long hours of physical labor resulting in the hospitalization of workers, silenced unionization plans and instead of correcting abuses like unrecognized overtime, promising frozen yogurt machines and a Tesla electric pod car roller coaster. She wifed up real ass, unignorable evil.
Right? But it’s the same Grimes as ever before, baby! Except now she makes headlines for meaningless statements like “[Musk] has never prevented [Tesla workers] from unionizing [heart emoji x2]. Trust me, I’ve investigated this heavily and even visited factories etc.” and “there is no world in which i’m ok w republican donations” on Twitter after immediately saying those donations are necessary for her boo’s company to exist. Dare I say...fake news? The receipts:
And this one, which has been deleted but I’ll never forget:
There you have it. Two dummies so in love Grimes’ privileged ass tendencies are on display.
Check out this horrifying photograph:
I don’t know, but you made it this far. It’s a real romance for our dishonest and cruel world.