Elon Musk's Quotes From His Rolling Stone Profile Are...Uh...Dark

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Rolling Stone just published a bit of a stargazing profile of Elon Musk and in it the Silicon Valley rocket boy comes across as....uh.....dark. Here are just a few of his quotes from the piece.

But go ahead and read Rolling Stone’s whole story, filled with dreamy lines about how Musk busted through two industries with untarnished success (questionable) and Musk’s relatives even more dreamy lines about how he’s a chess grandmaster, only not about chess, though he likes chess, but rather about life.

Read the whole article here if you would like, but here are some (but not all) of his quotes, in order of how they appear in the profile:

On parenting:

At least, most of the world. “I’m looking at the short losses,” Musk says, transfixed by CNBC on his iPhone. He speaks to his kids without looking up. “Guys, check this out: Tesla has the highest short position in the entire stock market. A $9 billion short position.”


On those who short his stocks:

“They’re jerks who want us to die,” Musk elaborates. “They’re constantly trying to make up false rumors and amplify any negative rumors. It’s a really big incentive to lie and attack my integrity. It’s really awful. It’s...”

He trails off, as he often does when preoccupied by a thought. I try to help: “Unethical?”

“It’s...” He shakes his head and struggles for the right word, then says softly, “Hurtful.”


On what it was like to debut the Tesla Model 3 recently:

“Uh, actually, let me go to the restroom. Then I’ll ask you to repeat that question.” A longer pause. “I also have to unload other things from my mind.”


On the prospect of postponing the interview to a later date:

Musk clasps his hands on the surface of the desk, composes himself, and declines.

“It might take me a little while to get into the rhythm of things.”

Then he heaves a sigh and ends his effort at composure. “I just broke up with my girlfriend,” he says hesitantly. “I was really in love, and it hurt bad.”

He pauses and corrects himself: “Well, she broke up with me more than I broke up with her, I think.”


On the Model 3 launch:

“I’ve been in severe emotional pain for the last few weeks,” Musk elaborates. “Severe. It took every ounce of will to be able to do the Model 3 event and not look like the most depressed guy around. For most of that day, I was morbid. And then I had to psych myself up: drink a couple of Red Bulls, hang out with positive people and then, like, tell myself: ‘I have all these people depending on me. All right, do it!’”


On finding a life partner after Amber Heard broke up with him:

Musk discusses the breakup for a few more minutes, then asks, earnestly, deadpan, “Is there anybody you think I should date? It’s so hard for me to even meet people.” He swallows and clarifies, stammering softly, “I’m looking for a long-term relationship. I’m not looking for a one-night stand. I’m looking for a serious companion or soulmate, that kind of thing.”


On the idea of taking some time to be alone:

Musk shakes his head and grimaces: “If I’m not in love, if I’m not with a long-term companion, I cannot be happy.”

I explain that needing someone so badly that you feel like nothing without them is textbook codependence.

Musk disagrees. Strongly. “It’s not true,” he replies petulantly. “I will never be happy without having someone. Going to sleep alone kills me.” He hesitates, shakes his head, falters, continues. “It’s not like I don’t know what that feels like: Being in a big empty house, and the footsteps echoing through the hallway, no one there – and no one on the pillow next to you. Fuck. How do you make yourself happy in a situation like that?”


On the idea of, really man, taking some time to work on yourself for a minute:

“When I was a child, there’s one thing I said,” Musk continues. His demeanor is stiff, yet in the sheen of his eyes and the trembling of his lips, a high tide of emotion is visible, pushing against the retaining walls. “’I never want to be alone.’ That’s what I would say.” His voice drops to a whisper. “I don’t want to be alone.”


On growing up in South Africa, rarely seeing either of his parents

“I didn’t really have a primary nanny or anything,” Musk recalls. “I just had a housekeeper who was there to make sure I didn’t break anything. She wasn’t, like, watching me. I was off making explosives and reading books and building rockets and doing things that could have gotten me killed. I’m shocked that I have all my fingers.” He raises his hands and examines them, then lowers his digits. “I was raised by books. Books, and then my parents.”


On moving in with his dad after feeling sorry about him left alone after his parents divorced:

“It was not a good idea.”

On his dad, again:

“My dad was not physically violent with me. He was only physically violent when I was very young.”


On his dad, who later is described by the author as saying, “when asked about committing crimes, Musk’s father said that he has never intentionally threatened or hurt anyone, or been charged with anything, except ... in this one case, he says he shot and killed three out of five or six armed people who broke into his home, and was later cleared of all charges on self-defense.”:

“You have no idea about how bad. Almost every crime you can possibly think of, he has done. Almost every evil thing you could possibly think of, he has done. Um...”


On his dad, when pressed:

“It’s so terrible, you can’t believe it.”

The tears run silently down his face. “I can’t remember the last time I cried.” He turns to Teller to confirm this. “You’ve never seen me cry.”

“No,” Teller says. “I’ve never seen you cry.”

On what to do with bullies:

“You punch the bully in the nose. Bullies are looking for targets that won’t fight back. If you make yourself a hard target and punch the bully in the nose, he’s going to beat the shit out of you, but he’s actually not going to hit you again.”


On life:

“I find one learns lessons in the course of life,” he begins with a wry half-smile. “And one lesson I’ve learned is, don’t tweet on Ambien. That’s on the record: Tweeting on Ambien is unwise. You may regret it.”


On the process of accepting the futility of life’s quests, even for a moment, in the face of crushing opposition that you hope and pray you may be able to surmount but at this time you do not fully trust you will be able to:

“In order to understand the essential truth of things,” he theorizes, “I think you can find it in The Onion and occasionally on Reddit.”

Afterward, he asks excitedly, “Have you ever seen Rick and Morty?”

Seriously, the whole thing is a worth a read.