In Britain we have phrase “handbags at dawn”. It refers to people appearing ready for a fight but actually just posturing. Those involved are often not especially fit for or skilled at fighting.
The term popped into my head as soon as I heard that car seller and expensive firework enthusiast Elon Musk had challenged Mark Zuckerberg to a cage fight.
I initially assumed it was just Musk being his normal mouthy self — but Zuckerberg DID accept and so it looks like this modern re-enactment of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Two Tribes video, in which some bloated powerful men fight, is on!
I suspect it will be akin to a clown fight, but I’ve already got my name down on the list to attend, thanks to my Illuminati friend I met in Neverland. Despite that, I have the strong suspicion that the performative pugilism is a distraction from their corporate problems.
What might Musk and want to distract us from?
Elon Musk is making a real mess of Twitter and, in doing do, has made clear his support for the extreme right wing. He has compounded the mess he has made of Twitter by pushing out of the skilled talent that made it actually work properly. Him posturing about and then actually buying Twitter was perhaps itself a distraction / SEO manipulation (more below on that).
What might Zuckerberg want to distract us from?
Mark Zuckerberg and his company (Meta) have been tarnished since far-right electoral rigging mob Cambridge Analytica used Facebook data in a malicious way to manipulate elections — and at least one referendum!
There are also potentially extremely expensive enduring concerns (see e.g. this) about user data and security. Furthermore Facebook, which gets a great deal of engagement (and therefore advertising spend) by shares of news articles on the site, is facing expensive problems in that sphere. For example, a new Canadian law stipulates that news providers should be compensated for Facebook using their content.
Interestingly, just before news of the ‘cage fight’ hit the headlines, Meta said it would block all news to users in Canada. This has since been countered by the Canadian…