Beginning to wind its way around Hollywood production circles is a TV Series called Xtra Terresla™ whose main character is modelled after Tesla titan, Elon Musk.
The creator of the series, Tom Madden, made Musk the hero, but lately, he’s wondering maybe he should change him to an arch villain, based on how rough Musk plays in the real world, which he seems to want to control with his immense wealth. Is it possible Musk can make wealth a dirty word, Madden wonders?
According to The New York Times “That would all be mostly harmless and fine, if his behavior didn’t have seismic ripple effects for the global economy — and potentially for how the public communicates.”
And that’s how his loudly threatened hostile takeover of Twitter has put our economy into the crosshairs of his rapid-fire ego. With the service he’s playing rugby with, Twitter, Musk gambled with his company’s value by making weed jokes, marketing flamethrowers and challenging Russian wild man Putin to a fight.
To say the wealthiest man in the world is recklessly throwing his financial weight around might be putting it mildly. And it could be giving billionaires a bad name.
But that’s what’s at stake in his attempted hostile takeover of Twitter. Now some are questioning whether he actually has $43 billion in liquidity to pull it off. Even if Musk is a bluff, he’s still pressuring a major social platform with his power into making the changes he personally wants to see.
Lauren Jackson, who writes “The Daily” newsletter at the NY Times, observes that “evaluating the social and political power of individual billionaires has become more pressing as their wealth and influence has grown.”
She cites a report by the charity Oxfam in 2017 that found the richest eight billionaires on the planet, led at the time by Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, were worth more than half of all of the people on earth. Just a few years later, another report by Oxfam showed that many of these men roughly doubled their fortunes during the first two years of the pandemic.
Between March 2020 and October 2021, America’s billionaires saw their collective wealth soar by 70 percent. And ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative news organization, obtained IRS records showing that some, like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, have in some years paid no federal income taxes on this wealth.
It’s a sad state of affairs that outrages many, and the progressive left uses it to make a moral case against billionaires, with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez particularly strident in wanting to tax the superrich.
While Americans’ views of billionaires have grown increasingly negative, a majority still are indifferent, but that may be soon change, thanks to Mr. Musk.
Now back to that TV series, which also might now have to change, thanks to extra-terrestrial billionaire Musk’s public manhandling of Twitter.
Xtra Terresla Main Characters
Sam Bullock plays the character modeled after Musk, an American business magnate, investor and genius engineer. His company is producing electric cars right smack in the heart of America’s oil and gas industry, thumbing its nose at fossil fuels and what he calls “conventional thinking, vapid ideas and fuelish habits.” Sam hates the dumb pipes transporting dinosaur products like oil and gas and he won’t hesitate to slam anyone who gets in his way or dares to doubt his word or his determination to disrupt the energy world.
Sam is damn sure of himself and so are his band of followers who fervently believe in him. They’re just as damn sure Sam is their man, their hero, the world’s savior and global warming’s worst enemy.
Other Main Characters
Zane is Sam’s beautiful redhead girlfriend and occasional conscience. She is an author of children’s books and is an associate professor at the University of Texas at Dallas where she teaches classic literature. She worries that children will inherit a world full of horrors in the form of natural disasters caused by global warming, which is one of the reasons she admires what the Musk character is doing to reduce fossil fuel emissions but is often dismayed by and critical of the crude way he reacts sometimes towards his adversaries and detractors.
Ticktin is a brilliant attorney continually trying to keep his biggest, most challenging client, Bullock, out of harm’s way caused.
It stems from spirited Sam’s take-no-prisoners style of doing business and his occasional waging war on those he calls “Neanderthals locked in antiquated, imbecilic ways of thinking.”
Ticktin is also the founder of The Cure for Global Warming, a non-profit foundation he started long before global warming became a hot topic. He has mixed feelings, however, about what his friend and client is doing to remedy the situation. Convinced planet warming is inevitable, Ticktin believes that just reducing emissions is a futile effort. He believes it makes more sense to create a stronger economy so communities will have the wealth needed to rebound from the inevitable disasters global warming will cause.
Comey is a tall rough and tumble oil man who made a fortune on fossil fuel. He thinks Bullock is a jerk who is bent on making a name for himself by putting busloads of good, hard-working people out of work with his stupid plug-in cars that are always behind schedule, pretentious looking and way too costly for the working man. He wants Bullock out of Dallas. “Let him play with his battery-operated toys in lefty land, California,” he tells his cronies.
Carl is a long-time associate of Comey. He looks like the type of guy you don’t ever want to cross and then meet later on some dark street. It would be your tough luck as he has a police record full of charges, but oddly no convictions to date. He’s stocky, has a flattened nose and resembles the “raging bull,” the late prize fighter Jake LaMotta.
Norman Lloyd, the Saboteur
Lloyd is a paid spy and saboteur at Tesla who makes code changes that disrupts production, while sending highly sensitive data to Bullock’s enemies who want him to fail.
Bill is Sam’s loyal son, who recently graduated from college, and now wants to help his dad become an even bigger legend in the auto business and will do anything it takes to make that happen. Anything!
Sherry is Bullock’s daughter who’s worried her dad is going to work himself to death, but at the same time respects what he’s doing so she tries to play a leveling role in his hectic life.
Chelsea is Bullock’s sophisticated ex-wife who is now living high off a lofty settlement, but still has feelings for her ex and concern for how hard he drives himself, yet his bullheadedness displeases her.
Steven is a brilliant young entrepreneur born in China who has invented devices for cars including one he contends Bullock stole from him and he has filed a lawsuit seeking damages.
Jackie is a reporter on a Dallas television station who is doing a multi-part story about how Bullock is transforming the auto industry, which she’s calling: “A Miracle Makeover.”
This concept is the property of TransMedia Group founder and CEO Tom Madden, an author whose latest book “WORDSHINE MAN” is now available on Amazon. He’s also veteran TV producer, a former NBC Vice President and was Director of PR at ABC in New York. His blogs and YouTube videos can be seen at MaddenMischief. For information, contact Adrienne Mazzone, 561-908-1683; firstname.lastname@example.org.