Irony Overload: Grimes Reading The Communist Manifesto

People do all sorts of things to cope after a breakup. Get drunk, take drugs, have sex with random strangers—anything to numb the pain and forget about the ex in question, even just for a little while. But one coping mechanism that few engage in (except in a highly specific scenario such as Grimes’) is the decision to read The Communist Manifesto. Or “read” it, more accurately.

Obviously Grimes (Christian name: Claire Boucher) is reeling from having a class-oriented version of a Get Out experience. In coming so close to fully drinking the capitalist pig Kool-Aid with Elon Musk, it’s evident she wants to run as far as possible in the other direction. The only problem is, it’s pretty much impossible to run away from the trappings of a capitalist lifestyle when you yourself are benefitting so heavily from it.

Yes, regardless of forever seeing herself as a “starving” musician, Grimes can never really adhere to the tenets laid forth by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (the latter rarely getting half as much name play in terms of accreditation, making him something of the Andrew Ridgeley of the outfit). For even though a stateless and classless society might sound “cute” for, like, a Chromatica-esque album concept, those with substantial money in their bank account don’t really desire the Marxist ideology to happen in practice as opposed to conveniently-touted theory. They prefer, instead, the invisible barrier that exists between them and, well, most other people—occasionally “donating” to a cause (as a handy tax write-off) or saying something in favor of one (even by “reading” The Communist Manifesto). 

Unfortunately for the proletariat, this does not signify any actual change to the capitalist system, which is about as easy to eradicate as Ebola once it gets poppin’ (and actually, capitalism, it goes without saying, is harder to get rid of). Thus, it seems almost all too poignant that right around the same day Grimes is photographed (in a manner resembling some sort of hyper-niche publicity stunt) with this illustrious tome in tow—very much channeling the privileged bias in The White Lotus—a series of photos are also released of impoverished Brazilians scavenging through animal carcasses for food in Rio. A sign of the apocalyptic times… billed merely as a product of some people being “losers” for not managing to succeed at a rigged game.

So here you have Grimes careening “sweetly” (because everything waifish white girls do is sweet, right?) through the streets of L.A. clutching to this copy of a manifesto that warned centuries ago of capitalism’s ills and impossible sustainability getting almost more attention than the increasingly destitute members of humanity themselves. As though to prove, once and for all, that capitalism can sustain itself even while openly welcoming self-parody. In fact, that’s the new “great” and effective way to keep it going. As long as the richies acknowledge they know that we know they’re hypocritical cunts, the system can still carry on. Few questions asked.  

Or maybe Grimes is simply reading the work not as retaliative performance art against Musk, but as part of her own bid to create a literary masterpiece, as she was talking about back in 2017, the last year in B.E. (Before Elon) time. Whatever the case for this rather bizarre “Star Track,” one thing that can be agreed upon is that Musk, a capitalist overlord among capitalist overlords, certainly did a number on this erstwhile Dune-loving “free spirit”—even if that free spiritedness was allowed to thrive by way of being the daughter of a banker “in the business side of biotech.” 

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