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Grimes’s Communism & AI TikTok Doesn’t Impress Gen Z

For months now, I have been trying to figure out what to do with Grimes. On one level, Grimes seems like she should be cool (in a quirky, not-like-other-girls way). Her unconventional fashion sense and experimental music make her a unique artist which could have allowed her to really connect with Gen Z. Instead, Grimes seems to constantly find herself in hot water with my generation, with each case being stranger than the previous one — and Grimes’s communism and AI TikTok video may just be the strangest yet.

“I have a proposition for the communists,” Grimes announced in a TikTok she uploaded on June 3. In the short video, Grimes rambled about how artificial intelligence is the “fastest path to communism” because it could automate farming and make it so that no one has to work. In this really close-up video, Grimes’s face, which is covered in colorful, drawn-on shapes, bounces around the screen talking about getting “as close as possible to genuine equality” through AI and says that it can “solve for abundance,” comments which made my head spin. In the only part of the video that made sense to me, Grimes concluded by saying that enforced farming is “really not a vibe,” because, well, it isn’t (whatever enforced farming is).

Beyond Grimes’s theoretical suggestions, which you can judge for yourself, it is jarring and funny to get a suggestion from the partner of billionaire Elon Musk (and a wealthy woman in her own right) about how to achieve communist goals. At the time of publication, the video has 3.8 million views and over 33,000 comments, many of which pointed out this tension. One user wrote, “You’re literally a capitalist supervillian. The cognitive dissonance is strong.” Another simply wrote, “oh the irony.”

While women should not have to answer for every little action of their partners, the Grimes-Musk relationship is a frustrating one. Grimes positions herself as someone who cares about equality and social issues, but lives with (and, presumably, loves) controversial billionaire Elon Musk. With a growing contingency of people believing that it is unethical to accumulate that much wealth, Grimes’s role is criticized as it becomes clearer and clearer she has no interest in intervening in Musk’s ways. Plus, who could forget the infamous “Pronouns suck” Twitter interaction the pair had which proves her lackluster ability to um, hold Musk accountable (if that’s even possible).

Grimes’s video was stitched many times, including by one user who proposed instead that she “eat [her] husband” and another who pointed out that Grimes’s beloved AI isn’t immune to racist programming. People also mocked the video by impersonating Grimes to show the absurdity of her suggestions. 

One commenter on Grimes’s original video, who asked about Musk, actually got a response from the musician. They wrote, “Bestie how u gon talk about communism when ur husband is a capitalist…” to which Grimes responded, “Haha I am not a communist! this iz a joke- but maybe the technocrats and communists could get along!” According to my quick Google search, technocrats advocate for a system of government based on expert rule… so not communism. Furthermore, most commenters didn’t seem to share Grimes’s sense of humor about the situation. One wrote, “this made me lose braincells,” and another said, “we’re not doing this today,” indicating that they too were tired with Grimes’s antics. 

Ultimately, Grimes is an enigma, and I kind of can’t wait to see what she does next. Even though keeping up with her contradictory actions can get exhausting, I can always count on Grimes to throw something unexpected into the mix. Since watching her Harper’s Bazaar Food Diaries video, not a day has gone by during which I don’t think about the revelation that she ate only spaghetti for two years straight. And as everyone knows, she and Musk decided to give their first child the unpronounceable name X Æ A-Xii. Now, it seems, she’s jokingly giving pointers “for the communists.” Gen Z, a generation ever-interested in alternatives to capitalism, is not here for her suggestions — rightfully so. As one user wrote, “we don’t accept you anymore.”

Olivia is a rising senior at Wesleyan University where she studies the social sciences and writing. In her free time, you can probably find Olivia reading a memoir, trying to learn how to play the guitar, or talking about Taylor Swift. She's excited to join the Her Campus team as an Editorial Intern this summer!
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