After that ‘Communist Manifesto’ photo op, Grimes embraces ‘being cringe’

A woman wearing a silver face mask and wielding a sword.
Singer Grimes attends the 2021 Met Gala in New York.
(Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)

Comrade Grimes has broken her silence on those paparazzi photos of her reading a copy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ “Communist Manifesto” shortly after she sort of broke up with billionaire boyfriend Elon Musk.

Over the weekend, the experimental pop musician shrugged off mounting criticism and jokes over the three images, which captured the “Oblivion” hitmaker poring over the seminal anti-capitalist text while strolling the streets of Los Angeles.

“[P]aparazzi followed me 2 a shoot so I tried 2 think what I could do that would yield the most onion-ish possible headline and it worked haha,” she tweeted Saturday, along with screenshots of a New York Post article titled, “Grimes seen reading Karl Marx following split with world’s richest man Elon Musk.”


“[T]aught myself to stop checking if other ppl think I’m socially acceptable a long time ago,” she added Sunday in a follow-up tweet. “Worrying about being cringe is the enemy of art, failure tolerance is essential for creativity. Deciding not to be mad at ppl enjoying life is ok.”

In a lengthier Instagram caption, the “Miss Anthropocene” artist clarified that she and “e” — her nickname for Musk — are “still living” together and, for the record, that she is “not a communist.” Though she said she agreed with “some very smart ideas” outlined in the 1848 tract.

“[P]ersonally I’m more interested in a radical decentralized ubi that I think could potentially be achieved thru crypto and gaming but I haven’t ironed that idea out enough yet to explain it,” she elaborated.

“Regardless my opinions on politics are difficult to describe because the political systems that inspire me the most have not yet been implemented... Anyway if paparazzi keep chasing me perhaps I will try to think of more ways to meme - suggestions welcome!”

With Grimes as his guest in Texas and their son in the next room, SpaceX founder Elon Musk says he and the musician have split up after three years together.

Sept. 24, 2021

As soon as the viral snapshots hit the internet, social media users did not hesitate to lampoon Grimes for posing with the revolutionary work (Norton Critical Edition, currently available used for $1.68) — especially in light of her relationship with the controversial chief executive of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, often seen as the poster child of capitalism.

Last month, Musk, 50, announced that he and the Canadian singer, 33, had “semi-separated” after three years together. In the spring of 2020, the pair welcomed a baby boy named X Æ A-Xii.


“I hope that Grimes posing reading Marx sends a lot of young, impressionable fans on a journey that gets quickly to where they realise why she’s just a poser and ends with them helping build a world that her ex ... and son will have to flee in a rocket,” tweeted one person.

“Grimes is reading Marx because her ex is rich,” wrote another. “Most people read Marx because their parents are.”

Several critics chose to induct Grimes into the pantheon of performative leftist celebrity photo ops, which also includes Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Tax the Rich” Met Gala dress, model Cara Delevingne‘s “Peg the Patriarchy” Met Gala vest and multimillionaire Twitch streamer Hasan Piker’s “Make the Rich Pay Tax” T-shirt.

After some called her a hypocrite for attending the lavish Met Gala in a ‘Tax the Rich’ dress, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spotlighted its designer.

Sept. 15, 2021

Others had a field day editing the photos to display different book covers, including but not limited to “Holes” by Louis Sachar, “Normal People” by Sally Rooney and “The Day My Bum Went Psycho” by Andy Griffiths.

“Just post to your Instagram story and call him after you’ve had a few like the rest of us,” quipped one person.

“Doesn’t look staged at all,” tweeted another. “I often go outside dressed like an elf with easily identifiable communist literature.”