Legendary singer-songwriter-actor-humanitarian Dolly Parton is trending because of a guy named Elon Musk, and have think we know why.
It goes without saying that we live in a very strange period of history. In times of great stress and uncertainty, it is a natural human impulse to seek out comfort. There is likely no human being in the world as inherently comforting as country music legend/actor/humanitarian Dolly Parton. For whatever reason, it seems that whenever billionaire science dilettante Elon Musk is particularly prominent in the news, people are prompted to think about Dolly Parton and all the marvelous things she has done in the world. Now that his offer to outright purchase the social media network Twitter has been accepted by its board of directors, Elon Musk is currently not just the richest man in the world but also one of the most discussed. And just as every force has an equal and opposite reaction, for every Tweet about Elon Musk, it seems one exists about Dolly Parton. Here are a few:
As many Twitter users are noting, Dolly Parton is particularly noted for her humanitarian efforts, charitable donations, and general lack of need to be celebrated for them. Perhaps because it does not feel that Parton’s good works are motivated by personal vanity or a self-serving messiah complex, people like to bring attention to them that much more. Here are a few more of the Dolly Parton-related thoughts apparently inspired by Elon Musk, whose family built their wealth partially on emerald mines in Apartheid-era South Africa and then left the country so he would not be conscripted into military service, claiming he could not support the country’s racial history.
For her part, Dolly Parton is known as one of the most successful singer-songwriters in American history. She wrote classics like “Jolene’ and “I Will Always Love You” in a time period where female authorship was even more dismissed than now and was noted for her business savvy in retaining publishing rights for her music even under pressure from Elvis Presley. After branching out into successful acting and entrepreneurial career, she utilized the wealth her career had brought her after a childhood in extreme poverty to substantially improve conditions in the United States and the world, including a long-running book program that donates a million books to children free of charge every single month. Elon Musk purchased Twitter for approximately $44 billion dollars, incidentally.
Dolly Parton was praised globally in the last several years for her donations to coronavirus research that directly led to the creation of the Moderna vaccine; the World Health Organization estimated that nearly 500,000 lives were saved by Covid-19 vaccinations in their first year of use. Elon Musk has consistently downplayed the impact of the pandemic in the last several years and significantly increased his own personal wealth during that time period.
Many Twitter users seem to be wishing that Dolly Parton herself begin a social media network of some kind. That does not particularly seem to be Parton’s style. However, we always can (and should) dream of a world in which Dolly handles things.