So We’re All Pretending What Jeff Bezos Did Was Impressive?
I’m fine with that, I just wanted to make sure.
Jeff Bezos going into “space” has been called many things; from inspirational to apathetic. Yet interestingly it has yet to be called what it truly was; embarrassing.
First, he wasn’t even in “space”. Closer to space than me or you will ever get, sure, but technically he and his other companions were in what’s called the Thermosphere. Jeff was 99 kilometres (or 62 miles) above the earth. The Thermosphere, which is where Aurora/polar lights happen in our atmosphere, continues for another 701 kilometres, at which point you reach the Exosphere, the point where we start to get into what we actually think of as space.
Not only was he nowhere near space, he was closer to the Earth than he was to even the edge of our atmosphere.
Second, this was hyped for months as this amazing step forward for humanity, when in actual fact it was a publicity stunt. We’ve managed space exploration since the fifties. We’ve gotten to the point where NASA is rivaled by their counterparts in Russia, the EU, India, China, Brazils. Arguably these are countries and unions with much bigger problems to deal with, yet still can contribute to space exploration.
Blue Origin is a for-profit company. In many of the press briefings and interviews, the focus shifts from Jeff possibly blowing up into tiny bits (one can dream) and instead into the customer service, mentioning how for future launchers minimal training would be needed, and how much money they’re saving from reusing as much of the thrusters as possible. But cost cutting and millionaires playing Buzz Lightyear aren’t the only source of income for Blue Origin or competitors Space X and Virgin Galactic.
A large amount comes from government contracts. So not only is For-Profit Space travel not solely viable, they need to leech jobs from already existent government space programs. Jeff and Elon Musk are the world’s first Space Scabs.
Then there’s the time. 11 minutes. We think wannabe Lex Luthor is bringing us into a new space age by going really, really high for 11 minutes? By that logic my 38 seconds in bed has brought forth a new age in sexual exploration.
All this could be forgiven, and the cringe factor could wane over time, if it wasn’t for the fact that when Jeff came back to Earth (boo!), he, unironically, told Amazon workers they paid for this, that space should be privatised, and that it may be the perfect place to dump our pollution.
…You ever see Independence Day?
You ever see the evil invading aliens in films and wonder “What made them Evil? Obviously they must get something out invading worlds otherwise they wouldn’t do it.” I feel like we’re slowly becoming the evil aliens and this is our glorious space emperor laying it all out there; we will build a space corporation on the backs of others, we will be motivated by profit, and we will leave our mark. Orbital Debris is already a major issue, threatening to stop space travel all together, but Jeff wants more of that? What’s up Jeff; are Amazon warehouses not destroying in-box products fast enough?
He believes in all this, that’s what’s really embarrassing. He genuinely believes this was an amazing feat. He spent billions of dollars to be in Beta Cuck space for 11 minutes, with help for an enslaved workforce, government contracts, and tax cuts and he’s already talking about privatizing the moon or something all because he got to catch M&Ms in zero G.
How are these people not embarrassed? I get success involves a lot of self-belief and tuning out negativity, but this is ignoring reality all together. If you’re going to fuck over people, at least make it up to them. Yeah, working at Amazon sucks, but hey, at least the insurance is incredible, or at least I get paid to retrain in Amazon’s software divisions, or at least billionaires aren’t leaving a planet that’s on fire!
I don’t know what else to say. It just seems with each passing day money is becoming less of a desire and more of a social faux pas. You can get away from a lot Jeff; taxes, unions, your ex-wife, and now apparently the Earth. But no amount of Willy Wonka Elevators will ever get you away from reminding people how genuinely sad you are.