Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Billionaires in Space

Unless you avoid all news, you probably saw that Richard Branson made it to "space" a couple days ago, becoming the "first civilian astronaut*", or at least the first billionaire to commission a rocket(plane).

Richard Branson's public relations team did a full-court press over the last few weeks, and the media complied, running all sorts of stories trying to make him seem likeable, noble, and cool. Hey, he's dyslexic! He's quirky! He's doing this for you!

But let's be clear: that is public relations, which means it is so much dust and distraction, intended to shift our focus. 

Regarding this space stuff, all of these billionaires -- Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk -- are all pretty sickening. These guys are all doing this for the same reasons: dick-measuring, and trying to insure they're the first, and that they're in the history books for something other than being rich doofs. 

All these billionaires have thrived in the pandemic, becoming even richer. Even they recognize competing around wealth is absurd and pointless once you get to their level. So they are looking for other ways to stand out in their weird club.

Musk bought or connived his way onto Saturday Night Live, and that went about as well as you might expect.

Bezos has proven himself to be chock-full of human failings, even if his grotesque wealth has long since catapulted him out of the human race. Bezos is worth around $200 billion dollars. He could try to spend $4 billion dollars every year until he dies (if he dies) and would still have money left over. More than you or I will ever earn in a lifetime. 

Unlike Musk and Bezos' off-putting nerd vibes, Branson is charismatic and charming, with a winning smile and a knack for the kinds of stunts that make for good news.

Still, it is deeply disgusting to see these guys throwing this kind of money around when they could be working on issues that matter, like climate change, or helping the less-fortunate.

1 comment:

margplum said...

And this is what makes Bill Gates so fantastic. He's focused on polio and toilets and alternative energy.