Jeff Bezos has taken his rocket ship, New Shepherd, for its first ride. A ragtag team of Bezos, his brother, wee Wally Funk and the teenage son of a Dutch financier left Earth for 10 minutes and 10 seconds, making the latter two the oldest and youngest to enter space respectively.
The Guinness book of records will also have to log the fact that the Amazon founder’s rocket boasts the biggest windows to have ever taken the trip, which we hope has at least resulted in the notoriously tiny-paned Richard Branson feeling inadequate.
There’s an indignity in our spacefaring being spearheaded by these cockalorums rather than some noble international committee, especially when they return from gazing out their big windows to let us all know it’s made them see how important our own planet is. “When you look at the planet, there are no borders,” said Bezos. “It’s one planet, and we share it and it’s fragile.” Deep, bro.
He remembered to thank his employees for being exploited enough to facilitate the unprecedentedly grotesque level of wealth that made this happen, before also giving a special nod to his customers, which turned us into that meme of Marge Simpson hiding her face in shame.
And while all the unbearably trite “taken-the-divorce-well” Twitter sardonicism may be the most numbing thing to come out of this, when you watch Bezos there at that Texas press conference, in his space gear and cowboy hat, we can’t deny his ability to test our resistance to using that kind of patter to new limits, and the McWhirter boys would’ve loved that.