What if Jeff Bezos is an Idiot

Maybe "?" just meant "Duh?" all along

Jeffy from the Sky pulled his big dumb hat down over his eyebrows yesterday, like a Far Side vulture giggling over the carcass of a functioning economy, and managed gasp out “you paid for this!” between smug chortles, which is absolutely true and only surprising in that he said it out loud. He also dribbled out an anemic trickle of “philanthropy,” promising to give $200 million to a couple famous guys. His ex-wife Mackenzie Scott has given away more than $8 billion so far. And thanks to Julia Carrie Wong for assigning Matthew Cantor to find out why Blue Origin’s rocket looks like a dick. The answer is some combination of physics and the flawed aesthetic judgement that also gave us the Amazon landing page. The triumphant Bezos rocket launch was so universally hated that even Dan Rather was subtweeting it.

But all that was overshadowed by another thing Bezos said, which was: “We need to take all heavy industry, all polluting industry, and move it into space.” This is the kind of grand thoughtless pronouncement that rich assholes like to make, but Brian Kahn at Gizmodo put some effort into considering it. What would it take to produce a single Ford Bronco in space? Let alone making steel, or concrete. Go ahead, take a minute to consider launching a lot of raw iron ore into orbit as a plan to tackle climate change. It is, without exaggeration, one of the dumbest ideas anyone has ever had.

This wasn’t a stray moment of residual upper-atmosphere euphoria. Ol’ Space Dongs has been pushing this idiotic idea this for years. In 2019 Bezos spent nearly an hour onstage explaining in great detail that humanity needs to build big space colonies (with old fashioned red barns for some reason?), like a pulp sci-fi cover illustration from 1965. He truly believes this, and he owns an entire company full of rocket scientists who apparently can’t or won’t tell him it’s both stupid and embarrassing. I think we have to at least consider the possibility that Jeff Bezos is not merely one of history’s most amoral and avaricious villains, but also an absolute nitwit. What if his famous “?” emails were just him saying: “Duh?”

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For the record: This is not me.

Private equity ghoul and Trump inaugural Chaircrook Thomas Barrack was arrested for illegally lobbying on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile Tom Brady was hanging out at the White House with Joe Biden and dropping 99-yard burns on Sad Donald.

The plot to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer was largely masterminded by FBI informants, according to Buzzfeed’s Ken Bensinger and Jessica Garrison.

The Daily Beast’s Chihiro Kai and Jake Adelstein report that Tokyo Olympics organizers are intentionally delaying volunteers’ second Covid vaccine shots, even while the cursed sporting event bleeds staff and Japanese hotels eat a million cancellations from would-be spectators. Molly Lambert sums it up in Defector: “The Lies The Olympics Tells About Itself Have Never Rung More False.”

The Wall St. Journal investigated TikTok’s supposedly amazing algorithm and discovered that all it cares about is how long you spend watching each video, which should have been obvious to anyone who’s ever used Tiktok. It’s a good report though.

I know if you read Tabs, you are either already vaccinated or waiting for your incompetent government to get a vaccine dose to you (sorry, Australians!). But if you have anyone in your life who still thinks the vaccine is a hoax, send them this Advance Local story from Alabama about dying Covid patients begging for the vaccine when it’s already too late. Save your empathy for the Ugandans who tried to get vaccinated but only got shots of water, though.

Today’s Song: Operation Ivy, “Knowledge”

~I know that things are getting tougher when you can’t get the tabs off the bottom of the barrel~