In space, no one can hear Jeff Bezos. So can Richard Branson go too? | Marina Hyde

Is famous it’s impossible to take a bathroom break during a rocket launch, which means Jeff Bezos will soon experience what it’s like to be one of your warehouse workers. Or, as the Amazon boss said last week: “Seeing Earth from space … changes your relationship with humanity.” That is very encouraging. I feel like we’re just one successful interstellar wormhole mission to a distant galaxy away from allowing employees to unionize.

Anyway, along with his brother, Mark, and an auction winner (the bidding has passed the $ 4 million mark), Bezos is heading into space next month, or at least on the edge. Sort of like the ring road of space, which is home to a subdued atmosphere, two discount carpet stores, and a powerful feeling that it simply removed the microphone from the entire WhatsApp group of tax evaders.

Bezos announced that he would travel in his Blue Origin rocket through a slightly alarming video last week in which a camera crew filmed a perfectly lit and remorseless chat between him and his brother. “I really want you to come with me,” Jeff improvises to Mark. “I think it would be significant.”

And why not? I am confident that the Bezos brothers have a normal, healthy sibling relationship, allowing Mark to spend his full three minutes of zero gravity contemplating the big questions, such as: “Remember when you broke my head?”; “Did you know that Mom texted me last night to confirm that I am the favorite kid?”; “Someone who wants a space brief says what?”; and, “Could you call your general appearance Vin Diesel after dioxin poisoning?

But enough about bros. Needless to say, my first thought on reading this story was: poor Richard Branson. Think how long Britain’s most beloved businessmanTM he’s been threatening to give us a 10 minute break by going into space. His Virgin Galactic operation has basically been running commercials that commercial space travel “will become a reality next year” since apparently around 1986. How dare Bezos do this shit? It must have felt a lot like this when people started buying their U2 CDs on Amazon instead of a Virgin Megastore.

And yet it seems all is not lost for the Virgin boss, whose most notable recent appearance appeared last year to demand a ransom for his airline on the grounds that “creating positive social and environmental impact has always Been to the heart of this brand. “(To which the only possible answer was: it’s an AIRLINE, ridiculous chancer.) Imagine my joy to read, a few days after Bezos’ announcement, a report that Virgin Galactic is now fighting to send Branson on a suborbital flight two whole weeks before the overlord of the Amazon.

But of course. Of course Richard can’t bear to be the one Galactic Salieri to Bezos’s Galactic Mozart. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: men are amazing! As is the XXI century. It’s crazy to see the complex aspirations and vast rivalries of the 20th century space race basically now reduced to a voluntary fluctuation between two taxophobic billionaires whose personality is that of “dislike of ties.”

As for whether the rumors are true, Virgin has refused to deny the report, saying gnomically: “At this time, we have not determined the date of our next flight.” But if Branson were to galactically surprise Bezos, it would surely serve as a tribute to humanity’s astonishing pettiness. Sorry … of humanity.

Not that there wasn’t a woman involved, I’m sure. You always need at least one to support the obligatory image in which Richard laughs out loud as he carries a lady in his arms. (In zero gravity, on the other hand, women don’t even need men to pick them up, which leaves us with an inescapable philosophical question: In space, what is Richard Branson’s point?)

Clearly, the real joke option would be for his space racing partner Elon Musk to somehow appear above the Kármán line in the middle of next week, simply using the location as a backdrop to insult a cryptocurrency. But if that fails, the only way the entire race could be more dignified is if Branson himself bought the Blue Origin auction ticket, forcing Bezos to carry it at the same time, with the era-defining footage aired. to Earth simply by introducing the two of them. billionaires trying to pinch and scratch each other in slow motion, to the soundtrack of the historic words “Not to the face! Not in the face! “

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