Roger and out: Bezos’s 10 minutes of flame was a last blast for capitalism
Billionaire straps himself to a rocket to give humanity a chance of surviving the banality of life in the internet age
In what only socialists and spoilsports will begrudge as a PR coup for latest-stage capitalism, online shopping mogul Jeff Bezos has at last savoured a delicacy on offer to only the very richest, that priceless feeling of weightlessness — if they care to pay for it. In doing so, Bezos emulated the feat first performed by old-style Soviet communism when Yuri Gagarin, an upskilled steelworker, blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on April 12 1961, and spent 118 minutes gazing down on the great blue ball of tears and regret we call Earth.
And who better to serenade the Amazon billionaire on his way this week than CNN’s Anderson Cooper, scion of the Vanderbilt family of the Gilded Age of New York? Cooper’s late mom was Gloria Vanderbilt, heir to a big chunk of the Vanderbilt railroad fortune, amassed during the golden age of primitive accumulation in early industrial America.
Cooper looked every bit the gilded Tintin as he offered coverage from a desert in East Texas. Not a filament of the titanium hairdo he wears to such effect was out of place. You’d think bald-as-a-washed-river-rock Bezos with all his loot would make Cooper an offer for his crowning glory. But it’s not hair that Bezos wants, it’s weightlessness, and a footnote in human history...