Tag Archives: Billionaires

Space Tourism Sucks: Billionaires in Space

It’s been over a month since billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson yeeted themselves into Space aboard their own companies’ spaceships. Over a month since society unanimously eye-rolled so violently that the Earth’s rotational speed was changed by a few nanoseconds. Over a month since everyone sarcastically said, “Good for you guys! Now what about the rest of us stuck on this planet that’s going to hell? Can we go to space too?”

Billionaire hatred has been at the forefront of the zeitgeist for a few years now, maybe more, seemingly peaking during the pandemic, and at this peak is when Bezos/Branson decided to do their “courageous” voyage out of our atmosphere. I try to be pretty impartial — billionaires are people just like you and I! — but the whole trope of them being out of touch with the scumbag proletariat seems to be true.

Lex Luthor

It doesn’t seem very hard, even with a drillion dollars, to successfully read the room and realize that maybe launching yourself to space is a bad idea. It’s not a good look. Take Bezos for example, the richest man in the world and the top candidate for future supervillain trying to rule the planet. He has to know he’s despised and making a big deal out of his spaceflight seems clueless at best, out-of-touch maybe, and downright supervillainesque at worst. Like he’s well aware he’s rich, doesn’t give a shit about the people that helped him achieve his fortune, disregards any factor of luck in his life, and if he wants to go to space as a joyride well, who the hell is going to stop him? He’s basically a capitalist god and will do whatever the fuck he wants. I’m not saying that’s how he actually is — I’m not privileged enough to know the guy — but as some armchair blogger who likes space related things, this is how he appears to the masses. And let’s not even get started on him suing NASA

Sir Dick Branson

You have to give Branson some credit at least — he seemed like he wanted to fly to space before Bezos just to shit on his ego, classic troll style — and doesn’t seem to be as well-known or disliked as Bezos. Branson comes across as slightly aloof and awkward, content to do his own thing and not be (as much of) a pompous asshole as Bezos. Bezos is the bald-headed supervillain who wants to dominate the world and Branson seems like a pretty down-to-earth respectable guy, at least as far as billionaire CEOs go.

Suborbital vs. Orbital

As a space nerd the main thing that pisses me off about these two’s spaceflight is how useless they are. Tourism is supposed to be pointless but suborbital space tourism is even more pointless. You might recall the petition circulating before Bezos’ flight urging the government to “not allow him entry back to Earth,” or something like that. While pretty damn funny, it was pointless; there was no physical way for Bezos (or Branson) not to come back to Earth! The flights were suborbital — up and down like tossing a rock into the air — and you’d have to break some rules of the universe (just little-known laws such as ‘gravity’ and ‘general relativity’) to keep his ass up there.

“There is an art to flying, or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”

– Douglas Adams

Contrary to popular belief, there is gravity in space. The astronauts on the International Space Station appear weightless because they’re effectively “falling” around the Earth. Going to space is easy — just go upwards about 50 or 60 miles and you’re there — but staying in space is hard. You need to be going sideways really, really fast (about 17,500 mph fast) where falling back to Earth is really falling around the Earth, constantly missing it.

At least Branson’s spaceplane looks cool, unlike Bezos’ penis-rocket. No images of that because 1. It’s probably NSFW and 2. I don’t want Bezos/Blue Origin to sue me.

All of the circle-jerking these two made about flying into space is either missing the point or blatantly lying about their achievements; likely the latter because as space CEOs they should know the difference between suborbital and orbital flight. Maybe they’re aware they didn’t do shit and are firing up the PR-hype train to save their egos. They went up and down, up really high so they made it into space, but still just a glorified up and down joyride. It’s cool and all on its own, but let’s not pretend flying into space on a five-minute rollercoaster ride is somehow pushing the boundaries of space exploration, especially after taking more than a decade to develop their launch systems. Shouldn’t they have more to show for their time than a five-minute suborbital jaunt?

(Branson’s other company Virgin Orbital has recently launched small satellites into orbit. Sure, they can’t bring people into orbit, but at least the guy has the ability to do something useful in the spaceflight sector. It’s some more “Branson doesn’t seem that bad” compared to Lex Luthor Jeff Bezos.)

I’m all about spaceflight and have been waiting a long time for legit space tourism to become a thing. This should be good, right? It’s not stated but it’s heavily implied; space tourism should allow the everyday person to take a flight to space, not just the ultra rich. These pioneering flights into space by private companies seem to miss the mark quite a bit. In time the price should go down, but we’re still talking a ticket price of literal millions to fly into space on these vehicles. A million dollars is better than a billion dollars but still leaves space access far out of the reach of the normal person. By taking the first flight themselves, surely to show confidence in the launch vehicles, they’ve unknowingly set the precedent that space is still only for the ultra-rich/1%ers or trained astronauts. If you don’t have fuck-you money, if you’re not a god of capitalism, one of the lucky people, no, you cannot go to space. You cannot see the world from heaven because you’re not a god. You’re one of the people down here but you can pray to your overlords on their next spaceflight if you’d like. Hell, you might get a fat $0.50 raise after your next review.

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The Illinois Primary Sucks

(This is a dreaded “political post” but not about the typical dumpster fire. Maybe it won’t be so bad.)

The Illinois primary for Governor is Tuesday. This post is a little late in coming but with a deadline comes desperation which brings motivation. The primaries should mostly be focused on the democrats because our governor is a republican (Brucey Rauner) and will certainly win his primary. What’s more important is Brucey is pretty well hated in our state and we will (almost certainly) elect a democrat for our next governor. In effect we’re choosing our next governor based on whoever wins the democratic primary Tuesday. So who’s running?

We have three “big candidates”: J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy, and Daniel Bliss. Surprisingly (really unsurprisingly), I know who’s going to win. It’ll be J.B. Pritzker. Why? Because he’s rich as fuck that’s why.

Here’s a link that, while a bit older, describes what these people make or are worth. I know they’re different numbers but you get an idea about how much money they have to throw around. Kennedy made over a million dollars last year, and J.B. made about 9 million dollars and is worth over 3 billion dollars apparently. Biss, along with his wife, made $55,000. Wow. Biss is poor as fuck.

J.B. will win because if you have three billion dollars you can spam ads everywhere. Every few days I get a goddamn Pritzker ad in the mail (which immediately goes into the trash), and I see other ads for the bastard everywhere. Facebook spams me with Pritzker ads and the TV yells Pritzker ads at me. That’s all anyone in Illinois hears about is Jay Bee Pritzker. It’s exhausting.

20180307_153029

A wild Pritzker ad appears! Seriously, these things are like Zubats in caves.

Politicians don’t win elections based on how decent their policies and ideas are. They’re successful based on how well they can get their names out to the masses. It’s one big, stupid popularity contest. You could have the best candidate ever but if they don’t have money to throw around they don’t have any chance of winning. It’s sad, but that’s how it is. Politics Suck.

You could also blame the voters. People walk into the booths on primary day with little idea of anything. They vote for the name that is most familiar. How many ill-informed voters will stroll in to vote only knowing there’s some democrat named J.B. running? Enough of them to guarantee victory for the guy. JB? Hmm. I’ve heard of him. And his name sounds cool! *Fills in bubble*

I’m sick of rich people being in politics. I get that “business people” are seen as good candidates for office, but damn, can we quit having billionaires running for things? Having a fuckton of money doesn’t show you can successfully represent people; it just means you have a fuckton of money. So say hello to our future governor of Illinois J.B. Pritzker. He might be qualified and he might be a good governor and you should notice that I haven’t mentioned anything about specific policies. This is mostly because policies don’t matter and that’s not why he’ll win. He’ll win because he’s rich as fuck and can buy advertisements. That’s it. Once again, Politics Suck.