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Please Advise! What’s Jeff Bezos Reaaally Up to?

The Amazon CEO says he’s stepping down — but why? Dr. Steve looks to the sky.

Steve Burgess 5 Feb 2021 |

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Find his previous articles here.

[Editor’s note: Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a PhD in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to politicians, the rich and famous, the troubled and well-heeled, the wealthy and gullible.]

Dear Dr. Steve,

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced he is stepping down this year. What does it mean?


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Dear ATC,

Maybe Bezos needed a bathroom break. They are reportedly hard to get for Amazon employees. He must have been holding it for years.

Bezos is famous for a number of reasons, not simply because he is one of the few public figures hated by both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. One man has created an empire that spans electronics, kitchenware, cosmetics, glowing lizard-eye bowling balls and comfy socks that say “Please do not disturb I am watching The Bachelor.”

His decision to step aside as CEO and become executive chairman has come as a shock. What are some possible explanations? Recent surges in Amazon’s profitability have raised his net worth to an estimated $195 billion. Legend has it that Alexander the Great wept when he had no more lands to conquer — perhaps that’s the deal with Bezos too. He is quitting because he has all the money. “And Bezos wept, for there was no more money to have.”

There’s only so much you can do with it all anyway. Hiring Bill Gates to clean your gold toilets with a toothbrush would be fun for a while, I suppose. But there’s only so many laps you can take around the neat go-kart track you built after purchasing Wyoming.

At any rate, the theory that Bezos is tired of making money falls apart when one looks to the horizon. There stands another corporate titan, blocking the sun — his mighty nemesis, Elon Musk. What a competition between these tycoons — surely it’s only a matter of time before Musk shaves his head too.

But haircuts cost money, and Musk must hoard every penny to gain an edge. All month Bezos and Musk have been locked in a battle for financial supremacy. A Jan. 7 CNBC story proclaimed that Musk had overtaken Bezos as the World’s Richest Man, followed a week later by a Forbes story announcing that Bezos had retaken the title. There can only be one Scrooge McDuck. Nobody wants to be Flintheart Glomgold, the second-richest duck.

It’s understandable that they would fight to dominate their ecological niche. Nature can only support so many super villains — the market for extinct volcano real estate is limited. If you are forced to locate your super-villain lair in a cute, three-story Brooklyn Heights brownstone, are you really a super villain at all?

Bezos and Musk cannot fight directly over the amount of money they have. So they have chosen to come to grips in the natural habitat of the super villain — space.

Musk has Space X, and Bezos has Blue Origin; Musk has Starlink, and Bezos has Project Kuiper, both of them planned networks of linked satellites offering Wi-Fi access. Bezos and Musk are currently squabbling in front of U.S. regulators over the logistics and positioning of the systems. It’s such a headache trying to drive the spacecraft when they’re in the backseat yelling, “Mom! His orbit is touching mine!”

Bezos and Musk are both space nerds with billions. That can mean only one thing: competing Death Stars. “We’ll smash your rebel planet for less!” Just think: two mega-wealthy rivals are building competing satellite battalions high above the Earth, and you’ve been lying awake worrying about other stuff. Get your priorities straight.

You’d think Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene would be concerned. She has suggested that shadowy Jewish power brokers used space lasers to start California wildfires. Why isn’t she worried about the orbital antics of Bezos and Musk? Probably the absence of yarmulkes. Protestants get away with shit like you wouldn’t believe.

Having relinquished the top job at Amazon, Bezos is now free to concentrate on his globe-girdling battle with the Mighty Musk. That means there’s at least a chance the two men will end up at opposite ends of the Westin Bayshore having a fingernail-growing contest.

Or perhaps they’ll just settle for destroying Tokyo. They’ll have to hurry — HBO is releasing its own version of the story in March.  [Tyee]

Read more: Politics

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