You may have read about William Shatner being unexpectedly overtaken with overwhelming grief during last year’s trip into space. In an excerpt from his upcoming memoir he writes:
Everything I had thought was wrong. Everything I had expected to see was wrong.
I had thought that going into space would be the ultimate catharsis of that connection I had been looking for between all living things—that being up there would be the next beautiful step to understanding the harmony of the universe. In the film “Contact,” when Jodie Foster’s character goes to space and looks out into the heavens, she lets out an astonished whisper, “They should’ve sent a poet.” I had a different experience, because I discovered that the beauty isn’t out there, it’s down here, with all of us. Leaving that behind made my connection to our tiny planet even more profound.
It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered. The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness.
…My trip to space was supposed to be a celebration; instead, it felt like a funeral.
I found this fascinating, and I can try to imagine this feeling but nothing will ever match seeing it for myself. Which I’ll never do, but I completely appreciate what he’s saying.
What I didn’t know until now, however, was what happened immediately after he returned to Earth. I’ve never been a fan of Jeff Bezos, despite giving his company way too much business over the years, but this lowered my opinion of him even further.
The video below is all you need to see. Shatner is trying to describe to Bezos this deep, profound experience he’s just had, and all the complex emotions that come with it, and Bezos is only interested in sloshing champagne around and hooting like a fucking fratboy.
He even shoves some champagne in Shatner’s face. Shatner’s a recovering alcoholic. He also found his alcoholic wife drowned in their pool years ago, and while Bezos probably has no reason to know that little detail, it just makes the whole thing all the more cringey. (Note that I didn’t say “cringe”. It’s “cringey”, folks.)
Yes, Shatner is a famous narcissist himself…but not every narcissist has the opportunity to experience something that changes their whole view of existence (something all of us could use, honestly). He was overtaken by emotion, and he just wanted to express some thoughts with the person who made his journey into space possible. Was it asking that much of Bezos to listen for a few minutes? To get his head out of his own unfathomably wealthy tech-bro ass long enough to consider anyone other than himself?
Nope. Apparently that isn’t his thing. You can tell by the way he just nods his head at first, as if if to say “Uh-huh. Sure. Cool story, bro! Hey look, champagne! Youwantsome?”
Bezos has proven himself again and again to be a 100% Grade-A douchenozzle. If only all that money could buy a soul.