Callum BoothManaging Editor
Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional odd video.
For most of us, the idea of getting a city to dismantle a historic bridge is ludicrous, but for the Big Dog Boss Man Jeff Bezos? Don’t make him laugh.
Let’s backtrack: Jeff Bezos of Amazon fame is having a custom yacht built. Known as Y721, it’s set to become the world’s largest sailing yacht, reaching 127m tall when fully, uh, erect.
It’s being made by a company called Oceanco in Rotterdam — but here’s where the Bald King has bumped into a problem: the Koningshaven bridge.
This pathetic bit of historic infrastructure only allows a measly 40m clearance at its maximum height (pictured above). And, as we all know, anything smaller than this (like the 38m tall Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil) is shit. Shit and boring.
I’m sorry, I don’t make the rules, that’s Mr. Bezos’ job.
Taking apart a bridge? “Big deal,” you may scream at your screen — but you’d be wrong.
Rotterdam’s Koningshaven bridge (known locally as De Hef) was renovated in 2017. At the time, the council declared that it wouldn’t be dismantled again. But Rotterdam didn’t bet on Bezos swinging into town and telling them that, actually, no, it is going to be dismantled again.
The municipality explained to Dutch broadcaster Rijnmond that it considers the building of Bezos’ boat important from an employment and “economic perspective.” It’s coming down. For a bit.
Of course, Bezos will pay for the dismantling and rebuilding — but this is the infrastructural equivalent of making the President suck your toes. Mighty Jeff claps and governments simply ask “how high?”
And you know what? Good for him.
Honestly? I’ve always thought I should be treated differently (i.e. better) than people poorer than me. I don’t want to say that the richest man on the planet Jeff Bezos is superior to everyone else, but in another, more real way, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
If he wants to buy the Mona Lisa and use it for toilet paper, great! The painting’s boring anyway. If Bezos wants to pay two people to fight to the death and then consume the flesh of both combatants and stream it live on Prime, he should go right ahead.
And if Mr. Bezos wants to build a giant mechanized suit and maraud around cities, crushing citizens and buildings alike, then, goddamn, he should. No, he must: you just need to look at the economic benefits of him doing so.
Remember, this is Jeff’s world — we’re just living in it.
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