What caught my eye wasn’t the space flight that was the dream of a presumably bored billionaire, it was the quote that came as he was floating around space. Richard Branson talked about being a kid looking up at the stars, and now he is an adult floating in his very own spaceship. Then he said, “just imagine what you can do.” Call me a cynic, but that phrase struck me as being completely out of touch with reality.
To be fair, think of the conundrum that billionaires must face each morning, waking up and realizing that the world is theirs and the rest of us are here merely to fill the supporting roles. Having that sort of awareness probably provides them with a tingle for a while, maybe even years. But by the looks of things, the tingle fades and even billionaires get bored with their lot in life.
Other billionaires seem to be affected by this same syndrome, where the boredom creeps in and then they “shoot for the stars” as Branson would say and look for something to fill their void. In this age of Karens and Brads (a “Brad” being a male “Karen”), I think a bored billionaire should be known as a Bobby (BO-red BI-llionaire - hence, a Bobi or Bobby). A Bobby can dream it and has the financial wherewithal to make it happen.
Ever want to build a spaceship and fly in space? Bobby did it. Become President of the U.S.? Yup, Bobby been there, done that a few times. Invent an electric car that an “aver age” person cannot afford, one that takes too long to charge even IF you were able to find a charging station and travels too short of a distance before needing another one? Check, Bobby done that too.
Bobby has been around for a while, as evidenced by the creation of the Spruce Goose. Bobby’s heart was in the right place in trying to help the war effort. But creating the “fl ying lumberyard” was more an exercise in “what not to do” with future military transport designs.
Bobby likes to dream. What Bobby does not like to do is... pay taxes! Branson has spent time in jail for tax evasion. Trump paid zero taxes in 2011. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos paid zero taxes in 2007 and 2011. Elon Musk in 2018, same thing. Talk about living the dream. Bobby knows how to get around those pesky little obstacles like taxes to get his dream launched, literally.
Going back to the statement “just imagine what you can do,” I don’t think that the imaginations of us normal folk conjure up the same types of things that a Bobby does, mainly due to a lack of funds. For instance, instead of building a spaceship, I might dream of visiting Europe or the Texas border towns before Kamala Harris does. Or maybe to be able to retire comfortably. Bobby needs to understand that, for the vast majority of us, these will be the dreams we dare to dream that really do come true.
I dreamed a dream that someone was shouting “On your marks… Get Set…”. I woke with a start.
Johnny McNally is Grimes County’s Best Dressed Businessman advocating for Grimes County and writes a bi-weekly column for the Navasota Examiner.