Mike Gold: Look! Up In The Sky!
Most of us are aware of the professional sod Jeremy Clarkson, who is now working for Amazon teevee (coming soon to an AppleTV near you). I haven’t been burdened with him as long as our British friends and therefore my opinion of the guy is somewhat more favorable than that found across the Great Pond.
Clarkson was co-host of the BBC teevee show Top Gear, which is to reality shows what, well, Jackass was to reality shows, although much more funny and somewhat less inspirational. He just did a 2 1/4 minute commercial for Amazon’s threatened drone delivery service. Perhaps you’ve seen it; if not, here’s the link.
This is a highly political move. Amazon isn’t selling a service it offers presently, and they can not and will not be able to in the near-future. Right now, the service Amazon is proposing is illegal, at least here in the States. The Senate is considering laws that would render such commercial use impractical – proposed by my very own Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal – by prohibiting such craft from flying above 400 feet. You will note Clarkson quite specifically states “400 feet” in the promotional video. If passed, this is bad news for Amazon.
The purpose of Amazon’s video production is to create a demand for their half-hour drone delivery service, a demand that they hope will be so strong the politicians will be swayed from their jobs of protecting the public. I know, it’s hard to imagine such people selling out the electorate to extend the interests of corporate America.
Of course, Blumenthal is a Democrat so it’s likely his bill will go nowhere, or, more likely, be eclipsed by a Republican bill making Amazon Prime Drone Delivery mandatory for the shipment of firearms and ammunition.
Personally, I think Amazon is barking up the wrong tree. The first time they drop a package through the wrong person’s roof, that great American is going to pick up one of his many high-powered weapons and shoot one of those delivery birds right out of the sky. As we know from our cultural history, this quickly would start a fad akin to shining laser pointers into the eyes of airplane pilots, which has been quite the rage for several years now.
If I’m going to lust for an airborne delivery service, I’m going to call Planet Express. I trust Hubert Farnsworth a lot more than I trust Jeremy Clarkson.
Anyway, here’s Mr. Clarkson shilling at his best.
Drones are already forbidden to fly above 400 feet, by the FAA.