Amazon is a money-making volcano which hardly pays any taxes and puts smaller businesses to the sword at five-minute intervals. It is a useful symbol for lefties who want to berate capitalism. Its internal economy probably exceeds that of Poland. The name may well be on most people's lips at least weekly, possibly daily. Yet it remains oddly anonymous. I for one have never heard anyone say: I love Amazon.
Amazon got the way it is through logistical efficiency, a subject I was paid to understand. I can confirm: Amazon is efficient. Sure it makes mistakes but so does Poland. So does - whisper it not in Gath! - the USA.
But still you'd type Amazon as heartless.
Cast your mind back to childhood fables. The words "a magic wand" arose and you wanted one, didn't you? Hold that thought for a moment.
We are living in times which disprove John Donne's most famous line of poetry: all men are islands. We phone our closest, email them, text them, Skype them but they remain unapproachable. Sometimes we feel the urge to do more. Send them a gift, not lavish but well-chosen. Most of all we want to do it now, while the urge still burns. We need that magic wand, and Amazon supplies it. The pop-up says: Buy it. One click, it's done.
VR magically caused John Carey's A Simple History of Poetry to drop into my lap. Brother Sir Hugh did the same with Staying Alive - Real Poems for Unreal Times (even more generous given I'd savaged his first sonnet). Deborah Orr’s Motherwell arrived for VR from daughter Occasional Speeder. There've been others and we’re ashamed of our forgetfulness.
Hateful Amazon. But so efficient.