On June 7 (local time), Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced that he would be going to space with his brother. In an Instagram post, he wrote, “Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of travelling to space. On July 20, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.” Being the richest man on Earth, it is not difficult for him to grab the opportunity to become the person who would be remembered as the first ‘tourist’ to space.
The flight will take off on July 20, marking the 52nd anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s moon landing. The winner of an auction who would be paying $28 million to be on the trip to space with Bezos will also accompany him on the flight beyond Earth. The amount will be donated to the “Club for the Future”, an organization that aims to inspire future generations to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM.
The organization is part of Bezos’s Blue Origin, the company responsible for the first tourist flight to space. Blue Origin is currently working on partially and fully reusable launch vehicles for spacecraft that would cost-effective and safe. Apart from Blue Origin, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is also developing such launch vehicles.
‘Jeff Bezos should stay in space’ – Petitions with over 75,000 signatures
Soon after Bezos announced his space trip, several petitions have surfaced on Change.org demanding Jeff Bezos must not be allowed back to Earth after his trip to space. In one of the petitions titled “Do not allow Jeff Bezos to return to Earth”, the description reads, “Billionaire’s should not exist…on earth, or in space, but should they decide the latter, they should stay there.”
In another petition, the description reads, “Jeff Bezos is actually Lex Luthor, disguised as the supposed owner of a super successful online retail store. However, he’s actually an evil overlord hellbent on global domination. We’ve known this for years. Jeff has worked with the Epsteins and the Knights Templar, as well as the Free Masons, to gain control over the whole world. He’s also in bed with the flat earth deniers; it’s the only way they’ll allow him to leave the atmosphere. Meanwhile, our government stands by and lets it happen. This may be our last chance before they enable the 5G microchips and perform a mass takeover.”
This particular petition is even more hilarious as it compared Bezos to a fictional villain, mix myths and invoked conspiracy theories against 5G technology at the same time. And there is flat earth theory too! One can only hope the organizer of the petition and over 21,000 people who signed it are just joking. But, on the other hand, if someone has followed these conspiracy theorists even for a short span, the text of the petition falls in sync with what these flat-earth theorists and conspiracy theorists believe in.
The hate against Jeff includes ‘eating’ him
Bezos did not have a difficult life, and there are reports that criticize his business practices. However, how far would it be correct to call for eating him? In 2020, he became the victim of the hate-filled campaign “Eat The Rich”. There is a petition on Change.org titled “Eat Jeff Bezos” that reads, “Jeff Bezos does not need a trillion dollars. Eat the rich and redistribute the wealth.”
In reality, the phrase represents standing up to those who are rich and powerful. It represents holding them accountable on behalf of the less fortunate. However, when it made a comeback in recent years, it seems to have taken the literal context rather than the metaphoric one as the ‘angry’ Gen Z is often ready to attack those who have money.
‘Eat The Rich’ – the infamous quote from 18th century
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, an 18th century socialist and philosopher, had said in the context of the French Revolution and its aftermath, “When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich.” The ‘sentiment’ made a comeback in 2019-2020 and became popular among the millennials who are often against the rich and lean towards the left-politics. Associated with socialism, it is used in reference to opposing wealth inequality. The phrase can be seen and heard in political rallies, online videos and protests.