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Jeff Bezos’s historic rocket trip created one giant meme trail back on Earth

July 21, 2021, 12:10 PM UTC

For a brief 11 minutes, we lived on a planet without Jeff Bezos.

The world’s richest man, with a net worth of $200 billion, shot up into space on his own Blue Origin New Shepard rocket, experienced a few moments of weightlessness—just past the Karman line 62 miles above Earth—and then descended homeward in a capsule wearing a cowboy hat.

Best day ever,” Bezos said on a livestream of the suborbital flight.

For Bezos it was an achievement of a lifelong dream to travel to space. Others on the ground were more disillusioned. They took the triumphant moment as an opportunity to remind the world about Amazon’s spotty labor record and rib him about his cowboy hat and single-guy ways.

Here are some of the prime Twitter memes that generated a lot of buzz.

A tone-deaf thank-you

On his arrival back down to Earth, Bezos exclaimed to the crowd, “I want to thank every Amazon employee, and every Amazon customer, because you guys paid for all this.” Some couldn’t help pointing out the irony in this statement, with Amazon’s CEO-to-worker pay ratio sitting at 58 to 1, or that labor activists continue to dog the company for the troubling reports of overwork in which employees reportedly have to ration bathroom breaks.

Freudian minds

The rocket’s shape and size led to comparisons being drawn to other things. Well, one other thing…

There was even a whole short film prepared for the very moment he landed made by Jon Stewart.

This led to the obvious comparisons from that scene in the Austin Powers film, which prepared us with a rich vocabulary for ways to describe the shape of any phallic-shaped rocket.

Environmental impact

There was an influx of tweets that mentioned the climate crisis. Specifically, tweeters fretted the rocket launch would create one giant burst of emissions. It is important to note that Bezos’s ride used liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, not carbon-based fuels.

There is of course still some eco risk from spaceflight. Every rocket poses a threat to the ozone layer, and the Scope 3 emissions of this kind of travel are immense, but the effects on the climate were not as bad as suggested online.

Tick the box for single

And of course people took a crack at his recent single status.

While others looked on at MacKenzie Scott in envy.

The great beyond

Others just looked on in envy. In this age of COVID-restricted travel, some of us would just like to go somewhere, anywhere.

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