How Montana Was Almost Tied to Jeff Bezos and the Mona Lisa
This is a story about an absurd petition to eat the Mona Lisa, a reminder about fact-checking, and the power of the internet to make a statement.
The petition, which asks Jeff Bezos to buy and eat the Mona Lisa, has almost 20,000 signatures as of this writing 18,900, to be exact, and has been floating around the internet for three years. There's also an interesting detail about the person who started the petition in The Messenger's article:
Kane Powell, a resident of Montana, launched this petition... -themessenger.com
Turns out, the petition was a joke that became something more, according to a New York Times article from 2021. But here the plot thickens.
The New York Times says that Mr. Powell is from Stevensville, Maryland.
Given that the New York Times had an interview with Powell, I'm guessing The Messenger saw Stevensville, did a quick search, and Stevensville, Montana came up. That or they mistook the Md. for Mt.
The New York Times interview says that Powell came up with the idea while having dinner with friends and they started to order from the drink menu, priced at $1. Back in 2021, the petition had only started to gain traction, but now the petition is up to almost 20,000 signatures. The interview also explained the reasoning beyond the joke:
In his call to action, Mr. Powell is making a statement about the absurdity of massive amounts of accumulated wealth, as well as the bizarreness of the current internet era.
That absurdity and bizarreness, and the call to action, is echoed in the many comments that accompany the petition.
- "gobble da lisa"
- "This is the most important petition in modern times. Jeff Bezos needs to eat the Mona Lisa to save the world."
- "I believe it is absurd and unconscionable that we live in a society where jeff bezos has not eaten the mona lisa."
- "It should be rolled up like a froot roll-up and swallowed whole"
Montana or Maryland, Powell's petition certainly seems to have struck a chord with people.
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