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Monday, September 3, 2012

Get Your Ass to Mars

One of the last true explorers passed away last week.

I'm late to the party on this, and just about everything there needs to be said about it has been said. But I will add my small piece.

Armstrong's family has asked that when you "see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."

Not to contradict his family, but I would argue that the best possible way we could honor Mr. Armstrong would be to follow the advice of Mr. Schwarzeneggar.

Let's get our asses to Mars.

My Mom grew up in the space age. She grew up reading Robert Heinlein and dreaming about living on the moon. I grew up in an age where our grandest missions were to resupply the international space station and circle the earth a few times. NASA's been facing cutbacks for years, finally shutting down the Space Shuttle program, and I can't help but think that it's directly tied to our lack of ambition. If we're only going 242 miles up, how is that going to inspire anyone? New York to DC is 242 miles. Amtrak can get you there is 3 hours. (Fucking AMTRAK! C'mon NASA! Amtrak is kicking your ass!)

And I don't think that the public's appetite for space travel has waned. Look how excited we all got when the Mars Rover Curiosity landed this summer! Pictures were taken! Internet memes were spawned!

When we put our minds to it, we got a man on the moon in ten years. 43 years later, that's as far as any person has gone.

I am a liberal Democrat, and I think Newt Gingrich is a bloated toad, but he did say one thing I agreed with on the campaign trail.

Gingrich offered his vision of an ambitious new space program. "By the end of my second term," Gingrich said, "we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American." The crowd erupted in applause.
And he was just getting started; by 2020, he said, there would be regular flights to Mars.

Of course, he was probably just pandering to the Republican voters on Florida's space coast in an attempt to woo those who had lost work once the Space Shuttle shut down.

What's that, you say? Oh, Mars would cost too much? How about we divert $50 billion out of our current defense budget? That only leaves $650 billion left to defend ourselves with. I'd much rather we fund a trip to Mars than another 10 year adventure in Afghanistan or Iraq (or a brand new one in Iran).

So let's get to it. Let's christen the USS Neil Armstrong and get going. I want a Mars landing by 2022. I want footprints on Mars, not tire treads. You want to talk about uniters and dividers? Then this country should unite and get someone on Mars.

And then start the lunar colony. There's still time for Mom to have her Moon Condo to retire to.

(Because she's not moving to Florida. She hates Florida.)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Do Not Want

I love baseball. (Despite the best efforts of the Mets.)

I love Clint Eastwood movies. (This love of his films continues in spite of him losing a debate to a chair last week.)

 Get off my lawn, you smart assed chair!

Any Adams is cute as a button. Even when she's trying to be all South Boston tough in The Fighter, she still adorable. She's been great in just about everything since Enchanted. (What? No, that Amelia Earhart thing never happened.)

So why do I have no interest in seeing this movie whatsoever?

Probably because it's not going to be about Clint or baseball or Amy Adams' adorable nose. It's going to be about baseball as a metaphor for life. It's going to use baseball as a wrapper around a treacle-filled family drama. It's going to use the Field of Dreams trope about how baseball will bring dads and kids together, And Amy Adams looks like she going to be spending the movie in a full on concerned pout.

Also, it's about the Atlanta Braves. God, I hate the Braves and their stupid tomahawk chop. (Really, you're going to sell me on the fact Clint discovered Tom Glavine? I wouldn't slow my car down if Tom Glavine crossed the street in front of me.)

Clint, you're 82. Sadly, you aren't going to be with us that much longer. Why take a chance that this could be your last movie? Why have the last image of you in the public's eye be this, the chair debate, and your wife's awful reality show?

C'mon, Clint! Get to work on Unforgiven 2: Still Unforgiven! Bill Muny's back and he's still cranky! Sure that would suck, but at least it would be entertaining. At least I could watch that on HBO and not be tempted to turn to Real Sex 324 on HBO6.

Like everything else in life, I could be wrong about this. It could be a masterful family drama.

But I'll never know. Because I'm not watching it.

PS: Braves suck.