Thursday, January 28, 2010

Going Gung Ho

Today is the 24th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, and just now I watched the footage for the first time. I am not going to link to it here, because the idea of linking to footage of people dying doesn't really sit well with me, although obviously I don't really have a problem with watching it.

I don't remember the shuttle exploding - I was not yet three, and news that wasn't broadcasted on Sesame Street wasn't yet on my radar. Watching the footage now was actually both moving and difficult. I can not imagine being one of the millions of school children who watched this happen live - I can not imagine this being the first time someone explained to me about death.

As will become apparent during the winter Olympics, despite my propensity for snarky comments, my left wing politics, my Berkeley sensibilities, and my post-modern friends, there are some things that make me haul out the metaphorical red white and blue, and get kind of folksy and patriotic. Number one is the Olympics, two would be the awarding of Nobel Prizes, three is US response to natural disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti, and four, apparently, is the space program.

I KNOW in my rational head about how all disasters are really man made, and US trade and foreign policy probably made the situation worse, and so on, that I whine about the overfunding of university level sports programs that make those Olympic gold's possible, and also there are 100 things perhaps I would rather spend money on than figuring out how to build hotels on the moon, but - it doesn't matter. I mean it does matter, but obviously I get pretty gung ho about these things anyways. So Go Team USA!