Friday, January 27, 2012

To Infinity and Beyond . . .

I'll go ahead and say it, I don't like space.  As in, outerspace, the Moon, Mars, etc.  It makes me feel panicky.  There's just so much of it.  Not to mention that whole "no gravity" thing.  What is that about? I read somewhere once that $52/year from each American goes to support NASA.  I want my $52 back.  Seriously.  If it were up to me, we'd all just stay put right here on Earth.  (And don't bother to go all off on me about how backward-thinking that is and how if Christopher Columbus had thought that way, we'd all still be believing the world was flat and the moon was made of green cheese. I don't care.)

So you can imagine my surprise and dismay when earlier this week, Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich declared that, were he President, he would colonize the Moon.  And that's when he permanently lost my vote (not that he actually ever had it to begin with, but that's neither here nor there).  Not only would he colonize the Moon, but once it had 13,000 residents, he would give the Moon statehood.  Statehood!  As a resident of D.C., this particularly cheesed me off (see what I did there, Moon, cheese, get it?), considering that D.C. residents don't have statehood or even representation in Congress.  (FYI, this is not meant to be a political commentary, but a mini-dissertation on my space-hatred.)  

The whole thing blows my mind on several levels.  First of all, does the U.S. even own the Moon?  Do we have the right to declare ownership (and thus colonize it)?  I'm not an expert in space law, or anything (or any law for that matter), but it certainly seems like we can't just call dibs on it because it might be fun to try.  Secondly, the mere thought that 13,000 people (or more) would want to go to the Moon . . . not just for a visit like that kid from NSYNC, but to live, really floors me.  Can you imagine having to walk around with that space suit and helmet on everyday?  Talk about bad hair. And imagine what it would do to the fashion industry, "This year from Kenneth Cole, the latest in space-travel chic." No thanks.

Now, if Newt wants to colonize the Moon, so be it, but not with my $52 a year.  My only caveat is that, should the Moon become a state, D.C. get to be one first. 

6 comments:

  1. Not that I'm trying to be the snark master here, but I don't think England, France, Spain, Portugal, or the Netherlands had any real ownership privilege when they started planting flags in North and South America, either.

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  2. Ha, a valid point indeed! Though one might hope we've evolved from that time, no? (Probably not.)

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  3. I don't think we've evolved all that much, it's just that there's a PR angle these days that colonial Europe never had to deal with. If video of smallpox-stricken Native Americans had shown up on Youtube, or the massacres in South Asia had been liveblogged, I think perhaps the British Monarchy would have been less inclined to keep colonizing. At least on the moon, there's no natives.

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  4. Apparently, our former Speaker is not familiar with all of the laws of the land. The US signed and ratified a Outer Space Treaty in 1967 which prohibits the nationalization or occupation of the moon and other celestial bodies.

    Wiki

    Hey, who's surprised Newt's spewing out of the wrong end again?

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  5. I knew there must be some kind of law about the moon...Thanks for the update!

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  6. I knew I loved you. I think space is super creepy. Every time I land on the NASA channel accidentally, I feel like I might float off or something. And space movies, don't get me started about the astronaut that accidentally goes floating off and they can't get him back. Is there a suicide pill in that suit like in the movies, because i would need to take it.

    *shivers*

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