One thing Newt Gingrich, NASA, and I all agree on is that we need to get some guys up to the Moon and build a little city, and then we need to get some guys to Mars, get their pictures taken, and then build a little city there, too.
Yes, that’s a lot to take in, and if it makes you feel any better, that is an exhaustive list of the things Newt Gingrich and I agree upon. But bear with me here. I’m about one-third serious.
Sure – I know we don’t have any money to throw around turning the little pictures in my head into reality. I do admit, that’s a giant chunk of it, for me – nothing intellectual, I just want people on Mars driving around in little bubble cars with ray guns on them, preferably fighting monsters (and preferably winning).
So don’t start lecturing me about the budget. I’m a screaming liberal – you can jam that budget right up your ass, we’ll buy whatever I say we’re buying. Now get out there and create some jobs you lazy millionaires, I’m running up quite a tab here for crying out loud.
Maybe there’s some indigenous Martians we can steamroll over – something for the both of us, right?
I do agree though – NASA could do a better job marketing itself. To be blunt, they don’t blow stuff up very often, but when they do it’s big, crazy expensive stuff, there are sometimes people in the stuff, and it’s always right on camera. They don’t get a lot of air time when they do it right, you get about five seconds of footage – There go those crazy astronauts! Look they took a panda bear and a treadmill with ’em this time!
Sure but right when they blow something – good lord, it’s awful. They usually have to spend most of their effort trying to sockpuppet their way through an explanation of how any of this is even possible in the first place. Then we pick out words that stick out because we understand them, but which don’t make sense.
Tiles? What the hell are you taking about, tiles? Spaceship tiles? Why does the sky burn spaceships? It doesn’t burn me. It doesn’t even burn the horizontal kind of airplane. Shit, it doesn’t even burn the tiles!
So we get all mad at them, like we do at regular tech guys on Earth. Just Old-Fashioned, Language Barrier At The Drive Thru Window frustrated and mad. Except we need our computers, we use them every day and we realize it pretty quickly, so we tolerate the terrestrial Tech Guy.
But do we really need these smug Super Tech Guys talking crazy to us while they blow stuff up? It’s hard not to run through it in your head – would I even notice if you guys weren’t in space, screwing around?
Then sometimes they hold dramatic press conferences and make everybody think they’ve discovered life on some other planet or a freaking time warp or something, but instead it’s something else, something you don’t even know what the hell, and they have to explain to you why you should be so excited about it.
Or other times one of them puts on a diaper, drives across state lines, shoots somebody. They end up explaining that yes, they sort of wear diapers sometimes in space, and yes, you can go Space Crazy. “We used to really keep that shit under our hat til the Internet showed up,” they tell us.
Yes, and nobody likes the price tag and nobody ever taught them how to fudge the price tag. They just come out and tell us, yeah, we’re going to crash this robot into Venus, see what happens. Be around eighty million dollars but it’s going to be sweet, get some whiskey.
They should just price everything they do in terms of countries. The Moon Base, for example, will probably cost us a couple of annualized Canadas. I mean, I know where we can get one of them, sure – but where the hell are we going to get another?
I don’t know, Republicans – that’s your problem. Just get out your checkbooks, there’s a killer asteroid coming and I’ve been busy blogging, so I’ll have to get you back on the next one.
You heard me. See for yourself – here’s the article, right from one of your notorious neo-conservative websites: Asteroid 2011 AG5 May Pose Threat To Earth In 2040.
Now, put down your hookers and your Monopoly hats and focus. I need you to understand a few things. 1) Asteroids have hit the Earth in the past 2) Asteroids have wiped out entire species on Earth in the past and 3) There are still asteroids all over the place out there, a whole bunch of them that keep right on moving because there is so rarely anything Earth-like in their way.
But did you catch that? Rarely. We’ve always known a killer asteroid was a possibility, but it has always seemed so remote. Somewhere south of lightning strike odds. I think the last big one to hit the Earth was about seventy million years ago (and no, I’m not going to google it). So if the odds are one in seventy million, then we are about due aren’t we?
What if the odds are 1 in 625? Cause that’s what they are currently calculating as the odds that this 460 foot chunk of iron will strike the Earth. Right from the article:
“Talk about the asteroid was on the agenda during the 49th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), held earlier this month in Vienna.”
Did you even know there were peaceful uses for outer space? I didn’t either. Death Stars, Star Destroyers, X-Wing Fighters. Plus don’t even get me started on the enormous hand-shaped Teeth Monsters that live inside the asteroids. Just absolutely infested with Mynoks.
Anywho, this is literally a Rocket Scientist Meeting in Vienna we’re talking about – a big one – and they were taking this as seriously as anything else.
Guess what they agreed? They said, well, we haven’t been watching it that long, so we can’t be sure yet. We’d put that odds at oh, 1 in 625, we’ll keep an eye on it. And anyway, we’d have until 2023 to get a deflection mission going if it’s really headed our way.
But here’s what I think. I think they’re watching the rest of us. I think they’re hearing us talk about how dumb it is to send people into space and how we need to keep our feet on the ground and gee, it would be nice to play Space Man but we have enough problems right here. I think they’re hearing the whole thing – who needs NASA?
And I think that if they determine the asteroid is headed our way, they’re going to smirk and turn around with their hands on their hips and go, “Wellllllll, welllllll, welllllllll – look who needs a space mission from NASA to save eeeeevvvverrrrryboddy’s assss.”
Come on NASA, just deflect the meteor. Ohhhh, I don’t know, fellas – that’d be reeeaaaaalll expensive and there’s nooooooo money. We have enough problems right here on the ground!
Maybe turn out their pockets and shrug theatrically at us. Member, fellas? We don’t have enough money to goof around in space with our space toys, so you kept cutting our funding and second-guessing every single thing we wanted to crash into something else. Every single hundred million dollar thing we want to fly to Mars and drive around. Sure, maybe we could help you – if we’d HAD MORE PRACTICE!
Anyway, that’s why I think we need the Moon Base. It’s not why Gingrich thinks that, he was just running his mouth and something true flew out of it – the sun even shines on a dog’s ass some days, yessir. But he’s right and it’s actually very simple.
This is what the rocket scientists want to do, and we don’t want to offend the rocket scientists cause we’re going to need them when the asteroid finally shows up, whether it’s this one or another one. The math is done – it’s coming, it’s just a matter of whether it’s now or fifty years or ten million, but oh yes, it’s coming. I mean, they just now started looking in the last fifty years, and there’s one! THERE’S ONE RIGHT THERE, GONNA BE CLOSE!
Are you betting on the fifty million? Okay, well you do that. I’m going to stand over here with the scientists, maybe shake ’em up a few martinis, take that edge off.
And speaking of which, we’re talking about NASA, so regardless of whatever plan they’re hammering together in Vienna, there’s a good chance they’re not deflecting it. They’ll just spend four Spains and a Portugal trying to, and then go, “Aw shit. Now it’s on fire and it’s going faster.”
You see, we can’t be sure it’s going to miss us, and we definitely can’t be sure this crew is going to deflect it – God bless ’em but it’s not like they never screw anything up. The only thing we can be sure of is that the asteroid is not going to hit two places, whenever it arrives. So therefore we have to make sure we’re not all sitting around in one place – like the President and Vice President, yes? Human race? Carrying on? Into the future? How many eggs do we keep in our basket again?
Also, do you know how to check and see if there’s already a Moon Base? Me either – if you asked me yesterday, I’d call NASA and ask them, but do you think they’re going to tell us about it now? Good God, man – wake up. It’s like, if you don’t let your kid on Facebook they’ll just get on there anyway and block you, so instead you let them and friend them and then do a standard Lurk And Watch.
So building a Moon Base and getting actual, live people over to Mars is not just about ensuring humanity’s survival, it’s about keeping an eye on NASA’s otherwise-secret Moon Base and so on. It’s about being paranoid and creepy. And yes, it’s about spending money we don’t have on shit, just because I think it’s cool.
But mostly it’s about us, sitting here living in the toilet we just turned the world into and we’re flipping off the only people who can get us off of it. I can’t shake my face hard enough for that to make sense. Everybody’s moving to freaking Idaho, like that’s going to help. First we decide the Nobel Prize sucks and now we’re all like, Shut Up Rocket Scientists We’re Trying To Eat Our Chicken Wings!
Like they’re not going to have chicken wings on the Moon. Pull your head out of your ass, America. Look down just a little and ask yourself: Is this the future I want for my children? And let’s be honest, we’ll be lucky to build one Blurry Triangle Asteroid Shooty Unit by 2040. These two are fully operational, and they have their hands full. We need to get busy, and we need to get busy NOW.
Earlier: 2010: The Year We Find Weird Microbes In A Lake
And: I’m Sorry Did You Just Say Supermoon?
And: The Startling Mind Of God Coincidence
And: Welcome To The Harmless Ice Monster Project