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(Note to literalists: the Watched column presently contains only a smattering of 'warblogs' because the facilitator of the template-change--Dr. Menlo--is not very familiar with them, and will be adding more as they are sent to him. Also, this blog may contain areas of allusion, satire, subtext, context and possibly even a dash of the surreal: wannabe lit-crits beware.)


[Watch this space for: Pentagon and Petroleum, The Media is only as Liberal as the Corporations Who Own Them, Wash Down With, and Recalcify]


Saturday, February 01, 2003


SPACE POLICY AND PRO IDIOTARIAN THE FIRST: I actually don't have a bunch to say about the shuttle explosion, because if you're serious about space travel you had better get used to death. Just two thoughts: While nuclear powered rockets probably would provide a faster ride, it's clear that transporting the "fuel" with current shuttle technology might not be such a safe bet. Before we go about conquering the stars perhaps we should put our efforts into research for cheap and affordable low orbit delivery. It looks like the space elevator could be the best shot. I noticed that Oliver put forward a very articulate argument for the space program. But for space proponents it's clear that we not only don't spend the money we have very wisely, but we don't spend enough. Now, of course, space will probably play second string to a United States dedicated to imperialistic occupation. It's estimated that if Iraq sets fire to its oil wells it could cost 40 billion to get those pumps up and running again. That's a cost that will be added or included to an estimated 100 billion dollar price tag for war. That's money that can't be spent on Zubrin's Mission to Mars or alt fuels or even rebuilding Afghanistan (remember them?) Two: Evil Glenn, or Pro Idiotarian the First, finds a way to make this thing political. Apparently, the Iraqis (every single one of them apparently) are happy that one of our shuttles blew up. You would think that Iraq would feel the pain of seven lost souls, six American and one Israeli. You would think they wouldn't be so selfish and wouldn't remember the estimated half million Iraqis that died because of our sanctions, the ominous gathering of a 100,000 troops at their borders and the openly aired threat that we will use nuclear weapons not in defense, but whenever our oil-addled plutocracy thinks it's a swell idea. Some nerve those Iraqis have...Of course they don't like us Glenn. It's called history, past and present.

In other links: William Gibson offers the most poetic summing up of the tragedy. He's one of the few science fiction writers who aspires to poetry with his every line. Evil Glenn, Pro Idiotarian the First, even links to it. Remember Pro Idiotarian masses: Gibson fled to Canada to avoid the Vietnam War. I'm guessing he's not wild about our new American role of Global Nuclear Terrorist. Just a hunch.

Philip Shropshire

PS: By the way, I'm offering the phrase "Pro Idiotarian" under the Creative Commons or Abbie Hoffman license, which is Steal Often and When Necessary. Look, Prospect fellas, who I suspect are the usual lot of priveleged white males who have attended private schools all of their lives, if they call you Idiotarian, then call them Pro Idiotarian. It makes about as much sense and it will go further than whinin' about namecalling from the bullies.

• • • • •

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