Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"America Can, Should, Must, and Will Blow Up the Moon" via Yahoo! News reports that NASA is planning on "priming two spacecraft to slam into the moon's South Pole to see if the lunar double whammy reveals hidden water ice." Is anyone else reminded of the Mr. Show sketch in which NASA plans, for no apparant reason, to blow up the moon?

It may be my favorite Bob & Dave sketch, and -- if I may deign to analyze -- is about American machismo. In a broader sense, it could be an observation that the nature of science and technology -- the blind, ceaseless tendency to push further and always do whatever is "next" -- is inherently foolish. But -- perhaps just because I disagree with that sentiment -- I think the central notion of the joke is that America will flex its muscle just 'cause. Along the way, the sketch throws some nice jabs at knee-jerk activism ("We're Earthlings, let's blow up Earth things!") and jingoistic country-western music (see below).

But, as the geezer in the sketch -- and my friend E -- says, "Now, it's science fact!" So what are we to think? Have NASA lost their marbles? I doubt it. If anything, Bob & Dave's spot-on satire speaks to the disposition of the media coverage (or at least to this particular article). Apart from "double whammy," it's chock-full of language like "takes aim," "sledgehammer," "brute force," and my favorite, "Earth-on-moon violence." I guess that's ok with me as long as the moon is a consenting adult. And what happens on the dark side stays on the dark side.

So I'll take NASA's word that this is an "economical" plan. In the meantime, I'll just be amused by the coverage, which is very Mr. Show in nature. But I bet someone will complain soon, if they haven't already. Will some Green Party committee of the Planetary Society form to declare this a corruption of the moon's ecology? Or how about this: remember a few years back when some company sold off the real estate of the moon to anyone who wanted to buy? You could buy an acre, or the whole Sea of Tranquility if you could afford it. As I recall, no one could stop them because, well, let's face it: who has jurisdiction over the moon? Even if there were little green men on it, they'd probably have as much luck disputing these real estate purchases as the Iroquois had getting rid of their white devils. So you just watch as the Deutsch Bank Credit Union comes forward and says, "Nein! Das ist our slab of die moon!" Or better yet: Joe Bob McScratchyballs in backwoods Bumblecrack sues NASA $3 billion for destroying his descendants' place in the sun.

I digress. The point is, ready-or-not... moon, here we come. I leave you all with "C.S. Lewis, Jr."'s country hit from the Bob & Dave sketch:

Look out, moon,
America's gonna getcha.

Gonna go ka-boom,
Was nice to have metcha,

'Cause you don't mess around
With God's America!


Yeagers said...

One of my all-time favorite Mr. Show bits.

Yeagers said...

I just watched this last night and missed you!

Yeagers said...

Lt's do it! Let's blow up the moon!