Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Stop It

I don't usually pay attention to stories like the so-called Astro-nut because it's basically the same thing as the Runaway Bride or even the latest Missing White Girl - a media frenzy surrounding an ultimately meaningless story. A happenstance that has no effect on anyone's life but those involved in the events at hand. But somehow this one's different. And you know what? I don't think it's funny.

There are crazy people all over the place; they come in all shapes and sizes. But this one? She graduated from the Naval Academy. She served in the Navy before eventually moving up to NASA and actually went into fucking space! She's no wackjob from Oklahoma City. She worked really hard -- harder than you or I ever have -- to achieve her dreams, and now she's thrown them away over some guy she liked. She's been vetted by the United States' foremost psychologists and passed. She's been through more stressful experiences than any of us could imagine. She accepted these challenges and she succeeded. Then, she went to the trouble of putting on a diaper so she wouldn't have to stop on a 900 mile trip to go confront the competition for her man. That is a long time to reconsider what you're doing and yet nothing stopped her. It's a long fall from being mentally stable enough to be on the Space Shuttle to willingly and consciously discarding your life's ambitions, husband and children in order to attack some floozy in Florida. Don't you think that's enough punishment?

I read that she lost three of her closest friends when the Space Shuttle Columbia was destroyed. Maybe that was it. Maybe not. But clearly something happened to her to cause her to lose her way. And frankly, I think she deserves the benefit of our sympathy. She dedicated her life in service to our country and now she has nothing. How about we "honor the troops" in her case as much as we would some poor soul who's come back from Iraq lost and alone and permanently damaged.

1 comment:

Matthew Smith said...

I'm all for sympathy, but can't I at least still enjoy those zany headlines? God damn, the NY Post has to be good for something...right?