Category Archives: Social Commentary

Hollywood And Mars

An interesting history.

[Monday-afternoon update]

Even the film-makers had doubts:

“If you had told me two years ago when we were walking into Fox to pitch the approach and what this movie would be, if you told me I’d be on the phone talking about how this is a big spectacle movie, I would have been delighted,” he tells Esquire. “At the time, we knew it was going to be expensive, but we thought it would be more niche than Ridley made it.” Nope.

What made The Martian unique also made it a difficult sell. It was not an action movie. The film’s star would spend his time farming potatoes harvested from his co-astronaut’s feces. The Rock would not show up to blow away aliens halfway through the second act. Mind would prevail over muscle. And that’s not easy to write for the masses.

I hope it will break some of the stereotypes, and make it easier to make these kinds of films.


How To Reduce Mass Shootings

Let’s try treating boys better.

It won’t completely eliminate them, but there would be a lot of societal benefits to it.

[Update a while later]

How many girlfriends did the gunman have?

Just this week, on Tuesday, using the handle lithium_love, he commented on a post titled “How many girlfriends have you had?” by saying “0. Never had anyone.” When pressed further by another user, he responded “Well, it means I’ve never been with anyone, no woman nor man (nor dog or animal or any other).” Then, on Wednesday, responding to a comment that he “must be saving himself for someone special,” he said, “Involuntarily so.” It was a day before the killings.

“He did not like his lot in life, and it seemed like nothing was going right for him,” a law enforcement official said, describing the writings found at the crime scene. “It’s clear he was in a very bad state of mind.”

You don’t say.

Why Fiorina Outrages The Left

She has “exposed another socialist bone heap.” They don’t take well to having their mass murder exposed.

And the comparison with Solzhenitsyn is quite apt.

[Wednesday-morning update]

Remember that time the Left said that Fiorina lied about the video? I know you’ll find this shocking, but they lied.


[Update mid-afternoon]

Thoughts on Planned Parenthood: Our summer of Omelas:

In 1973, award-winning science fiction author Ursula Le Guin published a very short story-essay titled “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas.” It described a dreamlike summer festival in Omelas, a beautiful city that embodies everyone’s utopia, a magical place where everyone was joyful, a place where sorrow never touched the citizens or guests. But beneath that city lay a secret: all its joy and pleasure depended on the suffering and misery of a single lonely, abused child living in a filthy basement. If that child were saved, all of Omelas would fall, its beauty and perfection lost.

The citizens of Omelas, when they reached a certain age, were taken below to view the child so that they might understand their civilization. Most rationalized the suffering, as was encouraged: the child was mentally defective anyway, it could never be happy now if taken out, it was incapable of appreciating the beauty of the world like others. Only a few could not bear the truth, but instead of removing the child and Omelas be damned, they walked away, leaving for parts unknown.

America has had a summer of Omelas.

[Update a few minutes later[

Democrats: The party of abortion, not the party of women.

That link via Elizabeth Price Foley, who adds:

Moreover, never mind that Republicans are spearheading the effort to make birth control pills more widely available by classifying them as over-the-counter–something the Democrats and Planned Parenthood vehemently oppose. And never mind that Republicans wish to expand access to all kinds of women’s medical care–not just abortion and contraception–by expanding funding for community health centers. None of that fits with the Democrats’ “war on women” label, so it can’t be too widely discussed.

If the Republicans in Congress were smart (a big if, I know), they would start talking about the Democrats’ “war on birth control” and “war on women’s health.”

Don’t hold your breath. They’re stupid.

Filthy Meatbag Bodies On Mars

As Keith Cowing points out, the Planetary Society is in no hurry to put anyone on the surface of the Red Planet. They want to do Apollo to Mars, but take almost three and a half decades before the first boots on Mars, and almost four decades before long-term habitation. Though Firouz Naderi claims that keeping it under the cost limit makes it more likely, I’d say that it is doomed to failure. Something that takes that long, accomplishes so little, for so much money, is unsustainable in a democratic Republic. This is why Apollo to Mars is doomed in general. I’m discussing this in the Kickstarter project. We need to have a different approach, starting with an end to the phrase “space exploration” as the reason we send humans into space.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Here’s the link to the report. I’m reading it now, hoping it will have some useful cost data from Aerospace.

JPL Mars Mission Schedule

[Update a while later]

Even Chris Carberry recognizes that we won’t ever get another “Kennedy moment.” I’m not sure, though, how one “stays the course” to Mars, when there is no course.

[Late-morning update]

Over at Sarah Hoyt’s place NASA employee Les Johnson proposes (wait for it) Apollo to Mars.

It is not going to happen, and it should not happen.