The screen goes dark. Rousing orchestral music fills the room. Text appears out of the blackness:
We Took A Giant Leap...
Then the image of a pockmarked grey surface emerges.
It's Time To Take Another Giant Leap
A spacecraft zooms past the earth. The music gets louder.
Is this the trailer for a new end-of-the-world movie? Is Jerry Bruckheimer now producing YouTube videos? Or could it be that...
We're Going Back To The Moon
That's right, from the people who brought you the 1969 moon landing comes a sequel. Let's call it, The Moon 2: This Time We Mean Business. And like most sequels we are left with one tiny little question: For the love of God, why? Did Neil Armstrong forget something up there? Do we think after 40 years it might not be a lifeless piece of rock anymore? Maybe there's a water park now!
Aren't there some bigger problems we're facing at the moment, like, I don't know, the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression! Unemployment just hit 8.9%. GM is bankrupt. Jay Z poured tap water on women in his last video.
I'm just saying, maybe we need to get our priorities straight. One in six American children live in poverty, according to Save the Children, a non-partisan organization. Just imagine how many school lunches you could buy for the billions of dollars it's going to take to let a couple astronauts bounce around in zero gravity.
I'm all for scientific exploration, don't get me wrong. I'm curious, just like everyone else, what's out there in space. But don't we need to put all our resources into a crisis going on right here instead of going out there? And it's a not even a new place out there. Space is ginormous (In case you're wondering, 'ginormous' is indeed a scientific measure of space. If you added up the square footage of all the houses featured on MTV Cribs, ginormous is as least twice as big as that.) It's like the vastest thing there is, and we are sending people back to the one minuscule spot we've already been!
Actually, there could be one thing that would sell me on this whole Moon thing. What if we sent up all the CEO's of the banks that sold mortgage backed securities to pension plans? That might be worth it. We could get someone to sponsor the whole thing so the taxpayers don't have to shell out a dime. Hey, Richard Branson! Then we could show it on Pay-Per-View and send all the proceeds to people who lost their life savings in the stock market.
Who's with me? Let's start a letter writing campaign, or perhaps an online petition. I'm sure MoveOn.org is looking for something fun to do now that the election is over.
And what if we are unsuccessful and NASA goes through with this little stunt? I say we do what Americans always do with sequels and wait for the DVD.
Follow Ben Fractenberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/fractenberg