Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Reality TV?

I was sitting in history class on the morning of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. The teacher had cut on the TV and we were witnesses to history. It was unbelievable then, but thinking of the physics of the whole thing it's not out of the question. Space travel is very dangerous and I applaud the men and women that put their lives on the line who know all too well the danger.

The crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia knew the risk and paid the ultimate price. I watched that on the television also. I watched Discovery's night launch yesterday evening from my dock in Florida. It was like there was a small sun lighting the entire night sky, light reflecting off the water that was smooth as glass. I remember thinking how neat it was when John Glenn became the oldest person at 77 to space travel in 1998. This wasn't the first time he had gone into space, he was the first - 1962, sorry I missed that one. I hadn't been born, but I've seen it on film.

Growing up near NASA, space has always been something interesting to me. It was an annual school trip through the tunnel to Langley for the tour. I'm by no means an authority on the reasons for strapping yourself into a seat attached to a rocket. Go up and down, and risk your life with full knowledge that you could explode at anytime. Glenn returned to earth with a parachute and landed in the ocean. That's staring death in the face and grinning.

Today there is a good chance that the Rocket named Roger will explode, right on the screen, in front of all of us. The U. S. Senate is having hearings today surrounding the Mitchell Report. The reality TV is here and now. Roger Clemens has attorneys advising him, and I know that he is aware of the danger he faces. Will he invoke the Fifth? If he doesn't, he will either be telling the truth or lying. If he stays with his story, he may be in for a Federal investigation for perjury. He knows the stakes, his chips are on the table, insert your own cliche here.

Most people love a train wreck, and if your one of them, tune in today and watch one. I for one am not a rubber-necker, but for this, even I have to watch.

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