Monday, August 11, 2008

Ignorance is Bliss

Today ends the dog days of summer, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac. Many families, including the media's, use this time to work in last minute vacations before school starts. The halls of Congress are dark. True American heroes distract us with reports of gold in the Far East. And somewhere in an alley off E Street a fiddle is beginning to play a mournful tune.

Out front, behind a cut out cardboard box, two puppets appear. In a confusing celebration of double speak, Charlie McCarthy (played by Viceroy Cooke) and Lamb Chop (played by Viceroy Hanley) start their performance. Anita Sinclair once wrote, "Through puppetry we accept the outrageous, the absurd or even the impossible, and will permit puppets to say and do things no human could. We allow a puppet to talk to us when no one else can get us to speak. We allow a puppet to smile at us even when we have not been introduced. We also allow a puppet to touch us when a person would lose an arm for the same offence."

And so the show begins. Charlie and Lamb Chop tell the assembled few of their trials and tribulations. For them, clocks only run backwards, adding hours, minutes, and seconds to already long days, months, and years. Calendars grow thicker, pages seemingly added without reprieve by Father Time. Leaves whither and fall, yet spring never reappears.

Poor Lamb Chop also draws attention to her disabilities. Being stuck in a sock handicaps the soul, preventing it from sensing life's offerings to the fullest extent. Without fingers to click a mouse, or pick up a telephone, it is easy to lose track of the world around her.

And so Lamb Chop resorts to irony for her biggest laugh. The audience watching the puppet suspend belief, if just for an instant. They ignore the Emperor's own hand moving inside the sock as she announces that she is "not privy" to the Emperor's very public testimonies. Here we have a sock, just asking to be thrown in the dirty clothes bin. Very funny stuff. Guffaws all around.

Such are the dog days of summer.


Anonymous said...

What are you going to do? They passed their own, self approved PDR. A glorious milestone on the way to space exploration.

Not only does the emperor have no clothes, he has no specs, no analyses, no idea what the thing is supposed to do, no product and no hope of pulling this rabbit out of his hat.

Blissfully ignorant or willfully ignorant, the result is the same.

Don't worry though, it happened the same way on Space Station. The game was rigged from the git-go. So, get ready for some congressional meddeling and tweaking, a lot of re-re-redesign, a couple of new cadres of workers and we will be ready to start over in about 8 years.

Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.

Anonymous said...

At least with the space station and the space shuttle we got something out of the deal.

With Ares I we get nothing. It's even a 'stretch' to salvage the upper stage.

Anonymous said...

Didn't I read, sometime back, that the emperor had decided that station was complete and that we would quit funding it, especially since we had no way of getting there anymore?

If memory serves, it would be turned over to the world to use while we went on to do 'all the other things because they are hard'. Just tell anybody that wanted to go, right where it is and give them to keys to the airlocks.

Doesn't matter anyway because we are mad at the taxi drivers so we probably won't be getting any supplies or reboost for quite a while.

All that aside, it will be interesting to see how fast I get transferred off the program when I tell them what it is going to cost to establish a real analytical baseline for this monster!