Azure Jane Lunatic (azurelunatic) wrote,
Azure Jane Lunatic

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Differences: Terrorism/Accident/Disaster/Occupational Hazard, Victim/Hero

What, exactly, differentiates the sudden upswing in interest in the space program that will enevitably happen after today from the sudden upswing in patriotism following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon for me?

I was vastly annoyed by all the sudden flag-waving after the US terrorist attacks because it was suddenly hip to do so, like you were encouraging terrorists if you didn't show support for your country by driving flag sales and t-shirt sales through the roof. I suspect that I'll be less annoyed by people wearing space shuttle pins. The number of people wearing the FDNY shirts annoys me less, for whatever reason.

I'm not sure. Maybe it's because I have a personal interest in space travel, and have always had it, and I recognize that other people have the same interest. Maybe because space travel is not easily linked to things like bombing the hell out of 3rd world countries.

Someone said something about the difference between heroes and victims. The victims of terrorist attacks are going peaceably about their own business when someone with malice aforethought strikes. The victims of accidents, of tortures, of oppression, of natural disasters, are going about day-to-day life that should, in that ideal world, be peaceful, productive, free from pain.

There is no escape from accidents, oppression, and disasters but a vast cleanup of the world, a time-intensive, labor-intensive, expensive endeavor. This should be done. There is no excuse for not doing it. No time. No money. Bull. Too many people just don't care until something smacks them across the face and makes them care.

Innocent people are the victims of accidents. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Heroes, on the other hand...

Heroes go into danger or potential danger, knowing that they might be killed, but performing their jobs anyway. Heroes put their lives on the line, either as a one-time special, or for their daily jobs like firefighters, police, astronauts. Heroes face danger to uphold safety and sanity, to broaden human potential.

Memorabilia honoring heroes does not disgust me. There are so many heroes that do not get honored; anyone who does gain recognition through acts of bravery likely deserves it. Memorabilia trying to turn a disaster, a fiasco, into a Great and Noble Moment, turn my stomach.

Finding the exact cause of the Columbia's disintegration will be a fitting tribute to the heroes who went down with her. Designing newer shuttles that avoid some of the design flaws that we know how to fix now: that is a fitting tribute. Not giving up on the space station. Never betraying the dream that they died supporting. The death of a mountain climber should mean that future climbers take more care to avoid any avoidable mistakes that the deceased made, and keep climbing the mountain.

A fitting memorial to those who died in terrorist attacks is not causing more death. It's figuring out what caused the shitty situation that makes people crazy-mad enough that they figure that killing people and causing mass destruction is better than living, and then taking steps to fix it that'll actually work, and not cause more resentment.

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