Guest blogger Neal Pollack has been a satirist (Vanity Fair), a sexologist (Nerve.com), and a cultural anthropologist (McSweeney's). Here, Pollack will explore all the wild, weird, and noteworthy stories you may have missed.
Among all the shocking Mark McGwire steroid revelations, the public missed a more important drug story this week: that our astronauts might be doing cocaine. NASA officials reportedly found a small bag of magic powder in a Florida Space Shuttle processing hangar. Though an official investigation is under way, we have to wonder if the culture of space-partying might not be spiraling out of control. In 2007, a NASA investigation revealed that two astronauts might have blasted into space while drunk. Sure, we all wonder what it would be like to get wasted in space, but those experiments are for Richard Branson's $200,000-a-seat space-tourism flights. NASA needs astronauts like the guys in The Right Stuff, who only got drunk before going horseback riding with Barbara Hershey.
Also, coke gets in the way of the psychedelic potential of space travel. If Dave Bowman had been snorting blow in 2001, do you really think he would have seen through time to become the Star Child? No, he would have stayed up all night playing Sabbath records and talking about himself until HAL melted down of its own volition. What are you doing, Dave? This is highly annoying.
There's a more sinister possibility: that the CIA planted the coke in the NASA facility, and that it's now embedded into all U.S. space missions as part of a plot to get the people of the moon addicted so we can steal their water. A million magic crystals, painted pure and white. It could happen, particularly if we provide mirrors and straws.
Photograph courtesy of flickr.com