Space exploration, like jazz and other people’s weddings, is something most people only pretend to care about.
LIFE magazine published a lot of nice pictures about astronauts and 40 years later, we’re still supposed to act like we’re impressed.
Yes, everyone was spellbound the first time men landed on the moon. And Apollo 13 is one of the most thrilling real-life tales of bravery and ingenuity ever.
And… that’s about it.
After the novelty wore off, NASA spent decades getting borderline bitchy about how nobody else cared about their launches and missions anymore. But they had turned into Marge Simpson in that one where she keeps wearing the Chanel suit to everything.
When nobody else is looking, nobody over the age of 12 gives much of a crap about real life space travel. They care more about imaginary space travel; who gets asked for his autograph more often: the second man on the moon (whoever that was) or Leonard Nimoy?
Proof that nobody is really, truly awestruck by this stuff is this story.
Let’s say Judy Garland wore five pairs of those ruby slippers during the filming of The Wizard of Oz.
I owned them all, then gave one pair each to a gay guy.
Every one of those guys would put the shoes in a clear acrylic case and display them in pride of place in their homes and itemize them in their apartment insurance.
They wouldn’t forget they owned the damn things.