It's exciting day two of the crazy lady astronaut story. Hey boy!
Here's another picture of her looking crazy after her arrest. Here's a picture of here in better days. Was she having an affair with the other astronaut? Is that what broke up her marriage? Boy, what was up with the diapers and wig and the other weird stuff?
Here's a discussion of what her defense might be. Can she get a fair trial if everyone thinks she's crazy?
Gosh, how could an astronaut have gone wacky like that? An astronaut, for Pete's sake!
Two words: mute button.
Dead Skunk Story
I spent a career in military aviation, so don't get me started about astronauts. They're people with relatively glamorous jobs that require a reasonably high level of competence, energy, dedication and so on. Some of them are exemplary people and some of them aren't. But they're just people. Not gods.
From what I can tell, this woman was a successful overachiever who literally "had it all." Then her life started to unravel, her compartments buckled, and she cracked. That's happened before. I guarantee you that right now men and women are deployed in war zones whose lives back home are falling apart. Most of them will find a way to keep a grasp on their sanity. Some won't. Every day you encounter people who have the kinds of personal problems this astronaut had. Some manage to keep it together, some don't.
This astronaut woman didn't. I don't know why. But I do know that she wasn't some sort of super-being, as some people seem to believe astronauts or professional athletes or politicians or other celebrities are.
I'm not condemning or condoning what this woman has done. Nor am I concerned about NASA's "image." What concerns me is that people are just now figuring out someone like an astronaut has flaws. Or that someone like an astronaut might have had deep underlying emotional problems that finally worked their way to the surface. Hell, nearly everybody has underlying emotional problems.
We're a supposedly sophisticated, developed society. We need to stop idolizing and idealizing our public figures. Babe Ruth was a drunk and a philanderer. A former congressman--who was the Navy's only Vietnam era fighter ace--went to jail for taking bribes. What we know now about John F. Kennedy makes Bill Clinton look like a choirboy. Paragons of virtue have been caught engaging in the very behaviors they condemn. And let's not even talk about O.J.
It's the 21st century, and we still cling to the myth that our political leaders and cultural icons are somehow superior to the "common man," and look what that's gotten us: 9/11 Iraq, Afghanistan, erosion of the Constitution, abuse of power, failure of our trusted institutions and on and on and on and on.
It's time to grow up as a society, to stop worshiping idols and believing in fairy tales. And to outgrow our childish fascination with dead skunk stories like the tale of the wacky astronaut.
If you're hooked on stories about larger than life kooks, read Homer or Shakespeare or the Bible.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at Pen and Sword.