Nothing makes the veins in my temple throb like yet another story about some twit who paid $30 million to fly into space. Every time this happens, we see reports in which some shady Russian zillionaire or monomaniacal entrepreneur is given all the time in the world to mouth banalities while wearing a spacesuit. What I would give for a world in which we saw 5 minutes of information about the real astronauts and the science missions, capped by the sentence: "Oh, and a space tourist will also be on the flight. Now, on to sports!"
What bothers me, apart from [Laliberte's] unctuous expressions of self-admiration, is that he sees this as a humanitarian mission, on account of he's going to read a poem about water while he's up there, in order to convince the struggling masses that water is important to children and other living things.
"My mission is dedicated to making a difference on this vital resource by using what I know best: artistry," Laliberte said. "This will be the first poetic social mission in space.
You know what? Fuck you. In the first place, space missions were poetic long before anyone ever heard of your dunced-out new-age horseshit. In the second place, you're an asshole. In the third place, if you care that much about access to water, $30 million could save a pretty amazing number of lives over the next 12 months. Hell, AIDG could work miracles with one million bucks. . . .
Unfortunately, Laliberte seems to be less worried about saving lives than about raising global consciousness through mime and poetry and mawkish entrepreneur-speak about the power of dreams.
"I think this is one of the best investments anybody has done in order to promote the awareness of water," he said.
"If the impact is achieved, we will reach much more people than I would have done if I spent that money on Earth trying to convince people that water is an important issue."
Did I mention fuck you? Perhaps I'm a cynic, but I suspect that if Laliberte had simply taken the money he spent visioning and test-marketing the noxious phrase "poetic social mission in space," and given it to an NGO that deals with water issues, it would've done more good for the world than any of his pompous techno-hippie hijinks.
If Laliberte really wants to make the world a better place, perhaps he should consider staying up there.
Yes, Phila, I think that about covers the bases.