Stimson in the News

Michael Krepon On Arms Control Wonk(Blog): Will Gravity Lift the Space Code of Conduct?

in Program

Space may be the final frontier, but it’s also the cosmic dust that we’re made of. Our lineage traces back to seawater, as well. Is that why we humans stare out into space and the ocean?

Two wordless and magnificent movie scenes book-end our connection to the cosmos. The first, as you probably figured, is in 2001: A Space Odyssey, directed by Stanley Kubrick. In mesmerizing slow motion, our hairy ancestor heaves a bone into the air, end over end, and in a brilliant editing cut, the bone transforms into a rotating space station. The second is at the end of Gravity, by Alfonso Cuarón, where, after an impossibly harrowing space voyage, an astronaut returns to earth, barefooted, walking through the primeval ooze. (The actress playing this role babysat for our children, but that’s another story.)

Crotchety Sexagenarian Syndrome: If you haven’t seen Gravity yet, I suggest bringing earplugs for the previews of coming attractions. In our local theater, the previews were all science fantasy flicks — good vs. evil, fate of the world, a hero with magical powers, the obligatory love interest, standing indomitably against impending doom. What does this derivative drivel say about our popular culture and our youth? In case your attention wanders, the sound is amped up like a Metallica concert – a purely conjectural analogy. You might want to bring eyeshades as well, to avoid the dizzying effects of over-the-top computer graphics on an IMAX screen (3-D glasses optional) that prompt even bored game boys and thumb jockeys to pay attention.

To read the full op-ed, click here.

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