Note From The President, Cerebus 128, November 1989

Copyright 1989 Dave Sim

I'd like to say to anyone offended by my criticism of the Apollo rapes of the Moon at the end of Church & State that I am by no means opposed to space exploration and I certainly see it as a next step in human evolution, but I think we have to gain a greater appreciation of the distances we are talking about. This is not like sailing across the Atlantic to find a new place to buy spices. The cost of taking a colony of human beings out to the moons of Jupiter, building a little city for them so they can mine methane or some shit is beyond human reckoning. The tax would be in the quintillions of dollars. That is mighty expensive methane and hard to sell to foreign countries at a profit.

I think we have to realize that space exploration is a sperm urge and constitutes the most unbelievable risk to the organism involved that the human psyche could contemplate. Why? Because the only way you could explore space is to freeze-dry somebody and go spoo! straight out and away. A towering shot to centre field; like the Voyager spacecraft but without all the bus stops on the way out. And have an on-board computer that kicks in when it's within a million miles of something with lots of oxygen wrapped around it and wakes the guy (or girl) up. Our seventeen millionth generation of descendants will be worm food by that time so you don't even have to send a notebook with them or anything. The story will never make Time magazine, you know? Would that be weird to be the guy? I mean one minute you're shaking hands with the President and the next minute it's five trillion years later and some green slimy thing is giving you the once-over or you're being worshipped by a race of iguanas wearing party hats under a lemon yellow sky.

Hey! How about Walt Disney? Would that be wild? Dig him out from under Snow White's castle and shoot him out of the solar system with a carton of unfiltered Lucky Strikes or something. Could you just see his face when he woke up?

Of course the other thing would be Operation Yo-Yo, where the spacecraft would just go straight out for a few hundred thousand years and then just turn around and come back. Now that would be scary. Wake up a million years in the future when the whole world looks like Exxon got to it.

But little colonies of William Shatners and Leonard Nimoys living under glass bubbles on Neptune in houses that look like vacuum cleaner attachments?

Give me a break.

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