Marine out of orbit

Spent much of yesterday in the precincts of the medicalist community of Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. FD SCP was having a bit of day surgery and I got to enjoy the overweening discipline, false manners, and communication inabilities of that community.

Admittedly, communicating in the Huntsville area is extremely difficult for the medicalists, largely because of the high fraction of STEM Nerds. Medicalists tend to throw their communications over the wall, in the metaphor, with an ambiguity that is typical of Bog communication. And generally ignore the effects of that communication except for disdain and criticism of the Boggerate for that ambiguity. 

Unfortunately this strategy is an even more abysmal failure for the Nerd segment since they – rightly – recognize the communication and deliberately ambiguous and contradictory and largely ignore much of it as noise.

But I heard last evening that John Glenn had discorporated and so I gave that some cogitation. First I reflected on the reaction when he went into orbit. I was at schule at the time and the reaction among the teachers and staff ran from “wonderful, amazing” to “pay attention, this is BIG history.”

The reaction among the students ranged from “so what” to “finally, what took them so long to do something simple like this?”

Growing up in Huntsville, that latter was common. We tended to consider the whole space race a slow motion farce. Some of that was misplaced, a lack of understanding of organizational paranoia, but a lot of it was valid. And this brought me to the commonalities between the medicalist community and NASAl.

Both are autocratic, their way or be punished. Except in NASAl’s case, it seemed the punishment was meted out regardless of how you did something. Management was hideously insecure and violent. Spawned a lot of domestic abuse. Huntsville used to have more social workers than a city thrice its size. Divorces and battery. Also employment for a lot of those divorcees. 

And NASAl really hated astronauts. Would have much preferred their own civilian folk to military test pilots. Too independent and concerned for themselves. Not serf enough for the organization. So they got treated like chicken stercus.

And Glenn showed how you beat NASAl at its own game. You made it big and then made them be nice to you in exchange for giving them publicity. Because public approval was the only way to keep the politicians out of micromanagement. 

Anyway, Glenn was a good troop. And properly disrespectful to false authority.

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