Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Latest Buzz


Our man Aldrin has already danced with the moon, why not the stars??

While enjoying the stair-master at the gym this morning (the closest I will probably ever get to dancing), I saw on HLN that Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, first PhD in space and second man on the moon in 1969, will be a participant on season 10 of Dancing With The Stars.

Rushed out to vote, then rushed home to Google, and found many mentions across the web of the new dancing line-up. Two articles mentioned that Buzz will be the oldest contestant ever on the series at age 80. I see no reason why this should be a problem – he's still spryer than chaps half his age, and astronauts are notorious for staying healthy and active.

Astronaut Edwin Aldrin
I've heard casual chit-chat about this show before, but have never seen an episode -- not precisely my cup of Darjeeling. However, I might impose on a relative to TiVo this for me as long as Buzz competes! Other contestants on the list are… Shannen Doherty? Really? Some producer is still willing to employ her? That might be harder to stomach. Also: Pam Anderson, skater Evan Lysacek, NFLer Ochocinco... and then a pack of collagen-injected hollywoodies I didn't recognize.

There always appear to be strong opinions about whether our space heroes should be "stars" in the glitzy, over-developed American sense of the word. Astronauts themselves have an internal cultural habit of looking down their noses at the idea, and stop just short of shunning those who court obvious upsides to fame. I’ve never understood this mentality.

While it’s clear to everyone by now that Neil Armstrong prefers to sit at home watching television while Buzz Aldrin likes to be ON it, I’ve always felt this should be left up to the preferences and natural personality of the space-faring crews once their jobs are done.

Buzz and Lois Aldrin
Buzz with wife Lois

If there were more astronauts on TV, I sure wouldn't have canceled my cable package years ago out of boredom and disgust. Why glorify actors? Last I checked, they weren’t racking up college degrees, spending years in grueling training, or risking their very lives for the advancement of human knowledge. They merely stand in front of cameras to play pretend for a living, and yet they are far more recognizable when walking down the street than anyone on a current Shuttle crew.

It shouldn’t be that way. It should be precisely the opposite. So here’s to you, Buzz… for being brave enough to dance before the nation. It’s a great opportunity for parents everywhere to tell their children who you are, what you accomplished, and what our space program could still do if it had the support it deserves! Shine that limelight, I say. Get the kids interested again. It maybe the only way we get anywhere now.

Quick mention: William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy both turn 80 in time for the 2011 season. Can they play next? =)


Mrs. L said...

I think Nimoy would be a much classier dancer than Shatner, but I think Shatner would be more fun to watch.

And though title of "astronaut" much like "president" stays with one forever, it's been many years since Buzz was up in space so good for him for staying active, trying something new.

Sach said...

You sound like 'God' from 'Conversations with God'! Glorify the teachers and the single parents, and divert money to them instead of NFL stars and Hollywood and that 'caged fighting thing' that everyone watches!

Vote? What vote? Like Democrat or Republican? I SO doubt you're going to give us more insight into your political preferences? :D

One of The Guys said...

I'm all for it! He'd be one classy contestant. And it's not a bad show as reality shows go, although I don't really watch that much.

I think it could be a good opportunity for parents to talk to their kids, but honestly I don't know how many people watch that show w/their kids. Might be on too late for many younger kids.

But it's still ALL GOOD, as the young crew says. And at least it's not "Keeping up with the Kardashians!"

PillowNaut said...

@Sach - LMAO, I can say with great certainty that's the first time anyone ever said to me, "YOU SOUND LIKE GOD." Sorry if it seemed proselytizing, LOL. As for voting, Texas held Primary Elections for Governor and state seats. But right you are -- no insights on preferences. I'm all over the political map from issue to issue, and there are better things to argue about ;)

@OOTG - Oh is it on late at night? Well, most people TiVo now and watch when they like, so I can still hope for the best!

Amnon I. Govrin said...

Nice post, H.

Buzz is actually going to make me watch this show again... Oh, well. I hope he has some secret dancing abilities we don't know about...

Covered this myself on Spacepirations :-) http://www.spacepirations.com/2010/03/buzz-outstepping-neil.html