Here Come the (Hip-Hop) Clowns

Trump sat in the Oval Office. Even though the room was empty, his face was contorting slightly as he ran through conversations in his head. Occasionally, he’d make little hand gestures. There was a knock on the door. It cracked open, and Sean Spicer stuck his head through the gap.

“You wanted to see me, sir?”

Trump massaged the bridge of his nose. “Seanie, we’ve been through this. You’re supposed to be in here on the hour, every hour, to give me updates on what’s happening out there. Of course I want to see you. You need to burst through that door, though. I want you exploding through that door. I want energy. Can you give me energy Seanie?”

“I believe so, sir.”

Trump gestured a small explosion with his tiny hands. “Boom, Seanie. Energy. Let me see some energy.”

Sean Spicer sighed, then threw the door open and jumped into the room. “Sir! Sean Spicer reporting the word on the Presidency, sir!”

Trump nodded slightly. “Much better, Seanie. I want to see that sort of performance at your press conferences. So far you’ve been lackluster. I need winners on my team, Seanie.” Trump leaned back into his chair. “Alright, gimme the bad news first.”

Sean squirmed and scanned the entire room even though it was empty. “Are you sure, sir? The last time I gave you the bad news first, you had a bit of an incident.”

Trump shook his head. “Don’t worry about it Seanie boy, give it to me straight. I had a television in here, but they took it away. Said I have a bunch of…” he waved at the paper work on his desk “…stuff to read and sign. Just give me the word”.

“Okay. Well, seems like you angered a lot of scientists lately.”

Trump shrugged. “So what. I hate eggheads. They think they’re smarter than me? I went to school too, you know. I built a bunch of schools. Take away their Twitter privileges. What are they going to do?”

Sean scratched his head. “They… they kinda went and made their own Twitter accounts.”

Trump frowned. “I don’t understand. Just phone up Twitter and tell them to cancel them. Shouldn’t be hard”.

Sweat started forming on his brow. “That’s not how it works. Even if they banned those accounts, they could just make more accounts, truthfully. Also, scientists are forming their own political party.”

“Losers. I’ve never seen an egghead get laid. The only thing scientists ever win are science fairs. Look, just make them go away, okay? Easy problem, go solve it. Next piece of news”.

“Okay, well it seems that a bunch of Juggalos will march on Washington this year sometime.”

Trump squinted. “What’s a Juggalo?”

Sean threw his hands up. “Goddamned if I know, sir. I did some research, but they’re some sort of loosely organized gang that worships the Insane Clown Posse.”

“The Insane Clown… what?” Trump stared at Sean for a while.

“It’s… it’s a rap group, based out of Detroit. They have a cult like following all over the nation, mostly in poor, rural regions.”

Trump put his child-sized hand up. “I don’t like clowns, Seanie. Had one at my birthday party as a kid. You come to my party, you’re going to act with dignity. I don’t want buffoons surrounding me. What are these clowns doing? What do they want?”

Sean looked around for a chair. “Sir, can I sit down?”

Trump thought about this for a moment, then raised a finger. “No. Now, get on with the clowns.”

Sean’s shoulders slumped. “I don’t know what their agenda is. Right now it’s stating that they’re marching “For all the weirdos, freaks, and side shows” and that they’re going to “Soak the town in Faygo”.

Trump waved it off. “Whatever, they sound dangerous. We’ll send in the army when they get here.”

Sean raised an eyebrow. “You mean the National Guard, sir?”

Trump’s face twisted. “Army, National Guard. The guys with guns, Seanie, same thing. Stop being an egghead. You’re not smarter than me.” Trump clicked his pen a bunch, then looked back at Sean. “Well, Mr. Smart guy, anything else?”

Stains immediately appeared around Sean’s armpits. He started trembling slightly. “It’s bad, sir. Please don’t throw anything at me.”

Trump raised both his hands, showing Sean his palms. “Nothing here, Seanie. You just let me have it.”

Sean stared directly at the window, not looking Trump in the eyes as he spoke. “They’re giving Alec Baldwin an entire episode of Saturday Night Live“.

There was a loud crash from the Oval Office. Sean Spicer tore out of the room. Loud cussing could be heard in every part of the White House. It soon subsided, until the only sound that could be heard was gentle sobbing into incredibly minuscule hands.

Sincerely,

The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. Faygo is a small brand of soda pop that comes from Detroit. It is incredibly popular with both the Insane Clown Posse and its followers the Juggalos. ICP shows usually have the rap duo spraying the drink into the crowd.

p.s.s. It hasn’t even been a week people.

 

The SpaceX Race

Elon Musk is shooting for the moon. Not literally, mind you. He’s shooting for Mars. Elon Musk and his venture, SpaceX, represents the first of what will soon be many; a private industrialist’s foray into space exploration. Up until recently, the exploration of space has been limited to governments. While the funding for NASA was high during the cold war, it tapered off afterwards, as the two competing countries had little to prove. This has changed in recent years, as countries like China and India make their way into space. People are becoming interested in space again.

Normally, during the launch of a rocket, the primary booster is jettisoned and discarded. To lower the cost of sending things into space, SpaceX is trying to reuse these boosters by landing them of at sea. SpaceX has managed to successfully land three reusable rocket boosters back onto platforms out at sea.

You might be one of those people who are wondering why we’re even still bothering with space. Right now, you’re rolling your eyes, saying “Mr. Charlton, there is nothing out there in space.” Pardon me if I come across a little rude here, but I’ll tell you what is in space. The Goddamn rest of the Universe.

There’s energy to be harvested, heavy metals to extract, light metals for those who prefer a more classic sound, water, and maybe even the possibility of life. Not to mention there is one monstrous thing waiting out there for the first person who decides to get there first. Money. With all of these resources out there, completely untouched and untapped, the first person to get their hands on that treasure would be untouchable. There’s trillions of dollars worth of resources out there. Space mining may create the first trillionaires.

Wrapped up in mask of someone who has humanities best interest at heart, whether it’s with space exploration or electric cars, you have to remember that Elon Musk is a business man, first and foremost. He’s known for SpaceX and Tesla, but was the founder of PayPal, the giant online service that handles billions of dollars of web transactions. I’m not suggesting that what Elon Musk is doing is less than admirable or without merit to humanity. He’s changed the way we do business with PayPal, he’s changing the way we drive and commute with Tesla, and he’s changing the way we look at space with SpaceX.

The only thing concerning me is he want to get other companies up into space. Governments, minus the occasional ‘Star Wars’ idea of putting nuclear devices in space, have so far been respectful of space. Would corporations be as respectful of the stars as they are of my space down here?

The last thing I want to see in the sky is a massive space billboard, a digital projection across the ionosphere, saying ‘Today’s sunshine brought to you by Coca-Cola’. You can be absolutely certain some cretin in the Coca-Cola marketing department would read this and think to themselves “You, know what, if we could do that, that would be great. Wouldn’t you want to see that? A friendly reminder to our customers that, hey, if your feeling parched, there’s always the refreshing taste of Cola-Cola to quench your thirst.”

I kid. Realistically though, there is another issue, and it still has to do with corporations entering space. It’s the debris. As you read this, there are roughly 29,000 bits of trash larger than a cantaloupe, 670,000 pieces of trash bigger than a marble, and there’s 170 million pieces smaller than that. Even something like a fleck of paint can do damage when it’s traveling at kilometers per second. Should an error occur, and a commercial rocket ends up accidentally hitting a satellite, then the results could be catastrophic. The two object could break into thousands of pieces themselves. This debris could impact other satellites, causing them to get destroyed and become trash as well. It’s called the Kessler syndrome, a runaway of space collisions, rendering our ability as a species to leave the planet impossible. Simply put, if there’s too much junk in orbit, we as species will be unable to leave and be stuck on Earth.

Should we be worried about corporations leading the pack regarding space exploration? Will they be able to handle their own due diligence in our orbit? I’ll be talking about that tomorrow.

Sincerely,

The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. It’s a big enough topic for two posts, so I’m going to milk it when I can.

p.s.s. Although I’d be annoyed with a commercial, projecting a movie from space would be an interesting way to bring the world together.