Sunday, February 16, 2003

Bill Whittle, of Eject! Eject! Eject!, has written a new essay about courage and how it relates to the fate of the shuttle Columbia.

Whittle's essay is well-written for the most part, but I do think that he tends to ramble a bit, and in some spots he could really use an editor. He includes a mini-rant on how Hollywood gets courage wrong, by citing the film Top Gun. Now, I agree with him here on this particular film, but it's telling that he doesn't see fit to give Hollywood credit for getting it right in films like The Right Stuff and Apollo 13. He also derails a bit into "Why we're better than the terrorists", which felt totally out-of-place given what he's trying to do here. I don't enjoy being made to feel that I have to be a conservative to admire the astronauts and other people who lay their lives on the line in the service of our country or our species, and I don't feel that a tribute to these noble souls is the place for more ranting about what the America-hating liberals are doing to our college campuses.

But, if you skip over all that stuff, there's quite a bit of gold in Whittle's essay, and his concluding section -- in which he describes what the last moments of Columbia's descent might have been like for the crew riding her to their doom -- is simply haunting.

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