In The Event of [ ____ ] Disaster

Having worked in advertising the past eight years, I've encountered a few worst-case-scenario assignments. The most memorable were in anticipation of Mad Cow disease and bird flu. Thankfully, none of those scenarios came to pass. But having gone through the exercise of "what if, and then what?" gives me an appreciation of this William Safire-penned speech. Written for Nixon, In The Event Of Moon Disaster prepared for some unforeseen catastrophe that would have prevented Apollo 11 astronauts from returning to Earth from the moon.
Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.
This first sentence is a blatant reminder that politicians rarely speak with such eloquence any more. Where there was an implied sense of reverence and respect for the American public in Nixon's day (yes, I am aware of the irony in that statement), now is self-congratulatory smugness and complacency, if not mild retardation. Something to keep in mind with the election year approaching. Then again, if the wrong candidate wins again, there's always the burgeoning space tourism industry - and a potential to escape not only to Canada, but perhaps our nearest celestial neighbor.

[via Kottke.org]

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