(*Steps on soapbox*)
One of the most eye-opening changes to happen to me since I reached middle age is that I’ve developed a defiant political conscience and can become quite hostile about my need to change the world, even though some days I struggle to get out of bed in the morning.
I’ve become THAT irritable middle-aged tv viewer who knows absolutely nothing yet has an opinion on EVERYTHING and tuts loudly when the news is on, especially when I hear about another politician abusing their position and spending public funding on personal extravagance in the name of government expense.
Do you question the financial priorities of a government in charge of developing the country our future grandchildren will inhabit? Would you like to know just how exactly the government justifies its expenditure and prioritizes what to spend our taxes on, without bias? I question how politicians sleep at night when so many of their decisions seem to bear no relevance to saving, preserving or prolonging human life, and instead are frittered away on useless research projects.
And the prolongment of life is getting kind of important to me now.
I’ve never understand why we spend money on grants for pointless research that has little relevance to our day-to-day existence, especially when we have homeless people on our streets, victims of violence without access to justice, mentally ill people without access to the right treatments and children still in care.
And then there are space programs.
Although our government has pulled the plug on much of the scientific research and development previously assigned to space, only a few years back we were spending up to $1.6 billion on space research.
Does anyone really give a fuck about what’s going on in space? Does anyone really care if a planet we’ve never heard of suddenly implodes, shimmies over to another orbit, or if in the year dot we can transport humans to some planet that cannot sustain human life. Admittedly, I may be guilty of over-simplifying this and NB would jump in here with some intelligent and soul-destroying argument about research in space no longer being just about rockets and astronauts, (but satellites communication and spying), but the fact is, there are so many more worthwhile, life-saving projects we could be developing with all that money.
It’s not that I’m not progressive or forward thinking but I suspect that much of the scientific research carried out in our universities has far more to do with our standing in world politics and one-upmanship, than genuine need.
How many more unexplained explosions at NASA will make the news – at the loss of millions of dollars and precious human lives – to be met with a shrug of the shoulders, and a ‘back to the drawing board’ attitude, even though much of the public don’t care?
Imagine how many homeless people those shitty rockets could have housed in the US, how many drug abusers could be rehabilitated, how many cancer patients could receive treatment and how many refugees might have been re-homed.
(*steps off soapbox*)