We Now Return To ‘Space Force: Galactic Guardians Of The Universe'
Republicans in Congress finally got off their asses and agreed to pass another COVID-19 relief bill. The stimulus isn't quite the Starbucks double espresso we got in April. It's more like the weak-ass Folgers your aunt used to dilute with tap water. But we're not so bougie that we're gonna knock $600 like a common Lucille Bluth. People are struggling and need all the help they can get. But still, Republicans were pleading poverty at the same time Mike Pence was bragging about the Space Force.
We won't hold it against you if you've forgotten, but the Space Force is Donald Trump's dumbass idea for another branch of America's military industrial complex ... in SPACE. No, it's not a joke. Space Force is estimated to cost $13 billion over the next five years, because it's OK to “mortgage our children's futures" if we can go look for some monoliths.
Friday, Republicans were still forcing Democrats to play the home game of Sophie's Choice over the stimulus, so it was the worst time for Pence to update us on the Space Force. But Karen Pence informs us (she does not inform us) that his timing is always premature.
Yes, it's been a long two years, but we've finally settled on what we're going to call members of the Space Force, and it's really stupid.
PENCE: We just returned from the Oval Office and so it is my honor, on behalf of the President of the United States, to announce that henceforth, the men and women of the United States Space Force will be known as guardians.
Pence also said some more jingoistic crap.
PENCE: [The Space Force] will ensure for generations that America remains as dominant in space as we are on land and sea and air.
That's right. Pence and his monster movie boss can't comprehend the idea of a united humanity exploring the vastness of space together. No, it's just more territory for Americans to conquer. As the Doctor said, "You don't need to own the universe ... just see it. That's ownership enough." But, sure, Mr. Vice President, tell us all about American dominance.
Everyone rightly pointed and laughed at the name “Space Force Guardians," which sounds like something from a mid-1990s Marvel comic (for the non-geeks reading, that was an especially crappy period). People smarter than Pence — a list longer than the one Santa checks twice — also noticed the similarity to the popular Guardians of the Galaxy films. Director James Gunn even joked about suing Pence for copyright infringement.
@JamesGunn Maybe I can make them all sleep?— Pom Klementieff (@Pom Klementieff)1608337624.0
According to “Space Force," which is apparently a real thing now with office space and working telephones, the name “Guardians" is the result of a “yearlong process" (!) where it appears space professionals and members of the general public collectively trolled the Trump administration. Or maybe they never saw the Guardians movies, which earned a combined $1.5 billion worldwide. People had busy lives before COVID-19.
"The opportunity to name a force is a momentous responsibility," the military branch said in a statement. "Guardians is a name with a long history in space operations, tracing back to the original command motto of Air Force Space Command in 1983, 'Guardians of the High Frontier.'"
"The name Guardians connects our proud heritage and culture to the important mission we execute 24/7, protecting the people and interest of the U.S. and its allies," it added.
“Guardians" were also the heroes on “GoBots," the sloppy seconds of “Transformers." The Super Friends were also known as the significantly less concise "Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians" during the show's final season.
The Space Force really should've chosen almost any other name.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).