Official White House Position: We're Not Building A Death Star
from the but-star-destroyers-are-on-the-way dept
About the only good advice I’ve ever given anyone about the way in which we spend our time on the interwebz was this: don’t take any of it too seriously. Having a sense of humor is essential for getting through internet sites and forums, or else the cacophony of “Vote [insert election candidate de jour here]!”, “Obama murdered my mom in Kenya as a child!”, and all the other mindless shouts and incorrect facts you’ll find on a nearly unlimited basis will drive you fully insane. We’ve talked before about how humor can help you utilize internet piracy to your own ends, for instance. Conversely, the lack of a sense of humor can also result in stupid legal fees.
And, it turns out, a sense of humor can apparently help a presidential administration deal with internet pranksters. Someone (we’re looking at you, 4chan) thought it would be funny to start a “We the people” petition for the United States government to build a death star, and it gained enough signatures to require a response. And respond the administration certainly did, in a short essay titled “This isn’t the petition response you’re looking for.”
“The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
-The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
-The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
-Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
And that’s just the beginning. The essay goes on, with several more memorable quotes and a nod to the international space station as an actual space station the government has in part developed. Now, it would have been quite easy for the administration to ignore this particular petition, rules be damned. No one would have cried foul if they hadn’t responded. But by responding, they endear themselves not only to the people who put forth this petition, but anyone reading the story about it as well. It’s quite easy for us to talk about government as though it’s just some big robotic thing. We forget that government is people, but lines like:
“Even though the United States doesn’t have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we’ve got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we’re building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun.”
…remind us of who we’re dealing with. Kudos to our government for showing that they have a sense of humor and that they’ve hired at least one person who can make enough Star Wars references to placate fans like me. On the other hand, shame on that same government for taking the time to respond to this petition before responding to a plethora of others far more serious in nature.