And I think it's gonna be a long long time
Till touch down brings me round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home
Rocket man- Elton John
As if America needed another morality play, 2007 gave us Lisa Nowak.
Ms.Nowak, a captain in the US Navy, a NASA astronaut and a shining
example of a "successful single woman" made national
headlines in February when she allegedly assaulted
a fellow female NASA astronaut in an Orlando, Florida airport parking lot. Preliminary reports indicated that the assault was related to jealousy over a mutual acquaintance, a male astronaut and former
significant other of Ms.Nowak. Sordid details about her planning of the assault included pepper mace and diapers.
You can get the details in the National Inquirer
if you are curious.
To me, what is remarkable is America's fascination
with this story. The notion that smart and successful
people are somehow immune from relationship train wrecks is a bigger story. I am more surprised that
people are surprised. I neither envy nor pity Ms.Nowak, who
now has become little more than a Fatal Attraction cliche.
The story about the story is what I find compelling.
As the case goes to trial this fall I expect to hear
hundreds of media pundits asking this question:
"How could she throw it all away?"
spoken in serious tones with
As if the hearts of an astronaut were different
than our own. As though their years of mission
planning would be any help at all.