When I first saw this in the news this morning, I found it amusing. Now, though, it has got severely under my skin. Mir's fifteen-year mission is, to my mind, the second-greatest achievement of the space age (after the Apollo moon landings). And it's a Soviet/Russian achievement.

It offends my sense of justice and fairness to see Taco Bell debasing the heroic (no, really) efforts of all the Russians who made Mir great, by offering free tacos to all Americans.

Yes, I know that the Russian space programme has had lots of international (specifically American) support and funding. Yes, I know that NASA has a hand in bringing Mir down safely in the Pacific. But does the fact that the Statue of Liberty was built by the French make it any less of a American symbol?

No, I'm not anti-American. I'm married to a wonderful Californian. This rant is aimed squarely at our capitalist Western society, where corporations steal honour from those build and create, keep up the myth that "everyone" can have a slice of the pie, while at the same time sliding the excessive profits straight into the pockets of the rich.

Someone, please tell me that Taco Bell is paying some kind of royalty to the Russian space programme for this monstrous abuse of taste and justice. I'd sleep better at nights.

Update: Hooray! It missed. Let's hope this doesn't even become a footnote in Mir's history.