Jeff Spevak, Writer

Welcome to a Chronicle of Culture.

Tag: Space Force

Stylin’ with the Space Force

An acquaintance asked me last week if I’d stopped writing The Critical Mass. No, I said. Just been laying low, absorbed with the new job, visiting my 90-year-old mom in Cleveland, doing laundry.

And, to be quite honest, I had nothing to add to the blogosphere, and in particular the national debate surrounding Trump. Well, “debate” is not the right word for what we’re witnessing. Hundreds of doctors and psychologists have signed letters stating that the president has serious mental issues. Hundreds of lawyers have signed petitions declaring Trump has committed crimes. A national study of almost 200 political scientists concludes that Trump is the worst president ever and forever. Thousands of witnesses have corroborated accounts of Trump lying, assaulting women, cheating his business partners, calling neo-Nazis “very fine people,” referring to Mexican citizens fleeing poverty as rapists, steering government business to his own properties to financially benefit himself, violating campaign finance laws to buy the silence of Playboy models and porn stars with whom he’s had affairs, ordering children to be separated from their parents at our southern border, encouraging supporters at his rallies to physically attack protesters, abolishing environmental protections, evading taxes, asking the FBI to jail reporters, extorting foreign governments in his search of political favors, mocking the physical characteristics of people who question his integrity, spreading bizarre conspiracy theories, obstructing justice, creating fake national emergencies and launching military actions to distract from investigations into his corrupt administration, intimidating witnesses, consorting with murderous dictators in Russia, Saudi Arabia and North Korea, and lying about his golf scores.

There is no “debate.” Trump’s unfitness as a leader is a foregone conclusion.

But I cannot remain silent any longer on this latest outrage. The Space Force uniforms are insane.

To update readers on this sartorial saga, Trump announced early in his presidency that he was creating a sixth branch of the U.S. military, the Space Force, to… well, to fight our space wars. And this week the Space Force moved closer to reality, because we have now seen the Space Force uniforms.

I’m not sure why this announcement took so long, because we’ve been studying various uniform prototypes for decades, with hand-to-hand space combat in mind:

Alas, the Space Force has chosen to fly off in another direction. Surprisingly, our first look at the new outfits this week did not come with Melania strutting down a fashion runway. All we got were a few promo shots of…

Waitaminute! Will our Space Force be duck hunting?

As our brave men and women wrestle evil for control of the stars, they’ll be rocking in what’s called the OCP pattern, or multi-cam. Camouflage intended to hide our troops in jungle terrain, or in the desert, or when they’re walking through airports on their way to what Trump calls “shithole countries.”

The internet, one of the most-cynical inventions in the history of mankind, has already exposed the problem here: Wouldn’t our Space Force be better protected if our fighting men and women wore tunics decorated with stars and planets? If we want to think bigger, perhaps a supernova? Or, going in the other direction, a plain, black outfit? Because, those of us who go out at night and look up have noticed that space is mostly black.

At least the USSF could have picked a camo pattern that’s more cosmic. This one is called “Rhodesian Brushstroke,” and is appropriately spacey:

No, no, no, says the Space Force. Not only is the Space Force to be taken seriously because it has uniforms, but it also has a Twitter account. And someone in the Space Force with access to that presumably top-secret password immediately rushed to the defense of the uniforms with a tweet:

USSF is utilizing current Army/Air Force uniforms, saving costs of designing/producing a new one.

Members will look like their joint counterparts they’ll be working with, on the ground.

Let’s take this official statement at face value. A risky proposition of course, considering the Trump administration is not exactly tethered to reality. Is it “saving costs?” The statement here suggests the Space Force is concerned with a responsible – frugal, even – use of your tax dollars. Great, but the proposed U.S. military budget for 2020 is $718 billion. I think we could safely set aside $1 million to avoid embarrassing our Space Force when it encounters outer-space high society. You know the French Space Force is gonna turn some heads.

More telling, the USSF says these uniforms are intended for “on the ground” members.

OK. The initial Space Force proposal calls for 16,000 personnel. Doing what? Sitting at computer keyboards, gathering intelligence on potential targets launched by North Korea’s space program, marching in parades. How many Space Force people will actually see service in space? Not many, considering the cost to put them up there, and keep them up there. Men and women riding around in space ships, checking inspection stickers on satellites, shooting lasers at threatening aliens, whether they are from Betelgeuse or Mexico, is pure Trumpian fantasy. While we’re waging this Cold War like Slim Pickens riding a nuclear bomb in the final scene from “Dr. Strangelove,” the Russians are infiltrating the internet, creating divisions that are ripping our country to pieces.

When weighing the price tag of launching a nuclear war versus the cost of hacking our elections, the Russians are getting a real bargain.

Wouldn’t those 16,000 new Space Force recruits be put to better use as special agents assigned to fight the internet blitzkrieg that has been launched by Russia? We could even let them keep the same Batman T-shirts they wear when humiliating their Fortnite opponents.

Reality: If the USSF is really concerned with saving costs on designing/producing new uniforms for the brave men and women patrolling the distant, lonely reaches of the exosphere, it could go with real tried-and-true designs. Of which there are probably thousands stored in television and film production warehouses all over Los Angeles. Like these:

BE THE FIRST in your neighborhood to know when a new Critical Mass has been turned loose. Go to the “Subscribe” button on the web site jeffspevak.com for an email alert. You can contact me at jeffspevakwriter@gmail.com.

Trump shows us his space junk

Hey kids! Vote for your favorite Space Force logo and win a prize! Prizes like a chance – slim, but still a chance – for you and your family’s survival in the event of an intergalactic showdown between the Good Guys and the Bad Guys!

“Space is a warfighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea,” President Donald Trump said last March in a speech at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. “We may even have a Space Force … because we’re doing a tremendous amount of work in space. I said: ‘Maybe we need a new force. We’ll call it the Space Force.’ And I was not really serious. And then I said: ‘What a great idea! Maybe we’ll have to do that.’”

And that’s how momentous decisions are made. “I was not really serious… What a great idea!” Yet Trump’s announcement this week that he is ordering the creation a new arm of the American military to fight our future space wars has been roundly ridiculed, and deservedly so. Ridiculed not only by late-night TV comedians, but by military experts, including generals with serious scowls on their faces. That’s quite a range of mockery.

Vice President Mike Pence chimed in to defend our defense, calling for America to dominate outer space. Dominate! “Now the time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces,” he said, “to prepare for the next battlefield where America’s best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people and to our nation.”

We must protect our satellites, Pence said, from Russian and Chinese aggression. And I assume this means our military architects must hit the drafting boards to design menacing-looking space ships to defend our GPS signals and the colonies that we will establish as we venture to far-flung planets whose gravity is so powerful that carbon molecules falling through their atmospheres are squeezed into rains of diamonds. If there are riches to be mined, America must have them.

Impressionable children, the ones who will have to deal with the consequences of these actions, can be won over early with the ideas of cool-looking Space Force uniforms. And the emails from the Trump For President in 2020 campaign office calling for a vote on your favorite of six Space Force logos.

But most of us are not impressionable children. Our Darth Vader leadership needs to understand that the cosmos is not just the 21st-century version of Columbus sailing to the West Indians and writing in his journals that Europeans have to keep coming back, because there are plenty of native people there to be enslaved. There is accepted international space law. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 outlaws nuclear weapons and prevents any country from claiming ownership of the moon or any planet, reserving them for peaceful purposes. It has been signed by 107 countries, including the U.S. and Russia. Another 23, including China, agreed to the treaty after the closing of the signing period.

Of course, the world has taken note of the Trump administration’s disregard for any signed treaty it decides was a “bad deal.” So maybe The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 has been rendered irrelevant by Presidential Whim. “What a great idea!”

Despite the combative attitudes of the United States and Russia, our scientists and their scientists are already working together on the International Space Station. While Putin and Trump are exerting their malevolence on the planet, science and cooler heads are at work high overhead.

Robert Heinlein’s future was Starship Troopers. We don’t want that. We need to be working in the other direction. All of this outer-space ambition is coming from an administration that can’t get things done closer to home, like putting hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico back together, or getting clean water to the people of Flint, Michigan.

The Space Force won’t happen. Trump can’t just sign an executive order to make it happen; the last time a new arm of the military was created was 1947 and the U.S. Air Force. That was done by Congress, not President Truman. And who pays for it? In searching the internet, I stumbled on this comforting and amusing logic in a Pentagon in-house journal, Defense AT&L Magazine, a piece written by Air Force Lt. Col. Dan Ward:

In the Star Wars universe, robots are self-aware, every ship has its own gravity, Jedi Knights use the Force, tiny green Muppets are formidable warriors and a piece of junk like the Millennium Falcon can make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. But even the florid imagination of George Lucas could not envision a project like the Death Star coming in on time, on budget.

It is craziness – a Space Force, building a wall between the United States and Mexico – designed as distraction. Whether he’s targeting immigrants, Democrats, the media, the FBI, the CIA or his own cabinet, Trump is running out of Bad Guys to distract us from what’s going on: The most corrupt U.S. presidential administration, a gang of grifters, is going down. Because when this is all done, it’ll be worse than Watergate.

BE THE FIRST in your neighborhood to know when a new Critical Mass has been turned loose. Go to the “Subscribe” button on the web site jeffspevak.com for an email alert. You can contact me at jeffspevakwriter@gmail.com.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén