I wasn't there, so I want to know: when did it become teenagers' fault that we don't have a more robust space program? Seriously, it's a great strategy. Now that I'm 11 years (okay, okay: 10 years and 359 days) from the last year in which I could be considered a teenager, I'm really coming to appreciate it. I don't have to own up to my choices as a voter! I don't have to acknowledge where my own charitable contributions or volunteer time or lack of same are going! Instead of it being partly my fault for having a variety of political and social concerns and making choices based on balance there, I can simply blame the only people in our society who could not possibly have played a part in creating the situation. Hey, thanks, people who reached adulthood before me! You thought this one out really well! And teenagers are so used to being blamed for things their little brother or that jerk in their second period class did, what's one more? I mean, it's kind of a big one more. But they're already so irresponsible for not getting the jobs our system doesn't have for them--and selfish and small-minded for worrying about paying for college instead of Dreaming Big Dreams the way we did when college was cheaper--so it's sort of like a training program for taking the space-related blame. Neat how that works out.
The only drawback I'm seeing here is that I am young enough that I will never be able to claim, as some people shooting their mouths off today seem to feel they are able to, that the Apollo program was created of my inchoate childhood or teenage longings. See, I thought it was created of engineering. But I see now that that would make any lacks in current space programs the fault of people who decide how to fund engineers and for which projects, rather than the fault of kids these days not dreaming big enough. So clearly that doesn't work. Probably it's my own fault for aiming my inchoate teenage longings at getting out of the school system I was (of course) fully teenage-responsible for creating. Let that be a lesson, teenagers!
Well. There's my quota of exclamation marks for the year. And a serious and non-sarcastic thanks to those of you who were alive 40 years ago and manage to remember a great feat of engineering without casting aspersions on those who never had the chance to see anything similar.