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ISSUE 120 VOL 12 PUBLISHED 2/23/2007

Diaper lady crosses line, country

By Shayna Melgaard
Staff Writer

Friday, February 23, 2007

Dear Astronaut Lisa Nowak,

What happened?

Seriously. Diapers? Didn’t NASA put you through rigorous psychological evaluations prior to you becoming a full-fledged astro-nut? Excuse me, astronaut. It’s just that all the other witty journalists have come up with these clever little puns about you being crazy while simultaneously being part of the space program. I mean, clearly your now-obvious mental instability slipped under NASA’s radar during a routine evaluation, because it’s not like sending a human being into outer space would really have any effect on their mental health, right? Now that’s nuts.

So, how did you, Lisa, a crazy person from birth, become a national hero in the first place? I mean, being insane and a woman. Only people like Condoleezza Rice can utilize those characteristics to gain public attention. Well, I guess Britney Spears has kind of made that work for her as well. Oh, and Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. And Mary-Kate Olsen, Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff, Madonna and the Dixie Chicks who just won a slew of Grammys on Feb. 11. (Oh, come on. Like anyone who sings about killing an abusive husband named Earl and dumping his body in a lake isn’t a little crazy. Yeah, I get it. They’re such advocates of worldwide peace and anti-violence that they encourage a little tongue-in-cheek murder.)

Apparently, controversy wins accolades.

Thus the sudden acclamation of you, Lisa, as a national hero-gone-wrong. I mean, no one even knew who you were two weeks ago. But wow! Look at you now! News sure travels fast when you toss a little pepper spray, some rubber tubing and a knife in the car and head to Florida. But I really do think it was the diaper that made people stand up and realize that, yes, the U.S. space program is still operating. And man, oh man. We’ve sure been neglecting our cadets. Lisa, you single-handedly brought the heroism of NASA back to the American spotlight. And just in the nick of time!

Interestingly, of late I’d been wondering who my future daughters will be able to look up to (besides their future mother). Of course, Anna Nicole Smith, the obvious choice role model, is now deceased (may she rest in peace), so it really must have been written in the stars for events like you, Lisa, driving from Houston to Florida to kidnap your man’s other lover to coincide with TrimSpa killing Anna Nicole. Or whatever happened to her – I think the jury is still out on that one.

So with all of our insane powerhouse females wasting away or getting nose-jobs (Ashlee Simpson), it sure is a good thing you snagged national media attention when you did. I was starting to think the only news I was going to see on the tube would start to be dominated by all kinds of trivial stuff, like those Invisible Children or those wars in Iraq...or is it Iran? Whatever. I mean, God forbid we turn on the TV to hear about actual news. How depressing!

Well, Lisa. I guess what began as an inquiry into how you got so crazy has become something of an ode to your insanity. Lisa, you not only reminded us that there are things going on in this world besides all that celebrity gossip, but you proved to us that astronauts still are worthy of being called heroes. For astronauts are real people with real feelings who live perfectly normal lives just like the rest of us. Well, except you get NASA to pay for your diapers. Lucky.

Sincerely, Shayna Melgaard

Contributing Writer Shayna Melgaard is a senior from Bismarck, N.D. She majors in American studies with a media studies concentration.

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