Saturday, June 16, 2007

We've come a long way, maybe

A friend of mine forwarded this article to me yesterday. Upon reading it initially, I had to double check to make sure it was not something from The Onion.

Pentagon officials on Friday confirmed to CBS station KPIX-TV in San Francisco that military leaders had considered, and then subsequently rejected, building the so-called gay bomb.

"The Ohio Air Force lab proposed that a bomb be developed that contained a chemical that would cause enemy soldiers to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistibly attractive to one another," Hammond said after reviewing the documents.
Apparently this proposal was submitted to the Pentagon in 1994. Thirteen years ago, our Department of Defense considered, albeit briefly, the idea to be a potentially viable one. Now, I know the whole non-lethal weapons program whole-heartedly encourages "outside the box" thinking; remember brown noise? But a "bomb" designed to "turn the enemy gay"...that just seems too ludicrous for the military to have even considered. Yeah, they did ultimately conclude that it was a stupid idea, but they still considered it. The Ohio Air force wanted $7.5 MILLION dollars to develop their "weapon," and for a short time, the Pentagon was all, "Yeah, okay, we could maybe fund that endeavor, sure." That's enough for me to shake my head in awe that such a thing was possible just a little over a decade ago.

I guess that I'm still young enough to be surprised by how quickly things change. So much of what is totally commonplace today did not even exist in 1994 - reality TV*, text messaging, Yahoo!, Fox News, Dakota Fanning**... It doesn't feel like it was all that long ago, but a lot truly has changed since then. I can only hope that we've made enough progress, not just in the entertainment and information sharing worlds, but in our society as a whole, that a "gay bomb" proposal would not only be laughed at and ridiculed into oblivion, but it would result in the proposer's firing and public shaming because there are enough gay and lesbian folks in high levels of government not to stand for such rubbish. I don't know how realistic this hope is, but I'll hold on to it.

*Technically, The Real World premiered in 1992, but the Survivor-era scourge was still a mere twinkle in Mark Burnett's wee, beady eye.
**Okay, so she was born in February of '94. She didn't exist at the beginning of the year, though.


Lord Chimmy said...

Sadly, this is just one of many "crazy ass" military projects.

I like how homosexuals are viewed as sex zombies unable to control their desires.

The need to work on the brown sound though. Just for hilarities.

Momentary Academic said...