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Space Age Archaeology

Skylab: fear and loathing on Saturday Night Live

4 Oct 2011, 23:03 UTC
Skylab: fear and loathing on Saturday Night Live
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A couple of weekends ago I was glued to the computer, waiting to hear when and where the UARS re-entered. The blogosphere and the twitterverse were in a frenzy. One of the gems that emerged, via @cosmos4u and @spacearcheology, was this video of John Belushi in a sketch from Saturday Night Live in 1979. I'd not come across it in my search for the cultural footprint of Skylab. (Actually that's quite a good concept, I think!). There's a creepy World Trade Centre reference, and talk of probabilities - just the very stuff that psychologist Talma Kushnir identified as an issue feeding public fears. In general the sketch betrays a lack of faith in official information: of course they're going to tell us there's nothing to worry about! Skylab ends up not as passive technology, but a vicious world-destroying monster, paid for by John Belushi's hard-earned taxes.

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