McSweeney’s rubs it in with some cruel satire.
By now youâ€™re probably wondering what this is all about, why FBI agents pulled you out of your barista job, threw you on a helicopter, and brought you to NASA headquarters. Thereâ€™s no time, so Iâ€™ll shoot it to you straight. Youâ€™ve seen the news reports. What hit New York wasnâ€™t some debris from an old satellite. Thereâ€™s an asteroid the size of Montana heading toward Earth and if it hits us, the planet is over. But weâ€™ve got one last-ditch plan. We need a team to land on the surface of the asteroid, drill a nuclear warhead one mile into its core, and get out before it explodes. And youâ€™re just the liberal arts major we need to lead that team.
Sure, weâ€™ve got dozens of astronauts, physicists, and demolitions experts. Iâ€™ll be damned if we didnâ€™t try to train our best men for this mission. But just because they can fly a shuttle and understand higher-level astrophysics doesnâ€™t mean they can execute a unique mission like this. Anyone can learn how to land a spacecraft on a rocky asteroid flying through space at twelve miles per second. I donâ€™t need some pencilneck with four Ph.Dâ€™s, one-thousand hours of simulator time, and the ability to operate a robot crane in low-Earth orbit. I need someone with four years of broad-but-humanities-focused studies, three subsequent years in temp jobs, and the ability to reason across multiple areas of study. I need someone who can read The Bell Jar and make strong observations about its representations of mental health and the repression of women. Sure, youâ€™ve never even flown a plane before, but with only ten days until the asteroid hits, thereâ€™s no one better to nuke an asteroid.
Read the whole thing.
It was easier in my generation’s day. Liberal arts major just learned to code and became IT professionals.