As a people, there is a part of us that seeks to bring order out of chaos, to till the land and build structures that will stand long after we are gone as testimony to the existence of a great civilization. And there is a part of us that likes demolition derbies.
Both Parts 1 and 2 were gratified over the weekend by the staged, bloodless crash of a Boeing jetliner carrying 75 dummies and a lot of scientific equipment. "This will be an important experiment that could go a long way toward making airliners safer," said Part 1. "It may help us determine a means of avoiding the fires that almost always follow a crash, and it will provide us with a wealth of other scientific information on what happens in airplane accidents."
"You bet," said Part 2. "Very important; could be a breakthrough -- now let's get going and crash that plane."
After some delays caused by problems with the remote control apparatus, the crash came off on Saturday. It was witnessed by the secretary of transportation, 200 VIPs, aerospace industry officials and 400 journalists. It was the lead story on network news, where it was shown several times and then several times more (here she comes, banking in, lower . . . lower . . . KABLOOIE!) in slow motion. The next day it was on the front pages of the newspapers. Whatever the results (and in time they could prove to be important), as a scientific experiment it got a lot more coverage than something involving Bunsen burners or computer simulations.
This week a man in Los Angeles, unhappy with his Cadillac, plans to hoist the car on a crane to a height of 12 feet, and drop it as "a general statement against General Motors."
"Could be an important development in the relationship between consumers and manufacturers," says Part 1.
"Who do you think you're kidding?" says Part 2. "Now let's drop that Cadillac."