In about a month, I'll be travelling to Amsterdam to present my paper, One Giant Leap for Bureaucracy. The piece is about how NASA is more concerned with maintain its authorative position in space travel than allowing private citizens to enter space. NASA's just like any other bureaucracy, more concerned with its public image than bringing humanity into space.
Enter The Astronaut Farmer, a movie about Charlie Farmer (Billy Bob Thorton) building a rocket on his Texas ranch. When he tries to buy rocket fuel for his launch, FBI and a smattering of other government agencies find out and try to shut him down, notably NASA and the FAA. The overarching sentiment on why they don't want him to launch: they don't want to be embarassed.
It was a pretty good movie, though sometimes overdone and scientifically shaky. But the theme is disturbingly accurate.