Thanks for the Ride, Falcon

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2009 1:52 PM CDT
An image rendered from video and released by KMGH-TV in Denver.   (AP Photo/KMGH-TV)
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(Newser) – Just about everyone seems to hate Richard Heene, but the emotion just proves how powerfully the balloon boy hoax gripped our collective imagination. “Had Richard called 911 and reported that he’d last seen his son near a Greyhound bus station, almost nobody would have cared,” writes Brandon Keim for True/Slant. But balloons still hold a thrill.

Unlike a plane, which is by now a prosaic utility, “a balloon is imagination and voyage, tied to our fingertips as children, and still tethered in the memories of our adult selves.” We weren’t just frightened when we thought 6-year-old Falcon Heene had taken flight, “but secretly thrilled too, and perhaps a little jealous.” So it’s hard to hate Richard Heene; for a moment, he let us all fly.