1. Every year or two, I fire up this film. And even knowing ahead of time the story and the outcome, by the end of this movie I am literally choked up. Nowadays the sadness comes from knowing what we as a species COULD DO, versus what we as a species are NOT DOING. Don’t even start with me about the ISS. Great big freakin’ deal. 200 some miles above the surface, and not even out of the actual atmosphere…46 YEARS after our species reached out and walked on another world. It is at times like these I become depressed, and I’m almost never depressed.
I see all of the cute little toys we think nothing of using day to day to spout utter idiotic nonsense across the ether, and first I know that almost ALL of these technological wonders are either directly or indirectly attributable to that decade where real STEELY EYED MISSILE MEN doing the impossible with technology that wouldn’t get a facebook post accomplished…shook the pillars of heaven.
We weren’t perfect even then. Our government was lying to its people about why we were overseas killing people, and setting up a system of entitlements to enslave our own people by giving them whatever they wanted with no responsibility to earn it, or pay it back. Enslavement because it gives the impression that nothing need be earned, that the government will provide, and after generations of this nonsense, the people who grew up with this system know of no other way to exist. Their freedom has been sucked away by the promise of bread and circuses, while those who pay the piper are slowly ground down under more and more taxation to pay for it all.
(Sounds kinda’ familiar…same stuff only worse going on now without the redeeming bits of those lost years.)
But even with all of that, humanity reached out and touched the sky, and for a short while, it appeared that we WOULD continue on a course that would lead to that famous quote:
“To boldly go where no one has gone before…”
Of course that isn’t what happened.
1b. I was a small child watching Neil Armstrong take that first step on a television in my 2nd grade class. I grew up having witnessed greatness. I look around and see what a flipping mess is being made by people who have no understanding just how fragile and precious our existence is, and realize that as a species we have lost that wonder and awe of our place in the cosmos and are now firmly in the process of navel gazing.
Oh for sure there are those who are still looking at the high frontier, and I salute them. But when an ignorant fool who’s greatest accomplishment has been to bed and marry a Kardashian becomes a member of the top 100 most influential people IN THE WORLD, I feel a profound sense of loss.
Loss at what we could have done in those 46 years, and loss at what we as a civilization have become.
2. This originally was going to be a Last Bits post…but its just one subject, and while dear to my heart, it is a bit of a depressing read.