SPACE, THE FINAL FRONTIER,
WHERE MANKIND REMAINS AFRAID TO GO
Fifty years ago, the other day, I was standing at the bottom of the giant television screen of the time at Disneyland (back then they put about sixty regular televisions in a block and then gave each t.v. a part of the picture to project). Everyone was cheering for the crew, as Apollo 11 did its thing and the famous, much argued, words of Neil Armstrong came back to earth. What happened after that is another chapter of American media sadness. The media basically dumped the space program and the effort to go to space descended into social arguments about how to spend the money better down on earth. To commemorate the landing of the U.S. Astronauts on the moon yesterday, the American launched into space to go to the space station in a Russian craft from the Russian spaceport. Now how is that for a total embarrassment that is not being portrayed as a total embarrassment? More like humiliation. A great country that flew high and far, cedes its entire space program to the Russians who didn’t make it but won that space ‘competition’ hands down over time. Our media is nothing more or less than a paid-for organ of mostly nasty wealthy men who don’t really seem to give a damn about anything but right here, right now, and oh yes, “give me the money”. These people and their mass media hurt this country, as if by driving a stake right into its very heart. What future? As the movie line in the Big Chill so aptly described when the preacher, talking about the kid who’d committed suicide, said these words “Where did Alex’s hope go?” Where did America’s hope go? Well, it was taken, and is America going to ever take it back or just continue to blather on and endure through one sweet talker, or not so sweet talker, after another.
To sign off on the exploration of space, whether the reason is one of spending too much money, or how it would be spent better down here, or even how that exploration is too dangerous and too difficult to consider continuing, it is a surrender of the human spirit so deep and telling, and downright defeatist, that it has to create anger and harsh emotion in those humans who understand, downright know, that humanity is destined for space by its very creation and composition. Many of us born before the moon expeditions were denied space, and any participation in going out there, or even vicariously enjoying others going out there by some humans who felt that their best interest is served by sitting at the bottom of the planetary well and staring down at their own navels. Millions of children were denied space by this celebration of deliberate ignorance, so that money and assets could be distributed to a very few of those humans, that money that wasn’t spent on going to war or on such an overblown development of national defense that it remains ridiculous to this day.
How many millions, or billions, of future members of humanity, will be denied the ability to seek adventure, knowledge, and understanding of the universe by the small-minded, the selfish and those who simply do not, and probably cannot, have any clue. Earth has been explored and humans need to go on and really do stuff, not retreat and do the same things all over again. Earth is being used up, and that leaves only the assets of the rest of the universe to fuel humanity’s growth, and without that growth, there will be no humanity over time. Finally, one giant factor that has been overlooked since the ‘space race,’ is just how much of humanity was quieted, was held back, was literally denied the ability to dream. Going into space to explore where no human has ever gone before is not an option unless you consider the other option as the default, and that’s the slow eradication of humans from planet earth.
If you don’t have the capacity to dream anymore, or are too old, or are without funds, then dream for your children so they don’t have to dream alone…or not at all.
James Strauss has a Special Price on two exciting CIA adventures of Arch Patton