Tuesday, July 21, 2009

moon shot

I’m trying to write a review while watching all the moon landing retrospectives on the History Channel and Discovery. What strikes me most--aside from the sheer balls and idiocy of these people for even attempting this feat--is how tiny we have become.

What a paucity of imagination and utter petty-mindedness infiltrates our national dreams today, in comparison to these giants of forty years ago.

Forty years ago! Have you seen what passed for computers for these people? The analog dials clicking over, the toggle switches, the huge plastic buttons that are less sophisticated than those on most modern gas pumps? Yet they got to the goddamn MOON!

In comparison to what those people dreamt of and accomplished with such primitive tools, our leaders today, and our national dreams are puny, pinched, and pathetic. Go back and watch the Sotomayor hearings again if you don’t believe me. Listen in on what passes for debate on health care reform on any MSM channel. The fact that we're STILL arguing over self-evident things like the need for health care and listening to the mindless jabber of racist senators to this day demonstrates how small-minded we are.

Granted, it gives me hope that Obama has inspired so many people and that he is trying to push through some immense, earth-shattering projects that are so desperately needed.

It’s the mindless, petty selfishness of the opposition that illustrates my point: the knuckle-dragging, reactionary stubbornness of people like Buchanan and Sessions. The senseless, selfish wailing of O’Reilly and Beck on the horrors of insuring Americans. The framing of the so-called debate by Matthews, Todd, and Gregory that plants it squarely within the false parameters of the insurance industry’s talking points.

Forty years ago, the men and women who worked for NASA were fearless. They had virtually no hope of succeeding, yet they punched a tiny hole in the fabric of the universe and propelled soft and fragile humans into the cold of space, and, even if only for a brief moment, put them down on the rock that humans have looked at in wonder since we were living in caves.

What incredible dreamers; what incredible courage.

Today, we are craven. We have so many more tools, we have so much more power over the world, and knowledge of it than they did then. Yet we cower, and we tremble, and we check the polls. We run focus groups and we hem and haw and ‘study the problem,’ whatever the problem might be, ad infinitum, because we are terrified of doing anything, lest we threaten our personal well-being and comfort. Lest we fail.

The moon has never been further away. Humankind has never been smaller.

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