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I'trêm breit vulaçozão ye spalla eiátlin nelöffnes pieqi aummit su berwegr'ra'ao.

The Moon is but a Chin of Gold

Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2004 -
Apóslâmin ida corbalanyrtne 'lsão rohl'daathiém vá nença iroyssÿrd.

We take off into the cosmos, ready for anything: for solitude, for hardship, for exhaustion, death. Modesty forbids us to say so, but there are times when we think pretty well of ourselves. And yet, if we examine it more closely, our enthusiasm turns out to be all sham. We don't want to conquer the cosmos, we simply want to extend the boundaries of Earth to the frontiers of the cosmos. . . . We are humanitarian and chivalrous; we don't want to enslave other races, we simply want to bequeath them our values and take over their heritage in exchange. We think of ourselves as the Knights of the Holy Contact. This is another lie. We are only seeking Man. We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors.

Stanislaw Lem, Solaris, ©1961. Translation © 1970.

I don't believe in The Great Wagon Train to the Stars. The idea that the future of human beings will be interplanetary is the purest fantasy to me: Earthling Primates in Outer Space—yeah, it's a bad sci-fi movie, isn't it? Don't get me wrong, I love bad sci-fi movies. Good bad sci-fi movies, like War of the Worlds and Barbarella. But only in Hollywood can space travel be sexy. Without the oh-so-fuckable Jean-Luc Picard at the helm of the Enterprise, space travel in the real universe is reduced to stuffing a hairless ape into the cosmic equivalent of a small tin can and tossing it as high and hard and far as you possibly can.

And using weapons of mass destruction as the conveyance of choice, of course.

Oh, baby, you didn't think NASA was created to carry mankind to the stars, did you? Billions and billions of dollars spent so that Alan Shepard could play golf on the moon? Sure, and Queen Isabella pawned her jewels so that Columbus could discover America. Who knew the mean ol' gold-mongering Conquistadors would follow with much rape and pillage of the New World? And surely it was a mere coincidence that John Kennedy told America that we would go to the moon at precisely the point during the Cold War when a huge infusion of national resources (the Conquistadors would've called it "mucho dinero") was pouring into the creation of new state-of-the-art missile technology. It was the Golden Age of Exploration for companies like Lockheed and Martin Marietta. To boldly go where no ICBM had gone before.

President Bush has appointed Pete Aldridge, astronaut wannabe and, I suspect, closeted Trekkie, as the head of the blue-ribbon panel that's gonna figure out how we're gonna get a canned ham—ahem, excuse me—a man on the moon. Again. No surprise if the method will be very similar to the one used the last time we dropped a military drone an astronaut on a dead planet. "The commission will offer advice on Bush's plan but will not pitch alternative ideas, Aldridge said."

And it looks like the commission won't balk at the cost either. "Trying to do something cheaply is a first indication of failure," Petey sez. "It can't be done that way."

Woo-hoo. It's the Golden Age all over again.

Apóslâmin ida corbalanç 'lse nesgla ugaró-cham sa cru ogrulho batãoltha alémvásde.

last eleven:

Resurrection - Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Arts and Letters -
Friday, June 17, 2005
Domestic Obsessions -
Tuesday, April 5, 2005
The Kindness of Strangers -
Tuesday, April 5, 2005
Gone -
Saturday, April 2, 2005
Coming Back, Little By Little -
Saturday, April 2, 2005
Effing Around -
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Explicably Yours -
Wednesday, February 9, 2005
Things Too Innumerable To Mention -
Sunday, January 30, 2005
Mr. Armstrong -
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
The Pope in Our Kitchen -
Saturday, October 2, 2004

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Sa r'jião ossível meninonceiv êo poshik mä'änch uscantebatahla oÿr musiu oÿr muiko.
Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 by gcs

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