BlogCast: Billboard Chart Topper Mood / Moon Music

 

Full disclosure, I still am a diehard NASA geek. My fascination gets backdated to their Projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. So… yes… once again… this blog will rehash Apollo 11’s Golden Anniversary. But, try not to yawn and/or nod off… by blog’s end there’ll be an unanticipated, sonically / visually enhanced twist. That said, let’s blast this BlogCast off the launchpad…

This past Saturday evening, my primary mission became recreating 07/20/1969… inclusive of synchronizing my main timepiece to that half century old NASA timeline. And that countdown clock readout was telling me T-Minus 59:00 (OK… it was actually a red LED, forward moving digital alarm clock… so sue me!). Anyway, that meant I could fit in the playback of a mood enhancing compilation CD (featuring… what else… 1969’s pop songs). Yep, there was plenty of time before Neil Armstrong’s 10:56 p.m. EDT EVA, where he’d be taking his first “small step” onto the lunar surface.

By disc’s end it had suddenly dawned on me that I had heard two futuristically themed tracks, which had actually rocketed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart during lunar missions… the 5th Dimension’s Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In syncing to the May flight of Apollo 10 AND Zagar & Evans’ In the Year 2525 matching up to the Apollo 11 odyssey.

However… it’s the two contrasting, lyrical story-lines that are even more compelling… namely… Aquarius’ conjecture re humankind’s better days ahead versus 2525’s prophecy of a stark dystopian society… inclusive of humanity’s end.

That got me wondering… was a group hug for humanity in order? After all, an astounding half-century had somehow managed to elapse sans some itchy trigger fingered, foolhardy prez insanely spiking nuclear WMDs planet-wide… to be followed by that dunce’s “victory dance” in the irradiated end zone. Apparently… we had successfully averted morphing the 5th Dimension’s Aquarian dawn into a premature Zager & Evans, In the Year 10K dusk.

Of course… the day is still young! Lest we forget, the current nuclear saber rattler / little boy does want to play with his nuclear toys. He’s also so drunk on fake patriotism that, in all likelihood, he can hardly wait to see the “rockets’ red glare” and nuclear “bombs bursting in air”.

Well before Mister Ballistic gets a chance to dust off the cover of the nuclear launch code book, we had better launch this BlogCast’s two song set.

All you need do is “push the button” on each of these vids. I’d recommend first experiencing Aquarius’ elation before taking the plunge into the deep end of 2525’s despair.

5th Dimension ~ Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In

Zager and Evans ~ In the Year 2525

 

Hmm… now that we’ve tracked through both songs, maybe we should track down 7+ billion lead-lined Hazmat suits? Might the manufacturer cut us a sweet deal if we buy in bulk? Hey, it can’t hurt to ask, right?

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Mr. and Ms. Gorsky’s Message ~ NSFW 18+ Vid of the Day

With the Apollo 11 mission’s 50th anniversary hoopla already a turned page in humanity’s history book, I’ve been seriously considering the merits of presenting, in this venue, an amusing and intriguing backstory to Neil Armstrong’s “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” moonwalk.

What I’m alluding to is the Good Luck Mr. Gorsky (GLMG) saga, which has been circulating on the Interwebs since the mid 1990s… its ribald narrative focusing upon an incident that allegedly went down within a specific space / time continuum. Indeed, Wapakoneta, Ohio / early 1940s was where / when Neil, upon retrieving his baseball from beneath his neighbors’ open bedroom window had overheard an R / maybe even X-rated argument… Ms. Gorsky heatedly informing Mr. Gorsky he’d get what he wanted on the day the kid next door walked on the Moon.

If true… this certainly would’ve been an ear-opening moment during Armstrong’s innocent days of youth. Of course, “if true” are the operative words.

What our cooler heads tend to tell us is that GLMG is little more than fake news. In other words, the larger than life personae, which many of our space explorers command, can inspire tall tales. According to SNOPES, even Armstrong, himself, is alleged to have once attributed this cleverly crafted story to comedian Buddy Hackett. Of course, usage of “A-words” such as “alluding” and “alleged” do little to deflate this story’s sense of full blown credibility. Additionally, where are all the YouTube clips of Hackett telling this joke? Maybe I didn’t search long enough?

Well… on the morning after the first moonwalk’s golden anniversary I did wind up discovering my blog topper’s clip… not of Hackett but of a much more tastefully and tenderly presented teleplay… courtesy of the Chicago Comedy Film Festival. They’ve self-described their work as “smart comedy for smart people”.

And be Good Luck Mr. Gorsky fact or fiction… their vignette has afforded us a far deeper than crater deep message… namely…

It’s never too late to find / rediscover love… love that’s as enduring as the footprints Neil Armstrong left on the lunar surface… love as limitless as the cosmos, itself.

 

 

 

Many Moons Ago ~ A July Lunar BlogCast

PREFACE: For this BlogCast, playing back these two YouTube clips simultaneously allows Neil Armstrong to become an astronaut / DJ doing the talk-over intro to the Police track, Walking on the Moon.
.

On Sunday, July 20, 1969 at 10:56 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Neil Armstrong became the first (known) human to ever set foot on the Moon… and moments later, Buzz Aldrin joined him to become the second.

This “giant leap for (hu)mankind” had been the attainment of John F. Kennedy’s goal… that young visionary giant’s dream fulfilled… AND the culmination of a team effort involving an estimated 400,000 engineers, scientists and technicians… many of them having taken their President’s message to heart.

My own memories of this night center on the combined sense of heartfelt awe, thrills, and yes, even a bit of national pride… heady emotions, which managed to shadow me wherever I wound up. And there had been an abundance of brilliant light to create those shadows… be that the Apollo 11 crew’s beamed back to Earth lunar “Reality Show” (accompanied by CBS journalist / anchorman Walter Cronkite’s own play-by-play) OR during my own repetitious “small step” ventures into the great outdoors to naked-eye gaze upward at the waxing crescent phased Moon… lazily arcing SE to SW across Michigan’s after dark skies.

This past half century has not diminished my own wonderment one iota. I only wish that all who, alongside me, had eye-witnessed this event of the millennium could say the same… and that we… who never lost that rush… had better communicated our feelings to posterity.

Humankind needs an Apollo magnitude sense of accomplishment to transcend the daily drill. If for no other reason, that does keeps us out of trouble. But there really is one far greater reason, too. Without such adventure, humanity risks being reduced to droids… maybe even the Borg magnitude drones that inhabit Sci-Fi’s Star Trek universe.

 

 

One Giant Leap

 

9:32 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. That’s this day’s official blog posting time. This also precisely synchronizes with that 50 yester-years ago moment in time when the Apollo 11 Saturn-V, 1st stage, 5 Rocketdyne F-1 engines (literally) roared to life to send astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins soaring upward and into the annals of human history… their ultimate date with destiny… The Moon / Sunday, July 20, 1969.

At that meticulously mapped and scheduled space / time, Armstrong would become the first (known) human to ever set foot on the surface of another world… which had been an apogee moment / a dream fulfilled… the dream of the bold, think big, visionary: President John F. Kennedy.

Armstrong’s Tranquility Base moonwalk would begin by precisely aligning his words and deeds to take his “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Regrettably, a scant three years later, small-minded and tightfisted naysayers deemed space exploration a monumental waste of time and assets… money better spent on solving our earthly problems.

Such hastily fired off, retrorocket rationale does beg the question on this auspicious day in human history…

Just what did we actually gain from the NIxonian decision to pull the plug on NASA’s manned space program? Has not that same small mindedness and tightfistedness severely crippled virtually every attempt at working towards the betterment of our society / world?

True, the Space Shuttle program did usher in a new era of human space exploration… but… that was in low Earth orbit. Our astronauts were restricted to literally running around in circles.

The same can be said about earthbound problem solvers who lack that “one giant leap” type of thinking. Seeing how our worldly woes have yet to be effectively dealt with, would you not agree this has been a half century long waste of time and money?

 

 

 

Is It Too Late To “Do The Other Things”?

We’re within mere days of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong taking his “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”… thereby becoming the first (known) human to set foot on the Moon.

Not long after that astounding technological achievement, we were told that the prevailing mood throughout America had changed. In short… it had morphed into…

“Been there done that! (insert yawn) Now let’s solve problems on Earth!”

Granted, that second sentiment could be deemed a valid point. However, I’d sure as hell like to know what problems we’ve actually solved in the past half century? What about this unresolved 1 – 2 punch…

• Vying, meddling, outsider asshat leaders are hell bent on conquering the Middle East.
• Environmental damage has become so severe that, by 2050, Earth will become uninhabitable.

Of course, there is an inextricable link between those bullet-pointed, seemingly disparate issues.

That link is us. Too damned many of us are oil junkies, which leaves our leaders little choice but to risk going to war with oil-rich nations… just to secure us our “fixes”. And once we “catch that buzz” and hit the road in our gas guzzlers and heat / cool our energy inefficient homes, we’ll also be stomping our massive carbon footprints all over the Earth… trampling it to death!

Folks, that’s effing pathetic. And while what I’m about to say may sound cliche… damn it… I’ll say it anyway.

If we can put a man on the moon why the hell can’t the white dove of peace, someday, soar through Earth’s clean, clear skies… not only over the Middle East but worldwide?

Truth be told… if we had wanted it to be that way… we could’ve made it so.

The tragedy… this could’ve been “mission accomplished” decades ago. Had we applied and expanded upon that same Apollo technology and resolve, by now we could’ve been depending on a planetary network of solar energy collectors, which spew zero Carbon Dioxide.

Had that happened, today’s news headlines would not be all about little boy Trumpian aggression escalating Iranian / American hostilities and small thinking Trumpian “clean coal” nonsense and negligence precipitating environmental ruin and the destruction / death of our entire planet. But we chose to do nothing this past half century.

So, is it too late to undo the damage? Well to do so would require a visionary leader. On May 25, 1961 President John F. Kennedy said…

“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.”

That brilliant, insightful man could even foresee applying human know-how and resolve beyond our lunar ambitions. He actually said, “do the other things”!

“DO THE OTHER THINGS!!!”

A visionary President could reread Kennedy’s words… slightly revise and positively react to set a new goal:

“We choose to pursue Clean Energy Independence in the next decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.”

So who might that new, visionary leader be? Considering DC’s political climate change ever since January 20, 2017… no names come to mind.

 

 

 

 

 

21 Verse Salute: Nocturnal Admissions

Part One ~ The Awakening

 

Why oh why are we cursed? What’s the cause, bizarre dreams?

Ones, which lock tight our muscles, and stifle our screams.

While real world type nightmares, can inculcate fright,

There’s far more to my strange dream, this midsummer night.

 

From toss and turn slumbers, I abruptly awaken,

Are night terrors at fault, for my feeling so shaken?

I cannot help but wonder. What’s the cause? Who’s to blame?

Was THE VOICE really real, which had called me by name?

 

The whole room is spinning, my head is a reeling,

Try as I do, I can’t shake that weird feeling.

I’m not buzzed on booze, doped on drugs, NO, not my scene,

So what the Hell won’t permit me to feel calm, serene?

 

I hide beneath blankets, pillows cover my ears,

Such childish defenses, can’t fight grown up fears,

Bits and snatches besiege me, my memory cache,

A fleeting image bursts forth, like a forked lighting flash.

 

Tries to snag my dream frags, are a task truly daunting,

Creepy, will-o’-the-wisp, not too unlike a haunting.

Revelation now strikes me, I nearly scream,

It dawns on me how, this is far from mere dream.

 

As I lie face up fretting, wide awake in my bed,

Decibels grow intense, the sounds spike in the red,

Were I to tell anyone, would I lose all my cred?

OMG! Once again THE VOICE talks in my head!

 

It knows all I know! All I think!! I think so!!!

“Yes we do”, it responds, “ESP’s our MO.”

I then pose the question, “Are you friend or foe?”

It drones, “Let’s meet in the woods. Just follow our glow!”

 

I’m enraptured, intrigued, entranced, in a daze,

A lightshow backlights closed curtains, rivets my gaze.

I’m suffused with blue hues, pastel greens, purples, limes,

Tick-tocking so softly, twice the clock chimes.

 

In awe of the unknown, I lunge for the phone,

Press handset to ear, yet detect no dial tone,

I shout in the mouthpiece, “I can take this no more!”

THE VOICE in my mind says, “Egress your back door!”

 

Deadbolt clicks, doorknob rattles, all hinges creek,

Which way should I go, in our game, hide and seek?

Perched atop porch, my skyward stretch and a yawn,

Precede my two downward steps, my stroll across lawn.

 

Part Two ~ “Miles To Go Before I Sleep”

 

I enter the woods, the nighttime chill’s everywhere,

Watch pale firefly flickers, both on land, in mid air.

Starlit sparkles above, twigs snap beneath feet,

I cannot help but wonder, whom on Earth I shall meet?

 

Looking skyward, I spot three disks, fly in formation,

They light up wood’s clearing, our shared destination,

Blue hues, pastel purples, all bathe the expanse,

Instinct warns I should flee, while I’ve still got the chance!”

 

Yet, Earth has no future, due to despots so manic,

They scare me more than ETs, ergo I don’t panic.

Silver saucers touch down, the pilots appear,

I approach, we shake hands, there’s no need for fear.

 

They’re large headed, gray skinned, but that’s not important,

It’s big thoughts that count, here, our behavior, comportment,

They seem to be stunned, by my no-nonsense amity,

As if fully expecting, a first contact calamity.

 

Our telepathic connection, our meld, mind to mind,

Greatly aids close encounters, of the third kind.

I feel just like Armstrong, who, need I remind,

Once took “one small step”, “giant leap for mankind”!

 

But our facial expressions, all the sudden, turn sad,

We’re all keenly aware, that my world has gone mad.

ETs tell me it’s too late, that needless to say,

Tyrants, who crave Armageddon, can’t stave off Doomsday!

 

ETs have heard about DT, they appraise him as dim,

Since they’ve seen Earth’s near future, they know that it’s grim.

Once this narcissist despot, upon world stage, encroaches,

He nukes the whole world! Sole survivors? Cockroaches!

 

Part Three ~ The Light-Years Shall Set Me Free

 

ETs next make an offer, I cannot rebuff,

I can leave Earth, forever, avoid the times tough,

They plan to rescue ten thousand, save our helix double,

Transplant us light-years away, to a world free of trouble.

 

My thoughts? I’ll go gladly, the zillions of miles,

And this lights up our eyes, turns our frowns into smiles,

Here on Earth there are too few, who care about me,

So, off to distant stars, planets, is where I shall flee.

 

I enter their starship, we prepare for our flight,

They’ll provide all I need, I’ll be traveling light,

We lift off, zoom outward, soon Big Blue’s a mere dot,

I bid, “Farewell cruel world”, though I know it will not.

 

The starfield blurs brightly, as our ship starts to gleam,

As we attain speed of light, we become a light beam,

But the whiteness of linen, replaces white light,

Back in my bed, my dream dies, in the dark dead of night.

 

 

 

47 Years Ago This Night…

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, had fulfilled President John F. Kennedy’s May 25, 1961 commitment to land men on the Moon by decade’s end. Armstrong, descending the Lunar Excursion Module’s ladder, had become the first human being to ever set foot and walk upon an alien world.

Over the decades, since, there have been naysayers, who’ve always been quick to remind us that the tax dollars could’ve and should’ve been spent more wisely. But, I’d also be quick to remind everyone that this bold adventure did unite humanity. And the value of that is as vast as the immensity of the universe, itself.

Nearly four years ago, Armstrong’s mortality caught up with him. While his spirit did merge with the universe, in the lunar vacuum his footprints will endure until our Sun dies billions of years from now.

Not a bad way for anyone to leave one’s mark upon our world… upon two worlds.

Tonight’s Moon will be in a nearly full phase… so, weather permitting, I urge you to set aside your worldly concerns… to step outside to take an upward glance… to think about Neil and Buzz’s uplifting accomplishment and try to recapture that spirit of unity.