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.
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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.