Calling All Stargazers and Kindred Spirits

 

Back in 1979, astrophysicist / author Carl Sagan and writer / producer Ann Druyan were both working diligently towards successfully launching their Sci-Fi film… Contact… off the Tinseltown storyboards and into our cineplexes.

Within six years, undue, unwanted, unproductive behind the scenes, Hollywood “drama” had begun to undo this dynamic duo’s momentum and, at one point, had even threatened to scrub their mission. As it turned out, it would take the transposition of 1979’s ending 7 and 9 digits before this film could be completed.

Sadly, mere months prior to that, Dr. Sagan, had succumbed to myelodysplasia (a pre-leukemic syndrome) and wound up shuffling off this mortal coil.

Had he survived, he certainly would’ve been on hand to high-five Contact’s screenplay writers James V. Hart and Michael Goldenberg, director Robert Zemeckis and the entire cast and crew. He’d have especially applauded the multifaceted actress, Jodie Foster, for her stellar performance… for her breathing so much life into the film’s protagonist… the multidimensional astronomer Ellie Arroway.

Seeing how Sagan and Druyan’s core principles / personae had become so thoroughly infused into the Contact script’s pages (in a sense, right down to the atomic structure of the ink toner and papyrus) it was inevitable that Foster would tap into their attributes throughout the film… especially during the emotionally charged denouement… i.e., where Dr. Arroway had so passionately addressed the conclave of her wholly skeptical and wildly infuriated adversaries… had spoken of the life changing, journey to the cosmos, which had further heightened her pre-existing, astronomer’s lofty outlook on life.

Said she…

“I… had an experience… I can’t prove it, I can’t even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real! I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever… A vision… of the universe, that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how… rare, and precious We all are! A vision that tells us that We belong to something that is greater then ourselves, that We are not, that none of us are alone! I wish… I… could share that… I wish, that everyone, if even for one… moment, could feel… that awe, and humility, and that hope. But… That continues to be my wish.”

SIDEBAR: Ironically, in an earlier scene (set within this same venue) many of these same inquisitors had expected agnostic Arroway to take a leap of faith… to no questions asked / no skepticism allowed… believe in the existence of a Supreme Being. YET… by film’s end… they, themselves, flat-out refused to take a similar leap of faith… to no questions asked / no skepticism allowed… believe in the existence of the superior alien civilization she claimed to have made first contact with.

So… why have I opted to review a 21-year-old film?

Contact makes contact with the very hearts and souls of everyone who has ever given a damn about the survival of our civilization. It is the skywatchers of our world who, perhaps, feel this the strongest… be We the professional or the backyard variety… be We telescopically enhanced or relying solely on the naked eye.

We can feel an affinity with all who have ever seen… who still see… beyond the pure science… all who speak of the awe, humility and hope, which our viewing experiences conjur up. Such a state of mind endures whether We are virtually traveling thru our ethereal, vast starlit cosmos or are wandering about our hometowns, homelands and home world.

Although we do remain resolute re the awe and humility aspects, holding onto hope is not always so easy. You see, its just as the celestial images begin to fade into the daylight… just as we’re coming back down to earth… where / when the heavyhearted dismay tends to resurface. Once again, our worldly thoughts zero in on the godforsaken, power-hungry, posturing, avarice driven, dictator zeros who usually wind up calling all the shots… and… in that capacity… are to blame for our global, sociopolitical and ecological disarray.

The run-of-the-mill, disconnected from our universe autocrat could never, truthfully, claim to be the humble servant he is supposed to be… could not even begin to fathom / embrace Saganesque awe, humility and hope. His typical reaction to viewing celestial objects / events would not likely garner much more than his yawned out words…

These are just dots in the sky, what more do you expect Me to say?

Me oriented leadership is precisely the problem. That odious, oafish What’s in it for me, Me, ME? bad ‘tude is the driving force behind virtually all of our societal ills. Their tormented, subjugated victims, while (oft literally) crying out for some much needed liberation, seldom possess the power to empower alternative, We oriented leadership.

Indeed, it’s the We oriented philosophy, which is so harmonious with the stargazers’ awe, humility and hope. This is amply illustrated within that above Arroway quotation where she thrice uttered the word “We”. And let’s not forget to include her inclusive language such as “us”, “ourselves” and “everyone”. Were such sentiments fully taken to heart by our leaders, We would already be well on our way to saving humanity from ruin.

It is no accident that Founding Father / author Gouverneur Morris began the U.S. Constitution’s Preamble with the words “We the People”. He and his constitutional compatriot co-writers deemed those three words so crucial that even the likeminded calligrapher, Jacob Shallus, had so boldly pen stroked those three key words in an enlarged font.

“We the People

of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence [sic], promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

When such a proclamation births such a great nation, one has to wonder how any electorate could ever tap into some lame, Donny-Come-Lately’s slanderous, spurious / fake claim that America is no longer great. Ironically, such an entity is usually the one who… in the end… winds up threatening the very greatness of all great nations.

Why oh why is it that the nations of our world suffer such a deficit of We oriented leaders? One would expect admirable attributes such as awe and humility to be innate. Even if advancing this attitude involves nurture more than nature it should still be easily attainable.

Metaphorically speaking, We are all participants in the human race… a relay race. In the course of running our laps… concurrently upon our planet’s orbital path and the more down to Earth race track… the intergenerational passing off of the baton of human decency should occur without a hitch… a simple matter of the hand-off from each awe-humility-hope-harboring elder trainer to each awe-humility-hope-hungering youngster trainee.

I do have my parents to thank, for they not only deeply encoded / embedded awe-humility-hope into my infinitesimal DNA during my conception but also reinforced these attributes by handing off that “baton” to me during my formative years.

What a pity so many, who fancy themsleves leaders, cannot make a similar proclamation.

I do suppose that Awe-Humility-Hope sentimets… that We trumps Me ‘tude… all being second nature to the stargazers and other kindred spirits of our world, this is what accounts for our expectations that the rest of humanity will be willing to follow suit.

Let us hope that such sentiments… such expectations… are not overly optimistic.

 

 

Is that dramatic enough for ya… huh? Huh?? HUH???

 

So, how the HELL did America ever get stuck with…

THAT brown shirted, white sheeted, robber-baron Putin hugger… THAT fear/warmongering, saber rattling, nuclear madman/gun nut… THAT slayer of Lady Liberty and Mother Nature, mocker of the disabled, aged and infirm, loather of LGBTQs and abuser of women and children!

Obviously, it had been the Electoral College map’s math, which rendered Hillary Clinton’s popular vote victory meaningless. Then came the Electors, themselves, who were not legally required to install the unethical, under-qualified and mentally unstable Donald J. Trump… YET… mindlessly did so anyway.

Clearly, James Comey’s reopening of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s email server issues (scant days prior to Election Day) served only one purpose… to eventually help stain that Electoral Map red and hand over the Oval Office keys to:

THAT brown shirted, white sheeted, robber-baron Putin hugger… THAT fear/warmongering, saber rattling, nuclear madman/gun nut… THAT slayer of Lady Liberty and Mother Nature, mocker of the disabled, aged and infirm, loather of LGBTQs and abuser of women and children!

Unquestionably, far more culpable was the gaggle of drama seeking media hacks. They had obsessed over that email server non-story… hounded Clinton to political death… while simultaneously not giving a hoot about the far more serious “baggage” Donald Trump was… still is… lugging around. In granting him that free pass, these charlatan scribes, too, did their damnedest to eventually help stain that Electoral Map red and hand over the Oval Office keys to… wait for it folks… a drum roll please…

THAT brown shirted, white sheeted, robber-baron Putin hugger… THAT fear/warmongering, saber rattling, nuclear madman/gun nut… THAT slayer of Lady Liberty and Mother Nature, mocker of the disabled, aged and infirm, loather of LGBTQs and abuser of women and children!

Hell, if it was drama that they had really wanted… OMG… what could’ve possibly been more dramatic than exposing even one dangerous character flaw of… wait for it folks… one more drum roll please…

THAT brown shirted, white sheeted, robber-baron Putin hugger… THAT fear/warmongering, saber rattling, nuclear madman/gun nut… THAT slayer of Lady Liberty and Mother Nature, mocker of the disabled, aged and infirm, loather of LGBTQs and abuser of women and children!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine for the press corps to expose candidates’ flaws. That’s the the Fourth Estate’s Job #1. But please note the positioning of the apostrophe on the word candidates’. Following the “s” means all candidates… not just one. Knowing how to properly situate that punctuation mark is the mark of any genuine article journalist.

My advice to all alleged reporters who had smeared Clinton to defeat and are already plotting to use the same attack MO against whoever runs against their boy Trump in 2020…

Since you elevate drama over time honored, journalistic standards and practices, it’s not too late for you to pack up your bags and book your flights to NYC or Hollywood… the bright lights of Broadway and the shimmering glow of Tinseltown await you all.

My advice to those who will defiantly defend the indefensible, one-sided, slanted far right status quo…

Wake up children! Now that the Helsinki Summit is history… now that the ersatz-prez has surreptitiously sold out America to his man crush… Vladimir Putin… the free press’ days are numbered.

Once Putin parks it behind the Oval Office desk, don’t be surprised if reporters wind up just like all of his other enemies… either poisoned to death or imprisoned for life.

Poetic justice? You betcha! After all it was you media hacks who had handed over the Oval Office keys to Trump… wait for it folks… one final drum roll please…

THAT brown shirted, white sheeted, robber-baron Putin hugger… THAT fear/warmongering, saber rattling, nuclear madman/gun nut… THAT slayer of Lady Liberty and Mother Nature, mocker of the disabled, aged and infirm, loather of LGBTQs and abuser of women and children!

Donald Trump enabled Vladimir Putin to roll out his overthrow of America! And Bad Vlad didn’t even need to roll out the tanks.

Is that dramatic enough for ya? Still think Hillary Clinton’s email server was the BIG STORY… huh? Huh?? HUH???