My Twitter avatar is covered with explosion burns.
My Disqus avatar has been bleeding for six years.
On Facebook, my “Man Who Fell to Earth” fedora is down, hiding my shame for a country crippled by imbeciles and con-artists.
The next white-supremacist mass-murderer will have facial swastika tattoos, a Hitler mustache, and be caught wearing a Klan robe, jodphurs, jackboots, and carrying a noose.
CNN & Fox will each hire 12-year-old stand-ins to appear in re-enacted video footage while running “Killer’s Motives Still a Mystery” on the lower-third.
Robert Moses won.
Wars happen because politicians everywhere fail to do their jobs properly. We failed to choose better leaders.
Many young people enlist in the armed services because they have no other prospects. We failed to give them opportunities.
Too many veterans who did great service for the rest of us are living in despair after having been abandoned by leadership that brought them home broken and crippled. We failed to keep promises that were made to them.
Parades and statues aren’t enough.
45 years ago today, unarmed students who’d been protesting Nixon’s escalation of the Vietnam War were fired upon by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University. Four students were killed, nine were injured. Two of the dead had been crossing the campus to their next classes, dozens of feet away.
The state’s governor had fearfully compared the protesters to Nazis, Communists, and the Klan, calling them “un-American,” “the worst type of people that we harbor in America,” and declared “we’re up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled.”
Today’s Conservatives are far more skilled at blaming the victim for their cowardly, incompetent behavior.
May the Fourth be with you.
I was nine. The space program was a reason for me to have optimism about the crazy, chaotic world I’d been born into. It encouraged my interest in science and the future. A huge national effort of engineering and planning devoted to something other than someone else’s idiotic war.
This was the reason America had been founded. This was what we were supposed to be about: solving enormous technical problems, striving to reach places we’d never seen, hoping to learn things about the universe. Nothing to do with killing millions of people over ancient bullshit land grabs.
I watch “From the Earth to the Moon” every two or three years. For several hours I revel in the memory of a time when I was part of a culture that took pride in accomplishing things that bettered all our lives—not just those of a few billionaires.
And then the final episode’s end title leaves me crying uncontrollably for the end of my wonderful space program, and for the end of my optimism. I grieve for both in a way I never have for any human being.