politics, science

We chose to go to the Moon.

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.

science, spew

What happened to us?

I’m watching video from a time when we were capable of sending live television from the moon. We were capable of great things. How could we as a species do anything more enormous and impressive than convert weapons of extermination into vehicles of exploration?

Reach down into what makes me need to live another day. Tell me we will explore space again someday soon. Tell me we will be great again.

Losing my mom was difficult, but I’ll recover. Losing my space program makes me weep every time I think about what we gave up.