Search This Blog

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 20

 Sunrise Over the Earth by Apollo 12

There were shootings on July 20, 2012; I shall not talk about those, because this country is not ready to discuss such things. What is the point, really? We shall continue on until some mini-Armageddon, then we may discuss... Necessity is still the Mother of Conversation, no?

Instead, I shall mention July 20, 1969 when, at 20:17:40 GMT, mankind landed on the Moon. Since the Apollo space era, mankind has not gone  back.

I miss the sense of goal-directed behavior for the country and the world, for the space program did give us that sense that there was something cosmic in our future. Now when we gaze at our futures, we see little but worry about whether the Congress will destroy Medicare and Social Security.
We have a sense of Fahrenheit 451, where the future is firmly centered on an Earth that increasingly resembles 1984. A sense of exhaustion rules, and we are going no where but in circles:

Vicious Circle #1:
a) a shooting takes place;
b) news coverage 24/7 even when there is nothing "new" and everything is repetitious,
c) angry shouts pro and con about guns;
d) uproar dies down;
e) people stop talking about a better way;
f) at some time t+e, loop back to step a)

Back in 1969, we were good. We went to the Moon, we protested an idiotic war in 'Nam, and we fought against racism and segregation. We sought to escape the circles of the past, and to go forward.
We were one heck of a country.


Ruth said...


What's funny is that July 20 is my sister's birthday. She's ten years older than me, the youngest of my 3 older sisters. It was such a cool thing when the guys walked on the moon on her birthday. I'll never forget that magic night in our living room watching the walk on my parents Magnavox TV that resembled the furniture with its fake wood box.

I hear the arguments for guns pro and con and all the variables and the arguments make sense. And the causes of these violent outbursts, who can say what they are? They are as individual as the people who perpetrate them.

The ways our world has changed in the last 150 years, accelerating every minute, just keep accentuating the imbalance. Some say it is an imbalance of masculine and feminine properties, interestingly. I am inclined to embrace that. I love Virginia Woolf's phrase "preposterous masculine narrative" to describe it.

So anyway, my sister's birthday is a strange, feminine backdrop for the highly masculine accomplishment of landing on the moon, a very feminine place in our psyches.

Montag said...

That is a fine memory.

Your last sentence is highly charged...
Interesting how you use V.W.'s paradigm and then modify it...
at least, I think you are.