Friday, January 2, 2009

To Boldly Go...

As a young man, I found a place in this world where things made sense all the time. I went there as often as I could. I spent many hours at school enduring the prattle, chatter, blather, nattering, drivel, and nonsense inflicted on me by my teachers with their inane ramblings, fully knowing that there was a place that would relieve the boredom, and reinvigorate my will to live with but the flip of a switch. I further tolerate(d) the sniveling blather, chatter, chit-chat, drivel, gab, gabble, gibberish, gossip, hot air, idle talk, jabbering, jargon, murmuring, ranting, small talk, tattling, trivial talk, and twaddle which was and is the rest of the world outside of this sacrosanct location in my life. Also drudgery I could and can erase with that same flip of a switch.

What is this place I speak of? What kind of switch can transport a genuinely portly man such as myself to an enchanting place of common sense and pragmatism? Why, my most noble and venerable bookworms (cyber worms?), it is the switch , digital in demeanor, attached to the power buttons on the various televisions I own/owned.

Well, to be more specific, that part of the switch that directed me to whatever rendering of Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future happens to be showing, current episodes, those in syndication, or the movie du jour on the movie channels. As superficial as that may sound, Star Trek has always guided my beliefs and values. I have no qualms stating that. Any soul fortunate enough to have watched much of this beloved video genre can attest to the social earnestness of the world spun out of the Mr. Roddenberry’s psyche.

If I ever find myself in need of bring reminded of the ludicrousness, absurdity, senselessness absurdity, and downright stupidity of racial prejudice all I need to watch id an old episode from the Original. The episode with the two being whose bodies were half black and half white, evenly split down the middle. They wreaked havoc on the starship waging a generational war simply because one of them was white on the right side of their body, and the other on the left. In the end, they come to their home world to find it destroyed in a war waged on which was the proper alignment of the opposite colors.

I could write for many hours of the different lessons to be learned, or the values reinforced, but it would not serve the muse for this page. Being the blog, I am in need of expressing a complaint. While reading the news this morning, I discovered that my soon-to-be-President has a plan to hasten our arrival to the moo by blending the efforts of NASA with those of the Defense Departments space program. We hear little of the Defense Departments efforts to keep us safe from threats from above. I was surprised to discover that the DOD has about a third more than NASA’s budget to spend. The implication is that we are arming space.

Motivating this ideal is the proliferation of Communist China’s space program and their intention to land a man on the moon before America. Considering the size of the two ideological leviathans involved in this neo “space race” I think it is an ill advised paradigm to intermingle the two programs. I see disaster, and I see destruction of the universe. I do not think we should explore space in order to ensure our national defense effort’s success.

I am of that school that wishes for the simplicity of the Prime Directive. Basically put, don’t screw with me and I won’t screw with you. Why can’t we go to space as a species instead of as geopolitical entities? All it took the first time man walked on the moon was for one visionary American President to simply order us to the moon. Everything about the moon landing was about mankind, including the first words spoken. “…one giant leap for mankind.” Why not now?

I realize the new President has a lot on his plate. I voted for him and have not regretted it. I would like to think that part of the change we need, is breaking down walls with other countries and cooperating in projects that will benefit us all. I mean, why do something magnificent only to destroy it with weaponry? Why not make the International Space Station truly international? Stop the insanity of thinking that everything is a situation that has to be defended? What kind of message is it to species from other worlds (yes they are out their, it is stupid to not believe that.) when they discover that we came to space wearing six guns ready for a showdown?

I could expound on this forever. I must keep this brief today. We should explore space because it is the next. Because it might be an opportunity to cease the crap we do to ourselves here on earth. Because Gene Roddenberry felt, dreamt, and said so. How should we do it? The best way, I think, was how James Kirk did it in one of the movies. When asked where they should go, he simply answered “Go to the first star you find, and turn right..."