I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

February 21, 2012 - 10:50 a.m.

Found in Space

Yesterday I had to decide what to write about and wrote about none of them because I spent so much space just recounting my day. That won't happen today as I didn't really do anything. So now the challenge is to feel the inspiration I felt yesterday and write about one of the topics I passed over. That's never as easy as it sound.

I didn't do much yesterday. I ran to Aldi's. That's where I shop for snacks and a few other things. I should have put it off for another day. For Presidents day busses and subways ran on a Saturday schedule. The trip home was murder. I ended up giving up on the bus coming and taking the subway even though that meant paying another fare.

For dinner I had Buffalo wings. I had bought a bag of frozen wings there some time ago. It comes glazed in broth. Is that just a way to boost the price since I pay by the pound? I suspect so. I never see chicken packed in broth anyplace but Aldi's and it certainly isn't better than other chicken.

That does remind me that I have to stop at the supermarket today to get some chicken broth so I can make my bacon and potato soup again. I'm craving it. I get these food addictions where I keep eating the same thing over and over again. For a while I was obsessed with garlic. Now I haven't made garlic bread in a while. I stopped yesterday to pick up an Italian bread but the bakery was out I'll try again today.

Last night I stayed home to watch the Knick game. So what happened? They lost for only the second time since Jeremy Lin became a starter. I blame the return of their overpriced "superstar" Carmello Anthony. Their tear didn't just coincide with Lin's emergence but Anthony's injury. When he was added to the team last year he destroyed their chemistry. After 20 years of futility the Knicks brought in basketball guru Donnie Walsh to be the GM. He did a great job of getting rid of all the dead weight previous management had heaped on the team. All they did was get overpriced "stars" that nobody else wanted because they weren't team players. Walsh put an end to that practice. Then last year Knicks owner Dolan couldn't stand it any longer, he saw something shiny and needed to have it so went over Walsh's head and got Anthony and drove the team from playoff material to the draft lottery. Walsh quit in response. The Knicks were doing terribly this year till they lucked out, and it was pure luck, with Lin. I'm afraid that even with that luck they can't win till Dolan sells the team. He is a total incompetent who lacks the ability to see that he's a total incompetent so he won't leave the team to the professionals.

Yesterday was the fiftieth anniversary of John Glenn's flight. That's what wins. That's what Im going to write about. It is the earliest historic even that I remember at all clearly. No I take that back. I remember Alan Shepherd's suborbital flight. So my two earliest historical memories are of space. I was born at the dawn of the space age; the same year as Sputnik. My childhood memories are filled with rockets. I watched every single launch. I was excited by every single launch. I still get excited watching old footage.

I know we spent at unsustainable rates in those days but now we spend too little. Believing in space travel is in my bones. It makes me understand manifest destiny. We belong in space. We should be exploring new worlds. We should be seeking out new life and new civilizations. We should be boldly going where no man has gone before. I feel cheated that we aren't.

I don't know if those of you too young to remember can understand what it was like. This was something totally new in the world, no out of the world. All of human history had taken place on the small stage of earth and now it was leaving. The effort was huge. I wasn't easy. An entire nation made the effort, focused on one rocket. The rocket was huge; an immense machine whose entire purpose was to free the one man in tiny capsule at the top from the shackles of gravity. There was drama. As Tom Wolfe said, "Our rockets always blew up." When John Glenn made it into orbit, we were all put into orbit.

For a decade we continued the effort and then it just ended. The heroic age was over. It was a false dawn. It wasn't the first humans walking out of Africa into the wide world for good. We crossed to the new world and came home. I want to go back.

"Looks like a good flight. Oh go baby!"





Annoying People - September 03, 2016
This Play Was The Pits - September 02, 2016
Banking on Getting Better or Avoiding Katastrophe. - September 01, 2016
Unlike Gilligan I Got Off the Island - August 31, 2016
Call of the Wilder - August 30, 2016




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile February 21, 2012
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