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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015

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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Earth vs. the Universe—Episode 10

(George Lucas already used episodes 1-6 and has an option on 7-9.)

Fifty years ago, Yuri Gagarin flew into space, orbited the earth, and returned safely. In less than two hours and attaining speeds in excess of 17,000 miles per hour, the Soviet Cosmonaut sounded the opening shot of the space race. Within eight years, U.S. astronauts walked on the moon. Every child wanted a part of “space—the final frontier.”

How appropriate that today NASA will decide today where the final resting place for its three shuttles will be as it closes the book on America’s space adventure.

What? It wasn’t profitable? It wasn’t useful? It didn’t contribute to the economic development of the nation?

Sounds like literature when you put it that way.

But the truth is that we have become incapable of seeing beyond our daily needs or the virtual reality of our entertainment. In 1961, a gallon of regular gas (no unleaded yet) was $0.31. Average in the Pacific Northwest today is $3.88. The Federal debt was $292.6 billion. Today it is $14.2 trillion. In 1961, we dreamed of space. Today we dream of HD TV and faster computers. There is nothing that unites the world in a dream for the future. Even our “entertainment” has sunk to the level of voyeurism.

Sadly, there will be no Episode 10. The widening gap between the world’s haves and have-nots, the increasing conflict between people of different race, religion, or language, the dependence on militarism, the loss of dreams… These define the future we have chosen. We have chosen to define ourselves as small creatures on an insignificant rock and will never travel “to infinity and beyond.”

Comments

An online inflation calculator tells me that $0.31 in 1961 was like $2.23 in 2010. Still a vast difference between then and now, though.
What's more important is that even though the price of gas has gone up by ~12 times, the national debt has gone up by 54 times! Complements of a dozen wars and military actions in the intervening time.