Recently, we’d reflected on NASA’s past glory and current rock station fetish. A rock station isn’t bad in principle but when NASA was doing key space stuff, they left the rock balladeering to balladeers.
= NASA’s exploits were its space exploits. Balladeers could write them up or not, the world would eventually know.
A reader, linguist Noel Rude, has written, reminding us of that era:
Back there in the Sixties I’d read articles, one I particularly remember in the old US News and World Report, it claimed that the trip to the moon was impossible. Won’t happen. So in 66 we headed south in our old rattle-trap 53 vintage station wagon and eventually there on the horizon gleamed that awesome VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building). We just drove and drove, transfixed, and eventually were stopped by smiling men near where bright lights silhouetted tall rockets against the night sky. “You’re certainly welcome to park here and sleep,” they said cheerily, “but you can’t go any further tonight.” Next day we went into the VAB, stood under an awesome Apollo rocket, walked by those stupendous tracks that were to transport the rocket to the launch site. Everything was shiny and new. The air crackled with adventure and daring.
We knew they were going to the moon!
But today, it is a different story, of course.
Then a little over a year ago we visited the Cape again. It was a story of past glory, shrouded now in rust and gloomy faces. I believe in progress, that history is heading somewhere, that things get better (even as they sometimes get worse). There will be other days of glory. There may be things in the works even now that I cannot imagine. But our trip back there in 2010 was very different from the one in the old jalopy back in 1966.
Today, anything and everything is true except reasons to doubt materialism, Darwinism, the multiverse .. As long as you pay … .