Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of man’s first steps on the moon. There were countless repetitions of the landing and descriptions of the risks and rewards. It should have been inspiring. Instead, I found that the thing I was mostly feeling was sad. I realized as the story of the great accomplishment was told and repeated on the television that it also marks the LAST great accomplishment of the United States of America. 50 years, nothing since.
What, the internet? Sure, it COULD have been great. Instead it has been co-opted by moneyed interests and is currently being used to disseminate propaganda in an intentional effort to destroy western civilization so…I think the jury is still out on that one. I could be wrong but as it stands right now, the “contributions” of the internet are debatable, at best. What else? Nothing, right?
Land on the moon, devolve into mediocrity…then worse.
I was alive when the landing happened. Young but alive. I suspect mine is the last generation that was able to know the United States as a truly great nation – a nation that walked on the moon. Today, Americans have to hitch rides from the Russians to get to the International Space Station and we’re not sure vaccinations are a good idea.
I happened to catch a segment on Armstrong and Aldrin walking on the moon. A commercial break cut to Donald Trump, our brainless “leader,” defending his written comment telling American Congresswomen, three of whom were born in the United States, to “go back” to their own countries. (I know he didn’t mean to but he DID describe his maladministration as a “total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world” – so at least he got THAT right.) The cut from the Moon to the moron man-baby was startling but it seemed the perfect metaphor.
The America I knew as a child was Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. America today is the narcissist Donald Trump at one of his “Little Nuremberg” rallies, pumping his lickspittle base into a frenzy of hatred with mendacity and racism. 50 years. The vision of JFK’s Camelot to…Trumpery…
There’s conventional wisdom that suggests I should try to hold on to what remains today and not mourn that which has been lost. It was just so hard watching Armstrong and Aldrin and knowing what could have – SHOULD have been…