I have a lot of questions floating around in my head lately. I think I’m going to share some of them here on this blog and see if anyone has any explanation or answers to these questions.
In the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy declared that we would have a man on the moon by the end of the decade. We did, and around this time in 1969 man was setting foot on the moon and putting up an American flag. Everyone was glued to their television. My father has saved the Syracuse Herald-Journal from that monumental night. I would look at that paper as a kid and marvel that I was born before there was a man on the moon.
Fast forward to the 21st century. As Americans we can’t function without technology. Our toasters are electronic, our refrigerators can tie into e-mail, we have hundreds of useless television channels available to us via several different methods of getting this signal to us, our washer and dryer can synchronise their finishing time for our convenience and our car can tell us where to go. Why is it then that our current administration (and the one previous to it) has told us that it will take **twenty** years to put a man on the moon again. We have more technology in our telephone than we did in whole rooms back when we did this the first time around and we have shot people into orbit on a fairly regular basis since our first adventures into space so many years ago. Engineers used logarithms for their complex formulas back then, our home computers can now do all the computations for us.
Have we lost our pioneer spirit? Have we become so embroiled in political correctness and absolute safety that we can’t fathom the risks associated with space exploration anymore? Astronauts know that a ride on a rocket is not like taking a spin in an Oldsmobile; I’m certain that they know the danger associated with going to the moon and yet they sign up for their chance to reach the stars. Why do we hold them back? Have contractors and politicians and governmental organisations become so embroiled in red tape and corruption that it’s impossible to achieve anything outside of corporate greed these days?
I’ll say it again: we have become a nation built upon fear. We no longer have an adventurous or pioneer spirit. We are lazy, we are complacent and we are greedy.
I miss the days when we reached for the stars.