Saturday, April 19, 2014 3:11 AM
Published on: Thursday, November 21, 2013
By Brian J. Karem
She smiled as she accused me of being a child and asked me what I thought.
I thought about it a second in uncharacteristic silence and then returned the smile.
“If you mean I look at this issue the same as I did when I was a child, then you’re absolutely right.”
For my detractors out there, which includes at least one former president whose spokesman personally denounced my existence, a few stray congressmen, a senator, and probably includes a city attorney or two as well as several legislators, convicted murderers and at least one self-confessed serial killer who long ago kept a date with a needle in Texas, it would not seem contrary to any argument against my continued existence on the planet to denounce any action of mine as “childlike.”
However, in this case we are speaking of my continued infatuation with Space. I cannot remember a time when travel into Space didn’t intrigue me. I was John Glenn, Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell and Grissom, Chaffee and White. I was James T. Kirk – and more importantly Will Robinson. I was the nerd football player who loved to play middle linebacker but kept a scrap book with individual folders containing newspaper clips of every American space flight from the shutdown on the launch pad of a Gemini expedition to the very last landing on the moon.
Rock n’ Roll may have captured my soul. I played the guitar. I dabbled in existentialism and tried to expand my consciousness in other adventurous ways.
But, rock n’ roll always fought a battle with my love for Space as a passion to capture my soul. I still play in a band to this day and I still want to go into space.
What this young woman with a small child recently accused me of in regards to my belief in space says more about her, I think, than me.
For I do not believe I’m in the minority nor do I believe this woman isn’t curious about Space.
Maybe it is a child-like behavior which continues within me, but I cannot believe we’ve all stopped dreaming.
When I was young we fought wars, our country erupted in the flames of race riots while we assassinated some of our best and brightest citizens – still we landed on the moon.
By the time I was 50-years-old I believed – when I was but a lad of 10 – I would be living in the Neil Armstrong villa on the Sea of Tranquility in the national square of the original moon landing sight.
Maybe that’s why so many people have begun to believe in the stupid fiction of man not landing on the moon. Perhaps it’s the only way they can get around the fact they aren’t living in their own penthouse suite near the crater of Tycho.
I don’t know, but I do know we have to go back. Look up in the sky at night and tell me part of you doesn’t wish it as well.
Don’t tell me we can’t afford it or we need to waste our money elsewhere. Let’s dare to spend some money on a positive future. Let’s ditch the egomaniacal representatives from both parties and do something for our children.
One day maybe soon or maybe not scientists say this earth will be the site of an extinction level event. It could be a super volcano in Yosemite and it could be a large rocky visitor from outer space. It could be the long term effects of a global catastrophe either biologically, geologically or man made.
But our survival as a species relies on us being a more mobile target with better nightlife options not only in Bethesda, but on the dark side of the moon.
It was a child who wished we could all work together to make science fiction a fact. It is the adult to this day who continues to harbor that wish.
I don’t look up into the sky afraid of aliens or convinced of ancient astronauts and unsure if man landed on the moon.
I know we landed on the moon and I really don’t care about the rest.
I childishly believe in my life time we can establish a living colony on the moon and begin the manned exploration of the rest of our solar system and ultimately our galaxy.
We simply must.
As I contemplate the death of President John F. Kennedy this week, I think about his challenge to land on the moon more than any of his other accomplishments. Like other decisions, it was visionary and like other visionary dreams it must continue. We must take the next Giant Leap for Mankind.
Can we do it next week? I’m in a bit of a hurry.