We are a strange species.
We can and have successfully built a machine and sent it on a nine year journey to the farthest planet in our solar system and now added a machine to orbit and transmit pictures of Jupiter. What vision! What will! What faith! We should be so proud. These are things we did.
Yet, on our own planet we can’t seem to see past the next news cycle, the next p/l statement, or the next paycheck.
Now we’ve built an ark to deceive and entertain our children. I’m not as upset by this effort as most people seem to be. After all, we build “Magic Kingdoms” to demonstrate talking mice and mermaids and we spin webs of Easter Bunnies and Santa Claus. Yes, this insistence on the veracity of these otherwise useful fables can possibly damage the future credibility of parents who later suggest with similar fervor that drug usage and casual sex might be a poor decision, but these entertainments are part of the blessing/curse of living in a free land, and as long as public schools are not scheduling field trips to visit and public tax funds are not supporting them, I guess I can sleep tonight. I have to confess however, I wish the ark was in another state, not mine. That’s my problem…I’ll survive.
We allow ourselves to be distracted from all the needed and right things to be done…by flags…and which shade of skin and/or country of origin produces the most rapists or Rhodes scholars…or whether there is so much love rampant in the world that we must put limits on it. What foolishness, while our bridges collapse and Florida sinks below the waves.
As a child, I dreamed of becoming an astronaut to get closer to the stars. I wonder if the children of today might still be dreaming of becoming astronauts, but now it’s to escape the folly down here…or because there might be Pokémon on Mars.
Today’s pictures of Pluto and Jupiter declare differently. We can and have done great things; things that don’t include walls to further divide us.
We should not be pining over the passing of the “greatest generation”. We should not waste time scratching our heads wondering what happened to the baby boomers. We should be building on the successes of those generations and learning from their failures. That’s what thinking, undistracted people do. Others tank up on stories about the Kardashians, Bruce Jenner, and an American princess of England in Vancouver.
The easily distracted have always been with us. There’s no need to consult them until they’re ready to participate as informed adults. Let them amuse themselves. It’s OK.
The rest of us need to move on. There’s work to be done – good work. There are great and needed things to be done. They probably don’t include arks and talking mice.
I have to confess again; I still dream of becoming an astronaut. I’ll be in my back yard at night with the dog, looking up. There’s a full moon and I think Mars will be high in the sky…with or without Pokémon.
“We are all born in the gutter, but some of us look up at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde.