Monday, July 20, 2009

if you believe....

it was only a few weeks ago that i realized i was born just ten years after the moon landing. i guess anything before your lifetime may as well have been forever ago.

today is the fortieth anniversary of the moon landing, and i'm happy to see that google had a commemoration graphic. i did my best to celebrate by wearing my r.e.m. shirt ("man on the moon": it was the closest thing i had), listening to the orb's adventures beyond the ultraworld (highly recommended), and watching the recently re-released for all mankind.

i've heard the movie frustrates some who are very familiar with the history of the space program because it combines all the apollo missions into one story (i'm curious what my dad will think). rather than being a historical look the progress of the program, it is lyrical look at the accomplishment and the wonder surrounding it all. it's marvelous.

a few days ago, i was skimming through mtv's schedule, looking to see if michael jackson's funeral would be rebroadcast. seeing the titles of the shows on mtv made me ashamed to be a human being. watching the poetry of the space program, of the work and dedication and devotion, the majesty of being on the moon, it made be proud of humanity.
like walt whitman's "the learn'd astronomer", looking up into the sky surpasses the mind and touches the heart.

when i heard the learn’d astronomer;
when the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
when i was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
when i, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
how soon, unaccountable, i became tired and sick;
till rising and gliding out, i wander’d off by myself,
in the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

i just realized, i should have worn my tmbg "apollo 18" shirt.


kwistin said...

first off, i'm happy to report that when i saw the post title on my blog feed, i guessed what it was about right away.

yay r.e.m.

this post makes me want to watch 'for all mankind'. it sounds intriguing. and even if it's not all historically accurate, it seems like it would increase the overall appreciation for what happened on that day in history, and our history in general. as you put it, "proud of humanity".

thanks for reminding us there are a lot of things to be 'proud of humanity' for. sometimes all we hear about (thus, all we think about) are the trashy mtv titles.

Jack said...

i like the poem from Uncle Walt. i like r.e.m. i like moon cakes.

but in the end, it's not about me. way to be awesome.

~Bekahjo said...

That's one of my favorite poems. I think of it whenever I go stargazing.