Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ashes to Ashes

Show of hands. Did you watch the launch yesterday morning of the last manned NASA space shuttle, Endeavor? (go in about a minute on that clip and it gets very cool!) If so, on behalf of third grade boys from 1962 everywhere, and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, thank you.

If not, why not? As if it were ever possible to want to grow up to be anything cooler than an astronaut? And now, that dream is over even as we start to speak of Endeavor in the past tense.

I remembered a marvelous piece of mischief from Donovan Leitch, a Dylan disciple who flashed across the pop music horizon a lifetime ago and has since wondered what happened, The Intergalactic Laxative, as I was typing 'third grade boys' because we were rapidly becoming experts on bodily functions. And while it may have been alimentary my dear, Watson for Sherlock Holmes, it was a world of wonder for those of us in Mrs Hilge's 3-B.

As much as I envy our children their youth, and sometimes resent them for having what's in such a limited supply for so many of us, a future, I'd suggest we, the Cold War Kids and the I Like Ike Tykes, were fortunate in what we have lived to see. Look at where we started and what we have--and tell me, in so many ways, we don't have it better than our children, born beyond the Promise Dashed at the shattering of the New Frontier and the shuttering of Camelot.

What do our children have, modern miracles and machinery that are part of the scenery? What can they expect, especially in the world and times in which we live. If they're lucky, they'll hang on to what we haven't yet squandered from our parents but they'll never have the unbounded vistas we did.

What has been invented in the decades since we wore short pants and walked to school is so stunning you have to feel the chances of that volume of amazing returning are close to zero. I have little practical advice to offer aside from "stay young and stay high. Hand me my check book and I'll crawl off to die I've seen magic and pain, now I'm recycling trash."

All of what has been weighed against what could, but may never, be, went through my mind yesterday morning at just before 9 AM Eastern Daylight time as I revisited a part of my childhood and watched a genuine rocket ship with swear-to-God astronauts inside lift off into the heavens and, if only for a moment, my spirit soared as its engines roared.

Really shouldn't be surprised, I suppose; going out the way I came in. "Ain't got no money and I ain't got no hair. But I'm hoping to kick, but the planet it's glowing." Sordid details following, with any luck.
-bill kenny


Anonymous said...

Awespme, Bill. Thanks for the ponder.

tom desrosier

dweeb said...

Thanks for stopping by! I hate to be superstitious but the last time you visited, Blogger had a maiframe stroke so I hope you'll use your powers for good...
It's great to hear from you--all the best to you and yours from me and mine.