Lately I find myself thinking a lot about what I tend to call the "bright future", the future I thought I'd be living in today when I was a kid. I was a space-crazy introvert with visions of Star Wars and Star Trek in my head. The Americans had already sent men to the moon, there was Skylab and Viking and Voyager. Then there was the space shuttle and Marc Garneau, the first Canadian in space. We in the West had bested fascism and outlasted communism. Infectious diseases were becoming a thing of the past and despite our ever increasing global population, we always seemed to find a way to feed most of them and when we couldn't, it was invariably because of bad governments, not inadequate food supply. As I entered adulthood in the mid-80s, it seemed obvious that the awesomeness would continue. I wasn't naive enough to believe I would be moving to Mars someday, but I certainly would have imagined there'd have been a manned Mars mission by now.
Well, it hasn't quite worked out that way. It isn't all bad, of course. NASA still sends those marvelous little rovers to Mars and the International Space Station still passes overhead 16 times a day. But we don't send people to the Moon anymore, Marc Garneau is a politician (a Liberal MP, no less...talk about destroying my adolescent hero worship) and a manned Mars mission seems more like science-fiction now than it ever has. As for things down here on Earth, we still can't cure cancer or AIDS or the common cold. Nuclear fusion remains stubbornly elusive. We may (or may not) be facing a climate catastrophe unless we wean ourselves off fossil fuels, which we won't without embracing nuclear energy, which we won't because...well, I don't know...radiation scary! We have declining birthrates because we're rich and spoiled and children tend to get in the way of our jet setting lifestyles, so we're aging quickly. Soon, nobody will be able to go to space because our osteoporosis-ridden skeletons won't be able to handle the Gs. Besides, there's no internet on Mars and cellphone reception on the Moon is terrible. How are people supposed to follow their twitter feeds under circumstances like that?
This post is an introduction, of sorts, to a series of future postings in which I will share my thoughts and observations on getting back to the spirit of '69. Feel free to disagree, but be civil about it, if you please.
Another awesome Guardians poster design
3 days ago