Neil Armstrong, first man to step on the Moon, died today.
|The Apollo 11 crew: Armstrong, Collins, Aldrin. [A]|
I was one of the millions of kids around the world glued to their black-and-white TV sets, watching Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin's arrival on the Moon, while dreaming of the day when we would all be astronauts. How remote, heroic, exciting and inviting the future seemed to me, then. Sort of "2001: a Space Odyssey" without HAL.
At the time, I used to see the U.S. as the greatest country in the world. And, boy, I wanted to be an American. I was probably a fool then, just like I am a fool now.
But if in my foolishness I have not changed much, the world has. Or maybe the world didn't change much either, perhaps it was only my old folks who made it look so much better then.
In any case, how dreadful and bleak and mediocre and grotesque it seems right now. 2001 is no longer the distant future.
Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins are not to blame, however. It is us who fucked things up.
Rest in peace, Rocket Man.
[A] The crew of Apollo 11. Wikipedia.
And I forgot to mention Gerard K. O'Neill, another of my youth heroes. What are the heroes now, the swindler who took billions from greedy fools? The reckless charlatans who screwed things up and made the poor pay for their mistakes?