Fourth of July, shooting rockets into the sky, we don’t have to worry about our two closest planets. We can think about them simply because we like them. Venus is named after a goddess of love, and Mars is named after a god of war.

Our own love and war man says it’s time to go enjoy the sunset over the water before things get dark and loud. I cannot deny this fact.

There will be time later for exploration and adventure. And by exploration and adventure, I mean random navelgazing and considered consideration of the human experience — from the firepit to the holodeck. Tonight’s theme: Conquest!

GloryPole

Twitter’s ablaze for days with reactions to Buzz Aldrin’s famous facial expressions during the president’s speech about space. Not much mention, however, of this initiative in context of Elon Musk’s absence from the assembly. Charter member of The Explorer’s Club and Tony Stark equivalent In Real Life, our man Musk recently excused himself from the White House advisory council of superhero technologists as a result of the decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord.

Maker of the sexiest cars in the world, shinkansen aratana hajimari visionary, and vocal promoter of ecologically sound manufacturing, Musk is also known for his interest in interplanetary travel. Here we are, talking about Mars again. The big question is, will so much outbound effort spread home base efforts too thin?

We may say it was Britain’s defense of Prussia in the Seven Years War that caused its loss of the American colony. US President Andrew Jackson’s systematic massacre of Native Americans may have made the spread of the colony to the Pacific Coast successful but at what cost? The idea of creating a whole new country out of the Southern States indeed made James Buchanan the worst president ever.

GlorySpark

But let’s look at the Pilgrims’ progeny’s progress in just the past hundred years. In our race toward the new, faster and better, have we not preserved what is timeless, enduring, and good?

In 1917, when one wanted diversion any deeper or more complex than a night at the opera, there was always literature. Even in the age of Billy Murray, Luna Park and The Cure, nothing was quite as immersive as a good bedside read.

While the War To End All Wars dragged on, our Yankee doughboys were just getting into it. Fearing death by deployment, 67th Infantry 2nd Lieutenant Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald posted a draft of what would later turn into This Side Of Paradise.

While the Central Forces were collapsing, a romantic egoist of another stripe named James Joyce was tucked away in Zurich with Nora (and Tzara and terra incognita). He was getting ready to explode onto the world with Ulysses.

The scene with the fireworks is one of the many fine reasons that book got banned. Then, during the interlude before there was such a thing as on-screen sex, a spray of fireworks came to be a pretty standard metaphor.

GloryWheel

Freedom is born in struggle. In effect, it’s just about the first thing we learn, along with breathing. Sure, breathing is easy to figure out without having to be spanked. Similarly, the labor of birth need not be violent every time. Nevertheless, a bloody revolution was necessary in order for cute little baby USA to achieve a healthy birth.

You’re a Grand Old Rag.

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