Passport Galactica

JOT

SpaceshipHoly shit! Jumbo jets float off the ground and back again. Am I the only one amazed every time? I don't care how you explain it. It looks deceptively impossible. Impossible. What's more? People have flown these hunks of metal into outer space. One small step? One giant leap? More like one extra special super-powered fantastic mutant lunge! The feat is heart-stopping. So we raise these heroes on pedestals and hang posters in our bedrooms-or do we? I challenge you to find a 5th grader who can name one space traveller besides Buzz Lightyear. Ask your friends to name one brilliant astrophysicist. Just one. Stop and think. Now see if you can name someone off the cast of Survivor. Why is a professional hockey player more desirable to Paris Hilton than someone with the courage, intellect and physical strength to step outside of the only known planet that can support human life. It's like dropping by hell for the weekend, playing shuffleboard with satan, then arriving home and no one even cares to hear what the dark prince was wearing. They might ask you if Johnny Cash was there, but more likely will want to know why you weren't watching the Michael Jackson trial.

I'm no cosmic fanatic, but I respect the field. I encourage our celestial awareness. Let us be impressed. We should watch each space mission wearing astronaut costumes in our living rooms as if it were the next Star Wars movie. Here's an idea-suggest that your office have a "space day." Everyone can drink Tang and carry around little marbles that look like earth. Space is great. Let's start having our honeymoons there. What better experience could you offer your children than to send them to summer camp in space? I know what you're thinking: Won't the children be better off if we invested the funds from space travel into preserving and protecting our own sacred planet? Maybe. Didn't we learn our lesson by spreading disease and religion across the Atlantic? Yes, C.C. and the boys fucked up big time. So what. Here we are. There is forward progress. There is progressive progress. We do things, not just because we can, it's the idea implanted in all of us. There must be more. There must be a reason for our drive to go places, for our desire to explore and learn. Maybe it's a giant intergalactic puzzle and we just realized we're one piece. So we could sit around all day and wait for a shooting star to fall up our ass, or we can get behind this shuttle. Call an astronaut and thank her. Slap a milky-way bumper sticker on your car. Wear a glow-in-the-dark moon t-shirt to your next rave. Be the first person on your block with a zero gravity living room. Blow that dust off your telescope and see the future. Take me to the stars.

Peace to Machu Piccu.