12.14.1972 – 05:54
“As I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come — but we believe not too long into the future — I’d like to just say what I believe history will record — that America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.”
To return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Is that really so much to ask?
I’m sick of seeing the world pour its resources into rivers of blood and shit. We’ve been doing it for a long time.
We built a ship. We put men in it and sent it to the moon. Then they came back home and told us about it. We were getting bored by the second trip. It was an expensive ticket and we’d already seen the show.
All told we spent around 170 billon to get the moon (adjusted to 2011 dollars). That’s all the research and development, all the equipment, fuel, all the human ingenuity and genius. Our return on that investment included digital computers, fuel cells, a hundred industrial chemicals and materials, and a thousand other breakthroughs that still help define our modern age. Not to mention doubling the number of science graduates in nearly every field at every level from undergrad through PhD.
Today we spend more than that every year on the ‘Global War on Terror’. The return on that investment? Scared, ignorant, hateful Americans. Dead mothers and babies, and a generation of people who hate us for killing their loved ones. For every ‘heart and mind’ we think we win we loose a dozen others.
So what do you do when nothing works?
Do the last thing that did work, again.
Do Apollo again. Yes. Nothing new, not yet, just a replay.
Why? Because it makes more sense than what we’re doing now, and it worked last time. We’ve already tried killing huge numbers of people and that didn’t work. But we sent 24 men to the moon and that did work. So lets do that again.
Maybe this is naive but every person that is inspired by the space program is that much less likely to be inspired by some crazy religious dogma and become a terrorist.
But we have terrorists now… what do we do about them?
Here’s my offer. Me. Kill me, desecrate my corpse. Seriously. I’ll take it if it helps us get past this so we can get to building spaceships. You’ll have to prove it’ll seriously help though, I’m not shuffling off this mortal coil for some shenanigan bullshit just to please a few maniacs that wouldn’t really be good at building stuff anyway.
I know that far too often Americans and extensions of American power have caused real suffering in other countries. Since America doesn’t like to pay for its sins, maybe some human beings who live in America will pay for them. I’ll pay.
Makes me seem crazy doesn’t it? Weak maybe, that’s even worse right? Is he suicidal?
Who would sacrifice their own life for other peoples wrongs? Who would do that? What kind of a freak would even think about it? Do you hate your own life so much? Do you have nothing to live for? Offer your life to a terrorist? What good could that possibly do?
Well first off, think about it; terror, fear. Bill Hicks knew. You either fear or you love. So if someone’s only weapon against you is your fear. Use love. Yes- I said it. Love terrorists. If you don’t get it- I love you, but go fuck yourself you self-righteous monkey.
A terrorist is a human being, albeit one that in many respects has lost their humanity. You’re a human being, but I’m guessing it wouldn’t take as much as you’d like to think to turn you into something else. Turn you into something someone might call a terrorist.
You see a foreign tank in your neighborhood, what do you do? Salute? Bullshit. You go cook up some violence and deliver it hot and fresh. Now your an insurgent.
But you’re not a very good insurgent so you die horribly. 10 years pass. Your kids get fucked up ideas about why you died, and you weren’t there to teach them anything about the value of human life. Your kids strap on a bomb in your name and kill a dozen innocent people.
There but for the grace of god, go we.
Love them. It’s the only way. Love them so much that you’d give your life to show them the error of their ways. Or my life if that’s easier for you.
How does some crazy person giving their life to other crazy people solve anything? Isn’t that just a murder/suicide pact?
Wouldn’t it be even crazier to have like a whole corps of people that were willing to sacrifice themselves. Like a sacrificial peace-corps, a lamb-corps offering their lives for the mistakes of others. Volunteers, upstanding citizens, true human beings, each willing to answer for horror caused by other human beings, with the hope that their sacrifice will bring some humanity back to the world. The hope that their life could be a message of hope. To know that their death, and their fearlessness and love for humanity in the face of it, could serve to shame and disgrace the human race into facing their demons and becoming something worth calling a sentient species.
I don’t know- maybe it doesn’t help. Debatable.
I’m not trying to be Jesus here. Jesus had a lot more brains and a whole lot more love than I have. Plus there was the whole messianic tradition, and Rome, and it was 2000 years ago. Not to mention the divinity and resurrection thing. It’s not a great comparison.
The point is- we sing and shout about Jesus, but anybody that acted like him now would be openly regarded as bat-shit-crazy.
Jesus didn’t have to die like he did. He chose to. He could have denied, he could have run, he could have become a leader and rose up against his oppressors, or tried at least. He didn’t.
But didn’t Jesus die so we wouldn’t have to sacrifice anymore? Wasn’t that the whole point? He was the perfect sacrifice right? Thing is- Jesus was a sacrifice for our sins against God. God will forgive us for our sins against man, but will not force others to forgive us. Man must still atone for his sins against man.
So terrorists are still out there. We sense the danger. It’s hard to intellectualize being a sacrificial lamb when your adrenal gland says fight or fly. So we defend.
We don our armor and we know we fight for right, for what is ours, what we know, for what is good. The armor feels safe, it’s easy to get used to. The armor becomes part of our lives and it becomes worth fighting for.
So here we all are, wanting to be champions for good, but most of us get confused and just decide its best to be a champion and let God sort out the good and the bad.
God doesn’t like that. God isn’t middle-management, human resources, or tech-support. God’s the sole-proprietor and he expects you to handle your shit and figure out right from wrong. He made it really easy. In case you missed it – “Do unto others”. If that’s too difficult, I think the option “Stay the hell away from others” is a decent fallback.
So I announce my offer to be a sacrifice for peace. If it’ll satisfy some terrorists lust for revenge and allow them to get back to life then maybe it will help slow this cycle in some small way. I guess this is essentially a publicity stunt, can’t deny it. I’m not looking for publicity for myself though, just publicity for the fact that we’re all completely fucked and we need to do something about it and doing something crazy is better than just letting other crazy people march us deeper into hell.
I don’t see any other way out of this but for some of us to beg forgiveness for the rest of us, who just don’t like the idea that we should have to ask, let alone beg, for anything.
So to recap 1) Restart the Apollo program. 2) I’m willing to let terrorists kill me if that makes them stop trying to kill other people so we can all get on with building spaceships.
That’s it. If anyone’s going to take me up on my offer we’ll need to document it and everything, otherwise it’s just murder. Sacrifice is one thing, but please don’t try and murder me, I’ll resist, a lot.