By David Glenn Cox
Less then ninety days after the Apollo one fire, took the lives of three American Astronauts. A parachute failure ended the flight and life of Russian Cosmonaut, Vladimir Komarov. His flight was the first of a new spacecraft and was troubled from the beginning. Komarov was beginning to lose control and managed almost miraculously to bring the ship back into the atmosphere at all. Then his parachute failed to properly deploy, becoming a tangled hypersonic streamer.
The NASA Astronauts composed and sent, a signed letter of condolence to the Soviet Space Agency. Komarov was a test pilot, and they were test pilots. At the height of the cold war, locked in a race to the moon. NASA Astronauts were able to put aside politics and acknowledge their shared humanity. The Apollo Astronauts left a plaque on the moon with the names of all the Astronauts and Cosmonauts, who died attempting to reach the moon.
On the day Neil took his famous walk on the moon. The Tass news agency called Neil, “The Czar of Space!” In defeat, they could tip their hat and say, “Well done!”
It was Mark Twain, who first pointed out the folly of human advancement. It was the Greeks who developed architecture and sussed out higher thought. The Romans, built highways for thousands of miles even before the first automobile. They brought Rome running water and fountains, without a single pump or electricity. There hasn’t been a Brahms or Mozart around in decades. Just because the world gets louder, faster, and meaner, doesn’t mean there has been any advancement.
In the future, a hundred years from now. The literary world won’t be shocked by the discovery of a previously unknown Neil Simon play or Stephen King novel. Scholars will struggle to understand. “Now why did they put these in the time capsule with something called, Daisy Dukes?”
Civilization is a voluntary organization. You don’t have to be civilized if you don’t want to be. You don’t have to take your hat off when a funeral goes by. You didn’t know them, the hell with them! Right? I don’t have to show respect for someone else passing! There is no law that says that I must hold the door for an old woman with a walker. I don’t have to give up my seat on the bus! It’s pretty clear, that not much is sacred anymore.
My mother used to say that they weren’t bad people; they were poor people. So poor of spirit and stunted of soul, that they couldn’t express their own humanity. If you have no empathy for others, you’re not really a human at all. You might live in a human body, but then, so does Gonorrhea.
Donald Twump famously lampooned the death of Colin Powell like John McCain before him. I like, Donald Twump had a low opinion of Mr. Powell. I said, nothing at his passing. As it would do no good now, to site his transgressions. He was a family man and an American service man. If he didn’t deserve my respect, he at least deserved my silence. Out of a simple compassion for a family’s loss.
I sometimes think the evolutionary door swings both ways. Evolution to your Left and Devolution to the Right. Our technological Vunderland gives us the ability to determine down to the last hectare, how many acres of Amazon rainforest are burned each day. God knows even when the little sparrow falls, yet the sparrows still fall.
There are conflicting adages, when hurling insults at a funeral procession. “Better to remain quiet and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” Then there is, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” But this Twump world, anything goes! “I ain’t going to no Veterans memorial, it’s raining!” If nothing else, Twump has reduced civility to a lost art.
“What is objectionable, what is dangerous, about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant.” – Robert Kennedy.
But like father like son. Don Jr. AKA the Snowman, Aka Quinn the Eskimo, Aka “The smart one” has gone into the Tee shirt business. Like Dad, he never misses an opportunity to make a fast buck. The Snowman is selling Tee shirts which read, “Guns don’t kill people Alec Baldwin kills people.” Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Don’t you get it? A liberal actor killed a woman in a handgun accident. Why ain’t you laughing?
A liberal and a handgun! Available in all sizes, small, medium or doublewide. Get yours today! Get it? Don’t you think that’s funny, a woman in the prime of her life got killed at work? That’ll show them Liberals! It was once believed by society, that these virtues of compassion and empathy and condolence, raised humanity above the beasts of the field. Even water buffalos will defend the heard from attack.
Republican Neofascist water buffalos shout, “Ha, ha! He’s gotta lion on his back! Sucks to be you! Ha, ha! Does it hurt much? Serves you right! I’m a free and independent water buffalo. Every buffalo for himself, that’s my motto! I work harder, and I am smarter than you.” It points to a lack of home training and says something very loudly about the character of Don Jr.
Either you have beauty in your soul, or you don’t. Some are born blind, and some are born soulless. If you have it, it is a gift, and you can never lose it. No matter what disasters befall you, you will still appreciate a sunset, a puppy, or a child with a new bicycle. If you don’t have it, you never will. Life for you is just pushing a stone to a box.
Without it, life is sterile. Just a series of transactions with people always trying to take advantage you. The thrills come from money, cocaine, alcohol, and sex. In Twump world, there is no such thing as bad taste. They aspire to the rank of deplorables, but are struggling to meet the high academic bar. To exploit an accidental death even before the body is in the ground, trying to pick up some spending money. Before Pablo wants his money and threatens to break Juniors legs again.
“Every civilization carries the seeds of its own destruction, and the same cycle shows in them all. The Republic is born, flourishes, decays into plutocracy, and is captured by the shoemaker whom the mercenaries and millionaires make into a king. The people invent their oppressors, and the oppressors serve the function for which they are invented.”
– Mark Twain