where’s my Future?

Posted by on Jul 31, 2011 in blog, gongs, projects, wikiGong | 2 Comments

…in which we mark the passing of July.

A couple of F-series jets flew over the house this afternoon—I’m guessing en route to Moffett Field, maybe returning from the Travis AFB air show—and dropped a few aviation sound effects into the day along with a bit of military color (gray). As I mentioned in my previous post this is the tenth anniversary of my father’s passing, so I chose to view this little flyover as a serendipitous salute.

I’ve been preparing for this space-exploration themed piece we’re working on for SoundWalk and, as interesting as that is, the whole exercise has a sad cast to it. For those who watched the first moon walk broadcasts at home in middle America in 1969, the end of the shuttle program feels pretty terminal. Extraterrestrial visitors will find us still earth-bound, people who had a space program.

Of course that’s just whining. It will probably be more like the succession of great naval powers over generations. (Does the Planetary Society appreciate the irony of its logo, I wonder?) The human race will continue to explore space. We’ll even have a US space program; it just won’t be doing the heavy lifting or calling the shots. We’ll fill up a few more museums with junk and then fade like the Russian Buran shuttle program did in the 1990’s. On the big industry side of the coin, we’ve fallen from lofty ambition into the mire of parochial politics; on the educational front, it doesn’t look like we’ll be leading in the cool stuff, AKA science, either.

You see, I was kind of hoping I could afford a ticket into outer space by now. Not far—maybe some really fit folks who never wore glasses might reach Mars in my lifetime, certainly not I—but maybe once around the block. I’ll just have to make peace with a little disappointment, with my mobile phone and the Internet, in these days of miracle and wonder that don’t quite shine in the colors I imagined.

Call it art and get over it.


  1. an epic day | wikiGong

    […] only three weeks to go until SoundWalk 2011, my signature piece Where Is My Future needed a final content infusion. This weekend, Becky and I set out to gather the second video […]

  2. back from the brink of history | gongBlog

    […] just as my current media search through the history of the US space program was becoming unbearably depressing, a 150-year flashback came as a welcome tonic. State subsidy is […]