I have to confess: The fact that N. Leroy Gingrich, Definer Of Civliization's Rules and Leader (Perhaps) Of The Civlizing Forces, proposed building a base on the moon by 2020, only to have the idea turned into a punchline and general ridicule, actually bothered the hell out of me. When did we become so quick to mock this kind of thing? When did our national imagination wither this way? When did exploration become just another "big government" program for pipsqueaks like Willard Romney to ridicule?
I'm old enough to remember when the space program was something capable of moving the entire world to wonder and delight. It seemed like something we all got together and did as a species.
I've been rewatching Carl Sagan's Cosmos lately, and as brilliant as the series remains -- even with some dated material, I'm still convinced that it should be required viewing for, well, every single person on Earth -- I can't help but feel somewhat elegiac about it, because Cosmos has at its heart an assumption that the dream of the stars would continue. Instead it's died, and the only time we get to hear anyone speak of it, the words come from the mouth of crazy moral midget Newt Gingrich.
At what point did we collectively stick our heads up our own asses, anyway?