Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hotels on the Moon

A hotel on the moon within fifty years. That’s the prediction of a NASA official, in a recent interview on NPR. A hotel on the moon, hopefully not Motel Six. And the moon base will rely on what she called “in situ” materials for supplies of things like oxygen and water; that is, they will generate their own water and air from locally available materials. Then there’s always Mars, which already has a thin atmosphere.
The more I think about such things, the dumber stuff like the Israeli-Palestinian saga seems. We sit here on this spinning planet, at the moment the only one we have, and we keep shooting at each other, like we’re trying to run everyone currently here off the planet. We really are a terminally stupid species. I mean, think of the chain of events since 2001. Saudi Arabians, pissed off at the King, and living in Afghanistan as a result, decide that flying planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon would be a good thing to do . . . sort of, “ hey, we’ll show the king. We’ll blow up some big building in America, his number one ally. That’ll show him we’re a serious crowd. "
So, then president Doofus decides to invade Iraq, just because he could. “Ha, so the Saudi-Afghans blew up one of our buildings. We’ll show them; we’ll destroy Iraq.”
Amazing, huh? And this species wants to open a motel on the moon? Oh, excuse me, a Hotel. And why would that be? Do we need a place to ship more warring parties who can then strap dynamite around their middle and blow up day care centers on the moon?
Maybe we should only allow sane people to travel to and from the moon.
But I’m going to be stuck here, and that’s the hell of it. I desperately want to know how this all turns out—this life on Earth thing, and maybe even the life on the Moon thing. But it’s fifty years off, and that’s a bummer, since it seems unlikely that I’ll make it that far. And if I do, I probably won’t know it.
I think about these things all the time now. I’m having a really good time as a retired, old fellow, playing with art, and my grandchildren. When they smile, I smile inside.
And see, I want to know how they turn out also. Which college will they attend? Who will they marry? What will their kids be like, and which of their kids will stay a few nights at the Hotel on the Moon. Remember that scene in 2001, where the NASA guy traveling to the moon, calls his kid on the videophone to wish her a happy birthday? Well, I want my Great-Grandkid to call me on the videophone to ask me how my day is going (I mean, since I refuse to fly any longer, I guess it won’t likely be me traveling to the Moon Hotel).
See, this is all because we have a brand new year. And lots of things yet to occur, all of which I want to know about . . . well at least all the good stuff. You can hold onto the stuff about George W. Bush. By the way, did you read that Frank Rich article in the New York Times about President Doofus. He calls it, “ A President Forgotten but Not Yet Gone.” Nice that.
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