Day by Day

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Have We Lost Our Imagination?

(Crossposted from A Storm In Afghanistan.)

When was the last time we had an endeavor that captured our attention?

Truthfully, less than a month ago. The New England Patriots (a professional football team in the NFL, for those not familiar) had the first undefeated season in NFL history.

Ok, it wasn't the first. It was the second. The first being the 1972 Miami Dolphins (who coincidentally came very close to having an unvictorious season this year). The Patriots were notable because this was the first sixteen game undefeated season. The 1972 Dolphins having not played sixteen games in their regular season, but fourteen. Of course, there were also two playoff games, and the Super Bowl... giving them seventeen winning games. Which, as you can see, is different than the sixteen games... or something like that.

Anywho, it was a big deal. The game was broadcast on three different networks. This was to ensure that everyone in America would have the opportunity to witness history being made.

So... before that?


World Cup?

America's Cup?

Presidential Elections? Nah, those sadly define apathy.

Surely there's been something...


Perhaps it's our quest to cure Cancer. AIDS? World Hunger? (Nope, those concerts quickly came and went in the eighties.)

Would you believe that what seems to capture our attention these days isn't success? It's failure.

Britney Spears is losing her mind, career, kids... tune in now to watch the latest. Baseball's steroid scandal. The failing of our schools. The salivating of the continuous death count of the Iraq Theater. Murders. Abductions. Virginia Tech. Even the fallacy (yes, I wrote fallacy) of Global
Warming predicates itself upon the humans failure by destroying the world, environment, children's self-esteem, and ________ insert your own item there.

What do we have to enlighten and motivate our youth?

What can we do to excite them?

Where can we find Hope for their future?

Something... um... dare I dream... positive?

In the 1960s, there was the Space Race. Space has now become a mundanity that excites few. And who can blame them? The Space Shuttle, which we are risk averse to launch after two losses over a seventeen year period, has the perception of being no more than a high-tech pick-up truck. We have the International Space Station, where a continuous human presence has been maintained for over seven years, is quickly becoming an irrelavancy to be checked off of the checklist than to be exalted. We'd once dreamed of it having seven (or more) scientists living and working aboard it using many different laboratories. It's reduced to three with fewer labs, and having taken forever to complete. It's final assembly will be the satisfaction of just finally finishing the race, not by trying to win it.

Our space program is quickly stalling out... the Shuttle is already doomed to no more flights after 2010, whether the replacement program - Constellation - is ready or not. And that continues to be scaled back, redesigned, and set up for failure much in the way the Shuttle was prior to its launch in 1981 (yes, folks, twenty-SIX years ago).

This nation... we need to find a focus. A Positive focus.

Yes, personally, I would like it to be a space focus. A new, fruitful expedition of meaningfulness.

However, we need something. Something that will light the fire of the mind of our next generations.

What do you suggest?

And just a thought, but what do our leaders suggest? Or, our potential future leaders?

Don't know? Let's ask them. And not take a shrug, or a nice form letter, as an answer.

There is more to LIFE than just marking time and waiting for the next event to come to us. It's to be savored, and to be created - We can do it. If we want to, that is.

It's time to lead us to our future, it's waiting for us.

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