I’ve come out of pseudo-retirement to note a paradigm-shifting date — the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Much virtual ink has been spilled around the web in this regard, yet nothing seems more compelling, readable and incisive than this op-ed piece in the New York Times by the ever-dapper Tom Wolfe. Wolfe wrote The Right Stuff (1979) and has been following American space exploration since before the momentous (and according to some, possibly fictional) event in question.
Essentially, he says a new quest to land men on Mars is key to both an American and global future, and what was lacking in the old NASA zeitgeist wasn’t ingenuity (which they had in spades), but philosophical refection about the whole purpose of the endeavor…That and good “words”.
A sombre swan song about men in space. And a simultaneous ode to the power of language.
By way of the orbiting carnival that is Arts & Letters Daily.