Cheers, The Man on the Moon. x

I want to end this week of articles themed on the subject of America by looking to the future.

In this article I will make reference to the following items: Jumpers, Beagles, Sir Edmund Hillary, Apollo, Britain, China, the USA and Tasmin Archer.

I just hope you’re ready and have them all to hand.

On Christmas day this year Britain is hoping to break some records with a Beagle. And no it isn’t to do with chain-smoking. Beagle 2, to give it it’s number, is a probe which is due to land on Mars.

After this news was released it was announced that China was planning a trip to the Moon. Almost instantly America said that it was going to the moon again because frankly they hadn’t been in ages and although they still exchanged Christmas cards each year the messages were getting shorter and shorter and they wanted to sort of rekindle the relationship. And frankly I think the president was worried about receiving an e-mail like this from the moon:

Dear George W.,

Glad to hear spot is doing well. It was a big year for us this year as the Chinese came to stay. It was very exciting. They brought a flag. And I’m sorry to say this because I’ve always liked your but they’ve had this really great idea and put a little battery powered motor in there so the flag actually looks like it’s moving in the wind. It’s really lovely. Well, I hope to see some of you Americans soon, it’s always nice, you know you’ll be welcome. And if you’re coming please do remember that rock you promised me back.

Cheers,

The Man on the Moon.
x

Well that would be enough to frighten anybody so the Americans are going back. Neither party have revealed if they are going to do anything to the evidence left by the previous trips. Maybe the Americans will steal the batteries out of the Chinese flag?

But the Americans are also going to send a man or two to Mars too which is all very exciting.

The thing is, and this is where Jumpers* and Toni Braxton** come in. Is it a really good idea to go to these places. Isn’t part of the thing about them the fact that we don’t really understand them?

The moon stops being a magical object the minute that you can go there.

And mars will too. And there is a good aspect to this because the moon and mars aren’t magic. Magic doesn’t exist per say. But it’s still disappointing when someone tells you how the magic trick works. You already knew it didn’t work the way it appeared but when you know how it works it’s actually disappointing a little. And that’s the same situation with the moon. The idea that you could go off in a space ship and discover things is much more exciting before it actually happens.

So in a way it’s better if they don’t go. But in the end of course we must go. Why? It’s the same thing as this: After Sir Edmund Hillary Everest, he was asked why he did it, he answered, “because it was there”.

* Tom Stoppard’s play Jumpers is at least in part about the feeling of loss when man went to the moon.

** Here are the lyrics from a song by Tasmin Archer. She holds all copyrights for this material and it is only provided for recreational or educational purposes as long as you don’t inhale:

Sleeping Satellite – Tasmin Archer

I blame you for the moonlit sky
and the dream that died
with the eagle’s flight
I blame you for the moonlit nights
when I wonder why
are the seas still dry?
Don’t blame this sleeping satellite
Did we fly to the moon too soon?
Did we squander the chance?
In the rush of the race
in the reason we chase is lost in romance
and still we try
to justify the waste
for a taste of mans greatest adventure.
Have we got what it takes to advance?
Did we peak too soon?
If the world is so green
then why does it scream under a blue moon?
We wonder why
the earth’s sacrificed
for the price of its greatest treasure
Did we fly to the moon too soon?
Did we squander the chance?
In the rush of the race
in the reason we chase is lost in romance
and still we try
to justify the waste
for a taste of mans greatest adventure.
And when we shoot for the stars
what a giant step
have we got what it takes
to carry the weight of this concept?
Or pass it by
like a shot in the dark
miss the mark with a sense of adventure
Did we fly to the moon too soon?
Did we squander the chance?
In the rush of the race
in the reason we chase is lost in romance
and still we try
to justify the waste
for a taste of mans greatest adventure.

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