I understand why it wasn’t the lead story on every news publication across the world, but that’s still no excuse. Virgin Galactic took their first passenger into space during their second trip above 50 miles in a series of flights that should put Richard Branson himself into the passenger seat by summer of this year. From there the commercial space race will be open for business and the world filled with humanity will be forever changed. But this has been the case for a long time, space is a very above the line thing to do, and most of our civilization is still very much below the line, where they perceive there is safety and security in staying victims to earth’s conditional elements. Going to space is a definitive jump into taking responsibility for mankind’s own fate and future which then brings to question lots of elements that no civilization is quite ready for. But still, I would have thought there would have been more coverage of Virgin Galactic’s efforts and trajectory of success. In my way of looking at things this story should have been the lead on every publication and cable news show. But it wasn’t which goes a long way to painting a picture of how technology and human invention is outpacing our institutional responses and political understanding. When President Trump says he wants a “Space Force” he’s an above the line guy who is already in the future. Many of our human neighbors, however, still have a long way to go.
On more than one occasion I have pointed out that the main differences between our contemporary politics could be seen clearly in the summer of 1969 when Apollo 11 reached the moon and we walked there for the first time that we know of. A month later was the music festival of Woodstock where people rolled around in the mud naked and drunk living like a bunch of apes from Africa listening to primitive music and intoxicating themselves with drugs and alcohol so that they could lose their minds from the burden of thought. Those divides are very much alive today, even more so than then because as more options have technically become available to our culture the real desire that below the line people had to hide in the masses has been exposed. There are no excuses for a good life when options are available, but mankind does not have the courage to take them. So pressure escalates and the differences between people become much more noticeable. That leaves about half of our world terrified of what will happen as civilian space travel becomes the norm.
I have run into this kind of thing in people many times and usually I avoid such people like they have the plague. So much so that many years ago when a really hot young chick wanted to sleep with me with an almost mad like obsession I found myself at her house getting to know her better with the obvious next steps in the back of both our minds. That’s when she started belittling movies that I really liked, which she thought was cool to put down. As a female she represented sex and the social norm. Many males will adopt their views towards whatever a female thinks so that they can have sex with the woman. That’s a standard practice among all males, I have talked about this phenomenon among school levy supporters where guilt driven moms support school levies because they think it’s the next best thing to them actually doing their jobs of raising their children. And generally, even though it means they have to pay more in taxes, men generally go along with it because they don’t want to limit their opportunities for sex. So that was the game this girl was playing, she was trying to establish the norms of our relationship. She figured that was her job and she had the looks to do it, even though she was the initiator of the sexual activity. That’s when she started bad mouthing Star Wars and Indiana Jones. She brought it up because I wore a hat that looked a little Indiana Jonesish to her and she thought it was funny. Well I didn’t. Even though she was a pretty young girl I saw instantly in her a little loser who was headed nowhere quick and our little get together ended about five seconds later. I left and never spoke to her again which was baffling to her. Apparently, she had never been turned down by anybody before. But in looking at her I couldn’t help but think that she was one of those below the line Woodstock types and that was very unattractive to me.
The job of science fiction, such as in Star Wars and Indiana Jones, is to get people to ask the questions, then to use science to make those things happen. Science fiction typically is a very above the line kind of art. Even negative horror stories like Alien by Ridley Scott is forward thinking in how they are working out problems based on space travel. The job of the fiction is to think above and beyond our present circumstances. The Indiana Jones films are great for asking questions and the character himself is very positive. You never see Indiana Jones sitting around crying about things. He just moves on to the next great adventure which is the kind of attitude our entire society needs to utilize to embrace space travel. So having characters and stories like those in our culture helps us all move into more complicated realms of thinking, such as commercial access to space.
I say I didn’t speak to that girl again, but I did watch her decline for a few years. Even though we worked together she gradually slipped away into darkness and ended up becoming what we might call “trailer trash.” She ended up having kids by at least three different men, she was a stripper who made pretty good money for a while until she hit 23 and started looking bad from all the smoking and hard living. Girls like that end up looking like wet paper bags left outside during a storm that blows up against a chain-link fence for several days. By the time they are 30 nobody wants anything to do with them except extreme losers and their life ends up washed out and hopeless. That is always the trajectory of not only below the line people, but below the line cultures. To have a sexual relationship with someone like that means you have to get too close and my position has always been, I’d rather not. Staying above the line in thinking means you have to stay away from getting messy with below the line people. When she declared that she took the social position against Star Wars at the time and Indiana Jones which for her was to say that she was a grown up and not interested in playing with toys and childish ideas, let me know that she and I had nothing but attraction in common, and that wasn’t enough.
And that distinction between people is where we find ourselves with this Virgin Galactic story—too many people have yielded to young seductress like the girl I mentioned and let their minds stay on below the line ideas instead of considering the possibilities of what civilian space travel actually means to our culture. To far too many people considering such a thing is still for geeks and Star Wars lovers. Space is uncool while getting stoned and drunk while at some latest music concert is cool. Of course, that makes no sense but is precisely why this Virgin Galactic story wasn’t the lead for the entire world, because too much of our culture is still functioning below the line in thinking. But I’ll make a prediction in this case, that is going to change fast. Science fiction is becoming science fact and not even the little tramps and soothsayers with perky tits and tight asses can deviate our trajectory towards destiny. And I think that is just wonderful.
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