Monday, April 6, 2009

Why Mars Matters

America is not America without a frontier. We're the kind of people who need to be constantly pushing the outside of the envelope, creating a frontier, settling it, getting restless and moving on.

It's in our nature to move West. And the only West left is out in space. That-a-way. Out yonder.

Back East is a museum. Getting bad as Europe. But out West, you can stretch out and breathe. Tim Leary knew.

He toured America, playing electronic music he claimed would prepare the human mind for a voyage into deep space. The Department of Justice brought him. Put him on tour to recant, to take it all back. And he did. He told us the government was firmly in the hands of men and women who only a few years before had been stealing hub caps at Atlanta rock concerts. He said he was about to play some tapes to rearrange the molecules of our brains, to prepare us for deep space, for the long voyage ahead. Anybody didn't want to go had better leave. I trusted Tim, and I wasn't ready for space, so I left. I never heard the Leary tapes. I doubt I'm fit to travel into space. But some folks are.

They're the kind of men and women who were willing to take their chances on a new America, willing to give the kid his shot and help him win the title. And he owes them more than the same old men, running America the same old way. He owes them a shot at something big.


Antepilani said...

Perfect thread for me to hijack!

Billy Glad said...

I put my headphones on and turned the volume up before I clicked on the link, young man.

Decidere said...

Came to a plan of passing stars
Staring at lightning bugs in jars
Needed a machine to take me higher
Seems that man can reach the moon
But when he got that far came down too soon
They say that what goes up comes down
Not when this one's outward bound

You and me, we're more than islands
Sparks of fire, electric glow
Seeds of life in search of....
Nestled on a foreign shore

And if you feel a call, why don't you try it?
And if your dreams are what you are, then what will you become?

Found a shuttle chained in space
Experimental saving grace
Floating round the planet like a puppet on a string
Found a knife to cut it free
Now watch them earthmen try catch me
They say that what goes up comes down
Not when this one's outward bound

I am a child of my desires
I'm not afraid to walk alone

And if you feel a call, why don't you try it?
And if our dreams are what we are, then what will we become?

Okay, halfway remembered.

Antepilani said...

This is the closest I can get to being there. It is one of the biggest regrets and disappointments I have about the state of our world.

So my time machine takes me to a time and place when I could sit out in the summer air without fear of getting a car bomb blown up under my feet or being abducted and filmed on youtube.

I still love these songs and this music and I am probably on some FBI watchlist for downloading music like this or searching for it.

I don't speak a word of it, I don't even want to know what she is singing about. My 7 year old mind has the only interpretation I will ever need.

Smell the yogurt, cucumber, cedar; the salt on my lips and the warm air caressing my neck. Spin round and round with the riq, buzuq, nay. I swear to this day I can play these even though I've never seen one in real life.

Closest I'll ever get; incense, grass, wine, paint, sugar, and gulf salt air. The loft where I was born: enjoy

Billy Glad said...

Beirut. Is it even there anymore?

Billy Glad said...

Something is still there.

Tom Manoff said...

Not following everything in the flow of ideas. Antepilani --you were in Beruit when you were seven?

Antepilani said...


The closest I've been to Beirut is when this album took me there; the first time when I was 7. It has never been a safe place to visit in my lifetime.

It took me a long time to fill in the blanks in my mind of what it was like there when it was at its height of majesty.

This is the kind of music that filled the air in a Galveston loft where some artists used to live a long time ago it seems.

I visit there (loft and Beirut) every time I play this album "An evening in Beirut"...Those smells, and tastes are what I remember as a child and the music brings those memories to the forefront of my mind.

Decidere said...

Here's my kind of hijack. I can take a trip without leaving the farm, focus on my music, my movements.

Decidere said...

Though I suppose this version is closer to my avatar.

Tom Manoff said...


The music as transport, yes. How unpoetic of me.

Beirut does have that mystery as once the "Paris of the Mideast" and then turning to chaos with the bombing of the Marine Barracks, the break-up of the society, the invasions, the ethnic warfare. I wonder if its later chaos makes us mythologize its past. It seems so chaotic in films, which is my real sense of it today, right or wrong.


That second clip. The real source of the bomb as iconic Desidero?

Antepilani said...

Two Amerikas to be sure...One last trip before we go

Billy Glad said...

Edward Wilson thought expansion into space was a pipe dream. "Because first of all, with only a fraction of the intellectual effort and expenditure of resources that it would take to send even a small colony into space, we could solve most of the problems here on earth."