Over the past 3 days, I’ve been rewatching “The Dish“, a little gem of an Australian movie about the first Apollo mission to the moon. It is a delightful, and quirky film of a “a somewhat fictionalised story of the Parkes Observatory’s role in relaying live television of man’s first steps on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.” (Wikipedia says it better than me). The words cam to mine are great cast, humorous, engaging and inspiring. Towards the end of the movie, footage of the actual moon landing is shown- with global audiences (actual footage and the actors), watching. Footage of the reactions of Walter Cronkite and other great journalists smiling and weeping with true awe, and emotion is shown.
We hear the astronauts read the words on the engraved plaque that remains on the moon.
We came in peace for all mankind
Then we hear Commander Eugene Cernan’s farewell, “As I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come – but we believe not too long into the future – I’d like to just (say) what I believe history will record. That America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus–Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.”
Hearing those words, some 47 years later, is truly awe inspiring, and made my eyes water…. They mentioned that some 600 million people around the world watched it on live tv, describing it as one moment in time, in the history of the planet where all of humanity stopped and watched in awe.
With these feelings, I was suddenly thrust back to the moment, and I wondered, how in the hell did we slide from that moment to where we are now? How did we go from such great and wonderful world of change, and hope and wonder, visions of a better future, sending brave men in tin cans to see if we could do it. And we did. What happened? How did we end up with a bunch of ignorant, small minded, fearful and arrogant people with no vision, and no imagination (beyond the tip of their nose)? People who want to go back to a “simpler” time… Beyond the basic question, simpler for who and when? These people forget that all through time, humans have been developing and progressing, inventing and innovating, trying to improve the human condition. I think that it is really funny to think that people who want to return to “simpler” times could really go back, they would find people who would be happy to trade with them, to be given the opportunity to move to today. Humanity is past those stages, we can actually let go of a lot of our myths and create new ones, ones whose heroes are not warriors, but creators, healers, innovators. There are crazy ones on this planet, and there always have been. But, in reality, there are more of the latter, so why are we letting them run the show?