RANGER AGAINST WAR: Generation Lost in Space <

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Generation Lost in Space


The world was ours, we marched upon

Our little Corporal's command

--I'm Done with Bonaparte,

Mark Knopfler


I do not know how the Third World War

will be fought, but I can tell you

what they will use in the Fourth -- rocks!

--Albert Einstein


To be a man is, precisely, to be responsible
--Wind, Sand and Stars,
Antoine St. Exupery
_________________

Paratroopers go to war in planes; Ranger's experience was no different, except he had a stewardess serving him drinks and showing enough leg to keep his interest. Paratroopers are usually derisive of legs, but this was an exception.

Fast-forward to my sitting in the movie Apollo 13 and recalling that event for the first time. How did this memory stay hidden for so long? Then it dawned on me that I arrived in the Republic of Vietnam 12 April 70 and the events in the movie, the events of daily stateside life, had no relevance to my new life.


My focus was not on expanding man's lunar presence but on fighting people in another, newly-created lunar-like landscape. People wearing sandals made of old tires, wearing black pyjamas and carrying often antiquated weapons. These enemy were not focused on the moon either. Yet less than 22 months earlier Ranger was a liberal arts graduate who had studied art, literature and all the things that did not go into a rucksack -- they were things we didn't carry.
That life was incompatible with the new one, and so it went up on a shelf.

Since then, we are recognizing Sagan's billions and billions of planets, many of which could harbor life. If they do, let us hope they are more intelligent and focused upon issues that do not require fixing bayonets and blasting one another into oblivion.

One foot on the moon, one in the primordial ooze of a foreign land, a dichotomy which defines the United States, still. Things ended well for Apollo 13 and they returned safely to earth, while many of our soldiers enjoyed no such safe return.

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2 Comments:

Blogger FDChief said...

I can still remember returning to the U.S. from overseas deployments - and these were purely peacetime exercises, just peeks into the Third World, not all-expenses-paid vacations to some gawdawful shithole where someone was aching to blow my insides out - and wondering just what exactly the fuck about 98% of the people in the U.S. knew about anything other than bad television and pop music. And tits.

Honestly, we are a truly bizarre nation in a lot of ways...

Friday, April 13, 2012 at 8:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Chief,
I always laugh at the -SMALL STEP FOR MANKIND quote.
Small steps were more appropriate for a booby trapped jungle trail.
Which is the real America?
The one that explores the secrets of space or the last super power?
The 2 seem contradictory.
What do i care about the moon when i'm out of claymores and the supply system doesn't have any in stock?
Can i make them outta duct tape and toilet paper?
jim

Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 7:49:00 AM GMT-5  

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