“Ground Control to Major Tom …”
A recent issue of Maclean’s Magazine gratuitously devoted tons of ink to space travel. I felt my eyes glaze over even as I looked at the cover in a magazine rack. Space travel or, more ludicrously, space colonization is a snooze. There’s too much of the Earth I haven’t yet seen, so I have no desire to head out into the galaxies.
I think they are now up to Star Wars #37. I saw the first one. That was plenty. I mean, it was OK and Liked the li’l robots. But it was also silly, illogical and boring in parts, and such an egregious waste of the talents of the brilliant Alec Guinness. But, that’s just me.
Star Trek? No, never a “trekkie”. Never much watched the series in any of its incarnations and the only one of the films I liked was the one where they went back to 20th Century earth and freed a whale. It had also some good bits of whimsy in it. But mainly it didn’t take place in some mythological intergalactic place, it was on good old Planet Earth.
I liked Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles because it consisted of a series of metaphors and morality tales, not really pretending to be on Mars at all in any real sense, just a mythological Mars.
And I will make exceptions for Dr. Who and any of the Hitchhiker series (as well as Red Dwarf) mainly because they’re all brilliant. Oh, and in the case of the latter, very funny. Funny works for me.
But, back to Maclean’s and their space travel and colonization ink wastage. All this nonsense harkens back to the moon landing decades ago. I have to confess that the event did not thrill me like it did others and my pants stayed dry (that time at least) at the feat of the valiant astronauts. Yep, brave guys and I know I would not have done it. But I never had any such desire.
OK basic point is, colonization of the Moon or Mars or Venus or any other alien orb is never going to happen in our lifetimes, and arguably in anybody’s lifetime – ever. The environments are relentlessly hostile to human habitation and at best it would have to be a domed existence. Hardly agreeable. Me, I like to be out in the fresh air. Air I can breathe.
And the other point is, how do we think we are going to pay for this bullshit? It would cost quintillions to do so and well, we cannot afford it and will never be able to afford it.
Oh, I know the fantasy is all terribly romantic for those into such things. I find my romance arises from much more mundane sources and I shall gladly stay earthbound for as long as I have the privilege.