SEARCH the Guide, by date, band, artist, event, festival, etc. (in addition to the sidebar)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

It's July 20. And if anybody else had done it, they'd have made it a holiday.

On this day way back in 1969 -- before most people alive today were born -- the most meaningful step in human evolution of modern times happened. That's a mighty big claim. So let's make it even bigger:

- Literally everything that's dependent on cyber or electronic technology is dependent on that day.

- Everything we celebrate as modern biology is based in what was needed for that day.

- Everything that enables us to see ourselves as frustrated Star Trekians who should be explorers in the cosmos is traceable to that day.

- If the Russians or any other nation had done what we accomplished on that day, you better believe they'd have been celebrating it as a national holiday since 1970.

We're talking about what should be "National Space Day." Because July 20th, 1969, was when, in the words of Neil Armstrong, "Men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon."

Don't trivialize it because it was "just" the Moon. It was the first time a sentient organism from our tiny blue planet touched the surface of a different orb voyaging through the infinity of cold, mostly empty, blackness.

And it was astonishing. Just seven years earlier, the scientific establishment was simultaneously empowered, thrilled, terrified, and thinking the man was out of his mind, when President John F. Kennedy said in a public speech, rather than an inside-the-establishment memo, "I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man upon the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."

He gave reasons for doing it, too. They ranged from pursuing human destiny to the unforeseeably huge and vast leaps we would gain in technology and engineering capabilities. He was absolutely right about the latter. So what happened to the former?

In a word, capitalism. Specifically, austerity so that uber-capitalists don't have to pay taxes.

That, more than anything else, explains the gradual abandonment of a science-and-exploration-based manned space program: far less money available than there was when we taxed the rich equitably in the 1960s, and what money there was being diverted elsewhere.

On that last point, there was (and is) the insatiable appetite for ever-more sophisticated arms and weapons systems and regime changes and force projections and dozens of other euphemisms to avoid saying "war."

Sadly, the technological leaps that enabled us to go the Moon were co-opted by the defense industry. And face it, some of the congressional votes for the space program from the '60s onward were really about backdoor means of developing miniaturized, extreme-temperature and shock resistant, radiation-proof electronics. Because, hey, a guidance system to leave the atmosphere and go someplace with great precision is needed for nuclear warhead-equipped multistage rockets, too.

The outrage should have come because, since its inception, NASA's civilian space program must, by law, make available all of its developments to the civilian economy -- revolutionary circuitry, new materials science creations, propulsion technology, life science, remote sensing technology that accurately measures climate change, and countless other devices, sensors, instruments and systems. Whereas anything the military "develops" (that is, takes from NASA without paying compensation) is always "classified" to "protect national security." Thus, military spending never stimulates the civilian economy, but NASA spending always has, exponentially. So it's particularly outrageous that uber-capitalists "need" to escape paying taxes is very much the reason why our manned space program is nearly dead, or at the very least, comatose and on life support.

Now, why can't we AT LEAST celebrate the past with a national holiday for that magical time when we had the money to actually do things, like going to the Moon? It's that capitalism thing again. Corporatocracy put congress on notice years ago that it isn't willing to "take the hit" for any more national days off. That very nearly kept us from getting the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. And congress only passed that tribute when Southerners were pacified with the end of a threat that Lincoln's Birthday might yet become a full-fledged paid holiday like washington's Birthday. And folding them together is why the only holiday in February is called President's Day, supposedly allowing us "to celebrate all the presidents," whether we want to include Millard Fillmore and Richard Nixon and George W. Bush or not.

It's pathetic. If the Russians had beaten us to the Moon -- and they were trying -- we would all be celebrating "World Moon Day." No question about it. We should be leading that celebration, and calling it "Space Day" to keep it future-focused. But that might foment popular sentiment to return to space. To actually go to Mars and not just futz around with this nebulous crap of "Oh, sometime in the 2030s. Or so. Maybe."

Doesn't the blockbuster box office success of "The Martian" and Gravity" and the enduring popularity of "2001: A Space Odyssey," suggest anything at all to intransigent politicians? Or are their noses so deep in the corporate funding feed trough that their eyes and ears are buried?

We should be -- seriously now -- developing spacecraft submarines to explore the vast liquid ocean of Jupiter's moon, Europa, which holds more liquid water than all of Earth. The same spacecraft should be built in multiples. It must be capable of boring through the icy crust to get into Europa's seas, and it could do the same on Saturn's far smaller oceanic moon, Enceladus. If we are at all serious about finding life elsewhere in the cosmos, THOSE are the places to start.

And we should send spacecraft submarines to investigate the vast oceans of liquid methane on Titan, the earth-size moon of Saturn which has lakes and streams and rivers and seas of cryogenic liquids that may harbor life based on entirely different formulas than we can imagine.

Or we could delude ourselves into believing we can't afford any of that, even though we did once, when we went to the Moon, with NOTHING as a starting point like all the technology and materials science we have now. Instead, we'll probably celebrate National Wall Street Bankster Piracy Day. But that's every day.



Frank Sinatra:
1) "Fly Me to the Moon"

David Bowie:
2) "Starman" -
3) "Life on Mars" -
4) "Space Oddity" (official video) -

Robert Morgan Fisher:
5) "Don't You Want to Go to Mars?" -


There's PLENTY of news and events, previews and reviews, and all kindsa tuneful trails to follow to times and territories with prevalent strings 'n things in recent editions of the Guide. Depending on what kind of device you're using to read this, either scroll down to recent past editions, or if you see space on the left side, scroll back up to the sidebar where you can click individual editions. You can also open past months or past years or use the site's search bar to -- go way back when Lassie was a lil' bitty puppy dog and Mussolini was a private.

More coming soon.


The Guide brings you frequent editions covering MUSIC NEWS, festivals, events (from concerts to film festivals) and ticket alerts, published separately, and always available right here on the Guide's Blogspot site.

More soon, as always.

Direct to the current editions /


editions load quickly at
CONTACT US at / send Questions / Comments to:

Tiedtothetracks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Contents copyright © 2016, Lawrence Wines & Tied to the Tracks. All rights reserved.
♪ The ACOUSTIC AMERICANA MUSIC GUIDE endeavors to bring you NEWS and views of interest to artists everywhere, more specifically to musicians and the creative community and music makers and fans of acoustic and Folk-Americana music, both traditional and innovative forms. From the deepest roots to today’s acoustic renaissance, that’s our beat. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues, and schedules and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues monumentally large and intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kinds o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to bluegrass and pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to all the roots of the blues and where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell.


No comments: