July 24, 2021

It’s about Time….It’s about Space…

Growing up in the 60’s, there was a war in our living room every night.  
The horror of the Vietnam War was broadcast in gory detail. We had the domestic assassinations of the Kennedy brothers,  and Martin Luther King.  
We had a front row seat to riots in the streets, soldiers shooting protesters, hippies, John Lennon says the Beatles were bigger than Jesus.  Of course that was taken out of context. 

So it was no wonder the dream of space travel caught the imagination of our world.  We gotta get out of this place.  
There was a sit-com I remember called IT’S ABOUT TIME, by the same guy who did Gilligan’s Island.  America wanted to get lost.

“To the moon Alice!” So said the proto- Neanderthal Ralph Kramden, the bus driver with the anger issues, the man who inspired Fred Flintstone, named after my father, Fred, not Flintstone. And yet Alice always had the upper hand in the series.  In real life, not so much. 
The sixties were an angry time. A time of revolution, sadness, promise, hope was still alive, rock music would change the world, before it became irrelevant. Rock music….or the world?

What we’re gonna do right here is go back, way back, back in time

When the only people that existed were troglodytes... 
Cave men, cave women, Neanderthal, troglodytes. 
Let's take the average cave man at home, listening to his stereo. 
Sometimes he'd get up, try to do his thing. 
He'd begin to move, something like this,
When he got tired of dancing alone, he'd look in the mirror,
"Gotta find a woman, gotta find a woman, gotta find a woman, gotta find a woman". 
He'd go down to the lake where all the women would be swimming or washing clothes or something. 
He'd look around and just reach in and grab one. 
"Come here...come here".
He'd grab her by the hair. 
You can't do that today, fellas, 'cause it might come off. 
You'd have a piece of hair in your hand and she'd be swimming away from you (Ha, ha)
This one woman just lay there, wet and frightened. 
He said: "Move... Move". “. Jimmy Castor Bunch

In grade eight we had a science class called TSM - Time, Space and Matter.  The teacher Mr. Hamm would fill his science lectures with the most horrible puns.  Chirds burping ( birds chirping), I resemble that remark ( instead of I resent that remark) stuff like that.  But I have so many great memories of a great education.  We had a class in grade nine called oceanography, where Miss Dillon would help us dissect sharks- Don’t cut that organ…too late..the entire hallway reeking of dead sharks.  A class called Environmental Science/ Environmental Studies, taught by a science teacher and a social studies teacher.  Definitely a liberal indoctrination but I bought that cake and ate it too.

We had a social studies class taught by Mr. Green, white short sleeve shirts, greased brush cut.  We studied and played a simulation game based on the formation of the US 13 states, called Disunia.  How prescient that was, predicting the Divided States that is a reality today, not a simulation.  How a group of us conspired to take the game in a direction that the teachers did not want it to go. We were gathered in a room and Mr. Felmet lectured us on “ ruining it”” for all the other kids, and ordered us to stop trying to direct the simulated history in a direction that was unacceptable. It was important for budding citizens to understand how democracy worked. I remember the bus ride field trip to Salem to see a real committee working on a bill at the legislature.  
The riding back in the dark, sitting next to Rhonda, my hand under her sweater, making out….dear sweet Rhonda, whose heart I broke so hard that she next went out with Glen, President of the Young Republicans.
I may never forgive myself. 
I wonder some days what happened to all those people.  Geoffrey with the wild Jewish hair, glasses with tape on the bridge, and braces that looked like metal  claws on his unbrushed teeth, saliva accumulated and dried on permanent chapped lips. Geoffrey was always writing his manifesto, such small handwriting, almost a secret cryptic script. Was he a genius or crackpot, or both? Is he locked up or did he just get old like the rest of us?
Junk science may yet prove to be the blueprint for modern conspiracy theory.  
 In 1950 Norbert Weiner wrote The Human Use of Human Beings, his treatise on Cybernetics- a word he coined. 
“The sense of tragedy is that the world is not a pleasant little nest made for our protection, but a vast and largely hostile environment, in which we can achieve great things only by defying the gods; and that this defiance inevitably brings its own punishment. The world of the future will be an even more demanding struggle against the limitations of our intelligence, not a comfortable hammock in which we can lie down to be waited upon by our robot slaves.
We leave the last word to George Jetson, another TV dad, who struggled with his job at Spacely Sprockets, the demands of his wife and family, even the dog.  

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