Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You Will Be Visited By Three Ghosts

I've been avoiding a post about the economy, as I didn't want to put up a rant. But the economy, the relentless Present, fills our minds. My 401k just dropped 10%, who cares if I can't pull money out for 40 years? Gas is 4 dollars a gallon, how am I going to pay to drive my sport ute in and out of the 'burbs every day? How can I somehow get everyone else's money to bail my ass out?

The ghost of the present bears heavily on our shoulders. But, with the election around the corner, that isn't the only ghost that's chosen to visit us.

That dark shadow cast on the earth is the ghost of times past. His name is War, cold and hot, against repressive totalitarian regimes; not disorganized crossdressers like al Qaeda, who can be defeated with porno and blue jeans, but our old adversaries in the former Soviet Union, who are only turned back with heady resolve and American steel. We saw this earlier this year in Georgia, as a progressive Western nation was ripped asunder, while the free world clucked and hissed like old wives. In case you've forgotten, the Russian army is still miles from Tbilisi, and they're digging in for the winter.

Not aggressive enough for you? Well, you wouldn't hear this from the national news, as they dedicate themselves to rifling through Sarah Palin's underwear drawer for scandalous skidmarks, but Russia just sent nuclear bombers to Venezuela. Oh, and they're putting up missile satellite launching facilities in Cuba. Oh, and Russian soldiers are being increasingly decked out with gear bearing the marks of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It'll be a cold night before the sun scares some shadows away.

On the other hand, we do get some reprieve from the ghost of the future; not hollow paeans to hope and change, but genuine enthusiasm and promise. For the first time in man's history, we can now lift a satellite from the earth to the heavens with no government intervention whatsoever.

And what will that satellite share orbit with when it gets there?

A goddamned spacewalking Chinaman, that's what.

Sure, their space program is a cheap knockoff. But if you know the slightest thing about environmentalism, you know the future of the human race doesn't depend on recycling your Red Bulls, or getting your Tahoe hybridized, or throwing up some windmills. It's getting the fuck off of this rock. And with the Chinese in friendly competition, maybe we can get that whole Space Race thing back on track.

Just as soon as I finalize this stock trade, I promise.