July 24, 2005

There goes the neighborhood

On Friday morning as I was driving to work, I saw not one, but two Hummers ahead of me at the traffic light where I turn to get on the road that gets me to I-4. The white one was turning left with me; the black one was going straight.

So I wondered: what does it feel like, to have such a need to drive a larger vehicle than everyone else that you drop an excess of funds on a Hummer, only to pull up to the traffic light and find yourself elbow-to-elbow with another Hummer driver? Are you, well, ordinary again?

July 20, 2005

Moon pie in the sky

Today is Moon Day, the thirty-sixth anniversary of the day that humans last walked on our moon. And now I read that Scotty has beamed up permanently. I wonder if he determined, at the last, that there was no intelligent life down here?

Gene Roddenberry took advantage of his Star-Trek soapbox to call peace our "Undiscovered Country". We've shuffled to the moon and back, sent drones to Mars and Jupiter, and submersibles to our deep ocean trenches. My youngest sister likes to point out that we've spent more time on the moon than in the deepest parts of the ocean, and she's still probably right.

But I think we've also spent little time truly at peace, that undiscovered country. It's not an easy place to find; and it seems that many people find it too tempting to leave rather than stay.

Beam him up

From BoingBoing:
James Doohan, chief engineer Montgomery Scott on the original Star Trek, died today at age 85. Rest in peace, Scotty.

July 07, 2005

London Underground: memory escapes

Reading news briefs this morning about the transit bombings in London, I tried to find out what stations had been affected, to remember if I had been to them when I was in Britain as a student.

Strangely, I find it hard to remember now what the stations looked like. I'm finding my memories of London Underground overrun with my mental images of the Underground in Neil Gaiman's fantasy novel, Neverwhere. Time is partly to blame, I'm sure. But I wonder if it's also that I can't quite associate the reality of the places I've been with a bombing. A surreal fantasy setting comes more easily to mind.