Mark Marberry Mug

Mark Marberry

A few weeks ago there was celebration and remembrance of the moon landing 50 years ago. The last moon landing was in 1972 — 47 years ago.

This country went from being the leader in the space program by beating the Russians (Soviets) to another globe, to having to depend on the Russians to get our best and fittest to the International Space Station still in orbit around our planet. America has gone from the amazing historical accomplishment of moon landings to the dubious historical accomplishment of two mass murders on the same day.

People often think that society and technology progress or improve at a steady pace, but this is rarely-if ever-so. We sent men to the moon when engineers did calculations by hand using sliderules to having incredibly complicated computer programmed engineering solutions for video games and high end corporate databases that are hacked by teenagers in basements in other countries. “Progress” can have more than one meaning.

Personally, I still claim that the United States of America is the greatest country on Earth and probably in history with many great people and potential. However they are being drowned out by the cacophony of those who do not possess what used to be called “the vision thing.”

My wife and I, living out on the farm away from light pollution, occasionally sit in chairs and slap mosquitoes and look at the sky of a night and marvel at the moon, stars, airplanes, satellites and occasionally a meteorite on its way to destruction. Sometimes we see things that we don’t even know what they are. There is a richness in the vast darkness of a never-ending theatre accompanied by the symphony of crickets, bullfrogs and the occasional coyote that pixels will never duplicate.

Instead of looking at largest theatre that can be found, thousands to millions of miles across, too much of America now looks at little screens 3 or 4 inches wide. Instead of watching a moon landing on a black and white flickering and snowy television and being intensely proud of a pinnacle of human achievement, couch potatoes watch massive hi-resolution screens and are intensely proud of trivial sports achievements, racking up “kills” in virtual reality or investing emotion in the cultural deserts of modern movies and television series. Society has gone from looking up to looking down.

The recent mass killings show a people with a lack of moral compass or guidance. The Bible says that without a vision, the people perish. At the time Armstrong and Aldrin were walking on the moon, society began replacing visions like returning to the moon and going beyond with a type of smallness and sarcasm that is meant to tear each other down instead of building each other up. All too many have gone from looking outward to inward and learned to sit and think about how to be offended at what someone says and how to profit from it.

America started replacing self-respect with self-esteem. Popular culture is now celebrating our internal flaws and shortcomings instead of our abilities to overcome disadvantages and improve our society. Popular culture now promotes a version of existential nihilism that encourages a life that is without value, purpose, or meaning, and credentialed, credulous talking heads are mystified when all too much of society wants to run wild and die on illicit drugs and young men want to take up arms and slaughter in a random fashion.

Accomplishing historic feats like going to the moon requires a discipline of thought and purpose that earlier generations carried out as an everyday part of their lives. Old news clips show men wearing button down shirts, ties and fedoras as casual wear to major league baseball games. Now clothing styles are a shambles with a look of slovenly carelessness.

The youth of this great nation went from celebrating real life heroes like Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin to worshipping a totally fake Captain America and Iron Man.

America went from a nation that in the course of roughly 60 years accelerated from horse and wagons to putting mankind on the moon. 50 years later people throughout society are regressing to animalistic behavior. America went from trailblazing our way to the moon to not knowing how to get there because Google Maps doesn’t list it.

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Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at mmarberry@farmingtonpressonline.com.


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