THE FINAL FRONTIER - 10.16.2021
October 16, 2021
Good Saturday morning. I'm author Richard V. Rupp, writing from Burbank, California. Welcome to RUPP'S NOTES/FBI SPECIAL AGENT HARTMAN SERIES posts.
Happy National Dictionary Day! Yes, there seems to be a day for just about everything, and I like this one because I love words and what you can do with them. This American day of celebration was selected because on this day in 1758, Noah Webster was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He produced the first fully American dictionary, the AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, the precursor to the now famous and widely used MERRIAM-WEBSTER DICTIONARY. It is suggested that today you pick up a dictionary and learn the meanings of at least five new words. I happen to do this all the time and then try them out on you in my posts.
You could not have asked for a better playoff series than my Dodgers and the Giants. Both teams played their hearts out, and there was no question that this was a continuation of the ongoing war between two franchises that share so much history, dating back all the way to when they both resided on the other side of the country. I will have to agree with my Giant friends that the game ended on a blown call. A blown call that will be revisited and discussed for years. But that's the way it has always been with these two teams. It looks like the rules will be changed with respect to a check-swing. One article says umpires treat a check-swing strike call a lot like what U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously stated in 1964, describing his definition for obscenity: "You know it when you see it." After the game, Ted Barrett, the umpire crew chief for the game, explained that "By the rule book, it just says, did he offer at the pitch? So, there's a lot of ambiguity in the call, but we do our best to try to be consistent, so players know what's a swing and what's not."
As I watched news clips of William Shatner's voyage to space and listened to his extensive comments upon return, I thought of the NASA astronaut personality test. I suspect Shatner would not have passed it. The 90-year-old actor, recording artist, and TV pitchman would probably drive everyone with him nuts on a lengthy trip. One report indicated, "When Shatner disembarked, he looked over-the-moon happy; maybe there were tears in his eyes." But then Jeff Bezos invited him along on the voyage to help promote his space tourism venture for the rich. I suspect that Jeff was glad the journey only lasted ten minutes. Yes, Mr. Shatner is a born promoter who loves to talk and talk and talk. And we all love him for it.
The introductory text for Shatner's Star Trek television series made me think about the Sci-Fi novel I'm working on, SKYWARD.
Space: The final frontier
These are the voyages of the Starship, Enterprise
Its 5-year mission
To explore strange new worlds
To seek out new life and new civilizations
To boldly go where no man has gone before
That last line of text first appeared in a 1958 White House document addressing the American/Russian space race. That space race to the moon was short and ended with Apollo 17 just before Christmas in 1972. I found these comments about that space race. "The enormous budget of the space program had already faced opposition from legislators and activists who wanted to prioritize domestic priorities, such as the war on poverty. In the seventies, with the Soviets beaten in the race to the moon, and Richard Nixon, a fiscal conservative, in charge, the public appetite for costly space exploration diminished, and government spending began to flow away from the Apollo program."
That same political philosophy about space exploration has again come into play. The politician's pork-barrel philosophy also recognizes there are no voters in space, so don't waste any money there. Even if there is an American/China space race (which I believe there will be), our politicians will pass our part of the game to American billionaires in private enterprise.
Here's a synopsis of my novel from a response to a follower who asked me about my screenwriting efforts – I have found novel writing far easier than screenwriting. At least for me. I'm now working on a Sci-Fi novel that begins in the present. I'm attempting to address some of the current tribalism and other societal problems. I have a wealthy group attempt to escape them by establishing a colony on the moon, with the objective of going on to colonize Mars. Straight out of the headlines.
An article I just read indicates the U. S. Postal Service delivers 41 pounds of junk mail to each of us every year. And that 44% of it is never opened. Based on the junk mail I get; I would say these statistics are probably correct. I'm also still getting mail for the last three occupants of my apartment unit. Apparently, none of them put in for a change of address. I've given up writing "No Longer at This Address, Return to Sender" on the envelopes and putting them into the outgoing mailbox as my letter carrier just puts them back in my mailbox. This makes me wonder if the Postal Service tests letter carriers for literacy.
The expanding problem of tribalism in our country was emphasized by this past Columbus Day, which included protests, defacing of statues and churches. This federal holiday is celebrated the second Monday of October and arose out of a late 19th-century movement to honor Italian American heritage when Italian immigrants faced widespread persecution. But for many, it's now a symbol of the colonization and oppression of Indigenous people. In recent years, it has been replaced by Indigenous Peoples' Days in many states and cities.
Laura Silver, a senior researcher at PEW RESEARCH CENTER, said that in the U.S., "Republicans and Democrats seem to disagree about almost everything. . . there are strong political disagreements, and people disagree on basic facts. . . there's a growing sense that conflicts are increasing."
Pew's numbers bear that out: In 2012, fewer than half of Americans said they thought "very strong conflicts" existed between Democrats and Republicans. By 2020, that number has soared past 70%. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened these divisions, with that number now at 88%.
The problem has been exasperated by the combination of political conflict to include high levels of ethnic, racial, and religious conflict.
The University of Virginia's Center for Politics recently did a survey that found over half of Biden voters and 60% of the Trump voters said that they had come to view the leaders of the opposing party are a "presenting a clear and present danger to American democracy."
I know that the colonization of space sounds way out there (Sorry, I couldn't resist). But going to the Final Frontier may be beneficial for our society in many ways. You will be able to check out my beliefs on this subject in my upcoming novel SKYWARD.
Richard V. Rupp, Author
Website – www.richardvrupp.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright©2021 by Richard V. Rupp