Neil Armstrong: Would not be happy with this epitaph
The Battle Creek Enquirer published an article on the death of Neil Armstrong titled “Goodbye to the last American hero”.
In this article, the author, Chuck Carlson states “Indeed, maybe we can even make the case that Armstrong was our last American hero”. In my humble opinion, I think that Neil Armstrong’s reply to this would be…”What a load of crap”. Mr. Carlson stated that Armstrong was “He was humble and polite and just a little embarrassed about all the fuss that was made about it.” The truth is that Armstrong was embarrassed because he knew all the engineers behind him that made him a giant. He was embarrassed because in his own words, he was a test pilot that was chosen for the job. He knew that he was strapped to a high tech marvel of engineering that made him a global star.
A good analogy would be if you were a baseball player that could close your eyes when you swing the bat because the technology in the bat insured that the bat would hit a home run every time. Then you became a star because you were known as the greatest baseball play in history. That is how life was for Neil Armstrong.
To Mr. Armstrong’s credit….he was a very brave man. There was a significant chance that the mission would fail and that he would die. He is a hero for his bravery. But the last American hero? That is where we as a society go awry.
Half of our nation believes that the sky is falling in the next few years. That same half believes that we are doomed to WWIII, that the US dollar will fail and that we will be living in bomb shelters and eating dog food before 2020. No wonder we have news articles about the “last American Hero”. That half of America has forgotten two major points that make all their fears moronic.
1) Those same brilliant engineers that put Neil Armstrong on the moon are still around, just the next generation of nerds that are the true power of our country. The put a damn SUV on the planet Mars! If you think that there are no more heroes in America then you need to visit the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. While our government is cutting Nasa’s budget so they can drop more bombs in the middle east, our brilliant scientists and engineers pulled off the greatest Space engineering feat in history with the Mars Curiosity Rover. All we need to do to see today’s heroes in America is to take our heads out of the sand (literally) and get back to doing what made us great…..BUILDING and EXPLORING. Our greatest generation fought WWII, but it only lasted six years and 1 day. In that time they ended all the fighting on the planet and began the greatest economic growth period in history. We have been in Afghanistan for over 8 years, have accomplished NOTHING, and as of today have spent over $1.3 Trillion dollars funding them. This is the difference between a war to protect society and a war for corporations to profit.
2) That brings us to the second moronic thing that keeps us from seeing our real heroes. Corporations have brought greed to a whole new level. The outsourcing of America is complete. Our real heroes…engineers, scientists, and brilliant minds, have no where to work and they cannot invent. We have no place in our society for our heroes and because of patent laws and a corrupt legal system, our brilliant minds can no longer invent without being shut down by the powerful corporations who only steal what they have not invented themselves. The recent battle between Apple and Samsung is a clear example of the Titans of industry fighting over who gets to steal technology from the little inventors of the world. Both of these companies are guilty of theft of intellectual property since their inception. The problem is that they are not in court for the hundreds of inventions they have stolen from American engineers. They are in court to see who gets to steal the next 100.
In order to see our heroes of today, we need to make a place in our society for them. Give them jobs. Make their work safe from the corporate thieves. Neil Armstrong will be missed…..but if you ask him, I think he would say to look at what you have around you now as far a talent and brilliance and let the past fade into just a good feeling about what we did.