And now a temporary break in the gardening conversation. Just as with seemingly two-thirds of the planet, I’ve my sense of wonder stretched to the breaking point due to NASA’s updates on the Mars Curiosity rover, and it’s as if the last 36 years didn’t happen and I was waiting for the first feeds from Viking 1’s landing in Chryse Planitia back in 1976. If anything, I almost wish the Interwebs were available back then, because reading the updates and viewing videos without one of Don Henley’s “bubble-headed bleach blondes” squawking endlessly “Is there life? Is there life?” is extremely enjoyable.
I’ll also warn you that through no fault of my own, I’m a child of the Eighties. Further, while I have no interest in illicit pharmaceuticals, I spent my most formative years hanging out with a lot of stoners. (If you ask really nicely, I’ll tell you how I found out that savannah monitor urine looks almost exactly like crack cocaine, at least to a suburban nit who’d probably smoke laundry detergent and swear it gave him a buzz.) Because of that, I had a lot of exposure to post-psychedelic culture, and it gave me a long-running appreciation for the sequential art of Vaughan Bode, Moebius, Matt Howarth, and Bernie Wrightson. When you’re 14 and bored out of your mind, going through old issues of OMNI was better than drugs, and was almost better than sex. Not that I had any first-hand-experience to make the comparison.
Anyway, here’s a bit of head explodey for people of the right age. First, go to the NASA site and open up the video “Dropping in on Mars: A Rover’s-Eye View“.
At the 14-second mark, start up this video and then go back to the NASA vid:
I have nephews and nieces who won’t get the appeal. I can guarantee, though, that a whole slew of high school classmates will watch this. No matter what they’ve done since the early Eighties, no matter how much they’ve changed appearance or attitude or mental outlook, I can guarantee you that they’ll look at this and yell “DUDE!” Because that’s what we did back then, mostly because we didn’t know any better.