The Hate has started.

“The next moment a hideous, grinding speech, as of some monstrous machine running without oil, burst from the big telescreen at the end of the room. It was a noise that set one’s teeth on edge and bristled the hair at the back of one’s neck. The Hate had started.”

An apt description, I think, of the re-election campaign kickoff event held last night in Orlando by The Corrupt One. Of course, the quote is from George Orwell’s 1984 and not the The New York Times, although the Times’ lede wasn’t bad: “President Trump delivered a fierce denunciation of the news media, the political establishment and what he called his radical opponents on Tuesday as he opened his re-election campaign in front of a huge crowd of raucous supporters by evoking the dark messaging and personal grievances that animated his 2016 victory.”

Continue reading “The Hate has started.”

The man who sold the moon

When I was about twelve years old I read a science fiction novella by Robert Heinlein called The Man Who Sold the Moon. It was published in 1950. The plot involves a wealthy industrialist — the richest person on earth — who is seized with the goal of becoming the first person to reach, and thereby control, Earth’s moon.

Despite his great wealth, Delos Harriman, known as the “last Robber Baron,” must find additional investors, or at least more money to sink into the venture. He also has to find a way to keep governments around the world from laying claim to the moon.

Harriman’s lawyers come up with a scheme. Under international law, property rights include the airspace above any given piece of real estate. Airspace, of course, is limitless, reaching to the infinite. The moon’s orbit takes it over the Earth’s equator, drifting slightly north and south in a narrow band. So the countries near the equator can all claim some partial ownership of the moon. Continue reading “The man who sold the moon”

My throwback weekend

I recorded my part of the narration for the PBS Woodstock 50th anniversary documentary film almost exactly 2 years ago. Exactly was this past Thursday. I finally saw the film this weekend — twice. And participated in 2 Q&A sessions after the screenings, along with the director.

I love the film. (“Of course you do” says everyone.) I think it is a seriously fine piece of historical documentary filmmaking, narrated by the original participants. The film is comprised of 80-90% never before seen footage, shot by Michael Wadleigh’s crew but never used in his epic Woodstock film. And the views are almost all down on the ground with the people, in and of the crowd, not on stage.

The many friends who accompanied me (thank you again!) said they came away feeling they had a whole new idea of what it felt like to be there. It’s an entirely new take on Woodstock.

It’s still opening in theaters around the country. If you went to Woodstock, you should definitely check this out. You might see yourself in the film – “never before seen” footage, right? Check the sked at this link. Coming to PBS in August.