Space Is The Place

by January 9th, 2008 - Science » Creative » Writing »

When I used to – [singing] “Space is the place…”

Ahem. All the way back in – [singing] “…space is the place…”

GOD DAMN IT! Alirght, already. I dig. Space is the place. It has been…for like 6 years now. Leave me alone, Sun Ra…I’m writing.

Ok…he’s gone. He visits every now and then. He can do that…magic and crazy made-up shit I can’t remember exactly. But now I’m off on a tangent before I’ve even begun. This is surely a noteworthy record and you’d duly take note of it if you were in fact still reading.

Getting back to the actual tangent. There are two completely mind-destroying songs in existence. The first is “Uncle Meat Film Excerpt Part I” from the Frank Zappa album Uncle Meat. This was one of Zappa’s film ideas gone horribly wrong and winding up completely incomplete, although you can find copies of the thing in various ways I’m sure. I came across a double feature DVD for sale featuring Frank Zappa’s “Uncle Meat” and Hunter S. Thompson’s “The Crazy Never Die”. Both are terrible, the latter now ironic, but at least Uncle Meat was terrible in a good way…if you dig mental endurance of strange criminal repetitions…

What gets you with the excerpt on the album are the incredibly dumb things you love the first 3, 18, maybe 576 times…but on that 577th time, your brain stops functioning as a normal human being’s would and it then exists only to continue listening to “I’m using the chicken to measure it…” or the classic “He’s using the chicken to measure it…” It is only pure luck that we ever escape this cruel loop. Surely, this is the real cause of schizophrenia in many of our brave hipster outposts on this…planet Earth.

The other song…is straight goddamn beautiful…all the time…37m 55s. But it is straight goddamn beautiful like the Sirens…it will also still destroy what little ability you had left to disguise yourself as a normal straight man…ahem. This is Sun Ra’s “Space is the Place” off of the album Space is the Place…[singing] “Space is the place…” You get the picture? You think this article is repetitive…brother! The song brings back smells of places you haven’t been to in five or six years – I’m young, that’s a long time for me. And if after 37m 55s you somehow do not agree – this is an impossibility – that [singing] “Space is the place…” Sun Ra lands his ship on your house, crushing it, teleports you to SPACE…not a planet, but SPACE – with no atmosphere dig? – yells “Space is THE place, asshole!” and leaves you there to ponder it for what I believe is 9 seconds…depends whether you’re going by Total Recall or Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy laws of physics and such.

Now, that brings me back to my original thought…before an echo of it interrupted me. In the year of our lord 2007, when I still slaved away to cable…I found I would watch the science stations almost all the damn time – my almost exclusively watching the same episode of “How It’s Made” and paying $50 for it being the key impetus for jettisoning cable. Yet I did from time to time watch other things…and I remember digging a special I saw on charting a course to Mars.

But apparently, there ain’t that much science out there for 3 or 4 science channels to fill their lineups, cause pretty much all you would get was special after special describing just how particularly we’ve not yet made it to Mars and how much we’ve learned that we still don’t know enough about it.

And I started thinking to myself, angrily, threateningly – and paused for a moment to sort out this misunderstanding me and myself just had – “STOP MAKING GOD DAMN SPECIALS…AND…GO…TO…MARS!!!!!!!!!” Scientists don’t do science anymore…they just make documentaries about what it would be like if they still did. Spend that money on GOING TO MARS!

Irrational, indeed…but you know there was a time in “space exploration” when a guy would put fake wings on his arms and stuff fireworks up his ass – POOF! – off into the sky he went. Of course, he exploded or perished in other ways without actually making it anywhere close to space, but that’s beside the point. Surely we could do with a modern, somewhat more technologically driven form of that. For instance: “Boy that’s some mighty fine tachnawlagy you got there, Brad. It’s got all them doodads and whatchyamaspinsems. Course…it couldn’t actually make it to the end of the pigpen. But with all that raw nuclear material rocking around in your pants you sure do got a 0.000103% chance of actually making it to Mars…Godspeed!” You slap Brad on the back, light the thing, and hope…until 3 seconds later when your hope is crushed along with your corporeal body.

Of course, in the end none of this is really necessary…only extremely and entertainingly dangerous…and if we just stop and listen… Baby! We’re already there.

You want to know about Mars? Sun Ra is there, you fools! Sun Ra…and rocks. You will get there…and find…Sun Ra, laughing his ass off.

Go man go!

I’m Thomas K…[singing] “Space is the place…”

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