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20 January 2011 @ 03:04 pm
Blog: From the Earth to Dillon, TX  
I'm currently in the middle of two television programs: season one of Friday Night Lights and the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. One thing that has struck me is that they both have a similar theme: a big group of people obsessed with something that, ultimately, has no meaning.

Of course, when they were putting together the Apollo program they had no way of knowing that it would be kind of a dead-end. Would they have been able to maintain their enthusiasm had they known that within four years of putting a man on the moon we would never return?* In retrospect, the whole race to the moon seems like exactly that: a race to beat the Soviets to the moon with no point other than to beat the Soviets to the moon. While that is infinitely better than competing with the Soviets on a battlefield it also seems like a strange way to spend a gazillion dollars (which is a bazillion dollars in today's money!).

Similarly, while watching Friday Night Lights the one thing the strikes me is the sheer weirdness of a whole town obsessed with high school football. I concede that I am whatever the opposite of a football fan is and that I'm very much out of step with my countrymen in this regard.** To me, the whole town seems like a strange cult in which these young men are expected to be saviors for a bunch of worshipping hillbillies when the outcomes of the games will literally have no effect on their lives.

Ultimately, both endeavors remind me of those giant stone heads on Easter Island. By all accounts the inhabitants of the island became so obsessed with carving and erecting these giant stone heads that they devoted all their time and resources to them--cutting down virtually every single tree on the island and, ultimately, making the island uninhabitable, But, I guess when you get down to it almost every single human enterprise falls into the same category.

*I won't go into the whole was-the-moon-landing-faked thing here but it is curious that once the Americans landed there the Soviets never even put a man on the moon after a decade of working toward that goal.

** I'm truly shocked by the number of otherwise nerdy cartooning friends I have who are, somehow, into football. I can only think that this is some form of self-hatred.

Current Mood: apatheticapathetic
Current Music: "Special" by the Violent Femmes
mikedawsoncomic on January 20th, 2011 08:13 pm (UTC)
You are making me nuts with your anti-Football bigotry! IT IS JUST LIKE A COLLECTIBLE MINIATURE STRATEGY GAME!! Except live-action!