Well, as every American school child knows, this day in 1941, was “a date which will live in infamy.” Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. Two quick things. First, I’m sure FDR was thrilled, because he had been itching for a reason to get into the war because our UK allies were involved in it. Second, what we did to the Japanese in the following years decreases “infamy” to something more like “rudeness.” And don’t bother me about it. Just because modern warfare is accepted by much of the world does not mean that I have to accept it. Was the Pearl Harbor attack on civilians? No. Okay, on to more pleasant subjects.
On this day in 1972, one of the most famous pictures in the history of humanity was taken: The Blue Marble. It was shot by the crew of the Apollo 17 — the same day that the mission was launched. It was the last time that we went to the Moon. We had gotten really good at going to the Moon, so Americans didn’t care. On the other hand, when we were fighting a pointless war in Vietnam, you have to wonder if they weren’t right.
Regardless, the picture is spectacular. It makes Africa look kind of small. But more than that, it makes humanity look small and fragile. It makes me wonder about everything we fight over. There are currently 27 armed conflicts ongoing on in Africa. That’s half as many as there are countries in Africa. It’s just sad. It makes me wonder if this is why we die relatively young. Who could suffer the pain of watching humanity for hundreds of years?
But at least the image makes me think of a beautiful song: