So there you have it. I dropped David a line that I was running the interview this week, seeking permission from him to use some of his images to illustrate the piece, but I never heard back. So, no eye candy, alas.
UPDATE: I basically totally forgot that I had posted a scan of the article on my Gallery server, with the kind permission of the magazine.
If you took the time to download and watch the trailer for Man Conquers Space, you’re aware that David has somehow excavated a new emotion: the future of the past is sad.
It’s what we make jokes about when we complain about the lack of aircars and silver-jointed business suits. As promised, you see. We were in fact promised these things: moon bases, orbital space stations, the commercial and scientific exploitation of space. It’s what I wanted to do as a child; it’s what I’d do this very second if I could.
My wife can’t comprehend why I think living – and dying – in Major Tom’s tin can is infinitely more attractive than actively participating in the day-to-day hurly burly of imperial America. It’s something I can’t specifically answer; but I think I can make some generalizations.
First, I think that computers are a surrogate for this lost future. My personal passionate adoption of computers is a substitute for what should have been, a reasonable substitute that provides that particular potential infinity. Yet in space, you can die. I don’t believe that carpal tunnel has yet resulted in a fatality.
The real loss of the possibility of general expansion into space is probably better for individuals in the sense of increasing their survival rate. But for people like me, and David Sander, who really only ever wanted to be granted the possibility of dying out there in the long dark, it’s one of the many little deaths along the road to that final, welcoming blanket.
This is a highly personal interpretation, of course: but as much as I enjoy working with computers, they remain a simulacrum. David’s use is in fact just such a simulacrum.
I must stop. I’m listening to a documentary about the loss of habeas corpus at the discretion of our military and political leadership, and the stars are singing to me. There’s distance there, from all this. From all of it.