Tuesday, July 20, 2010

1969 & 2010

Forty-One years ago the first (?) men from the Earth landed on the Moon, and humanity's longest hoped for dream was fulfilled, the promise of greater things to come: Lunar colonies that were self-sustaining for the most part, exploration of new resources and materials that could only exist in a 1/6th of Earth G environment, possibly a base from which to construct other more advanced vehicles to travel to Mars, the mysterious Asteroid Belt, onwards and outwards with faster and perhaps =faster= than even light ships...
So wha hoppen?
Well a lot of things, too many to name, but let's just say that they were and are the same as they were then, the same root cause: Richard M. Nixon.
'nuff said.
Then in 1984 the Peter Hyams' sequel to Stanley Kubrick's landmark "2001: a space odyssey" was released, also based on an Arthur C. Clarke book, "2010: odyssey two", retitled for the movies as "2010: The Year We Make Contact".
Well I went to see it opening night, a Friday, in December at the Loew's Astor Plaza in NYC which was the premier spot for 70mm format, larger than life movies, movies such as "Star Wars", "Superman", etc.;
The movie was the exact opposite of "2001" as it was 'hot' as opposed to its predecessor, and of course the special F/X were really special - and an untethered space walk in Jupiter orbit from the U.S.S.R. Leonov to the tumbling end-over-end Discovery, with the liquid lava light surface of the gas giant morphing in the background.
But there were a lot of flaws and anachronisms too: the makers decided to dispense with rear projected images to simulate the video displays aboard both ships, which at the time seemed like a good idea, a step towards realism.
BUT (and that's a pretty big but), viewing it now, in the real year 2010, it looks silly as even the actual displays are thinner than the ones used on the 1987 episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation", and that's supposed to be the 24th Century or around thereabouts.
Also the original "2001" rainbow-hued spacesuits were nixed in favor of circa 1970's "Apollo" mission suits, which it is true that they haven't fundamentally changed so at least that's partly correct.
But "OMNI" magazine ceased being an entity around 15 or so years ago, Kubrick & Clarke even though they served as the images of the U.S. and U.S.S.R. on the cover of the dummy issue of "TIME", have been both deceased for several years now.
The funniest thing is the soundtrack of the music of this movie, which was David Shire on all sorts of primitive synthesizers, sounding very dated now, but so happening at the time.
Andy Summers of "The Police", who did "Walking On The Moon" in 1979, also did "Theme From 2010" which was his take on "Also Sprach Zarathustra", not as jazzy as Deodato's 1973 version but enjoyable nonetheless.
This was included on both the A&M vinyl and Cr02 cassette, but not on the 8-Track because by 1984 there weren't any -- dead format you know.
And since it's really the "2010", this time for real, where the hell are the spaceships to Jupiter BTW?
Oh well, guess I'll listen to Summers' "2010" in the "Summer Of 2010"...

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Today is Tesla's birthday, going relatively unnoticed here in the good ol' U. S. of A.,
yet everything we do and take for granted in the 21st Century owes an enormous
amount of debt to Mr. Tesla, not so much to Thomas A. Edison, despite what the
history books say.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Frida People

"There's two kinds of people in the world:
Those who "get" what Frida Kahlo did,
and those who don't."
-- Don ("Z") Diego