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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

Message from the skies

BY Sonny Orr May 24, 2019

The large space rocket blasts off into the heavens. It’s 1969 and the space race is on – first man to the moon and all that stuff. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, we knew that Chaakapesh had been there eons before and that all this space travel stuff had been old hat for a few thousand years or so. That’s why it came as no surprise that the eagle had landed safely. But on that day, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were household names. That was 50 years ago…

Today, some brazen young man with lots of profitable ideas has launched internet service providers on near-earth small satellites. This system will serve the world with superhighspeed (one word as no other word can describe it) internet anywhere and everywhere.

Whoa! Did we just speed up time slightly? Is the world turning faster than it should? Or are we just passengers sitting on the tarmac waiting for our first space tourist destination. Yes, the red planet – the sands of Mars. It seems that this will soon be happening, likely within our children’s lifespan. I would prefer the moon simply because gazing at the Earth is much more entertaining than just gazing at the moon.

I guess the space travel era will be our grandchildren’s legacy. I just hope they don’t meet up with a voracious and really hard-to-kill alien. We have a hard enough time with polar bears and cougars down here on earth.

This reminds me of a movie I saw, based on a long, silly book about the end of the world – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In the beginning we witness all the world’s intelligent creatures, namely the dolphins, suddenly gather together and leave earth, levitating and flying off to a new planet and chittering away, “Goodbye earth… and thanks for the fish.” The world is destroyed soon after. In the end, the hero meets the creator, who was already busy recreating the world because the order to destroy the universe was made in error. The creator, being the creator, realized his mistake and fixed everything.

Now, since we don’t have such enormous powers to fix all the things we think are wrong with this world, we always constantly strive to make it a better place to live – for humans, that is. Do we really need that new pair of socks? How about that second helping of poutine? Can we live without an electronic device for more than five minutes? Are we capable of going back to the moon for better reasons than racing?

Do we really need to leave earth, like the dolphins? Who knows and who cares? Sometimes I believe that the state of our universe is constantly changing and there’s only so much that can be done. I, for one, live my life and try to enjoy it. My little universe is just fine right now, but I know that change is inevitable, so the best I can do is either prepare or go with the flow.

Like that era 50 years ago, who knew that we would be sitting in our blinds and chatting with a neighbour who decided to skip Goose Break this year and go to Hawaii instead? The posts going back and forth, inciting jealousy and pic comparisons, whose vacation is better, the Canada goose or the Hawaiian goose? I would say that the Hawaiian goose has it better off as tourists don’t go on tours with shotguns, like we do.

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Sonny Orr is Cree from Chisasibi, and has been a columnist for the Nation for over 20 years. He regularly pens Rez Notes from the cozy social club in Whapmagoostui where he resides.