12 May, 2013

I Just Realized that My First Dog Didn't Go to That Farm Upstate

There's a Philip K. Dick quote that I can't remember the source of where he is haraunging Robert Heinlein's lack of creativity. He cites a story he read in the newspaper where an eighty year old couple recently got married and said that this was the kind of tenderness and humanity that Heinlein, with his space captains and militarism could never achieve. I have to think he was right to a certain extent, but then again: Blade Runner. It's hardly fair.

(Of course he later was supported financially by Heinlein, who greatly respected the grand holy fool of classic science fiction, which is a turn of events that proves that some stories can go unwritten by a man as great as Philip K. Dick).

So, then I saw this on Yahoo's main page. These kind of stories aren't just limited to imagine scrimage battles between sci-fi authors. Romance still happens despite all the horror show that modernity seems to be churning out on a daily basis.

Then I saw the depressing fact: This guy is one of 11 US survivors of the Battle of Guadalcanal.
 
Eleven.

There were tens of thousands of these men at one point, now there's less than a dozen. And one of them has cancer.

I've got to have a lie down.

I remember telling an ex-girlfriend of mine why I wanted to take a World War II tour of Europe and as I was talking it out I realized that someday, within my lifetime, every one of these guys is going to die. Same with Holocaust survivors (who, even as children aren't that much younger then the men who fought in the war, especially when they start hitting the 100 years mark). The last survivor of World War I died within my lifetime and that war, like this war, is going to lose all of its witnesses. It's going to decay into the Past in a very real way

While we're never going to forget what these events stood for and it's stories like the ones above that remind us that there is still plenty of life left in these people. Their story isn't over. And yet, the past is an endangered species and we're going to watch all of it slide away if we give it long enough and Jesus Christ what the fuck is that about?