Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Kerry Says ~ Can You Hear Me?

Copyright IronShrineMaiden on DeviantArt
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This is ground control to Major Tom, 
 You've really made the grade 
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear 
Now it's time to leave the capsule 
 If you dare. 

 This is Major Tom to Ground Control 
I’m stepping through the door 
And I'm floating in a most peculiar way 
And the stars look very different today

Few of us who were around in the 70's could fail to have been impacted by David Bowie's Space Oddity (1969). Written at a time when the world was fascinated with space travel, shortly on the heels of Armstrong and Aldrin's first steps on the moon (July 20, 1969) and the release of Stanley Kubrick's ground-breaking movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), the song took its place as an icon of progressive thinking in the latter half of the Twentieth Century. 

Copyright: Vincent Green on DeviantArt
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Though I'm past one hundred thousand miles, 
 I'm feeling very still 
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go. 
Tell my wife I love her very much, 
 She knows. 

 Ground control to Major Tom, 
 Your circuit’s dead, 
 There's something wrong 
Can you hear me, Major Tom?

Several interpretations of the lyrics have been discussed over the years, including feelings of alienation, the world’s loss of meaning to the individual, death, the afterlife. Bowie’s own interpretation went through several changes. Now it is fifty years on - we are living in the future scientists, artists and story-tellers had only begun to imagine and loss of human connection is more prevalent than ever imagined. Increasingly, people live vicariously through media networks, online social interfaces consuming gigs of data like buckets of popcorn with eyes glued to touch screens, while failing to reach out a hand and really connect with those around them. Yet one of the most fundamental characteristics of what it means to be human is the need to be heard.

Our Challenge today is to consider this theme of alienation, what it means to really hear and respond to the needs of others or the concept of Futurism. The complete lyrics for Space Oddity may be read HERE. I leave you with this video clip of Astronaut Chris Hadfield performing the song on the International Space Station.


Margaret said...

Really a neat prompt and one I will have to come back to. I am in Washington DC with three of my girls this week

Susan said...

I hadn't thought of what a good team Hal and Major Tom make. Great theme. I'll be back.

Susan said...

And I did the deed, a little melodramatically.

avalon said...

Kerry, what a beautifully written post. Not just the topic, but the way you present it to us. Not something to take lightly and turning it into a poem will be difficult. I can see this taking time, but wonderful to think on.

Marian said...

Wonderful prompt, Kerry.
I thought Chris Hadfield had taken down his video for copyright reasons (I think he intended to have it up for only a year, or something like that) and I've been missing it. Actually he has a very interesting youtube channel that I follow with my kids... lots of interesting space stuff!
Anyway. I'll try to respond to this and really appreciate your thoughts.

Unknown said...

wow kerry!! beautiful song had never heard it before!! thank you for sharing!

hedgewitch said...

As always, Kerry, a challenge that both nudges one irresistibly, and also truly challenges. I have gone a bit overboard with mine. Thanks, and bear with me fellow toads if I'm a bit slow getting back.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Thanks for the heads up on copyright, Marian. I hope this will not be a problem, since I went all unwittingly to Youtube and there were several clips available.

I hope everyone has fun with this challenge, serious topic aside. Going overboard seems apt given the context.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Susan, Did you mean to link the same poem you linked on Monday because that is where this one leads?

Susan said...

No Kerry. Will you please remove me from #1? Thanks for the heads up.

Susie Clevenger said...

Great Challenge Kerry!

Hannah said...

Inspiring Kerry, thank you!!

Herotomost said...

Not sure if I did this one justice...great prompt.

Kenia Santos said...

Love the prompt, I've recently listened to the song in the movie the secret life of Walter Mitty, love it on Kristen Wiig's voice.

I'll be late for the prompt, but I'll try my best to write. <3

Jim said...

I feel that alienation is easy to do when any other act of kindness would have nothing in return. We need the interpersonal relationship.

That is probably why the social networking was an unexpected outcome of the technological advances of electronic communication. Friendship relationships.

Anonymous said...

Kerry, not cross posting from PU to the garden (I put up a video), but take a look - it does fit into the theme ~ M

Anonymous said...

Better late than never!