Thursday, August 11, 2011

Throwing Rocks At Tin Cans

“Another one of them new worlds. No beer, no women, no pool parlors, nothing. Nothing to do but throw rocks at tin cans, and we gotta bring our own cans.”

Earl Holliman as
the spaceship’s cook

So it’s the future—the real good future,
the one with cool interstellar spaceships
that travel faster than light—and people
still build conversations around tin cans.

Beyond that minor complaint, however,
that’s one of my favorite lines from films.

It’s funny, so you think about the words,
but then after you see the entire film,
if you’re a person who thinks about film,
all of the words become evocative.

On the planet that appears so empty,
someone in-the-know can have anything.

And there is a tin can—so to speak—there
already, the metal robot Robby.

And when everything starts to fall apart
all the high technology and weapons
turn out to be about as meaningful
in struggles that arise out of our hearts
as would time spent throwing rocks at tin cans.

So in the future, if we somehow get
the real good one, the one with cool spaceships
that travel faster than light and visit
all manner of fantastic new planets,
remember to count on the kitchen staff
to cook up some tasty philosophy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Why Did I Write This?

Last week Friday I did a post that talked about the star Albireo. That’s a beautiful star in the constellation Cygnus, the swan.

Two weeks ago Friday I did a post that talked about the star Vega. That’s the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, the harp.

Well, I didn’t plan it at all, but that sort of created the start of a trilogy.

Cygnus the swan and Lyra the harp are two constellations of what astronomers call the Summer Triangle.

So this Friday, tomorrow, I pretty much have to complete the trilogy and do a post about the star Altair in the constellation Aquila, the eagle. Aquila is the third constellation in the Summer Triangle.

I realized last weekend I would need to do a post about Altair and Aquila this Friday, but I couldn’t think of anything to say.

At some point this week, I remembered that the story of the movie “Forbidden Planet” takes place on a planet they call Altair IV.

There you go!

So, today’s post is just me: 1) killing time until tomorrow; and 2) trying to think of some topic from the movie, “Forbidden Planet,” that I can use to write about tomorrow.

I still can’t think of anything. But I’m going to work on it. That will finish off the Summer Triangle trilogy that I didn’t even know I was going to do.

Maybe something will occur to me tomorrow when I’m in the kitchen cooking.

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