Challenge #02363-F173: The Ego Won't Be LandingsteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  3 months ago 

canstockphoto54724946.jpg -- AmberFox

There is, in fact, a Starman waiting in the sky. He is not leaning back on his radio, as the song once said, but is seated comfortably in a red roadster, wearing a stylish spacesuit. He posed so that he could, with a glance, read the dashboard display that says, Don't Panic!

He does not say anything. He does not do anything. That's because he is, in fact, a dummy. An effigy of a human male, thrown into space to suit the ego of one man who may or may not believe that his billions of dollars can send Humanity into the stars. There are already thousands who believe the launch of the car, the dummy, and the dolls representing both, glued to the dashboard, is fake.

The fact that there are thousands who insist the world is flat in spite of generous evidence to the contrary should be warning enough that Humanity is unlikely to reach another planet within this century. Those who insist on pursuing willful ignorance to so solely for their own comfort, and in spite of the clear and present needs of the many, do so at the risk to the many. Then again, Humanity has always had a knack for moving on in its own beliefs until hit hard with the evidence of its own error and hubris.

So far, Humanity has been lucky, and obtained this evidence before the species, its environment, or its society could turn to collapse. Well. For the most part. The pages of history are littered with cultures and civilisations that chose to ignore clear and present danger from: overpopulation, a rigid and unbending set of social tiers, inbreeding for 'purity', lack of proper crop rotation, the spreading of plague-level diseases, fascism, totalitarianism, and revolutions caused by increasing disparity between the wealthy elite and literally everyone else.

However, there is a new and growing threat. Assumption, in combination with a definitive sabotage of public education. It was public education that sent Humanity spinning forward into the levels of innovation that put -for example- humans into space, humans on the moon, and a car in a trans-solar orbit. It was public education that gave many the foundation they needed in order to seek a different path in life.

It's also public education that allowed innovative genius to rise from the ashes of base origins, and create multi-billion dollar industries that an elite few benefit from. If there is one thing that the elite few despise, it's actually witnessing someone pulling themselves up from the mire to become even close to being one of them. It's hard to believe one is in an exclusive and special group if, for instance, the riff-raff keep joining it. Therefore, those in charge seek to destroy any means possible for anyone to climb the ladder.

...thus Evil sows the seeds of its own destruction...

The Starman waiting in the sky is already pocked with micrometeors. The mirror finish of the red roadster is going to be blistered and burned by the sun. Space debris will eventually destroy the car, the display, the dummy, the suit, and the tiny toy replicas glued to the dashboard. The Starman isn't waiting. He cannot wait, as he is inanimate. Tiny collisions will erode him. Specks of dust will turn the car into another Near Earth Object, but this one may or may not have a name.

By the time he can be spotted by telescopes again, will anyone be there to look? Will anyone care to see, or will those who try be burned at the stake for witchcraft?

The man who displayed his ego by launching the car brags that he will have a colony on Mars by the time his car returns to the skies just above Earth. He has already sold tickets to people so they can go on a one-way journey to another world. He has made another fortune off dreamers who haven't thought forward enough to wonder whether or not they are sacrifices to the altar of the wealthy elite. Like the Starman, they will be launched, and very few will care for their fate.

The launch will be a show. Of course it will be. There may even be communications between the brave -paying- volunteers and Earth. At least for as long as they can wring a reality TV show out of it. Succeed or fail, the egotist in charge will continue to make more billions out of it.

Like the Starman, many will think it is all fake.

Like the Starman, there will be a song and dance about the initial success, and nothing about the inevitable hardships thereafter.

Like the Starman, the mission to Mars will only feed one ego, and give nothing to anyone else.

Like the Starman, it will all crumble... but it will be too late to do anything about it. Especially by the man who plans to solve Earth's problems by leaving them behind him, in favour of dominating another world.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / mangust]

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Hi internutter,

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Funny and poignant.
I can't help seeing bits and pieces of some millionaires' campaigns here.
I have always found space programs annoying and I am fully aware of how narrow-minded this attitude can be for most.
I think that the costs do not justify the results. In the meantime, we seem to be given for granted that our planet is going to be destroyed by us and that only finding a way to send an elite to colonize another world, which will most likely meet a similar fate, is the right course of action.
Great story