Saturday, July 14, 2012

3 Chords & the Truth: Telstar!

There was a time that hope sprang eternal, even though the Russkies and we were ready to blow one another to Kingdom Come.

And once upon a time, government and business leaders waxed rhapsodic about how this new communications satellite might bring the world together in peace and brotherhood. In 1962, no one could foresee how this modern miracle of technology would lead to cable-news networks whose business model depends on angry viewers and yelling. Lots and lots of yelling.

Another misguided reason for optimism that year was that Snooki had not yet been born. If we knew then what we know now, we actually might have gone for the "nuclear option."

The real nuclear option.

OF COURSE, none of this is Telstar 1's fault. Telstar was a modern miracle of technology.

It did link the continents via television for the first time.

We could have used it to foster peace and brotherhood among peoples and countries.

Instead, we used the advent of the communications satellite for Fox News, MSNBC . . . and Snooki. Our bad.

What we at 3 Chords & the Truth find to be beyond dispute is that Telstar 1's launch and activation 50 years ago this week changed the world. Drastically. It changed communications. Drastically. It ushered in a new era of the shrinking planet.

And, if you think about it, most of the massive change spurred by a little satellite in July 1962 was for the good and not the Snooki. This is why this edition of the Big Show celebrates the little artificial moon that could . . . and did.

Welcome to the Telstar tribute on 3 Chords & the Truth. You'll be surprised at how much really good music a tribute to the first communications satellite can include.

RANDOM THOUGHT: It's too bad we retired the space shuttle. We could have flown out to Telstar 1 -- yes, it's still in orbit . . . silent, but in orbit -- tied some black balloons with "50" printed in white to an antenna, taped a stupid-looking party hat to some solar cells and then put an "Old Fart" T-shirt on the venerable bird.

It would have been great.

Be that as it may. . . .

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Beep . . . beep . . . beep . . . beep there. Aloha.

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