As I was wandering through Walgreens, I caught “Galileo” by the Indigo Girls1,2,3 and immediately, I thought of the demise of the unmanned space craft Galileo, which met its fate in the atmosphere of Jupiter on Sunday. NASA made sure to sacrifice Galileo for fear of contaminating Europa’s surface with terrestrial microbes, bringing to mind the warning from Arthur C. Clarke’s 2010
All these worlds are yours—except Europa. Attempt no landings there.
Of course, this also brought to mind the Cure song “Jupiter Crash”4,5, 6 This song is really about the comet Shoemaker-Levy slamming into Jupiter in 1995 but it’s still appropriate.
And thinking of the Cure made me realize that summer is finally over. The autumn equinox is upon us. “The last day of summer always seems so cold.” (From, appropriately enough, “The Last Day of Summer” by the Cure7,8
There is something about this time of year that just makes me sad and makes me aware of how lonely I am. (Then there is that poem “Spring and Fall: To a Young Child” by Gerard Manley Hopkins that I read in high school.) I mean, I have a lot of sad memories from this time of year (including great, grave things from long before I started keeping a blog) so maybe it’s understandable. Ah, hell.
You now, though, last year wasn’t so bad. What is it that changed?