R.I.P., Gil Scott-Heron (1949-2011), one of the most cogent social commentators of my generation.
In memory of his accomplishments, I offer here as food for thought – especially for those of us in the space community who think about the value of government investments in space exploration – an excerpt from the lyrics he wrote for “Whitey on the Moon” (Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, 1970).
“…I can’t pay no doctor bills
But Whitey’s on the moon
Ten years from now I’ll be paying still
While Whitey’s on the moon…
With all that money I made last year
For Whitey on the moon
How come I ain’t got no money here?
Hmm, Whitey’s on the moon
You know I just about had my fill
Of Whitey on the moon
I think I’ll send those doctor bills
(To Whitey on the moon)”