Monday, July 20, 2009

When Words Matter

I'm sitting at home watching the History Channel replaying CBS' coverage of the moon landing from 40 years ago, with Walter Cronkite anchoring. Neil Armstrong has just set foot on the lunar surface, and as I watch this greatest achievement in human scientific history*, I can't help think of a routine Robert Klein did on one of his first albums.

He talked about Armstrong being a man of such integrity, how his first words ("That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind") were so classy and perfect for the occasion. Klein pointed out that if Armstrong had been a different kind of man, if he had wanted to set himself and his family up for generations, his first words would have been "COCA-COLA!!!"

*Actually, the achivement wasn't just getting two astronauts to the moon, but getting them home safely, too, just as JFK promised.