Yesterday morning, the cool guys in the office took a break at 9:30 to huddle around the dish to watch CNN's live coverage of the space shuttle launch. First one since Columbia 'sploded a couple years ago, you know. We drew straws to see who had BK duty -- who had to trek next door to Burger King for a managerie of breakfast 'wiches. Good stuff, the BK. But anyway, while we're watching the amazing footage -- the tan booster tank was equipped with a camera so NASA could examine the jettison of the tanks in case damage to the shuttle occurred, and they made the live feed available to the media -- six grown men stand in front of the TV in awe. Silent. I mean, how many shuttle launches have their been? A lot many. And the footage is always the same boring ground shot, with the shuttle getting smaller and smaller as it approaches the atmosphere, while you imagine what it must look like up close.
This camera filled in that blank. When the two smaller tanks were jettisoned into the Indian Ocean, we saw it live -- just the most sensational thing ever. I mean, it was not computer animation, it was the actual shuttle tanks being jettisoned, live! And then a few minutes later, the camera captured the shuttle itself, now out of the atmosphere and in space, lifting away from the large booster tank. I'm not speechless very often, as you know. But this was one of those times. I mean, how do you even describe LIVE footage like that?
We all just stood there, eating breakfast croissanwiches from BK, watching the shuttle go off. I mean, the only way it would have been better is if CNN had played Zamfir's Lonely Shepherd over the footage. I might have cried if they'd done that. Actually, that being the case, its probably better that they didn't. Zamfir's just so fucking good at playing that Pan Flute. He's the Master of the Pan Flute, you know. I know this because the commercials they used to air during cartoons on Nickelodeon when was a wee lad said so.
I was always mesmerized by that Zamfir guy and his crazy Pan Flute. When I was a senior in college, one night I got back from the bars -- I think it was The Jay -- and for the first time in probably at least 12 or 13 years I saw one of the commercials again. In my drunk state, I called and ordered the CD. When it arrived 8 weeks later, it scarcely left the CD deck of my Buick. Which made it all the sadder when it was stolen by the burgler who broke into our house later that year...the bastard stole all the good ones. Vanilla Ice "To The Extreme", Zamfir, Rick Springfield "Working Class Dog", Journey "Frontiers", among others. I don't care if the guy was a homeless wino who needed to sell my CD's for food. You don't take a man's Zamfir or Journey CDs. Take the Mariah Carey CD that he bought to impress his then-girlfriend. Take the Neil Diamond CD that everyone made fun of him for having. Hell, take the Kris Kross CD because it was going in the garbage soon anyway. But not Journey, and not Zamfir.