This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

A Romantic '70s Icon Exits the Solar System With a Song

Stocks in this article: AAPL

This being the U.S. of 1970s, the 27 music samples on the record are decidedly biased in favor Western classical music of the 18th to early 19th century. That's the stuff we used to impress people in those days: orchestras, choirs, opera singers, elaborate polyphony and highly structured forms.

Seven classical music excerpts are included and of those, only Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring lies outside of 100-year period defined by the careers of J.S. Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven. Two Bach recordings, two Beethoven recordings and one Mozart aria are all included.

Jazz is underrepresented, with only one recording included, Melancholy Blues by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven. Only one rock 'n' roll recording is listed as well, Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry. While those are all culturally important, one might wonder how they represent us as a species.

On the other hand, the inclusion of one blues recording, Dark Is the Night, by Blind Willie Johnson, seems a stroke of genius. As I've said elsewhere, this little miracle of a wordless song probably represents the human race as well or better than everything else on this disc.

One example of Indian classical music, the raga, Jaat Kahan Ho, sung by Surshri Kesar Bai Kerkar; one example of Javanese court gamelan; one example of Japanese shakuhachi flute. Those three, and all the rest of the recordings here, would fall under what we today in the U.S. would term "World Music," meaning the folk traditions and classical traditions of the non-Western or Native American cultures.

What all that indicates is that we are still growing in our understanding of one another. Someday relatively soon, I suppose, the term World Music will seem terribly quaint, uninformed, non-P.C., because it fails to differentiate between these widely disparate styles. It fails to see the nuance, the individuality, personality and wonder in each culture.

Even here, in a gold-plated record intended to bring our species together, to show it in its best light, there are elements of nationalism and tribalism, hints of "us" and "them." Looking at that "pale blue dot," considering Sagan's words and the vastness of the distances that Voyager 1 has traveled, it is harder to see a "them" here on Earth.

Will any species like ourselves ever find Voyager 1 floating between the stars and play back the encoded information? Not likely. A famous Star Trek film imagined a future human space mission encountering an evolved Voyager spacecraft (calling itself "V'Ger"), sentient and longing for its creator.

That film may be closer to the point than its writers knew. At this moment, we are the alien to our 1977 selves, encountering this vessel as an old-Earth time capsule.

Maybe through this milestone, the rugged, enduring human achievement symbolized by this little antiquated spacecraft, bridging the gap of space and time, we are gaining a surprisingly clearer view of ourselves and a glimpse of our true potential.

-- Written by Carlton Wilkinson in Asbury Park

3 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs