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Hazy cosmic jive (Get your ass to Mars)

Jan Aldrin, Buzz Aldrin, Dr. David Bowie and Christina Korp at the hospital in Christchurch, NZ.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – When you see a news story beginning with the line, “In a remarkable coincidence …” you know you’re going to be in for a wild ride.

And this time, the reporter writing those words did not let me down. And to echo the reaction of my Aussie buddy who alerted me to this story, “Are you fucking kidding me?”

Well, I guess I’m glad I waited a few days to write my latest sync piece, because it turns out it was worth the wait. The Australian news site featured the headline “Buzz Aldrin treated by Dr. David Bowie in remarkable coincidence.”

The 86-year old Apollo 11 astronaut (our "Starman"), the second human to walk on the moon back in 1969, right when Bowie released the song “Space Oddity”a wink to Bowie’s favorite film at the time, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey – became seriously ill with fluid in his lungs and was evacuated from South Pole, which he was visiting with his son Andrew as part of a tour group.

Aldrin was flown to a hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand, where many Antarctic expeditions are launched. He has been kept in quarantine since this past weekend when he arrived.

And yes, the doctor treating Aldrin is named Dr. David Bowie. A photo of Aldrin features Bowie, Aldrin’s daughter Jan and Aldrin’s manager Christina Korp, who Tweeted “Thank heaven @TheRealBuzz’s doctor is David Bowie. You can’t make this stuff up.”

The ladies in the accompanying Twitter photo are sporting T-shirts which read: “Get Your Ass to Mars.” Aldrin is wearing the same shirt in this 2015 photo with talk-show host Larry Wilmore. You may recall that it was five years ago this week that Russia's Phobos-Grunt probe "failed" and may have been sabotaged by an unknown force. A lot of mystery surrounds that weird, potato-shaped moon.

So, Bowie’s first notable hit, “Space Oddity,” is released in summer ’69 just as Neil Armstrong and Aldrin set foot on the Moon – the same celestial body where American astronauts discover a monolith in the 1968 Kubrick film that so inspired Bowie (and me, for that matter. It’s why I do what I do).

And it would be the somewhat baffling Buzz Aldrin who would famously suggest in a 2009 C-SPAN interview that a monolith was on the Martian moon of Phobos, something that would inspire the late Beatle John Lennon’s son, Sean Lennon, to collaborate with Les Claypool of Primus and record an album this year called Monolith of Phobos (reviewed here) and one of my favorites, behind Bowie’s Blackstar.

So, several days ago I was thinking about Buzz Aldrin’s health predicament and wondering what he was really doing down there in Antarctica, the icy continent said to have more than a few “secret bases.” I also was thinking about the Claypool Lennon Delirium Monolith of Phobos album, which Aldrin helped inspire. Unsurprisingly, these thoughts would seep into my subconscious and reappear in a dream that very night.

In the dream I am in line for a book signing. It’s a book signing for Buzz Aldrin, who apparently had a new book out. When my turn comes to get my book signed, I take the opportunity to ask Buzz about his “monolith on Phobos” statement and to elaborate. I’m a journalist, I tell him, and my readers want more information on this remarkable claim made by a credible man, historical figure and international celebrity.

Well, Aldrin’s demeanor changes and he stands up, looking angry, and growls “This book signing is over. And no, I will not talk about the monolith.”

And Buzz Aldrin stomps off, much to my shock and the shock of others in line. This is curious, in light of Aldrin's push for America to return to the Moon, Mars and, apparently, Phobos. Mars has been looming large of late, as blogger Goro Adachi has been noting.

In my Jan. 2, 2016 Dust Devil Dreams post “Walls come tumblin’ down,” I note – in the subhed “Monoliths” – that I had a dream on Dec. 31, 2015 where I am communicating with a “dead astronaut” named “David.” I write that “(c)learly this dream was influence by the remarkable new David Bowie video for ‘Blackstar’ …” which would be released the following week, and followed by Bowie’s death two days later.

And while there have been many amazing albums released this bizarre year, Blackstar is the best of the lot, by far.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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