As I read the article I thought of Octavia Butler and her Lauren Olamina. In the Parable of the Sower Olamina’s belief in space travel becomes the basis of a new religion, Earth Seed.
I wondered how these human habitations would be similar or different in culture to life on Earth. I wondered if there would be mass shootings on Mars.
As I pondered this horrible question, I thought about the shootings in Atlanta and Boulder and the countless others. It seems as if our country is indeed coming out of the pandemic as once again men, mostly young, project their alienation literally through the AR-15s they legally purchase in their local gun stores.
As the Mars rover explores the ground beneath its wheels and takes magnificent images of the Red Planet, and people imagine a human colony on Mars, those of us in this part of Earth seem unable to stop shooting one another, making money out of the process, and creating an entire political system protecting those who would sell the guns and those who buy them–all the while wondering how such violence can take place here, all the while designing human cities on Mars.