Mark von Schlegell


The only humans ever to walk on the moon were pilots first, scientists and engineers second.

It’s now 2017. Gravity’s rainbow, so promising on the upswing, on the way down comes only smog-scaled. Earth’s atmosphere is about some 400 kilometers (and that’s being generous) tall, less than the distance from Cologne to Berlin. The airplane does far more day-to-day disruption of that non-eternal fragile depth of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide, than the rockets ripping through. There are different kinds of infinities. The sky is not one of them. The illusory eternal 3D into which the fuselage penetrates has proved the merest wrapped skin on a sphere.

To the pilot, civilization was once toylike, fragile and even tender, a model railroad world in miniature going about its little work. But today’s higher altitudes show the traveler what wartime pilots already saw, swelling populations of energy sucking metropolises turning the night surface into flame, other planes encroaching everywhere on the view. On earth most landscapes are now disrupted by comtrails. It is not the bird the aeroplane now emulates, but the swarming drone.

Meanwhile the rocket continues to puncture the atmosphere, and even return, apparently in a much more realistic gesture to the infinite than what the airplane still now performs. But the rocket’s obscure and simplistic metaphorology only phallacizes the drone, whose relation to the hive is the opposite to freedom. Insisting on the fragile sky and its shallow depth, there is at first glance nothing to believe in with the rocket. The rocketeer purports no secrets. Dreams are not of transcendence but of literal escape. The rocket speaks the truth of its destructive force, without shielding fantasies of social progress. Perfected as a weapon by Nazi scientists, it pretends to do without humanism, and thus claims freedom from the delusions. But the rocket’s apparent imagination of its eternal thrust has only distributed, and left our orbital space encrusted with, space junk, much of it now radioactive.

Carefully separated to illustrate those social classes we might forget when exposed to the imagined infinite of the high prairie, today’s air-travelers pass around the planet egged by the rocket’s junk shell, Howard-Hughsed into a pseudo-normality complete with functioning class system, preferably aisle-seated, definitely not looking down to see the feminist pilot signaling SOS. from that atoll way back in 1937. But today’s progressives could do worse than publicize Amelia Earhart’s probable end; the technology that lifts us, lets us down.

Starship 16: Cover Klara Liden
  1. Cover print Klara Liden
  2. Editorial 16 Starship, Henrik Olesen, Nikola Dietrich, Martin Ebner, Gerry Bibby, Ariane Müller
  3. In this issue Starship
  4. Interview with Leo Bersani, Berkeley, Oct. 1995 Katja Diefenbach, Leo Bersani
  5. Untitled (Flat finish) Michael Krebber
  6. Man sagte mir, dass das Leben schmerzhaft sei ... Cornelia Herfurtner, David Iselin-Ricketts, John Allan MacLean
  7. Karl Holmqvist Starship 16 Karl Holmqvist
  8. Auf der Flucht vor der neuen Dringlichkeit Hans-Christian Dany
  9. Nilpferdkönig Tenzing Barshee
  10. Animal Farm Karl Holmqvist
  11. I started this column a million times Eric D. Clark
  12. Score for Possible Performance (Alonesome and Twosome for Two or Four Players) Michèle Graf, Selina Grüter
  13. Those ornamentals and these accidentals never they will meet Francesca Drechsler
  14. Access cont'd John Beeson
  15. Cut you down to size Robert Meijer
  16. Things Mercedes Bunz
  17. Die Welt geht unter Amelie von Wulffen
  18. Way Beyond The Pale— (An) Itinerant(’s) Meanderings Scott Cameron Weaver
  19. Mongiardino Christopher Müller
  20. Why the military should be the first client of art Robert McKenzie, Peter Fend
  21. Giraffe Birth Leidy Churchman
  22. Photos: Heinz Peter Knes – Words: Sokol Ferizi Heinz Peter Knes, Sokol Ferizi
  23. Nach dem Referendum / Over Time Pt. 2 Florian Zeyfang
  24. La femme nouvelle Nadira Husain
  25. Being invisible is the new cool? Stephanie Fezer, Vera Tollmann
  26. Octavia E. Butler Octavia E. Butler
  27. A.E.R.I.P. Mark von Schlegell
  28. BOandI Monika Kalinauskaitė
  29. Bonnie Camplin Bonnie Camplin
  30. No Gerry Bibby
  31. U.I. Matthew Billings
  32. G. Luke Williams, Natasha Soobramanien
  33. Refound Poetry Evelyn Taocheng Wang
  34. Ein Auswandererroman Ariane Müller
  35. Comedy of Reading Katrin Trüstedt
  36. Mr. Palomar's Vacation Jakob Kolding, Søren Andreasen
  37. The Scrapbooks of Teruo Nishiyama Jay Chung, Q Takeki Maeda
  38. Reality Workshop David Bussel
  39. Queer Crit Potluck Kaucyila Brooke, Louis Coy, Boz David, Jennifer Green, Blake Jacobsen, Tyler Lumm, Giselle Morgan, Ace Shi, Vickie Aravindhan, AJ Strout, Josh Winklholfer
  40. – Xorri, didn’t get the memo # Hey Majorca! Julian Göthe
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