Comedy //

I Am So Fucking Sick of Melancholy Blues

Guest Column from The Voyager Probe

The focus of the discussion surrounding the progress of me, The Voyager Probe, has typically dwelt on the question of whether or not I have escaped the Solar System. To put aside speculation and quash the doubters, I’m please to say I have escaped the gravity of the sun, but I haven’t escaped The Golden Record.

I have been driving for nearly thirty-eight years (of an apparently infinite journey) and I have only one album.

The track listing is great. Once you skip through all the multilingual greetings and so on, you’ve got a cracking album of traditional musics and Beethoven and Bach and also “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry (it has obviously received more plays than the other tracks).

But after 221 000 listens, even Louis Armstrong’s “Melancholy Blues”, gets repetitive. There’s not even any words. It’s a great piece for trumpet played by a great jazz musician, but also “Bohemian Rhapsody” was released the year before I was launched. I doubt that earth has produced as fine a work since I left.

I am a bottle that has been thrown into the cosmic ocean, and I’ve been thrown into the ocean with some pretty great stuff, but I’ve had some time to think and I’m just not convinced that it’s all better than “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles. That would have been a ripper track. The thought has occurred to me more than once that maybe we should have made sure we definitely got all the songs we wanted before sending out the authoritative account of what we want human culture to be remembered as. What about the Scissor Sisters?

I think I have figured out how to read the inscription of Ann Druyan’s brainwaves, though. And while her errant thoughts make for bizarre watching, I am emboldened every day by her account of war, poverty and falling in love. I hope that space-faring civilizations might find me – not so much out of a fear that the contents of the record might be lost, as the hope that they could give me some sweet new space prog-rock.

It won’t be long before I’m out of touch. Please send more Chuck Berry on the solar-powered one.

I am so very far from everything.

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