Hijacking the space narrative from 2001: A Space Odyssey, the long-running series Ancient Aliens (2010-) perfectly illustrates TV’s non-stop assault on logic, rationality, and general sanity. Tsoukalos quote against a Hubble Deep Field image, courtesy of NASA. Graphic created by Barry Vacker.

Left: Buzz Aldrin on the moon; Aldrin’s footprint; images courtesy of NASA. Right: Internet meme/parody of Stanley Kubrick filming the Apollo moon landing. Collage created by Barry Vacker, protected under the Fair Use Doctrine.

Image created by Julia Hilldebrand and Barry Vacker, 2017. Hubble Space Telescope against an image of distant nebula. Courtesy NASA; images are in the public domain.


Star-forming regions in vast nebula, Hubble Space Telescope, image courtesy of NASA, 2009. Interstellar quote added by Barry Vacker.

Stars, Dirt, and the Cosmic Sublime

The black monolith in 2001: A blank slate for a new philosophy for the human species. Graphic design by Barry Vacker. Because of copyright issues in Medium, I cannot show images from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Home to the Wonders and Horrors of 21st Century America

Graphic by Barry Vacker, 2021.

Journeys Into the Future and the Past

We live in a world where the highest function of the sign is to make reality disappear

Photo of my copy of “The Perfect Crime,” the 1996 book about the “murder“ of reality. The cover image is a bloody crime scene in an empty parking garage.

MAGA, NASA, and Split-Trajectory America

Graphic of January 6 violent insurrection and the James Webb Space Telescope (Created by Barry Vacker).

It Starts in the “Chill” Gaze

The Milky Way above the Rio Grande and Big Bend Ranch State Park in far west Texas. Photo by Morteza Safataj, Big Bend Conservation Alliance website; used with permission.

Looking Out and Away

The Texas state flag and movie poster for “Giant,” the epic Hollywood film about Texas. Poster from 1956 and in the public domain.

Barry Vacker

Theorist of big spaces and big ideas. Writer and mixed-media artist. Existentialist w/o the angst. PhD: Univ of Texas at Austin.

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