The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Ticket To The Moon

An amusing thing has been pointed out to me by my substantially better half about John F Kennedy’s ‘let’s all go to the moon’ speech. It’s in the bit which is always wheeled out for the clip shows. It goes like this.

“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things.”

What was that again, John? ‘And do the other things’? And what ‘other things’ might they be? They’re clearly on your ‘to do’ list with ‘go to the moon’ but you’re being rather unspecific, if not downright cagey, as to what they might be.

The speech continues. Often it’s presented on television in an edited form; here is the speech in full, with original Presidential vagueness intact.

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard... and stuff,

Because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, and some more things like that,

Because that challenge is on that we are willing to accept, and whatever,

One we are unwilling to postpone, etcetera,

And one which we intend to win, and the others, you know that other shit I was talking about earlier, we intend to nail those ones as well, too.”

But what exactly were those other things? Well, here, revealed in full, is John F Kennedy’s ‘to do’ list.

1) Go to moon.

2) Shag Monroe.

3) Tickets for Sinatra.

4) Order in some more delicious ‘Berliners’.

5) Sort out Cuba (and do the other things)

6) Civil rights and stuff.

7) Take more drugs.

8) Have fitting for bullet-proof vest (and get a bullet-proof canopy for the limo too).


  1. If you'll forgive the straight bat, I think the "other things" bit relates to this earlier section:

    ---"We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war." ---

    The music at the front of this vid is Michael Kamen's beautiful theme to the HBO series "From The Earth To The Moon". In the series, the theme is underscored with the "we choose..." section of Kennedy's speech, and if it doesn't trigger your pilomotor reflex, I'm afraid you're dead.

  2. Did you hear the whole speech?
    Listen to / Re-read the previous paragraph...
    But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
    Before you go on a half rant, the speech was given at Rice. Perhaps it would be best to do the research before posting. Not your best bit.