Sign The Guestbook
View The Guestbook
Archived Guestbook
Submit An Article
Staff List
Privacy Policy


Weekly Features
Letter from New York
Mathew Tombers is Managing Director of Intermat, Inc., ( a television company which executive produces programs and consults with industry companies on a variety of issues. Intermat, Inc. is currently involved in approximately thirty hours of television in various stages for a variety of networks. He is one of the Executive Producers of OFF TO WAR, a ten hour series for Discovery Times and for a one hour on international adoptions for Discovery Health. He has consulted a variety of companies, including Ted Turner Documentaries, WETA, Betelgeuse Productions, and Creation Films, Lou Reda Productions as well as many others.
February 9, 2008

One had to say it was a fascinating week; the intensity of Super
Tuesday made the week memorable as it drove people out in, well,
droves to vote in primaries to help their individual party choose
a Presidential candidate.

On the Republican side, the results were dramatically in favor of
John McCain, so much so that Mitt Romney "suspended" his campaign
for the nomination. By the end of the day Tuesday, Hillary and
Obama seemed virtually neck and neck; then he swept Washington,
Kansas, Louisiana and Maine. Hillary fired her campaign manager;
I'm sure she is sitting somewhere wondering what has been going
wrong. It was not supposed to be this way.

Not for her; not for Romney but this is where it's at. There is
a surge in money being given to Obama while Hillary lent her
campaign $5 million. McCain, dismissed as "dead" during the
summer has had an astounding resurrection. This year it doesn't
seem to be politics as usual. Everywhere around me, whether I am
here in Columbia County, down in the city; in Washington, D.C.,
Las Vegas or talking with friends in Los Angeles, there is more
vibrancy in this election than has been seen in many a year.

I, along with many others, am glad for that as fear had been
setting in that the Republic had become moribund; the citizenry
more interested in gadgets and toys than in the quality of
leadership. However, Barak Obama has called for change just as
the nation has begun to seriously understand the need for change;
the economy is shaky and there is no confidence in our Iraq
policy. We have grown tired of being disliked about the world and
we yearn, perhaps as they did at the end of the somnambulant
1950's, for inspiration.

It was inspiring to me in the summer of 1969, when I was doing
summer theatre, to stop rehearsals and gather around a small black
and white television set; waiting, breathlessly, for Neil
Armstrong to set his feet upon the moon, followed shortly by Buzz
Aldrin. It was a moment that has remained with me forever, leaning
in toward that tiny screen to see our first steps out into the
void; the beginning of the exploration of the final frontier
[thank you, STAR TREK]. It was a moment of awe, the kind of
moment that marks a passage for humanity, the beginning of what we
hope will be a new age.

We retreated from the moon and contented ourselves with low
orbital adventures which, while necessary perhaps, have lost their
ability to inspire, particularly since there is no inspiring voice
like John Kennedy's exhorting us to our efforts, "not because they
are easy but because they are hard." I remain a strong supporter
of space exploration because of its ability to inspire and bring
awe to us.

When watching the first men walk on the moon, it did not occur to
me that thirty nine years later, I would be spending time with one
of those two individuals. However, because of my friend and
colleague Howard Bloom, I have met Buzz Aldrin several times on
the phone, an ad hoc consultant to his desire to provide
television programming to complement the slew of forty year
anniversaries of space milestones which are about to burst upon

Those phone conversations led me to setting a meeting for him at
The History Channel, to meet with their senior programming
executives and Chief Historian. We sat for the better part of a
couple of hours, discussing what has happened in space, what could
happen and how mankind could benefit from that. There came a
moment, listening to Buzz Aldrin's voice that I suddenly found
myself, in my mind, looking down on the earth, acutely aware we
are living on a small pearl of a planet in the far arm of a galaxy
and that it all is a great huge mystery beckoning us to explore
it, to learn the secrets that are out there.

It is, I believe, natural for human beings to yearn to know what
has been previously unknowable, to explore where others have not
yet gone. That drove Alexander, Marco Polo, Columbus, Magellan,
the men who went to the Poles, all those intrepid souls that
searched for what was back of beyond. It is to that spirit, I
believe, that the voice of Obama is speaking, to the hope of
finally knowing more, being more, and to our need to reach for the
stars, not necessarily for gain but because they are there.