So a year ago they told us that Comet ISON was a thing. And not just any thing. A THING! “It’ll be as bright as the full moon”, they said. “It’ll be visible for months”, they said. THEY made promises and overtures to my four year-old nephew that got him so riled up that I actually GAVE him my TELESCOPE! “Oooo, ISON is coming soon. Aren’t you excited?”, I said. And he WAS! He was crazy excited. He can’t wait now.
Too bad THEY were full of shit. How dare the scientific community devastate the hopes and dreams of an innocent child? And it’s not like I can take my telescope back now so thanks, assholes. My sweet little boy can search the heavens in vain this Thanksgiving Day but that which he seeks might not be found.
Turns out that there’s this massive nuclear reactor that resides right smack dab in the middle of our solar system. It’s called the fucking SUN and comet scientist people just became aware of its existence, I guess. This Sun, as its called, is very hot and it burns things that get close to it. And by burning I mean something much worse than Daniel Tosh does for a living. The Sun makes things go bye bye.
So, if you’re lucky, and you look hard enough with a telescope or binoculars, you might be able to catch a glimpse of this anticlimax on Thanksgiving. That’s when the comet will pass closest to the Earth. It will most likely be a far cry from the miraculous event that has been sold to us all year long, but it’s still a comet and comets are generally neat. Also a good excuse to get away from the family and sneak a smoke.
No one wants to believe in ancient aliens more than I do. As an atheist it’s easy for me to read the bible or any religious text (I don’t though cuz duh, I have a frickin’ life) and conjecture that the supernatural events described are more easily explained as the confused observations of dusty people with bad teeth as our planet was being visited by extraterrestrials.
Medieval paintings, mysterious lines in the sand, woodcuttings supposedly depicting an alien aerial dogfight; these objects are so very intriguing. I want to believe that they are evidence that there is, out there, something better than just our dumbass latte-slurping, petty, thieving, lying selves. Oh I do. And there probably is.
But alack, I must confess, I must admit, I must accept, that the information that is peddled around as evidence of ancient alien visitation has all the credibility of a governor who quits in the middle of her term as an elected official and then pimps her own daughter on ABC’s DWTS (I don’t like Sarah Palin and this is my blog so meh).
Are we really supposed to believe that aliens spent so much time with us and left absolutely no material proof that they were ever here? For all the impact that these space travelers have supposedly had on human civilizations throughout the centuries, how likely is it that they carried with them, like, no stuff ever? Not one shred of physical evidence indicating the extraterrestrial occupation of this planet has ever been unearthed. Nothing. It’s a bummer and I hate it, but them’s the facts. And this guy…look at this guy. What the hell is wrong with this man?
Ahhh…the North Pole- a magical land filled with fluffy snow, gingerbread houses, and friendly, industrious little elves. Santa lives there. So does his old lady. They thrive on nothing but cookies and hot cocoa, and the talking reindeer that live with them play and play and play all kinds of jolly games all the times forever. I’ve never actually been there, but it sounds awesome. Good job, Earth, on maximizing the potential of what could have ended up being just another desolate, frozen wasteland. Well done.
On Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, however, you can just go ahead and cancel Christmas. Yes, you read that correctly- just cancel the crap right out of it. Why? Because, instead of turning its North Pole into a magical place full of carbs and laughter like Earth has, it’s gone and filled the place up with what are basically whole lakes of liquid farts. Now you feel me? Scientists will tell you that this is due to an atmosphere made up of hydrocarbons like methane (and a bunch of other -anes and -enes) and a Fahrenheit surface temperature of around 289 degrees below zero. These temperatures are cold enough to liquify methane which is, um, gaseous on our planet.
Well, we all know that scientists think they’re pretty smart with all their science mumbo jumbo talk or whatever, but there are some who would totes disagree. I would be willing to bet that Bill O’ Reilly or Sarah Palin could be convinced that Titan’s failure to upgrade its North Pole situation is just part of the OBVIOUSLY GALACTICALLY PERVASIVE “War on Christmas”. Therefore, I propose that we use this issue as an excuse to launch these two people far, far into space right away. Someone needs to get to the bottom of this affront to our most beloved holiday, dammit, even if it means plumbing the depths of Titan’s frigid fjords of fluid flatulence forever. Right on.
Do this: Next time the sky is clear and the moon is bright, go to a window with a good view of the thing. Ideally, your window will have blinds because you are not a complete imbecile. Open those blinds. Turn off the lights. Yes, things are about to get intimate. Make yourself comfortable. Keep your head very still and your eyes on the moon. Just sit and breathe and watch quietly for two minutes. Using the rungs of your blinds as a measure sit in awed silence as it blazes past each line in a matter of seconds. Holy shit, amiright? (high five) Does anyone else smell the awesome?!
Well, I did. Last night. I smelled it something fierce. As I watched the moon rocket through all that sky I realized that this moon was my moon, our moon, and the moon of every human being that has ever lived. Every person, every living thing in possession of at least one good eye has looked upon that object at one time or another.
And it looked the same way to them as it does to us. And it has worn the same path every night of every day that calamity has struck or enlightenment has been attained in the only world we really know. When the first ferris wheel stopped the show at the Chicago World’s Fair, in the miserable trenches of the Great War, when Louis XIV rendezvous’ed with his mistresses in the gardens of Fontainebleau, when the Aztecs had never heard of Spain or smallpox, when Leonardo da Vinci was burning the midnight wax and envisioning the future, the minute that Rome ceased to be a republic, when the pyramids of Egypt were being built by a superior race of alien beings, when the first Neanderthal felt a little sumpin sumpin for his homo (not in the gay sense) neighbor, and when our ancestors slept in trees and had plenty of time to look at the moon and wonder what it would taste like if they could just jump that high. Dinosaurs hunted and slept by moonlight. The moon reflected off the waves of the ocean way before anything crawled out onto the shore. I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.
In conclusion, the moon is all right. Five minutes of witnessing our humble satellite’s luminous velocity beats staring at the most exotic celestial body on a computer screen, and that’s any day of the week, bitchez. So slow down. Open the blinds. Grab your woobie and be transported.